Legal Secondary Suites - South of McKenzie Avenue
Based on a focused study of the issue and consultation with citizens, Secondary Suites are now permitted in defined areas of Saanich, assuming property owners can comply with basic requirements. A map of areas where Secondary Suites will be considered, along with the requirements for a legal Secondary Suite, are outlined below.
What are the Requirements for a Secondary Suite to be considered Legal?
In order for a Secondary Suite to be legal, all of the requirements outlined below must be met.
- The property must be located within the defined area know as “South of McKenzie Avenue (see map below).
- The property must be zoned for single family use (RS Zones only).
- Conditions of the relevant zone must be met (ex. maximum floor area/floor space ratio).
- The secondary suite must be wholly contained within the single family dwelling. Secondary Suites may not be connected to the house by a breezeway or enclosed hallway, they must be an integral part of the single family house.
- No more than one (1) secondary suite is permitted per lot or per single family dwelling.
- The registered owner of the property must occupy either the single family dwelling or the secondary suite as their principle residence ( a signed affidavit is required).
- An Occupancy Permit must be issued for the Secondary Suite from the Saanich Building Inspections Division, based on the relevant section(s) of the BC Building Code related to Secondary Suites.
- One (1) additional onsite-parking space for the occupant of the secondary suite must be provided. Tandem parking on the driveway is permitted.
- No more than two (2) kitchens are permitted per lot or per single family dwelling;
- Boarding is not permitted within the secondary suite.
- “Accommodation for a Family Member” OR a Secondary Suite is allowed, not both.
Where in Saanich will legal Secondary Suites be allowed with a Permit?
Why are legal Secondary Suites only possible in certain areas of Saanich?
As part of Saanich’s 2009 Strategic Plan, Staff was tasked with undertaking a study within a portion of the community, to look more closely at the issues surrounding the potential legalization of secondary suites. The study area (South of McKenzie Avenue - See Map Above) was chosen based on the need to look at a large enough area to capture a broad range of neighbourhoods, residents, single family housing types, lot sizes, and subdivision patterns, yet a small enough area to be able to have more in-depth discussions with residents and receive detailed feedback. As noted during the review process, studying the issue of secondary suites and their acceptance in one area of Saanich does not preclude having a similar discussion and review process in other areas of the community.
What is the Process to make a Secondary Suite Legal?
A. Existing Single Family Dwelling (Owner Occupied)
- Review the requirements above to make sure you can comply with them;
- Consult with a building professional (Ex. Builder, Building Designer, Architect) to see what would be required to meet relevant BC Building Code requirements;
- Complete and submit a Building Permit Application for Renovation of a Single Family Dwelling, including all the required attachments, the signed owner affidavit, and permit fee.
- Complete and submit a Building Permit Application for Addition to a Single Family Dwelling, including all the required attachments, the signed owner affidavit, and permit fee.
Building Inspection staff will review the submitted material, do the necessary inspections, and assuming all requirements can be met by the property owner, an Occupancy Permit will be issued for the Secondary Suite. If you sell the property in the future, the new owner would need to complete and sign a new affidavit confirming that they will occupy either the single family dwelling or the secondary suite as their principle residence.
B. New Single Family Dwelling (Owner Occupied)
Same as above, except you would need to complete and submit a Building Permit Application for a new Single Family Dwelling, including all the required attachments, the signed owner affidavit, and permit fee.
C. New Single Family Dwelling (Occupancy Unknown / Spec. House)
Same as above, except you would need to complete and submit a Building Permit Application for a new Single Family Dwelling, including all the required attachments and fee. The Secondary Suite would not be legal until such time that the owner submitted a signed owner affidavit confirming that they will occupy either the single family dwelling or the secondary suite as their principle residence.
Fees are provided for convenience only and are subject to change without notice.
Have Further Questions?
250-475-5471 or firstname.lastname@example.org