Are you thinking of adding a carriage house to your property? A carriage house is a separate, secondary living space that’s located on the same property as a principal dwelling. To be considered as a carriage house, the space needs to have its own kitchen, bathroom and living space. It may be purpose built or a conversion of a pre-existing accessory building. Carriage houses cannot be sold separately.
Building or Renovating: What to Consider
Before building your carriage house, a development permit is required. This is to ensure the form and character of the carriage house meets the City's design guidelines and will be well integrated with the surrounding neighbourhood. Be sure to book your free pre-application meeting so City staff can evaluate your situation and make recommendations if needed. Also note that to rent out your carriage house, a business licence is required.
Let's Get Started
Start by researching your lot to determine what you can build. You will work with your designer using the Official Community Plan design guidelines and Zoning Bylaw regulations to design a carriage house that fits with the overall character of the neighbourhood.
We encourage all property owners to speak with your neighbours as part of the initial design process so that any concerns can be identified at an early stage. We also encourage the layout of parking and amenity areas in a way that will not infringe on a neighbour’s privacy and will not change the neighbourhood character. Adherence to the City’s regulations must be clearly shown on building plans that are drawn to scale and include a zoning compliance table.
How to Get Started
Carriage houses are permitted on lots that contain a single detached dwelling in any of the following zones:
Rural Zones: FG (Forestry and Grazing), A (Agriculture), and RC (Country Residential). Please note that if your property is in the ALR, you will need ALC approval prior to constructing a carriage house.
Urban Residential Zones: R1 (Large Lot Residential), R2 (Small Lot Residential), R3 (Small Lot Residential: Lane), RD1 (Duplex Housing), RD2 (Duplex Housing: Lane) and RD3 (Residential Infill).
The ALR is administered by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC). The ALC does not consider a carriage house as a permitted use on properties in the ALR. Please contact the ALC directly to learn more.
Prior to making plans to create a carriage house, speak with your neighbouring property owners to take into consideration any concerns they may have. Integrate parking and amenity areas in a way that will not infringe on the privacy of neighbouring residents or in a way that changes the character of the existing neighbourhood. City staff are available to help with planning for your carriage house.
Next Steps: Permits & Licensing
Once you have confirmed your property is eligible for a carriage house, you can start taking steps towards having it built. There will be planning and building permit applications, construction and inspections before anyone can occupy the space. The steps below outline the process for building a carriage house.
Before you get started, please contact our Building and Planning department to arrange a pre-application meeting. We’ll take a look at your concept plans and guide you toward which steps may be required. This also helps expedite the permit application process. Complete applications help keep wait times down for everyone.
Phone 250-490-2501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your meeting. Please allow two working days’ notice to schedule.
A development permit is required prior to the issuance of a building permit for a carriage house. The purpose of the development permit is to ensure the form and character of the carriage house meets the City’s design guidelines and will be well-integrated with the surrounding neighbourhood.
A complete checklist is found within the application package. For any questions on the development permit process or requirements, please contact the Planning Department at email@example.com or 250-490-2501.
After the approval of the development permit, a building permit/plumbing permit must be applied for and issued prior to constructing a carriage house.
To apply for a building permit from the City of Penticton, you’ll need to supply the following:
- A completed application package, available to download from our Building Permits Applications & Forms page.)
- Agency agreement (if the property owner wishes to assign an agent to make the application on their behalf)
- Confirmation of the requirement for BC Housing New Home Registration. Any questions regarding requirements or other unique warranty circumstances should be directed to BC Housing.
- Two sets of plans including site (with setbacks), elevation and floor plans.
Please note that incomplete application packages will not be processed and will be returned to the applicant. Be sure to check the Building Bulletins page for new rules or bylaws that may affect your project. Contact us with any questions you may have.
Additional Requirements for Carriage Houses
Please note the following additional requirements for carriage houses.
- Carriage Houses require Planning approval through Development Permits (DP). Development Permits must be approved prior to a permit being issued.
- Proof of Registration from Licensing and Consumer Services through BC Housing. Formally known as Home Protection Office (HPO). Any questions regarding these requirements or other unique warranty circumstances should be directed to BC Housing Licensing & Consumer Services or at 1-800-477-7757.
- Two sets of plans including site, elevation and floor plans. See the application package for the complete list of requirements.
- Once your permit has been reviewed and any revisions completed, the permit will be issued. Inspections will be conducted at certain benchmarks to ensure compliance with City of Penticton Regulations and BC Building Code requirements.
Once a building permit is issued and construction has begun, a Building Official will conduct inspections at certain benchmarks to ensure compliance with BC Building Code requirements. These inspections will be outlined in your permit condition letter when your building permit is issued.
If you plan on renting out your carriage house on a short- or long-term basis, please note a business licence is required. It's the owner’s responsibility to renew the business licence yearly.
Your Licensing Options
Short-term Rentals: A short-term vacation rental (STR) is defined as furnished space rented to the vacationing public for less than 30 consecutive days at a time. The City offers three different licensing categories: Minor Short-Term Rental, Major Short-Term Rental and Major Short-Term Rental – High Occupant. To learn more about these categories, please refer to our Short-Term Rentals page. If you would like to do a mixture of long-term and short-term rentals, you must be licenced to the highest level STR.
Long-term Rentals: A long-term rental is defined as a property that will be rented out for more than 30 days or more at a time. Visit our Long-Term Rentals page for further details.
Visit our Apply for a Business Licence page for further details.
Additional Building Permit Information
All permit applications require a non-refundable application fee of $180, or $80 for Plumbing Permits.
Currently, we are unable to accept credit card payments. Methods of payment are debit, cheque or cash.
You can review the Building Department Fee Schedule on our Building Permits Applications & Forms page for the full list of fees, including some flat fee permit types, reductions and other administrative fees.
The cost for most building permits is based on the value of construction, so the price will vary based on the amount of work to be done. When an application for building permit is made, an application fee must accompany the application. Any remaining fees are due at the time that the permit is ready to be picked up.
Construction costs or value means the total current monetary worth of all construction or work related to the building or structure. The current edition of the Marshall Valuation Services, the Marshall and Swift Residential Cost Handbook or such universal source of calculating valuation, as the building official deems reasonable, practical and expedient. Construction costs shall include:
- site preparation and civil work including excavation and the use of hoisting, pile driving, compaction or erection devices;
- all design documents, labour and fees involved in the design, investigative testing, consulting services, construction labour and management, even if provided by the owner, or donated voluntarily by others, contractor’s profit and overhead, sales taxes and the construction insurance; and
- all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, drainage and gas installations necessary for the carrying out of the construction to its completed form.
While there are no guaranteed timelines for building permits, we strive to issue permits in a timely manner. The timeline for all building permits depends on the completeness of the application, how quickly the City's comments are responded to, and volume of applications to be reviewed by each review group.
Use MyCity to check on the status of your building permit, find out who the permit it has been assigned to, see any fees and charges and schedule inspections once permit is issued.
Upon receiving a completed permit application, the building department endeavours to provide confirmation that a permit can be issued, or a written deficiency list provided within the noted time frames.
Xpress Permits (including demolition permits): Other Residential and Commercial Xpress 5-14 days New Construction: Residential and Commercial Xpress (part 9) 21 days Major Renovations: Residential and Commercial Xpress (part 9) 21 days
Some projects requiring multi-department reviews may take longer. Please contact our office if you are making a large project application to arrange for a pre-application meeting.
Fast Track Your Application
Your project may qualify for a Residential Xpress (RXp) Building Permit, with the City's goal to review eligible applications within 1-14 business days. To learn more, visit our Building Permit Timelines page.