Vacation rental or short-term rental is restricted to specific areas as indicated on the map of the Spatial Development Plan map (Ruimtelijk Ontwikkelingsplan) for Bonaire.

Renting for periods longer than 90 days is always permissible, but short-term rental is subject to regulations.

The Spatial Development Plan for Bonaire specifies that it is only permitted in areas with the following designations:

  • Recreation-Residential Recreation
  • Mixed-I
  • Mixed-IV
  • Mixed-VI
  • Center (hotels & existing vacation homes built before 2022)

In other designated areas, short-term stays (rental up to 90 days) are not allowed on Bonaire. Rental of homes for 3 months or longer is generally allowed across the island. If a property is located in a different zone, such as residential zone 1, 2, or 3, the owner cannot apply for an exemption or permission to rent it for short-term stays.

Where can I find the zoning plan?

You can look this up in the Spatial Development Plan (Ruimtelijk Ontwikkelingsplan) Bonaire , click here for the link. The zoning for each plot is indicated.

Ruimtelijk Ontwikkelingsplan Bonaire (Spatial Development Plan)

How can I tell if vacation rental is allowed?

The map shows the different areas with different colors. When an area or plot is clicked, the destination of that area is shown.

To find out which parcel of land has which zoning, you need to click (or point to on phone/tablet) on that lot. A pop-up with information will appear, sometimes consisting of multiple tabs (click left/right). This says exactly what the zoning is for that area.

So for example, if it says “Woongebied-II,” then vacation rental is not allowed because this zoning is not in the list where short stay is allowed. However, if it says “Gemengd-I,” then vacation rental is allowed.

More interesting information appears in the pop-up, including:
# maximum building percentage
# maximum building height
# maximum gutter height
# a link to all the rules

Please note that the deed of delivery of a plot may still contain provisions that differ from the provisions of the OLB.

Preparatory decision Residence Recreation and Residential Construction

On December 2, 2021, the government of Bonaire issued a preparatory decision regarding stay recreation and housing development. This decision applies to the entire island (all designated areas where such cases may arise). Buildings that had a stay recreational use prior to the Preparatory Decision (provided it was permitted according to the designation in the Spatial Development Plan – ROB) can continue to be used as such.

Lands designated as Mixed-To be developed 1 are yet to be developed with a detailed plan. During the development, the Preparatory Decision (VBB 2021) will also play a role. Touristic developments must adhere to the criteria for high-quality tourist accommodations. The policy outlined in the VBB and the update of the ROB is aimed at discouraging new ‘second homes.’

Implications of VBB 2021

-Building applications for new constructions intended for stay recreational use or as second homes are put on hold (see VBB Article III).

-It is prohibited to change the use of an existing building or part thereof to a residential recreational use with the exception of a building or part thereof for which a building permit has been granted (already before the VBB) in which the residential recreational use is mentioned (see VBB Article V).

-Article IV lists the cases to which the retention requirement does not apply, including high-value tourism.

Why is vacation rental not allowed everywhere?

Due to the significant influx of tourists to Bonaire, the local government, OLB (Public Entity Bonaire), aims to regulate tourism to some extent. This means that short-term rentals are not permitted in residential areas. An article on Bonaire.nu explains this clearly.

How is Harbourtown Real Estate handling this?

On our property for sale we describe whether or not vacation rental is allowed. Click here for the zoning plan.

Your specialist in Real Estate!

Our real estate agent on Bonaire is happy to help you find your dream home or perhaps the right piece of land on which you can build your own villa. But we are also happy to assist you with the sale or rental of your home. Since 1989, Harbourtown Real Estate has been the place to be to help you realize your housing needs.

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Bonaire - Dutch Caribbean

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