Saanich Council approves garden suites, growing housing options in the municipality

October 7, 2020

News release

For immediate release

Saanich Council approves garden suites, growing housing options in the municipality

Saanich, BC – It is now legal to construct a garden suite with a permit in Saanich on most single family residential (RS-zoned) properties. Garden suites are detached, ground-oriented dwellings located in the rear yard of a property with a single family house as its principal use.

“As housing in our region becomes increasingly difficult to find or afford, looking for ways to increase options is key,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “Garden suites will allow our growing families and others to adapt to changing living arrangements, loved ones to age in place, and provide opportunities for new residents while gently increasing the amount and diversity of rental housing in the region.”

 This new housing form will contribute to the amount and diversity of rental housing available in Saanich. Garden suites can be used for family or as rental units. An owner must live on the property with the garden suite in either the single family dwelling or the garden suite.

To be eligible for a garden suite, a residential lot must meet basic eligibility criteria, which are outlined at


Only RS zoned properties in the sewer service area are eligible for garden suites. Also, properties in the Broadmead area have pre-existing covenants on title that do not permit garden suites. Garden suites cannot be strata-titled, sold or used for short-term rentals (e.g. for an Airbnb or Bed and Breakfast).

Where can I learn more?

It is recommended that you spend some time investigating the pre-application questions. The information gathered will help you identify potential issues and prepare your submission.

For information about your property (e.g. location, zoning, lot size and width) visit SaanichMap.

Additional information on the consultation process to date and the application process for garden suites can be found at


Media contact:
Cameron Scott, Manager of Community Planning