Ward 1 Report, March 2018 March 2018, Ward 1 Report. - Page 7

Secondary suites



On December 11, 2017, Council passed a Notice of Motion that directed administration to pursue reforms to the process for secondary suite applications.

City Council directed Administration to bring forward amendments to the Land Use By-law to include secondary suites as discretionary uses within the R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L land use districts no later than the public hearing on March 12, 2018. Proposed amendments also impact The City’s Suite Registry Program.

On March 12, 2018 Council will meet to debate on the proposal to streamline secondary suite applications. If Council approves the land use change, then the next step is obtaining the proper building permits.

If the proposed bylaw changes are approved, the rules will be consistent across the city and Council approval will no longer be required because homeowners with the permitted land use designation will have the ability to develop a suite. Moving forward a homeowner would go straight to the development permit or building permit stage.

Who is affected by these changes?

Homeowners with the land designation: R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L land use. The proposed change means that secondary suites (suites within the primary dwelling) and backyard suites will both be discretionary uses in these land uses districts.

The difference between a permitted use and a discretionary use:

• If both types of suites are approved as discret​ionary use in R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L land use districts, it means that community associations and neighbours are given the opportunity to provide comments during the development permit review process.

• A decision on a discretionary development permit may be appealed​.

• Backyard suites are always a discretionary use in every other low-density district since they result in a visible change to the property.

• Where a suite is a permitted use (as they are in every other low-density district), the development permit exemption will allow the property owner to proceed directly to the building permit stage, as long as the application does not require any relaxations from the Land Use Bylaw rules.

To see if your property is affected by these land changes, enter your address in the property information finder to find out.