May 2, 2016 - City Council date for M-2016-004
- A Motion to amend the rules in the Land Use Bylaw for Secondary Suites and Backyard Suites.
- The proposed amendment would remove specific parcel depth and area requirements, reduce the parcel width to the typical minimum for the district or 9.0 metres, whichever is greater, and increase the allowable floor area for suites to 100.0 square metres. The proposed amendments would not change which districts allow accessory suites.
- Here is a link to the Report
What does this mean to you?
There are 2 main proposed amendments:
- The mimimum sizes for a property with a suite would be reduced. A property as narrow as 7.5 meters (about 24 feet) could have a suite.
- The maximum size of a size would increase. Right now a basement suite can only be 70 sqm (about 750 square feet) in size, not any larger. If this Motion is passed, suites could be as large as 100 sqm (about 1070 square feet).
Why are narrow lots a concern?
Narrow lots cause crowding and likely parking concerns.
- A property that is only 24 feet would would be required to have 3 parking stalls in order to have a suite. Can that many cars fit on the space? Technically, they might just fit, but likely they will spill over onto the street.
- Backyards will have no room for trees or green space if they just create parking spaces.
Why are 1070 sq. ft. suites a concern?
- The reason the size limit was proposed to increase was because in the case of a larger home, the basement would also be larger. An owner would otherwise have to block off part of his basement to create a suite.
- The intent of a suite is that it is truly "secondary" to the main house. If we allow for extra large suites, at what point does it become more like a duplex?
- The number of potential tenants becomes much higher if multiple bedrooms can be created in a basement.
- Parking concerns might increase.
- An investor who buys a home in an R-C1 neighborhood could tear it down and rebuild with 2 separate entrances. If the basement is 1070, it is almost like creating a duplex.
The 1070 sq. ft. could also be a backyard, laneway or garage suite.
- See some photos of what laneway homes could look like this. Scroll down the article to see 2-storey and even 3-storey homes over a garage.
- For a photo of laneway houses gone wrong, click here
What can you do?
- Write a letter. See links above for 2 sample letters above.
- Contact your Councillor.
- Contact all councillors voting on the proposal too by using this link!
- Let your local community assocation know what you think.
- Represent a Community Assocation? Join us!