Big changes proposed for Delta secondary suite requirements

The City of Delta is gathering resident feedback on proposed revisions to its secondary suite bylaw.

The zoning changes would include removing the secondary suite rule that all required parking spaces be free and clear of each other.

Homes with secondary suites currently must have two parking spaces for the occupants of the home and one parking space for the secondary suite tenant.

All three parking spaces must have their own designated spot and tandem parking is not allowed, while all required parking also must be on-site.

A staff report this summer noted that, regardless of the design of a secondary suite parking space, it is difficult for bylaw inspectors to enforce tenant parking requirements.

“While staff continue to require the owners to identify a designated off-street parking space for their tenant, there is no requirement for the tenant to occupy that space nor for the owners to park within their garage. Where there are suites on any given street (whether authorized or unauthorized and whether occupied by a tenant or family), drivers will find parking spaces on their property or on the street which are most convenient to them,” the report noted.

“Unauthorized suites continue to be identified on a weekly basis, with approximately 25 to 35 unauthorized suites identified every week by Property Use and Compliance staff. The majority of these suites would not comply with current zoning requirements related to lot width or parking, and variances may be required if these suites are to come into compliance with current zoning requirements. Also, in some cases there are no suite covenants in place, and restrictive covenant discharges (subject to council approval) may be required if these suites are to be authorized.”

The proposed zoning changes also include removing the minimum lot width of 15 metres (49 feet) to be eligible for a secondary suite as well as discharging restrictive covenants that prohibit secondary suites on a property should the zoning regulations change.

Residents have until Oct. 9 to submit their input and can call city hall for more information.

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