Garden suites will soon be a legal form of housing in Saanich, B.C. (Wikimedia Commons)

Garden suites will soon be a legal form of housing in Saanich, B.C. (Wikimedia Commons)

Garden suites coming soon to Saanich

Work is underway to legalize purpose-built detached garden suite rentals

Garden suites are soon to be legalized in the District of Saanich after a motion was approved unopposed by council on Monday night. Draft zoning regulations and design guidelines, which detail the size and design requirements for these rental properties, are now being developed.

Coun. Ned Taylor said the garden suites will add some much-needed diversity to the housing market in the area. “In the coming months and years, we’ll see more of these types of rentals coming onto the housing market. I think this will be a good thing, especially for young working couples, seniors who want to downsize, and students,” said Taylor.

READ MORE: Garden suite applications on the rise, but not without a few hitches: staff report

The District of Victoria has already legalized this type of rental property, and Taylor said Victoria’s experience has informed Saanich council’s approach to drafting regulations and guidelines. “After one and then two years, we will check back in with council for changes that need to be made or processes that need to be adjusted,” said Taylor.

A survey conducted in May 2019 with a total of 536 respondents shows strong support for the proposed bylaw changes to allow these rental properties. Information from this survey was used to inform refinements to proposed regulations.

Ned Taylor said one thing that came up Monday night at the council meeting was that the public felt strongly that parking is an issue. He said Council incorporated the requirement for rental property owners to provide an extra stall as a result.

“Electric vehicle charging stations on these properties are also an issue. We are developing a larger strategy on this, and as an electric vehicle owner myself, that’s something I’m looking into,” said Taylor.

READ ALSO: Saanich gathers public input on garden suite regulations

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


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