Neighbourhood outcry in Naramata

A contentious Temporary Use Permit was issued in Naramata for a short-term vacation rental.

News from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

News from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

A contentious Temporary Use Permit was issued in Naramata for a short-term vacation rental property by rural RDOS directors despite a neighbourhood outcry.

This will be the third season the owner of the four-bedroom home on Arawana Place has rented it on a short-term basis to tourists visiting the area. The owner lives in Alberta full-time.

The RDOS received in excess of 10 letters from neighbours claiming guests at the house were disrespectful, loud and sometimes confrontational when asked to keep the noise down.

Several letters outlined how residents could no longer enjoy their outside spaces and were forced to keep their windows and doors closed through the summer because renters were too loud.

Area E Director Karla Kozakevich said the property is expected to be sold this fall and asked other rural area directors to vote in favour of the temporary use permit for a term ending December 31, 2016.

She noted she was concerned about the ability to enforce bylaws if a temporary use permit was not approved.

“We’ve had a court case similar to this in the past and we lost, even though the property was advertised. It is not as simple as showing an online listing for a rental property to prove that’s what it’s being used for,” she said.

The house already has bookings for the majority of summer weekends and several full weeks.

RDOS staff did say if the temporary use permit had not been approved they could have fined the owner every few days for renting the property without the proper permit until the rentals stopped.

The Temporary Use Permit outlines several stipulations, including having a local property manager accessible whenever the property was rented and the manager’s number circulated to neighbours.