The Osoyoos property that plays host to a popular food truck has lost another opportunity to come under bylaw compliance, as the property’s owner was denied a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) at their October 5 board of directors meeting.
In their application, the owner of 9418 Highway 97 asked that the RDOS allow the residential use of three recreational vehicles and one mobile home, the year-round operation of a mobile vendor and the outdoor storage of a mobile vendor, the latter two of which would allow The Beast BBQ and Smoke Shack to keep operating there on a lease.
RDOS board members first saw the application on August 17 but tabled their motion with a recommendation to the property owner that a rezoning application would better suit their specific case. They also stipulated that the mobile home had to be removed regardless of their vote.
Their reasoning for the recommendation was that TUPs are primarily intended to be, as reflected in their name, for temporary or seasonal uses, and part of the applicant’s request was to allow year-round operation of the mobile vendor currently operating on their property.
In addition, the property’s Tourist Commercial (CT1) zoning only allows for tourist accommodations or accessory dwellings. Neither designation would apply to the recreational vehicles specified in the TUP because RVs have been declared unsuitable for permanent residential use by Interior Health, due to their not being “intended, designed or constructed as a permanent form of housing.”
According to Interior Health’s guidelines for healthy housing, “[RVs] may be susceptible to potential health hazards (e.g. extreme heat or cold) … that increase the risk of unintentional injuries such as burns and physical trauma. Energy inefficient housing in cold climates is also linked to illnesses caused by cold and damp living conditions.”
The property’s land area of 1598 meters squared is also significantly smaller than the 4 hectare minimum requirement for accessory dwellings to be permitted at all. The mobile home was initially granted non-conforming status because it was present on the property before zoning and building permit requirements were established, but has since lost that status due to lack of evidence that it is, or was ever, used for its stated residential purpose.
Osoyoos mayor Sue McKortoff was given a chance to comment on the application due to the property’s close proximity to town boundaries. Her words were brief and concise: “This one definitely came up at our council table,” McKortoff said, “and we are not in favor of it under any circumstances.”
McKortoff was alluding to the fact that RDOS administration referred the application to Osoyoos council in July, at which time Town of Osoyoos staff discovered that the property owner was illegally connected to the town’s irrigation water system after having their municipal water access turned off in 2019.
Unbeknownst to the town or the RDOS, the property had been using irrigation water ever since that time and had never paid for either type of service. That, among so many other factors, prompted council members to vote strongly against issuing the TUP at their July 25 meeting.
According to RDOS board chairman Mark Pendegraft, the property owner chose not to take their earlier recommendation with regards to the TUP application and has yet to remove the mobile home or provide evidence of its usage as a residence. “I don’t think that’s going to happen, the way it sits,” he said.
Given the property owner’s apparent unwillingness to meet conditions set by the RDOS, an administrative suggestion that the TUP could still be granted with a heavy new set of conditions gained little traction with the board. They ultimately stuck with the motion that was made at their previous meeting and denied the TUP application.