Whistler Zoning and Covenants

As a resort community, it was important that the planning of Whistler’s community would enable it to host its numerous visitors. As a result, various zoning and covenant by-laws, based on location and property type were put into effect. This can lead to the Whistler real estate market appearing somewhat complicated! However, with the help of an expert guide, you will quickly come to understand the different zoning and rental covenants, which is a key step in identifying your preferred property.


Residential Zoning

This zoning is predominantly found in the residential neighbourhoods surrounding Whistler’s centre such as Alpine Meadows, Whistler Cay Estates, Emerald Estates, Bayshores, etc. Residentially zoned properties may be used as your primary residence, rented on long-term/seasonal rentals (leases of one month or more) or used as a second home for personal and recreational use. Nightly or short-term rentals (less than one month) are not permitted.


Tourist Accommodation Zoning

Properties with this zoning allow owners to rent on a short-term basis. Some of these tourist accommodations have covenants (Phase I or Phase II) which determine rental management and personal usage of the property.


Phase I Covenant

This is generally considered unrestricted, thereby allowing the owner the most flexibility and control over their property. With a Phase I covenant, the owner has unlimited personal use of their property. In addition, the property may be made available for nightly, short-term or long-term rental. This type of property is typically found in condominiums and townhomes in Whistler Village, the Benchlands and Whistler Creek, and works best for owners wanting to choose their own rental management company and/or use the property personally.


Phase II Covenant

Properties with a Phase II covenant are generally found in a limited number of the larger hotel properties, including the Four Seasons, Pan Pacific Hotels, Westin etc. The covenant restricts the level of owner use to 56 days per year – 28 days in the winter and 28 days in the summer. The remaining days the property is available for rental through the in-house rental agency (e.g. Four Seasons). All owners are in a Rental Pool where they are receiving a percentage of the Gross Rental Revenue for all the suites in the hotel for each night of occupancy. These styles of properties are best suited to those coming to Whistler a couple of weeks a year or investors interested in revenue producing properties with an in-house management company.