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Posted: September 15, 2020

City takes first step toward allowing secondary suites

The City of Cranbrook last night took its first step toward allowing secondary suites in residential areas.

Council Sept. 14 unanimously passed the first reading to City of Cranbrook Zoning Amendment bylaw No. 4002, 2020.

Proposed bylaw changes include deleting and replacing the definition of Secondary Suite with a new definition based on the BC Building Code definition. It also deletes and replaces provisions, including deleting the requirement or owner occupancy and submission of a statutory declaration; deleting the size limitation and deleting the regulations pertaining to number of occupants.

It also amends the following residential zones to add “Secondary Suite” as an accessory use: RT, RS, R-1, RD, R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5 and R-7 zones.

Additionally, the Wildstone, and Shadow Mountain comprehensive development zones, and CD-8 Single Family Residential zone, where secondary suites are currently allowed, are updated by deleting the size requirements for secondary suites.

In October 2019, council provided direction to city staff to proceed with preparation of amendments and policies to permit secondary suites in single family residential zones in the city and in December 2019 council provided further direction to prepare the necessary amendments for secondary suite regulations to be consistent with new BC Building Code regulations which took effect in December 2019.

“Staff has prepared the proposed regulations to be consistent with new BC Building Code regulations as they pertain to suites. If adopted, the new zoning regulations will facilitate secondary suites in single family dwellings and side-by-side duplexes and townhouses. Properties that were rezoned to CD-8 will remain as such with no changes proposed to them,” outlined a report Development Services department report to council.

The new changes to the BC Building Code with respect to suites include:

  • a new definition;
  • eliminating the prescribed floor space and percentages size restrictions; and
  • allowing secondary suites in a building that may contain more than one dwelling unit or occupancy. This essentially allows secondary suites in single family dwellings, side-by-side duplexes, and side-by-side (row house) townhouse style buildings where a vertical fire separation separates the dwelling unit and suite from the remainder of the building.

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