Bed & Breakfast Regulations

On January 14, 2019, Council made a series of motions directing administration to seek stakeholder and community input related to Bed and Breakfast regulations. 

These included:

  • The maximum number of Bed and Breakfasts allowed through Schedule ‘D’ of the Land Use Bylaw
  • Modified enforcement options within the Land Use Bylaw for commercial accommodation in residential properties
  • Additional regulations in an effort to strengthen the intent that Bed and Breakfast Homes remain an accessory use and do not negatively impact housing
  • The regulations regarding new Bed and Breakfast Home applications for heritage properties
  • The regulations regarding Bed and Breakfast Inns
  • The relevant bylaws with regards to property tax and/or fees and renewals relating to Bed and Breakfast to explore a differential tax rate associated with Bed and Breakfasts
  • The impacts to changes on existing Bed and Breakfasts
  • Other amendments to the Land Use Bylaw related to Bed and Breakfasts.

January 14, 2019 Council Report on Bed and Breakfast Regulatory Framework (PDF)

To solicit feedback on the Bed and Breakfast regulations, how we can improve them, and how we can help maintain the high level of service visitors have come to expect from them, a working group was formed. The working group was made up of 10 members and included current Bed and Breakfast operators, a Bed and Breakfast Inn owner, a hotel operator, and members of the public.

The working group met seven times between July 2019 and January 2020 and was facilitated by a third party. The working group produced a final report: 

 In addition to the working group’s recommendations, the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) and The Banff Heritage Corporation also provided recommendations. The MPC recommendations can be found in the minutes of the March 11, 2020, meeting and the May 13, 2020, meeting. The recommendations from the Banff Heritage Corporation can be found in the minutes of the March 12, 2020, meeting.  

The recommendations from the working group, MPC and Banff Heritage Corporation were presented at the October 13, 2020, Governance and Finance Committee meeting. The Governance and Finance Committee, which is comprised of all members of Council, reviewed all the recommendations, and provided direction as to what should be included in a draft Land Use Bylaw amendment. The direction on proposed changes can be found in the minutes of the October 13, 2020, Governance and Finance Committee meeting.

The direction for changes to the Land Use Bylaw requirements for Bed and Breakfasts includes:

  • Ensuring that any purpose built accessory buildings for Bed and Breakfasts meet the requirements for use as dwellings
  • Prohibiting Bed and Breakfast Homes that would result in the net loss of housing
  • Including a preamble that highlights the intent that Bed and Breakfasts are an accessory use
  • Providing more binding and clear language to ensure Bed and Breakfast Homes are an Accessory Use. Any regulations would apply to new applications and previously approved applications would have to comply within a specific time frame
  • Providing clarity about what it means for Bed and Breakfasts to be operated exclusively by the live-in owner
  • Allowing Bed and Breakfast Homes approved in accessory structures to be used as  accessory Dwellings when not being used as a Bed and Breakfast Home
  • Restricting the use of stoves within Bed and Breakfast Homes
  • Reducing the maximum number of Bed and Breakfasts to below 65 and transfer some, or all of the quota spots to full districts based on sound planning considerations
  • Reintroducing a physical separation distance between Bed and Breakfasts which would apply to new Bed and Breakfast applications only
  • Advertising of available allocations in full districts when one or more allocations have become available
  • Limiting applications for Bed and Breakfast Homes to the current property owner only
  • Requiring a Statutory Declaration prior to issuance of a Development Permit
  • Extending the maximum time period of a Development Permit for a Bed and Breakfast to 3 years
  • Requiring a physical inspection of every Bed and Breakfast at least once every 5 years
  • Requiring Bed and Breakfast applications to include the maximum number of pillows (guests) per guest room and in total for the Bed and Breakfast provided that this is not more than two times the number of guest bedrooms plus an additional two. This would apply to all Bed and Breakfasts from the bylaw being enacted
  • Clarification that the live-in owner and allocation by district requirements cannot be varied 
  • More permissive opportunities for Bed and Breakfast Homes in designated heritage properties
  • Limiting the redevelopment of Bed and Breakfast Inns to the existing floor area, which does not include the residential floor area
  • Clarification that floor area associated with Bed and Breakfast Inns cannot be transferred to other parcels
  • Allowing Bed and Breakfast Inns to redevelop using the regulations of the district where they’re located rather than the most restrictive district
  • Allowing residential development, including Accessory Dwellings, on sites that contain a Bed and Breakfast Inn, providing all other Land Use Bylaw requirements are met
  • Requiring that redevelopment of a Bed and Breakfast Inn will require the same parking requirements as a Bed and Breakfast Home (one stall per guest bedroom) with clarity as to what constitutes redevelopment
  • Adding Bed and Breakfast Inns as a Discretionary Use within the RSA: Spray Avenue District in order for Elk Horn Lodge to have the same redevelopment opportunity as other Bed and Breakfast Inns
  • Expanded and enhanced enforcement opportunities for operation of unapproved commercial accommodation
  • Using clear and specific language to aid in enforcement of the Land Use Bylaw
  • Review of renewal fees based on extended time frame of associated Development Permits to be paid at time of processing

Administration is drafting proposed Land Use Bylaw amendments based on Governance and Finance Committees direction which will be presented at the June 27, 2022, Governance and Finance Committee meeting.

Should the Governance and Finance Committee recommend Council consider proposed amendments to the Land Use Bylaw, these would return to Council for first reading before a public hearing. In addition to a public hearing of proposed bylaw amendments, there is opportunity for public input on agenda items at any Council or Governance and Finance Committee meetings. 

After a public hearing of any Land Use Bylaw amendments, second and third reading of the proposed bylaw by Council is required, as well as final approval by Parks Canada prior to amendments applying.

If you have any questions relating to the Bed and Breakfast regulations, please contact Dave Michaels, Manager, Development Services via email dave.michaels@banff.ca.