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More changes proposed for Delta secondary suite rules

All other requirements including rules on tenant parking would not be affected by the changes
The changes would reflect updates to the B.C. Building Code. geralt/25626 images/Pixabay

The City of Delta wants to make it even easier for a homeowner to add a secondary suite.

At council’s next regular meeting on Monday, April 3, preliminary approval will be considered on staff recommendations for proposed further changes to the zoning bylaw regulating secondary suites.

The changes include, among other things, removing the minimum 33-square-metre floor area requirement for a secondary suite as well as removing the maximum 90-square-metres for a suite.

The changes also include amending the percentage distribution of a secondary suite within a single-detached dwelling from no more than 40 per cent of the gross floor area of a dwelling to less than 50 per cent of a dwelling.

The changes to Delta's bylaws would be consistent with changes to the B.C. Building Code.

All other existing Delta secondary suite requirements, such as parking space requirements, would remain unaffected.

The proposed changes are among the actions outlined in Delta’s new Housing Action Plan, which recommended the city undertake a review of secondary suite regulations in light of the B.C. Building Code changes that removed restrictions around maximum secondary suite size, number of suites in single-detached housing forms and suites in duplex and potentially other multi-unit housing forms.

The city would use the Official Community Plan and zoning bylaw to integrate any changes.

According to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the building code changes “will allow the construction of new secondary suites in more types of houses, such as duplexes and row housing. Size restrictions for secondary suites have also been removed. This will provide local governments with more options for land use planning.”

Council two years ago approved other zoning amendments including eliminating the requirement for a minimum lot width of 49-feet (15 metres) for a house to be eligible for a suite and allowing suites on properties that can fit three on-site parking spaces regardless of parking configuration.

The authority to approve and execute discharges and amendments of restrictive covenants to allow secondary suites will also no longer automatically go to council, but instead will be delegated to planning staff when no variances are required.

Delta currently has more than 2,800 dwellings with a secondary suite occupancy permit, with approximately 75 percent of the authorized suites located in North Delta.