TUP's For Vacation Rentals
In 2012, the Regional District commenced a review of its land-use bylaws in recognition that visitors to the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys were seeking short-term vacation rentals but that such uses were generally not permitted in any zones.
The outcome of this review process was a determination to use Temporary Use Permits (TUPs) as the preferred way in which to address proposals seeking to undertake a vacation rental use.
This is because a TUP application is seen to provide an opportunity for community input, for the imposition of specific conditions (i.e. maximum occupancy, landscaping, manager contact details, etc.) and for regular review of an operation to ensure that it is not causing undue conflict with adjacent residential uses.
The necessary amendments to the land-use bylaws facilitating the Regional District’s approval of vacation rental uses through the issuance of a TUP came into effect on March 20, 2014.
The only exception to this requirement for a TUP is for properties at Apex, where vacation rentals are a permitted use in recognition of the resort nature of this community.
What is a vacation rental?
For the purposes of the Electoral Area Zoning Bylaws, a "vacation rental" use is one that is generally defined as the occassional use of a residential dwelling unit for the commercial accommodation of paying guests for a period of less than one month (NOTE: this does not include Bed and Breakfast Operations).
A residential dwelling unit is one that is normally occupied on a regular basis by an occupant (i.e. it is someone's "permanent domicile") and this should be for a period of not less than 6-months in a calendar year.
If a short-term accommodation use is being proposed that is determined to comprise one of the above, or a similar scenario it will be considered a "vacation rental" use by the Regional District and be considered against the "vacation rental" policies contained in the applicable Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaw.
What is not a vacation rental?
The following are not considered a "vacation rental" use of a building or structure within the context of the Regional District's existing policies and zoning regulaitons:
- when the accommodation unit is to be provided in an "accessory building or structure" (e.g. garage or workshop).
- when the proposed "vacation rental" use is proposed to occur within a dwelling unit for more than 6-months in any one calendar year.
- when there is no person who otherwise resides in the proposed dwelling on a permanent basis (e.g. "occassional or seasonal occupancy").
If a short-term accommodation use is being proposed that is determined to comprise one of the above, or a similar scenario it will be considered a "tourist accommodation" use by the Regional District and will not be considered against the "vacation rental" policies contained in the applicable Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaw.
How to submit an application?
A Temporary Use Permit Application Form can be downloaded from the following link:
Completed application forms can be submitted to the Regional District office at 101 Martin Street in Penticton (we are located across the street from Gyro Park).
What Information needs to be submitted with an application?
While the application form listed above includes a detailed listing of all the material that should be included with a Temporary Use Permit application, prospective applicants are asked to be aware that they will be required to submit a Health & Safety Inspection of the premises to be used for a vacation rental use meets minimum standards for health and safety.
These inspections can be arranged through the Regional District’s Building Department at a cost of $200.
Otherwise, Schedule 5 of the Regional District’s Development Procedures Bylaw No. 2500, 2011, provides a more detailed listing as well as the processing procedures that a TUP application will follow.
What is the cost to submit an application?
Effective January 1, 2022, the cost of an application fee is $2,500.00.
In accordance with the Regional District’s “Vacation Rental Temporary Use Permit Policy” the maximum duration of a TUP for a new vacation rental use shall be one “season” (i.e. May 1st through October 31st).
The cost to renew a TUP is $1,250.00 and the period of the renewal may be for a period not exceeding three (3) years.
Against what criteria will an application be assessed?
The following criteria will generally be used to assess an application:
- capability of accommodating on-site domestic water and sewage disposal;
- mitigating measures such as screening and fencing;
- provision of adequate off-street parking;
- confirmation that the structure proposed for use as a vacation rental meets a minimum standard for health and safety; and
- benefits that such accommodation may provide to the community.
A list of possible TUP conditions is also included under the Temporary Use Permit Section found in each Electoral Area Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaw which can be accessed here:
In order that local residents may know that an application has been submitted to the Regional District, applicants will be required to post a notification sign on their property specifying the details of the proposal.
This sign is to be erected prior to submitting an application to the Regional District with confirmation of the sign being on site submitted in the form of a photo showing the sign on the property. Failure to erect a notification sign in a timely manner will likely result in an application being returned as incomplete.
Specifications for a notification sign can be found at Schedule 1 of the Regional District’s Development Procedures Bylaw No. 2500, 2011.
In addition, the Regional District Board may direct that a Public Information Meeting occur prior to its consideration of a permit (see Section 5.1 of Bylaw No. 2500) and applicants are asked to be aware of this possibility.
If you operate a vacation rental and do not have a valid Temporary Use Permit, you may be subject to daily fines if enforcement action is initiated.
Operating a vacation rental without a TUP may also invalidate your property insurance.
Securing a TUP before you operate your vacation rental just makes good business sense — and makes for good relations with your neighbours.
More information regarding the Regional District’s approach to enforcement of vacation rental uses is available in the “Vacation Rentals Enforcement Policy”.