Secondary Dwellings

What is a Secondary Dwelling?                                    

A secondary dwelling is an additional residence on a single property. Typically, the secondary dwelling is smaller than the primary or main dwelling on the property. A secondary dwelling is commonly used for family members or rented out as a mortgage helper.  

Types of Secondary Dwellings

Secondary dwellings come in many forms and can be attached to the main dwelling or separate from it. Some examples of secondary dwellings can include basement suites, coach houses, or garden suites, as shown below.


Do We Need Secondary Dwellings?

Public consultation for the Secondary Dwellings Study included:

  • A public online survey
  • Public open houses in the Electoral Areas
  • Consultation with the development industry
  • A phone survey of other Regional Districts and Local Governments

The public consultation program reached each Electoral Area and garnered a large amount of interest and feedback. Staff identified that there is especially strong support in predominantly rural areas, where large acreages are prevalent, with less support for properties below one (1) acre in size and in suburban neighbourhoods. A number of concerns were raised which included, but are not limited to: appropriate minimum lot sizes, appropriate size and height restrictions for secondary dwellings, adequate parking and setbacks from neighbouring properties, and appropriate minimum levels of service for secondary dwellings.

Staff are now working to develop a policy for Secondary Dwellings that is consistent with the feedback received from the residents of the Electoral Areas. 

Contact us

We’d love to hear from you. Your feedback is valuable in guiding this proposal and will be an important part of the planning process.If you have any feedback or questions regarding the factsheet or survey please feel free to contact us.


Phone: 604-702-5084