New tools to help create more housing supply and choice in Saanich

July 2, 2024

News Release
For immediate release

Saanich, BC – After many months of hard work, the District of Saanich has updated zoning and policy to align with the Province’s Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing (SSMUH) legislation, successfully meeting the Province’s June 30, 2024 deadline.

In planning for these significant changes, staff were guided by the Provincial Policy Manual and also considered how the updates align with Saanich’s recently-adopted Official Community Plan (OCP).

“This has been a significant undertaking for staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure Saanich is in compliance with provincial housing direction, in a way that makes sense for our community,” says Mayor Dean Murdock. “Meeting this provincially-mandated deadline is a major accomplishment, and sets our community on a path towards creating more housing supply and more housing choice to meet more people’s needs.”

Starting July 2, 2024, the District will begin accepting applications from Saanich property owners who wish to build Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing (SSMUH) on their properties inside the Urban Containment Boundary (UCB). Saanich has rezoned approximately 27,000 lots to allow interested residents to build three, four, or six units on all lots previously zoned for single detached or duplex use.

The Zoning Bylaw has also been amended to permit both a secondary suite and a garden suite on eligible lots inside the UCB, and to permit a secondary suite on eligible lots outside of the UCB.

While a rezoning process won’t be required to build small-scale multi-unit housing, residents are reminded that all residential units, including secondary suites, require a Building Permit and must follow BC Building Code requirements to ensure the safety of units. This includes residents who are interested in re-commissioning a previously de-commissioned suite.

Learn More

A guidance document has been created to guide people through the zoning regulations, application and approval process for Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing (SSMUH) in more detail.

SaanichMap has also been updated with important GIS information that will help people determine what they can do on their property. 


Media Contact:
Saanich Communications



In addition to changing the Zoning Bylaw to enable Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing (SSMUH), Saanich has been working on a range of initiatives to help increase housing supply and provide a more diverse range of housing options for residents.

These actions include:

These significant changes will assist Saanich in creating more homes and meeting provincially-mandated housing targets set last fall.