Planning & Building

Short-Term Rental Regulation 

Public Hearing Update

An electronic public hearing will be held on Monday, February 14, 2022 at 6PM via Zoom.

Please note that there is no in-person attendance permitted due to COVID-19. Attendance will be electronic or by phone. Register in advance to speak by emailing

Public Hearing Notice

Project Update

The proposed regulatory framework for short term rentals has now received First and Second Reading and a public hearing has been scheduled to hear from the public on the proposed zoning amendment bylaw. With increasing COVID-19 case counts, Council directed staff to postpone the in-person Public Hearing scheduled for January 24th, 2022 regarding short term rental regulations until February 14, 2022. This public hearing will now be conducted electronically via Zoom.

Any person who believes their interest in property may be affected by this proposal may speak to the matter at the Public Hearing or provide written submission in advance of the Public Hearing. 

We encourage members of the public to pre-register on the speakers list in advance of the Public Hearing.  To register to speak, email and provide your name, civic address, and cite the application number.  After everyone from the speaker’s list has been given opportunity for comment, the floor will be opened to those who did not pre-register to speak. 

Comments may be made through written correspondence up until 12:00 noon on the day of the public hearing.  Written comments can be sent by email to the Corporate Officer at siting file number RZ21-015 or by letter to District of Summerland Municipal Hall.

Short Term Rentals Review Project Update: January 2022 Update and Public Hearing

Summary of Proposed Zoning

The District is proposing a way to regulate and licence short term rentals. The proposed regulatory framework consists of 5 separate bylaws to regulate and license all temporary accommodations within dwellings in the same way, with a requirement of having a primary residence located on the property to allow for a short term rental. This means that "short term rentals" and "bed and breakfasts" would be under the same rules. The highlights of the regulatory framework is summarized below:

Allow short term rentals in select Urban Residential, Rural Residential and Agricultural Zones
  • Allow short term rentals as a permitted accessory use in the following Urban Residential zones: RSD1 Residential Medium Lot, RSD1(i) Residential Single Detached Intensive, RSD2 Residential Large Lot, RSD3 Residential Estate Lot, RDH Residential Duplex Housing, RSH Residential Strata Housing, Rural Residential zones: CR1 Country Residential, and Agricultural Zones: A1 Small Acreage and A2 Large Acreage
Limit short term rentals to select dwelling types
  • Limit short term rentals to the following dwelling types: single detached dwellings, manufactured housing (Type 1 or 2), secondary suites and carriage houses
Require Residency On-Site
  • Require a minimum of one Primary Residence on the lot of a short term rental
  • Define a primary residence as a dwelling unit that a person resides in for the majority of the year and declares for legal purposes as their principal home. For the purposes of this bylaw, a person cannot have more than one Primary Residence within the District of Summerland
Limit short term rental of a primary residence
  • Only allow a short term rental to be either rental of sleeping units that are a part of a primary residence or rental of an entire dwelling unit that is not a primary residence
Require Resident Operator or Professional Management
  • If renting sleeping units that are part of the primary residence, require operator to be a resident occupying the primary residence on the lot
  • If renting a whole dwelling unit that is not the primary residence, require operator to be a resident  occupying the primary residence on the lot or a licensed property management company
Other Regulations
  • Require one parking stall in addition to parking stalls required for the dwelling(s) on-site
  • Limit to one short term rental per lot
  • Limit to a maximum of 4 bedrooms and 8 guests
  • Prohibit rental of a bedroom containing a kitchen

Proposed Licencing Program

A business licence would be required to operate a short-term rental. As part of the application process the following would be required:

  • Health and safety inspection of the dwelling
  • Proof of authorized residential use (i.e. a building permit for the dwelling unit)
  • Good Neighbour Agreement
  • Parking plan
  • Floor plan
  • Emergency Fire Safety Plan (exit paths out of unit, etc.)
  • Operator declaration as primary resident (or confirmation of professional management, if applicable)
  • $500 licencing fee (inspection included)
The operator of a short-term rental will be required to be available for contact 24/7 during a guest's stay and must respond to complaints with the District within 2 hours. No buildings or rooms other than those on the approved floor plan will be rented out and guests cannot use vehicles, tents, RVs, or other buildings for sleeping during their stay.

Bylaw Enforcement
Zoning and licencing requirements will be enforced through the District's Bylaw Enforcement Officer. The District also aims to hire a monitoring service to help identify short-term rentals advertised on on-line booking platforms. The proposed bylaws include fines and offences associated with specific violations (for example, a fine for advertising without a business license).

Proposed Bylaws
Please find links to the proposed bylaws below. Copies of the proposed bylaws are also available for viewing at Municipal Hall during business hours.

