Residential Suites Update


Updated July 10, 2019

Residential suites can provide a form of affordable rental housing for tenants and can act a mortgage helper for homeowners. Suites built to BC Building Code standards under a building permit help protect tenants’ health and safety. Suites also increase density in the city in an efficient and sustainable way by making use of existing services and infrastructure.

On July 9, City Council adopted Zoning Bylaw amendments to allow secondary suites and garden suites (one-storey accessory residential dwellings) as permitted uses on single-family lots in more urban residential zones.

The bylaw amendments are key components of


Updated July 10, 2019

Residential suites can provide a form of affordable rental housing for tenants and can act a mortgage helper for homeowners. Suites built to BC Building Code standards under a building permit help protect tenants’ health and safety. Suites also increase density in the city in an efficient and sustainable way by making use of existing services and infrastructure.

On July 9, City Council adopted Zoning Bylaw amendments to allow secondary suites and garden suites (one-storey accessory residential dwellings) as permitted uses on single-family lots in more urban residential zones.

The bylaw amendments are key components of the City’s Residential Suites Update—a project that has involved extensive research; analysis; and engagement with the public, stakeholders, and Council over the past nine months.

Secondary suites and garden suites are now allowed on single-family lots that meet the zoning requirements in most urban residential areas of the city, including a majority of lots in Aberdeen, Batchelor Heights, Brocklehurst, Downtown, Dufferin, Juniper Ridge, Lower Sahali, North Kamloops, Pineview, Sagebrush, Upper Sahali, Valleyview, West End, and Westsyde. Carriage suites (two-storey accessory residential dwellings) will continue to require a rezoning process and a Public Hearing, and they will only be permitted in the RS-1S (Single Family Residential - Suite) zone.

Homeowners who want to construct a new suite or legalize an existing suite on a lot that meets the zoning requirements for a secondary suite or garden suite can simply apply for a building permit (and development permit if constructing a garden suite). This will result in the homeowner saving $1,500 in fees and being able to complete their projects 8–12 weeks sooner due to not having to go through the rezoning and Public Hearing process.

Council also authorized amendments to the Business Licence and Regulation Bylaw. These amendments require owners of single-family homes with suites that are not owner occupied to obtain a business licence and sign a good neighbour agreement. The business licence fee is $67.20 per lot per year, which aligns with the City’s business licence fees for bed-and-breakfasts and other types of accommodations.

Council also adopted amendments to Council Policy No. EDS-17, Residential Suite Compliance Policy, to provide clarity for residents on how the City will address unauthorized residential suites. The updated policy will focus on encouraging compliance through education.

Next Steps:

  • Awareness Campaign: Residents will be informed of the zoning changes via social channels, news media, LetsTalk.Kamloops.ca, and Kamloops.ca.
  • Guide to Residential Suites: Later this summer, the City will release a user-friendly guide that includes building requirements, zoning regulations, development guidelines, and a summary of the municipal permitting and approvals process.
  • Suite Registry Map and App: This fall, City staff will develop an app with an interactive map that will allow homeowners with legal suites to stand out in the marketplace while offering prospective tenants the ability to identify safe, legal suites to rent.
  • Residential Suites Update - July 10

    3 months ago

    On July 9, City Council adopted Zoning Bylaw amendments to allow secondary suites and garden suites (one-storey accessory residential dwellings) as permitted uses on single-family lots in more urban residential zones.

    The bylaw amendments are key components of the City’s Residential Suites Update—a project that has involved extensive research; analysis; and engagement with the public, stakeholders, and Council over the past nine months.

    Secondary suites and garden suites have been added as a permitted use on single-family lots in the RS-1, RS-4, and RS-5 zones, while garden suites are now also a permitted use on single-family lots in other zones...

    On July 9, City Council adopted Zoning Bylaw amendments to allow secondary suites and garden suites (one-storey accessory residential dwellings) as permitted uses on single-family lots in more urban residential zones.

    The bylaw amendments are key components of the City’s Residential Suites Update—a project that has involved extensive research; analysis; and engagement with the public, stakeholders, and Council over the past nine months.

    Secondary suites and garden suites have been added as a permitted use on single-family lots in the RS-1, RS-4, and RS-5 zones, while garden suites are now also a permitted use on single-family lots in other zones where secondary suites were already permitted, including the RT-1, RT-2, RT-3, and RM-2A zones. Carriage suites (two-storey accessory residential dwellings) will continue to require a rezoning process and a Public Hearing, and they will only be permitted in the RS-1S (Single Family Residential - Suite) zone.

    What does this mean?

    • Secondary suites and garden suites are now allowed on lots that meet the zoning requirements in most urban residential areas of the city, including a majority of lots in Aberdeen, Batchelor Heights, Brocklehurst, Downtown, Dufferin, Juniper Ridge, Lower Sahali, North Kamloops, Pineview, Sagebrush, Upper Sahali, Valleyview, West End, and Westsyde.
    • Homeowners who want to construct a new suite or legalize an existing suite on a lot that meets the zoning requirements for a secondary suite or garden suite can simply apply for a building permit (and development permit if constructing a garden suite).
    • This will result in the homeowner saving $1,500 in fees and being able to complete their projects 8–12 weeks sooner due to not having to go through a rezoning and a Public Hearing.

    Business Licence

    Council also authorized amendments to the Business Licence and Regulation Bylaw. These amendments require owners of single-family homes with suites that are not owner occupied to obtain a business licence and sign a good neighbour agreement. The business licence fee is $67.20 per lot per year, which aligns with the City’s business licence fees for bed-and-breakfasts and other types of accommodations.

    Compliance Policy

    Council also adopted amendments to Council Policy No. EDS-17, Residential Suite Compliance Policy, to provide clarity for residents on how the City will address unauthorized residential suites. The updated policy will focus on encouraging compliance through education.

