Secondary Suites


The recent March 12, 2018 Council meeting regarding secondary suite engagement was extensive, with over 900 hundred written submissions received and many citizens coming to Council to give their perspective on secondary suites becoming discretionary. I have always been supportive of secondary suites—in terms of needs and where appropriate; however, I have never supported blanket zoning of secondary suites which is why I voted against this motion. Council voted 9-6 to make secondary suites a discretionary use across certain parts of the city.

What’s going to happen now that City Council has approved a plan to reform secondary suite application process? What does this mean for you? Now, instead of applying to Council, homeowners will file a development permit with the planning department. Applications will be reviewed by planning staff and a decision made based on its planning merits and whether it follows the requirements for secondary suites. Community associations and neighbours are also given the opportunity to provide comments during the review process, and a decision on a discretionary development permit may be appealed.

The new Bylaw now makes secondary suites discretionary in all RC1 areas. The good news is, with this new Bylaw, there will be a mandatory secondary suite registry. This will create better controls and ensure these suites are safe. Additionally, it will give our Bylaws the ability to deal with illegal and unsafe secondary suites, and we have established fines in order to reinforce and address these issues. Unsure if your property is affected by these land use changes? Visit and enter your address to find your land use district. I encourage you to read the details on my website at

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