Zoning Bylaw Amendment No. 2021-048
Business License Bylaw Amendment No. 2021-049
Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw No. 2021-050
Bylaw Notices Amendment Bylaw No. 2021-051
Municipal Ticketing Information Bylaw Amendment Bylaw No. 2021-052

Health & Safety
Ensuring short-term rentals are safe is an important part of the proposed regulatory framework. All short-term rentals will require an inspection. Only space that have been approved for residential occupancy will be allowed to be used for a short-term rental. If you have an existing suite that has never been permitted, you will need to apply for a building permit before you apply for a short-term rental business license. A copy of the draft Health & Safety Inspection Checklist can be found via the link below.

Draft Health & Safety Inspection Checklist

Previous Reports & Supporting Information
Please find links to previous reports and supporting information below.

Council Report - 1st and 2nd Reading - December 13, 2021 meeting 
Z21-015 Council Report
Council Report - Public Engagement Results - November 22, 2021 meeting 
IR - Short Term Rental Survey Results
Council Report - Short Term Rental Regulatory Approaches - August 23, 2021 
RFD-Short Term Rental Regulatory Approach

Full agenda packages and meeting minutes for Council meetings are available via the link below:

Project Description

The District will be undertaking a review on its short-term rentals (i.e. “vacation rentals” or “tourist rentals”) policy. This project will propose a new regulatory framework for short term rentals in recognition that short term rentals are not currently permitted in the zoning bylaw but are currently operating within the community.

Online Survey

A community survey was undertaken in October 2021 and we thank all that participated! Curious about the results? The survey results are now compiled. Results to the survey question are available via the link below. There is also a link to the report to Council that provides further details and explanation. 

Survey Results
Survey - Written Comments

Report to council - Public Participation Summary is available here.

Online Open House

An online open house was held via Zoom on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. A copy of the presentation slides, questions and answers, and a licensing fee comparison are linked below.

Presentation Slides
Licensing Fees

What are short-term rentals?

Short-term rentals are a type of temporary accommodation and are currently undefined by the District of Summerland.  There is no set definition as to what a “short-term rental” is and there are varying definitions and terms throughout jurisdictions.  Some also refer to short-term rentals (STRs) as vacation rentals, tourist accommodation, and seasonal use accommodation. 

Other jurisdictions around the world, and throughout British Columbia, have responded to the advent of the “home-sharing” industry through online booking platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway in a variety of ways.

The “home-sharing” industry offers a variety of accommodation options to potential users.  This includes renting an entire home, part of a home (like a suite) or a room in a home.  The type of homes being listed for short-term rentals are not limited to a single detached dwellings.  It could also appear in the form of a duplex unit, secondary suite, carriage house, apartment unit, townhouse or alternative unit (i.e. glamping tent, treehouse).

Although there is a wide range of accommodation types, there are some commonalities between short-term rentals that help shape the definitions:

  • Use of a residential unit (not a commercial unit like a hotel)
  • Paying guest (a commercial venture)
  • Guests staying on a temporary basis (commonly defined as less than a month (or 28 days) at a time)
  • Catering to tourists (guests live elsewhere and are renting on a nightly or weekly basis, not as a residential tenure)

Short-term rentals are not currently defined in the District’s Zoning Bylaw but are generally defined as private, residential dwellings (or parts of dwellings) that are rented on a temporary basis (generally less than 28 days).  Short-term rentals are generally marketed to tourists or visitors and charge a daily or weekly rate (this is different from a long-term rental where there is a residential tenure). 

What is the current status of short-term rentals?

The District of Summerland Zoning Bylaw does not explicitly address “short-term rentals”.  Although not explicit, the use of a “dwelling” for short-term rental is not a customary residential use, and “short-term rentals” are not a permitted use in any zone.  Any type of residential housing (single detached, duplex, cluster, apartment, townhouse, etc.) rented to the travelling public is seen as a bylaw contravention (with the exception of a Bed & Breakfast Home). 

The District is seeking to combine its regulations for “bed and breakfast homes” where rooms within a single detached home are rented out to guests with the rental of whole dwelling units, when there is a principal residence on the property.  Under the proposed bylaw, a short-term rental can be either the renting out of rooms in your home or renting out an entire dwelling unit that is not the primary residence.  The proposed bylaw do not allow for renting out an entire home if there is only one dwelling on the property.

How is a Bed & Breakfast different from a short-term rental?

The proposed bylaws use the same term of “short-term rental” to include a traditional “bed and breakfast” and the rental of a whole house.  These uses will be licenced in the same way.

What will happen next?

The next step in the process is a public hearing for the zoning amendment bylaw.  You are welcome to provide your feedback on the proposed bylaw in writing or verbally at the public hearing.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact JoAnn Peachey, Planner II, at 250-404-4097 or