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Garden Suites in The City of Victoria


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#61 rjag

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 09:10 PM

There’s still the issue of lot coverage as well. Each municipality has different standards, what’s Victoria? OB is only recently increased to 30%

#62 Mike K.

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 04:20 AM

So all properties within the CoV no longer require a resining when building or designating a secondary residence on the property? I’m pretty sure the new regulations only apply to garden suites of a certain size, anything else triggers a formal process.

But then again many properties in the CoV are duplex zoned already, especially in Vic West. If that’s the case the path to approvals will be much easier.

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#63 tjv

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 06:27 AM

You can convert the garage into a residence now but you'll have to go through the proper permitting process and possibly a rezoning. It's not clear how large 'family-sized' garden suites will be, and if their construction or placement will fall under the same rules as the smaller ones.

Officially that is probably true, but a lot of zoning includes secondary suites already.  You would have to check with the current zoning to see if secondary suites are allowed

 

On the other hand I am going to guess than 99+% of secondary suites never had a permit taken out or inspected in the first place which could be an insurance claim issue.  Probably a good chunk of landlords haven't declared to their insurance company that they have a suite in their house as their premiums would be more.  I am also going to guess that the landlords never declare that income either, everyone I know with an illegal suite just pockets the money



#64 Mike K.

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 06:28 AM

Secondary suites yes, but the question was regarding a conversion of a stand-alone garage into a residential suite. That would trigger a municipal process.


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#65 Jackerbie

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 09:17 AM

Rezoning is a stretch I think: they amended the Zoning Bylaw to add garden suites an accepted use.  Therefore, only a Development Permit is required.  For an existing structure, it may be too large or not setback far enough.  That will trigger a variance application, rather than a full-blown rezoning application.  And even those don't go in front of council, unless they're tied to a rezoning, subdivision and/or development permit application.

 

Density/FSR would be the tipping point. I don't know how CoV calculates FSR with respect to garages, but if the conversion from a garage to a dwelling unit increases the FSR beyond what is allowed, you would trigger a rezoning. FSR cannot be varied through a development variance permit or the board of variance.



#66 tjv

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 04:22 PM

Secondary suites yes, but the question was regarding a conversion of a stand-alone garage into a residential suite. That would trigger a municipal process.

any application whether it was a basement suite or a stand alone conversion of a garage into a residential suite would trigger a municipal process



#67 Mike K.

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 01:44 PM

The streamlining of garden suite applications back in 2017 was touted as a major step towards easing the housing crisis, helping raise the ultra low rental vacancy rate and infusing gentle density into established neighbourhoods. 7,000 properties were identified as targets for suites and the program was touted as a major policy accomplishment.

 

A new report from the City shows that only 58 applications for these suites have been received, 39 of which have been approved. 13 have been built.

 

Back in September of last year I wrote an article which back then showed only 22 approvals having been granted, but the City considered that a success as only 18 had been approved in the decade prior.

 

So essentially after working to cut red tape and investing staff time/resources to do so, the City now says it needs to re-evaluate the red tape it cut.

 

The Garden Suite Program has been in place for two years and has generally yielded good results; however, there are a number of refinements and improvements that should be considered to both the Zoning Regulation Bylaw - Schedule M, the Design Guidelines and potentially the fees to improve the program. Because of the interwoven nature of the bylaws, design guidelines and structure of delegated authority, combined with the complexities of site servicing and tree protection along with competing community values related to preserving green space and tree canopy verses adding housing, staff recommend further review and consultation.

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#68 MarkoJ

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 12:32 PM

Not sure if anyone caught this but the city quietly reduced the max height for garden suites on plus sites from 5.5 m to 4.2 m which kicks in November 1sth, 2019.  Say goodbye to 1.5 story/loft stye garden suites. It will all have to be one level now.

 

https://www.victoria.../Schedule M.pdf


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#69 Nparker

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 12:33 PM

I guess that one application to build a garden suite may now have to be pulled.



