Delta council have given preliminary approval to an Official Community Plan amendment that would allow the addition of secondary suites in duplexes.
In 2019, the BC Building Code was amended to change the definition of a secondary suite including the floor area allowed in a suite and the type of building that could contain a suite. The changes include permitting secondary suites in duplexes.
The City of Delta has been undertaking several zoning changes to align with the updated Building Code, as well as meeting some of the goals of the city’s Housing Action Plan.
A planning department report notes that that while Building Code changes allows for the possibility of suites in side-by-side duplexes, row houses and townhouses, provided that there is vertical fire separation between a dwelling unit and its associated secondary suite, up-down duplexes, apartment buildings, stacked townhouses and other arrangements where units are above one another are still not permitted to contain secondary suites.
The report also notes that there are currently 6,291 properties zoned as Duplex Residential 1 (RD1 ), Duplex/Single Detached Residential 2 (RD2) or Duplex/Single Detached Residential 3 (RD3).
Of these, relatively few meet the current lot area requirements to construct a duplex, and fewer still contain an existing duplex.
The proposed amendments would only apply to the approximately 6.5 percent of Delta’s duplex-zoned sites that meet current requirements, offering an opportunity to pilot and monitor the impacts of suites in duplexes, the report adds.