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#21 Pippy

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 08:57 AM

Wow, those maps are huge 8 MB monsters--try opening them directly with Adobe Acrobat instead of your default application. That usually works for me with big pdf's.

That's what I'm trying but the maps load to 68% then just freeze. I'm far from a computer whiz that's for sure, but my pc is pretty new so you'd think it could handle opening up those files. :?

gumgum: It's good to know that secondary suites are just a formality b/c that would sure limit my search if I restricted myself to Langford only.

I moved to Victoria in 1980 with my parents and sister and have lived all over this city: Vic West, James Bay, Saanich Peninsula, Saseenos, Esquimalt and finally Colwood for the past thirteen years.

I like it out here the best b/c my family, friends and work are all out here as well, so I've made a firm decision to keep the roots growing strong in this community. Not to mention it has a lot to offer and it's pretty exciting seeing all the new development happening right around me.

Edit: Seems like the maps are slooowly loading afterall. Guess I'm just not very patient. ;)

#22 gumgum

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 09:19 AM

I live in Fairfield and just about every second home has a secondary suite, even two suites. The city simple ignores it because they realize that the way house prices are today, it's just impossible to afford a house without without a mortgage helper for the average family. Not to mention the city's rental crunch is alleviated significantly by these secondary suite. It's a win-win situation.

#23 Caramia

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 08:27 AM

Wooooohooooooooo! I am finally legal.
:lol:

Here is the [url=http://www.victoria.ca/cityhall/pdfs/comdev_pblc_hrng_drft_bylw_jn_14_2007.pdf:7f551]Draft Bylaw pdf[/url:7f551]

And in the [url=http://www.victoria.ca/contentmanager/minutes/min070503_cnc.pdf?:7f551]May 3rd council minutes[/url:7f551] an interesting point from Al Kemp, CEO of ROMS (Residential Owners and Managers Society) who said that secondary suites average about $100 cheaper per month than apartments and are favoured by single parents because of their suitability for raising children. He also sites a recent study which finds that 20% of BC's housing is secondary suites.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#24 Galvanized

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 09:39 AM

I've heard from 2 people who have suites who have been approached by city bylaw inspectors to comply with the new bylaw. They are cracking the whip on anyone who has had complaints in the past regardless if the city acted upon them at the time. One owner is faced with spending $30,000 to comply from a complaint that was filed in the 90's before they owned the home. The kicker is that they haven't rented it out since they purchased the home because they have a elderly relative living in the suite. Watch out if you own a suite and haven't done anything with it yet.
Past President of Victoria's Flâneur Union Local 1862

#25 Caramia

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 11:20 AM

Do you mean general code upgrades? Or just if someone had been ordered by the city to make a change in the past and has not?
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#26 Galvanized

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:12 PM

Any type of complaint, regardless on whether the city acted upon it or not. It could be code, nuisance or anything. I guess they are now digging through past files of complaints and acting on this new bylaw.
Past President of Victoria's Flâneur Union Local 1862

#27 Holden West

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 09:37 AM

ESQUIMALT TO LEGALIZE SECONDARY SUITES
C-FAX News

Oct 14, 2009

ESQUIMALT COUNCIL IS MOVING TOWARDS ADOPTION OF A BY-LAW TO RECOGNIZE AND REGULATE SECONDARY SUITES.

MAYOR BARB DESJARDINS SAYS THE PROPOSAL GOT A FAVOURABLE RESPONSE AT A PUBLIC HEARING LAST NIGHT, AND WILL PROCEED TO FINAL READING, WITH A FEW "TWEAKS"
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#28 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 06:39 AM

http://www.bclocalne...s/90854864.html

So Saanich is moving ahead with secondary suites after 25 years of thinking about it. Meanwhile they have 9000 suites now.

Victoria has registered a grand total of 22 since they legalized them in some areas.

Big deal.

#29 victorian fan

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 07:16 AM

I know many aren't owner occupied.

#30 Bingo

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 07:39 AM

Murray Langdon's comments on CFAX today.

http://www.cfax1070....hp?newsId=13242

#31 Bob Fugger

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 08:05 AM

http://www.bclocalne...s/90854864.html

So Saanich is moving ahead with secondary suites after 25 years of thinking about it. Meanwhile they have 9000 suites now.

Victoria has registered a grand total of 22 since they legalized them in some areas.

Big deal.


There is little to no incentive to go legit in Victoria, under the current "don't ask, don't tell" regime of secondary suites. The only time you will run into problems is if you piss off a neighbour.

My cousin is building a secondary suite in his Fairfield home and has gone through all of the red tape - mainly because he stripped his house to the studs and is raising it, a process that is impossible to do without permits anyways. For that, he gets $5,000 to put in a legal secondary suite, in return for a covenant on title that says it must remain a rental for 10 years.

