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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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