#70 tommy

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 09:35 PM

Not sure if anyone caught this but the city quietly reduced the max height for garden suites on plus sites from 5.5 m to 4.2 m which kicks in November 1sth, 2019.  Say goodbye to 1.5 story/loft stye garden suites. It will all have to be one level now.

 

https://www.victoria.../Schedule M.pdf

...so now my 400 sq ft projected "L"-shaped build w/ small loft will use the full 602 sq ft footprint....how is that smart?...

 

in volumetric terms it will actually be larger now...



#71 tommy

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 09:39 PM

...so now my 400 sq ft projected "L"-shaped build w/ small loft will use the full 602 sq ft footprint....how is that smart?...

 

in volumetric terms it will actually be larger now...

much better would have been a limit on average height AND a restriction on maximum height - to allow for some creative design solutions instead of forcing people to build ugly cubes...but that have required thoughfulness and reason...



#72 Mike K.

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 05:43 AM

The City has admitted they bit off more than they can chew with this policy and are now walking back the measures that were supposed to lead to a rapid uptake of garden suites. They’re essentially making life easier for themselves, it looks like.

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#73 tommy

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 08:42 AM

The City has admitted they bit off more than they can chew with this policy and are now walking back the measures that were supposed to lead to a rapid uptake of garden suites. They’re essentially making life easier for themselves, it looks like.

"bit off more than they can chew" ... that is a charitable way to put it!



#74 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 01:10 PM

Garden suites — small dwellings built on the lots of existing houses — could soon get a green light in Saanich.

 

Saanich councillors have agreed to regulations to allow homeowners to build the suites. It’s expected the new regulations will go to council for a final vote early next year.

 

The new rules would allow garden suites in backyards of houses in areas served by sewers. Requests to locate one in the side or front yard would be examined on a case-by-case basis.

 

The minimum lot size for a garden suite would be 400 square metres (4,300 square feet) and at least 12 metres wide. The size of the suite would be determined by the lot size.

 

For lots of 400 to 500 square metres (4,300 to 5,382 square feet), garden suites would be allowed to have a floor area no greater than 46.5 square metres (500 square feet). For lots of 1,000 square metres (10,764 square feet) and more, a garden suite’s floor area could be up to 93 square metres (1,000 square feet).

 

 

 

https://www.timescol...nich-1.23989421


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 27 October 2019 - 01:11 PM.


#75 tommy

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 06:15 PM

Not sure if anyone caught this but the city quietly reduced the max height for garden suites on plus sites from 5.5 m to 4.2 m which kicks in November 1sth, 2019.  Say goodbye to 1.5 story/loft stye garden suites. It will all have to be one level now.

 

https://www.victoria.../Schedule M.pdf

these babies (prefab microhomes) made in vancouver are just 4.11m high...and have a tiny loft space... http://www.nomadmicr...s.com/products/



#76 LeoVictoria

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 09:11 PM

 

Garden suites — small dwellings built on the lots of existing houses — could soon get a green light in Saanich.

 

Saanich councillors have agreed to regulations to allow homeowners to build the suites. It’s expected the new regulations will go to council for a final vote early next year.

 

The new rules would allow garden suites in backyards of houses in areas served by sewers. Requests to locate one in the side or front yard would be examined on a case-by-case basis.

 

The minimum lot size for a garden suite would be 400 square metres (4,300 square feet) and at least 12 metres wide. The size of the suite would be determined by the lot size.

 

For lots of 400 to 500 square metres (4,300 to 5,382 square feet), garden suites would be allowed to have a floor area no greater than 46.5 square metres (500 square feet). For lots of 1,000 square metres (10,764 square feet) and more, a garden suite’s floor area could be up to 93 square metres (1,000 square feet).

 

 

 

https://www.timescol...nich-1.23989421

 

 

Table comparing Saanich and Victoria regs here: 

gardensuites.png

 

And in non-image form + details:  https://househuntvic.../garden-suites/


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