Now for most people, that wouldn't be a problem. For me, I realize that a lot of things happen over the course of 10 years. Sure, it might always remain a rental - but what if I wanted to let my aged mother live in there for free - does that count?

Besides, $500 per year is a pissant sum, compared to the instant valuation hike in your property (guaranteed that the City will sick BC Assessment on your property to do a full property evaluation) and corresponding skyrocketing of your property taxes.

#32 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 03:28 PM

Yup, you are quite right Bob. I don't see how there is any point bringing it in if you don't do it in conjunction with a phased-in crackdown on illegals.

#33 Bernard

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 08:11 AM

Local government should actively seek out and get rid of secondary suites, this enforcement by complaint is unfair.

On the flipside, as long as the space is up to code, there should be no restrictions on secondary suites, there is no good reason to stop them.

The information is out there for by-law officers to find the suites, they should do it if local government is not going to make them legal.

#34 Holden West

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 08:20 AM

"Getting rid" of secondary suites? This is logistically impossible.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#35 Ginger Snap

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:02 AM

There is little to no incentive to go legit in Victoria, under the current "don't ask, don't tell" regime of secondary suites. The only time you will run into problems is if you piss off a neighbour.

My cousin is building a secondary suite in his Fairfield home and has gone through all of the red tape - mainly because he stripped his house to the studs and is raising it, a process that is impossible to do without permits anyways. For that, he gets $5,000 to put in a legal secondary suite, in return for a covenant on title that says it must remain a rental for 10 years.

Now for most people, that wouldn't be a problem. For me, I realize that a lot of things happen over the course of 10 years. Sure, it might always remain a rental - but what if I wanted to let my aged mother live in there for free - does that count?

Besides, $500 per year is a pissant sum, compared to the instant valuation hike in your property (guaranteed that the City will sick BC Assessment on your property to do a full property evaluation) and corresponding skyrocketing of your property taxes.


Just a couple of things. First of all the covenant is for 5 years, not 10.

Second, regarding your hypothetical situation, I believe you could have your mother stay there for free. It just says it has to be available for rental, not that it acutally has to be rented. Don't quote me, but I believe this use is acceptable.

And third, legalizing a suite is not what usually tips off BC Assessment. They are quite sophisticated about how they track when a suite is installed, legal or not, and make their assessment based on those factors.

As I see it taking advantage of this grant is not going to be everyone's choice, but if you were on the fence about installing a legal suite, this might make the difference for you. How is that a bad thing?

#36 Sparky

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:19 AM

Bylaws as a hole are generally enforced by complaint. Even that does not work very well, just ask the neighbors of the bottle depot on View Street.

#37 Bob Fugger

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 10:09 AM

Just a couple of things. First of all the covenant is for 5 years, not 10.

Second, regarding your hypothetical situation, I believe you could have your mother stay there for free. It just says it has to be available for rental, not that it acutally has to be rented. Don't quote me, but I believe this use is acceptable.

And third, legalizing a suite is not what usually tips off BC Assessment. They are quite sophisticated about how they track when a suite is installed, legal or not, and make their assessment based on those factors.

As I see it taking advantage of this grant is not going to be everyone's choice, but if you were on the fence about installing a legal suite, this might make the difference for you. How is that a bad thing?


Thanks for straigthening the facts that I was a bit sloppy with, heheh. I admit that for the average homeowner, there appear to be more pluses than minuses - I think, though, a program like this is tougher to swallow for folks who have a general mistrust of their (local) government.

Re: BCA sophisticated suite tracking tactics - do you have any firsthand info that you'd care to share with us?

#38 sebberry

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 11:32 AM

Re: BCA sophisticated suite tracking tactics - do you have any firsthand info that you'd care to share with us?


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#39 Bernard

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 12:04 PM

"Getting rid" of secondary suites? This is logistically impossible.


I know it is, therefore the local governments need to change their bylaws now and recognize them and bring them into line with basic habitability.

If I were drafting a bylaw, I would only allow suites that are registered and give people 24 months to register their suites. After that crack down on all other suites. It is only fair to those that register to actively penalize the people not working within the system.

Now the big problem is that I suspect a large percentage of suites would not meet code. The cost of bringing them up to code is likely to make them not worth having.

The way things are done right now penalizes people that play by the rules. It also means that we have a lot of housing out there that is substandard and frankly more often than people are willing to admit not a safe place to live.

What I find interesting is how realtors allow mention of illegal suites in their ads for a house. As professionals, should their code of conduct not require them to stop any mention of illegal suites?

#40 Holden West

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 12:35 PM

What I find interesting is how realtors allow mention of illegal suites in their ads for a house. As professionals, should their code of conduct not require them to stop any mention of illegal suites?


They seem to use euphemisms like "in law suite" to get around it. Most references to revenue potential are legal suites but some like this I'm not sure of.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

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