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Victoria, BC: Garden suites get final approval from Saanich council

From Victoria News:

Saanich (the largest of the 13 municipalities that make up Greater Victoria, BC – Saanich population: ~115,000)  council officially brought the district into the garden suite era Monday, voting unanimously to approve a bylaw amendment that allows for construction of the detached rental buildings in homeowners’ back yards.

There are distinct rules around building a suite in one’s yard, however. Among them, only applications from owners of RS-zoned properties on sewer service will be accepted, and the property owner must live in either the house or suite. The units may also not be strata-titled or sold separately, and short-term accommodation such as AirBnB or bed and breakfast rentals is not permitted.

“As housing in our region becomes increasingly difficult to find or afford, looking for ways to increase options is key,” Mayor Fred Haynes said in a release. “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.”

**Editor’s note:  it would appear that about 23,000 properties in Saanich will qualify for garden suites.

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