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Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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Home News What you need to know before embarking on a secondary suite

What you need to know before embarking on a secondary suite


”One of the issues that have come up is secondary suites; where they are allowed, what the zoning (laws permit),” Planning Manager, Renee Jamurat explained. “So clarification on that is one of the reasons why we’re having this meeting.”

A Secondary Suite is defined by the city as “a self-contained, accessory dwelling unit located within…the same parcel as a single detached dwelling.”

Essentially, it’s a living quarter within a home, often found in the basement, which is fully accessorised with its own separate cooking, sleeping and bathing facilities. It also must have its own direct access to the outside without going through any part of the primary unit.

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A residence must meet these conditions before being permitted to provide secondary housing.

  • The owner of the suite holds a valid business licence.
  • One off-street parking suite provided on the parcel for the occupant of the suite
  • The single-detached dwelling must be occupied by the owner
  • Meets B.C. Building Code requirements

The zones in which the construction of a secondary suite is permitted are R-2, R-4, RM–1 and RM-2.

Jamurat says there are also other elements guiding the zoning bylaws for secondary suites.

“Things like road infrastructure, utilities, water and sanitary requirements for an area, parking, landscaping, housing form in general that affect the overall look of a neighbourhood, and taking into account how the density works for areas….That will allow different housing permits. ”

If you’re looking to add a secondary suite to your singe detached dwelling and are unsure as to where you land on the zoning map, contact Development Services at 250 794 3263 and they’ll provide direction.

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