Secondary Suites Review

Housing affordability and availability is an issue everywhere in BC. To encourage development of new suites and legalization of existing suites that are not currently permitted, North Cowichan is considering increasing the number of properties that could have an attached secondary suite. This is directly supported by a number of policies in the 2011 Official Community Plan, including:

  • Policy The Municipality will broaden the number of zones that permit secondary suites while ensuring adequate provision can be made for on-site parking.
  • Policy The Municipality will encourage development of secondary suites and infill housing.
  • Policy To encourage owners of previously unapproved secondary suites to legalize the suites, the Municipality will establish an amnestry period to legalize secondary suites and reduce associated fees.

On September 6, Council will consider a Zoning Bylaw amendment to allow attached secondary suites in the Residential Restricted (R2) and Residential Restricted Properties (R2-A) and Cliffs Comprehensive Development (CD1) zones, and to reduce the minimum parcel area for a secondary suite in the Residential One and Two-Family (R3) zone from 650m2 to 450m2. This proposed change would affect about 2300 properties, shown in the diagram below. 

Click the image to view a map of the potentially affected properties.

View the July 12, 2017 Staff Report [PDF - 956 KB]If you wish to voice support or concerns, send your comments to by 4:30pm on Monday, August 28. 

If Council supports this Bylaw amendment on September 6, a formal public hearing will follow. There will be further opportunity to provide your input through that process.