After studies and consultation with citizens, we now allow secondary suites in most urban areas of Saanich. That’s assuming property owners can comply with basic requirements.
What are the legal requirements for a secondary suite?
In order for a Secondary Suite to be legal, you must meet all of the requirements below.
- The property must be within the defined Secondary Suite Permit Area (see map below).
- The property must be zoned for single family use (RS Zones only).
- You must meet conditions of the relevant zone (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 secondary suite per lot or per single family dwelling.
- The property’s registered owner must live in either the single family dwelling or the secondary suite as their principal residence (we need a signed affidavit).
- You need an Occupancy Permit 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.
- You must provide one additional onsite parking space for the secondary suite’s occupant. We allow tandem parking on the driveway. For new buildings, the Secondary Suite's parking space must also have an Energized EV Outlet for Level 2 electric vehicle charging.
- You can have no more than two kitchens per lot or per single family dwelling.
- We don’t allow boarding within the secondary suite.
- We allow “Accommodation for a Family Member” OR a Secondary Suite, not both.
Where are legal Secondary Suites allowed?
This map [PDF - 771 KB] shows where we allow the secondary suites.
How can I make a secondary suite legal?
A. Existing Single Family Dwelling (Owner Occupied)
- Review the requirements above and make sure you can comply with them.
- Consult a building professional — Builder, Building Designer, Architect — to learn what you need to meet relevant BC Building Code requirements.
- Complete and submit a Building Permit Application for Renovation of a Single Family Dwelling ( [PDF - 173 KB]. Include all attachments, the signed owner affidavit [PDF - 76 KB] and permit fee.
- Complete and submit a Building Permit Application for Addition to a Single Family Dwelling [PDF - 177 KB]. Including all attachments, the signed owner affidavit [PDF - 76 KB] and permit fee.
- Building Inspection staff review the submitted material and do the necessary inspections.
- If the property owner meets all requirements, we’ll issue an Occupancy Permit for the secondary suite.
If you sell the property in the future
The new owner needs to complete and sign a new affidavit confirming that they will occupy either the single family dwelling or the secondary suite as their principal 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 [PDF - 654 KB], including all the required attachments, the signed owner affidavit, and permit fee.
C. New Single Family Dwelling (Occupancy Unknown / Spec. House)
The process is the same as above, except you would need to complete and submit a Building Permit Application for a new Single Family Dwelling [PDF - 654 KB].
Include all the attachments and fee. The secondary suite is not legal until the owner submits a signed owner affidavit. This confirms that they will occupy either the single family dwelling or the secondary suite as their principal residence.
We list fees [PDF - 83 KB] for convenience only. They can change without notice.