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Saanich to Approve Garden Suites

Blog by Bill de Mooy | October 29th, 2019

Maple Ridge is not the only ones having a serious look at Garden Suites. Vancouver Island's Saanich community is about to approve this form of affordable housing.
Garden suites — small dwellings built on the lots of existing houses — could soon get a green light in Saanich.

Saanich councillors have agreed to regulations to allow homeowners to build the suites. It’s expected the new regulations will go to council for a final vote early next year.

The new rules would allow garden suites in backyards of houses in areas served by sewers. Requests to locate one in the side or front yard would be examined on a case-by-case basis.

The minimum lot size for a garden suite would be 400 square metres (4,300 square feet) and at least 12 metres wide. The size of the suite would be determined by the lot size.

For lots of 400 to 500 square metres (4,300 to 5,382 square feet), garden suites would be allowed to have a floor area no greater than 46.5 square metres (500 square feet). For lots of 1,000 square metres (10,764 square feet) and more, a garden suite’s floor area could be up to 93 square metres (1,000 square feet).

The new regulations will forbid the use of garden suites as short-term rental units, and property owners would be expected to live in either the suite or the property’s principal dwelling.

Garden suites would not be allowed on the same property as secondary suites, such as a basement suite.