So, you’ve got thyself a Canmore property that has a Discretionary Use for the ever-valuable Tourist Home. Well done! Here are some guidelines on how to get your Zoning Designation changed.
Step One: Verify the Zoning Designation. This map is quite nifty: Canmore Property Information Viewer. Add the Land Use District Layer. Enter the Property Address. The last 2 digits of the Tax Roll Number are the Zoning Designation. #21 is Tourist Home.
Step Two: If your property isn’t already zoned as Tourist Home, prepare yourself for lots of scrolling through a 563 page document (or just call us — it’s easier). Check the Canmore Land Use Bylaw for details about the Land Use District. See if “Tourist Home” is listed as a Permitted Use or a Discretionary Use.
Step Three: Apply for a Development Permit from the Town of Canmore. There are a few steps to this. Basically, fill out a form. Attach a bunch of documents. Pay a Fee. Post a notice on your property so that your neighbours are notified that something is changing. Town of Canmore will say “yay” or Nay”, and then you post a New Notice that allows the neighbours to appeal the Town of Canmore decision. More on Development Permits can be found here. At the time of writing, the cost for a Tourist Home Permit was CAD$315 + CAD$1.35/ m.
This zoning category is sprinkled throughout Canmore (but absent in predominantly residential areas). TH Zoning provides the owner with the most flexibility. You want to make it your Lifestyle Property? Have at it. You want to have a Long Term Tenant? You do you. You want to rent it for less than 28 days, for that ever-so-profitable Short Term Rental Income? Yay. Do that! You want to enjoy a combination of all these? Yes. You can do that, too.
… but all good things come at a cost. The flexibility of the Tourist Home Zoning means a higher Property Tax Rate Rate. Don’t worry about it — The Property Tax Increase is far less than the Short Term Rental Revenue. If you are using the property solely for Personal Use or a Long Term Tenant, you can sign a declaration with the Town of Canmore to lower your property back to the Residential Tax Rate.
Permitted Use — Go for it. Do your thing (with the proper Development Permits, of course).
Discretionary Use — Ask permission for doing your thing. The use is at the discretion of the Town of Canmore, and possibly the neighbours.