Friday, May 09, 2008

Nanaimo Considers Suites in Accessory Buildings



Granny flats, garden apartments, and carriage houses are commonly used terms for secondary suites in accessory buildings. At present, the City of Nanaimo Zoning Bylaw does not permit this housing form. In response to a recent proposal to construct such a unit, Council directed that the issue of secondary suites in accessory buildings be considered by the Secondary Suite Task Force (SSTF).

Since February, 2005 the City has permitted secondary suites within single family homes provided the suite is contained within the principal building. Recently, the SSTF recommended amending the Zoning Bylaw in order to allow a secondary suite within the dwelling unit or within a detached accessory building on select single family residential lots. The proposed changes, if adopted, will permit a secondary suite to be located within a detached accessory building on corner lots, lots with lanes and large lots. Following the receipt of the recommendation from the SSTF, Council directed that the public be provided the opportunity to comment on the changes prior to the drafting of the necessary amendment bylaw.

The City invites the public to attend a public information session in order to provide input on the issue of secondary suites in accessory buildings.

The two information session dates are:

Tuesday, 2008-MAY-13 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre (Lounge #2)


Tuesday, 2008-MAY-20 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Oliver Woods Centre (Monarch 1 Room)

Currently, the Zoning Bylaw limits the total floor area of all accessory buildings on a lot to 70 m2 (750 ft2). The maximum permitted height for an accessory building in all single family residential zones is 4.5 metres (14.76 feet).

Accessory buildings are included in the calculation of lot coverage; the maximum permitted lot coverage in most residential zones is 40%. The Zoning Bylaw sets a limit of one secondary suite per dwelling and prohibits the stratification of the suite. The secondary suite can have up to two bedrooms. The City is seeking public opinion on the suitability of the above regulations as they would pertain to secondary suites in accessory buildings.

“With the creation of secondary suites in 2005, the City took a significant step forward in responding to the issues of safe and affordable housing in Nanaimo. The Secondary Suite Task Force believes that by expanding on the original program and allowing suites in accessory buildings we can provide further housing options in the community”

Councillor Diane Brennan, SSTF Member

“Today, one third of all new homes include a secondary suite. This clearly indicates the high demand for this type of rental housing in Nanaimo. The Secondary Suite Task Force recognized that in older homes it may not be as easy to add a secondary suite as part of the dwelling and that legalizing secondary suites in accessory buildings on some lots in Nanaimo will allow homeowners further options when determining whether or not to construct a secondary suite.”

Councillor Larry McNabb, SSTF Chair

A survey and comment sheet regarding the proposed changes can be found on the City’s website at For more information about the proposed zoning amendment, please contact David Stewart, Planner, at 755-4460 (local 4332).


No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will appear after moderation before publishing,

Thank you for your comments.Any comment that could be considered slanderous or includes unacceptable language will be removed.

Thank you for participating and making your opinions known.