Services like AirBNB, VRBO and others have the short-term vacation rental industry booming. File photo

Services like AirBNB, VRBO and others have the short-term vacation rental industry booming. File photo

Vacation rental permit fees soar in South Okanagan Similkameen

Cost of temporary use permit more than triples

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is raising its rate for application fees and renewal fees for temporary use permits.

The new application fee and renewal fee for the permit for a vacation rental property is $2,500, while the fees for all other uses are rising to $1,250.

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Previously, temporary use permit fees were much cheaper in the regional district, at a cost of $700 for the application fee and $350 for a renewal fee.

Chris Garrish, planning manager with the regional district, said the new fees take into consideration the labour costs and other costs involved in processing temporary use permit applications. The costs include newspaper notification, venue rentals, postal charges and other costs. These costs are around $2,500, Garrish said.

“The current application fees of $700 for an initial TUP application and $350 for a renewal are insufficient to cover the costs being incurred,” he said, adding that the application fees have not been reviewed since 2003 and the renewal fees have not been reviewed since 2015.

As of July 2021, the regional district had issued around 40 temporary use permits for vacation rentals, with more than half in Electoral Area E, which includes Naramata.

The new fees are close to those charged in Revelstoke and Kelowna. Revelstoke charges $2,350 while Kelowna charges $1,915 for application fees and renewal fees for temporary use permits.

In Penticton, the fee is $880 for the application fee and $440 for the renewal fee, while Summerland charges $1,000 for the application fee and $500 for the renewal fee.

The regional district board gave unanimous approval to the higher fees.

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Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District