Council Expands Secondary Suites Program
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 – Legalizing secondary suites is a key recommendation of the Community Dialogue on Housing and Neighbourhood Character. Council has supported the secondary suite program to meet the community’s interest in greater housing options and to assist homeowners with the requirements necessary to register existing suites.
On March 21, 2011, Council voted to expand the secondary suite program to allow for secondary suites in non-owner occupied homes. The same requirements apply as for a secondary suite in an owner occupied dwelling. In addition, the owner will need to designate a property manager at the time of application. This change to the program was made to recognize the unique characteristics of West Vancouver’s housing supply. Many of the existing secondary suites in non-owner occupied homes have existed in West Vancouver for decades.
IMPORTANT DATE – MAY 31, 2011
Since the beginning of the secondary suites program, the District has developed incentives to encourage owners to register the suites with the District. The goal of the District’s registration program is to ensure the health and safety of both the resident of the suite and the principle dwelling by verifying that certain minimum life safety standards are achieved. Incentives that have been offered thus far included a reduced application fee for those who applied to register their suite by September 30, 2010. An additional incentive for early registration is the application of alternative life safety standards to existing suites. To qualify for this incentive, secondary suites must have an application filed to the District before May 31, 2011.
For those who apply to register their suite after that date, the suite will need to comply with the full BC Building Code, which could result in significant additional expense. Non-registered secondary suites are in violation of the zoning bylaw, which may result in warnings, fines or other enforcement measures.
For more information on secondary suites please visit: www.westvancouver.ca/secondarysuite
About the District of West Vancouver
The District of West Vancouver is the local government led by Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones and Council. Home to more than 44,000 residents, West Vancouver is a local government which strives to "inspire excellence and lead by example". Our Vision and Mission guide us to pursue our treasured quality of life and will be the measure of our success as a community. West Vancouver is a community built on innovation, a strong spirit of personal civic commitment and a deep value for relationships.
Jessica Delaney, Director of Communications