North Cowichan Proposes an Increase in Properties Allowing Secondary Suites

(September 12, 2017, North Cowichan, BC) At its September 6 meeting, Council gave first and second reading to a zoning bylaw amendment that would increase the number of attached secondary suites allowed in North Cowichan. 

Housing availability and affordability is an issue across the Province. All levels of government are grappling with the increasing demand for affordable housing types. This proposed bylaw amendment would do two things: 1) allow attached secondary suites in the residential restricted (R2), residential restricted properties (R2-A), and Cliffs Comprehensive Development (CD1) zones, and 2) decrease the minimum lot size for an attached suite in the residential one and two family (R3) zone from 650m2 to 450m2. If adopted, this amendment will have the net effect of allowing up to 2,282 additional attached secondary suites in the Municipality without each property having to individually go through a rezoning process. The table below shows how this breaks down between communities and zones:

Zone Chemainus Crofton South End Total:
Residental Restricted (R2) 18 - 1,037 1,055
Residential Restricted Properties (R2-A) - - 437 437
Residential One & Two Family (R3) 243 205 273 721
Cliffs Comprenhensive Development (CD1) - - 69 69
Total: 261 205 1,816 2,282

Not only would such an amendment diversify the Municipalitys housing stock, it is also hoped to incentivize owners of illegal suites to bring their suites into compliance with the BC Building Code, which is critical for ensuring life safety of occupants. 

Council is aware of the need to increase our rental supply in the Municipality, says Mayor Jon Lefebure. We hear from residents on a regular basis about how difficult it is to find affordable housing for themselves or their children. Our Official Community Plan says that we will broaden the number of zones that allow secondary suites this amendment is part of putting that commitment into action.

The next step in the amendment process is a formal public hearing for Council to hear directly from the public. The public hearing is anticipated to be held on October 4, 2017. 

For more information, see the staff report here:  


For more information, please contact:
Jon Lefebure, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan
T:  250.746.3117
Kyle Young, Assistant Manager of Planning and Subdivision
Municipality of North Cowichan
T: 250.746.3100