    Next Steps

    Over the coming months, the City will conduct an awareness campaign to inform residents of the zoning changes and the process to legalize existing suites or construct new suites under a building permit. This campaign will include releasing a user-friendly “how to” guide for residential suites that clearly outlines zoning regulations, building requirements, development guidelines, and the municipal permitting and approvals process.

    The City is also working on developing a legal suite registry and an accompanying interactive online map. This can be used by homeowners with legal suites to market their suites, and it can also be used by prospective tenants to identify safe, legal suites.

  • Residential Suites Update - June 27

    4 months ago
    Proposed Zoning Bylaw amendments to allow secondary suites and garden suites as a permitted use on single-family lots in more urban residential areas of the city passed third reading following a Public Hearing at the Valley First Lounge at Sandman Centre on June 25. A Business Licence and Regulation Bylaw amendment to require a business licence for single-family homes with suites that are not owner-occupied was also considered.

    The following outlines the next steps in the process:
    • Zoning Bylaw and Business Licence and Regulation Bylaw amendments: Pending approval of the Zoning Bylaw amendments from the Ministry of Transportation...

    Proposed Zoning Bylaw amendments to allow secondary suites and garden suites as a permitted use on single-family lots in more urban residential areas of the city passed third reading following a Public Hearing at the Valley First Lounge at Sandman Centre on June 25. A Business Licence and Regulation Bylaw amendment to require a business licence for single-family homes with suites that are not owner-occupied was also considered.

    The following outlines the next steps in the process:
    • Zoning Bylaw and Business Licence and Regulation Bylaw amendments: Pending approval of the Zoning Bylaw amendments from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, these bylaw amendments will return to Council for adoption.
    • Residential Suite Enforcement Policy: Intended to provide clarity on the City's approach to unauthorized or problem residential suites, Council will consider an updated version of this Council Policy.
    • Awareness Campaign: Residents will be informed of the zoning changes via social channels and news media as well as the Let's Talk platform.
    • Guide to Residential Suites: The City will release a user-friendly guide that includes building requirements, zoning regulations, development guidelines, and a summary of the municipal permitting and approvals process (late summer 2019).
    • Suite Registry Map and App: City staff will develop an app with an interactive map that will allow homeowners with legal suites to stand out in the marketplace while offering prospective tenants the ability to identify safe, legal suites to rent (fall 2019).
  • Residential Suites Update - April 2

    7 months ago

    The Residential Suites Update Community Engagement Summary Report is now available for public viewing. The report features key research findings, engagement results, and key considerations for implementation of an expanded residential suites program. A supporting document of appendices that includes the engagement results transcribed in verbatim is also available.

    At a Committee of the Whole meeting on April 2, staff presented the summary report and Council provided feedback and direction. Council input will be incorporated with the community feedback and key research findings as staff prepare bylaw amendment recommendations and draft policy updates for Council consideration in May following a...

    The Residential Suites Update Community Engagement Summary Report is now available for public viewing. The report features key research findings, engagement results, and key considerations for implementation of an expanded residential suites program. A supporting document of appendices that includes the engagement results transcribed in verbatim is also available.

    At a Committee of the Whole meeting on April 2, staff presented the summary report and Council provided feedback and direction. Council input will be incorporated with the community feedback and key research findings as staff prepare bylaw amendment recommendations and draft policy updates for Council consideration in May following a technical and legal review.

    >> View the Community Engagement Summary Report here.

    >> View the appendices here.

  • Residential Suites Zoning Bylaw Considerations - November 2018

    3 months ago
    Cpl secondarysuites graphics jan2019 all suites

    The City is considering changes to the Zoning Bylaw to allow suites in more residential areas of the city. Suites can provide a form of affordable rental housing for tenants, and act as a mortgage helper for homeowners. Suites help the City increase density in an efficient way by making use of existing services and infrastructure while offering a form of sensitive infill that retains the character of residential neighbourhoods.

    Challenges can arise when suites are not constructed under a valid Building Permit or in accordance with zoning regulations. Suites built to BC Building Code standards help protect tenants’ health...

    The City is considering changes to the Zoning Bylaw to allow suites in more residential areas of the city. Suites can provide a form of affordable rental housing for tenants, and act as a mortgage helper for homeowners. Suites help the City increase density in an efficient way by making use of existing services and infrastructure while offering a form of sensitive infill that retains the character of residential neighbourhoods.

    Challenges can arise when suites are not constructed under a valid Building Permit or in accordance with zoning regulations. Suites built to BC Building Code standards help protect tenants’ health and safety, and off-street parking requirements in the Zoning Bylaw can help alleviate on-street parking issues in neighbourhoods.

    Secondary suites (second dwelling units located within a principal building) are currently permitted in certain zones in urban areas of the city. The City is considering allowing secondary suites as a permitted use on lots with single-family dwellings in all urban neighbourhoods, subject to zoning regulations. Urban neighbourhoods include: Aberdeen, Batchelor Heights, Brocklehurst, Campbell Creek, Dallas, Downtown, Dufferin, Juniper Ridge, Lower Sahali, North Kamloops, Pineview, Sagebrush, Upper Sahali, Valleyview, West End, and Westsyde.

    Garden suites (one-storey accessory residential dwellings) and carriage suites (two-storey accessory residential dwellings) are currently only permitted on lots with single-family dwellings in the RS-1S zone (Single Family Residential - Suite). The City is considering allowing garden suites as a permitted use on lots with a single-family dwelling in more urban residential areas of the city. Carriage suites have the potential to have a more significant impact on neighbourhood character than garden suites and will continue to require a rezoning and Development Permit process.