Background and Purposes

Purposes

The City of West Kelowna Council adopted a Secondary Suite Policy on June 15, 2010 with the following goal:

  • Secondary suites are an important form of affordable rental housing in the City of West Kelowna with recognized benefits for homeowners, tenants and the community. To this end, the municipality aims to ensure that the provision of secondary suites within the City is a viable and attainable choice of affordable rental housing.
Objectives

The policy has the following objectives:

  • To build and maintain an inventory of legal secondary suites in the City of West Kelowna, which provide affordable rental accommodation.
  • To build and maintain an inventory of secondary suites in the City of West Kelowna, which meet or exceed acceptable health and safety standards.
  • To decommission dangerous and illegal suites if they cannot meet acceptable BC Building Code health and safety standards within a reasonable period of time.
  • To maintain an accurate inventory of the housing stock for appropriate government administration (i.e. long-range planning, infrastructure servicing and obtaining population related funding).
Background

Policy

Recognizing the benefits to homeowners, tenants and to the community, Council's Secondary Suite Policy establishes secondary suites as a permitted use in all Single Family Residential (R1), Rural Residential (RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4, RU5, RU6) and Agricultural (A1) zones, subject to a number of requirements.

In order to enact aspects of the policy, City of West Kelowna Council amended its Zoning Bylaw to permit secondary suites as an allowable use subject to a number of conditions.

Before the zoning amendments were adopted, the City of West Kelowna also held a public hearing. Comments on Zoning Bylaw Amendment 2010 No. 871.225 (File No: Z10/07) were heard on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 6 p.m. at the Mount Boucherie Secondary School, 2751 Cameron Road, West Kelowna, BC.

Zoning

On September 14, 2010 (PDF), Council adopted regulations that permit the use of secondary suites in all Single Family Residential (R1), Rural Residential (RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4, RU5, RU6) and Agricultural (A1) zones, subject to a number of requirements. 
   As a result, the processing of allSecondary Suite Applications will be considered under these regulations.

On January 22, 2013, Council adopted bylaw amendments, which resulted in the removal of the following requirements for the legalization of a secondary suite:

  • Owner occupancy
  • Rezoning to obtain an “S” designation to be exempt from the owner occupation requirement
  • Approval by the Interior Health Authority for septic capacity, and
  • Annual registration of all suites ($125 fee)
At the same meeting, Council adopted bylaw amendments, which resulted in the addition of the following requirements for the legalization of a secondary suite:

  • One time, initial suite registration ($125 fee for voluntary legalization and $250 for involuntary legalization resulting from bylaw enforcement);
  • Business Licence ($60 annual fee); and,
  • Approval by a Registered Onsite Wastewater Practitioner (ROWP) for septic capacity.
Additional Resources

The Province of British Columbia may offer assistance for specific home or suite renovations, which are designed to accommodate seniors (people 65 and over) and the disabled. Provincial assistance programs are subject to change. Please make inquiries with the ministry responsible about assistance programs to determine if you are eligible and what costs might be covered if your application for assistance should be approved. Visit the BC Housing page to learn more.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation may offer assistance programs for specific home or suite renovations, which are designed to accommodate seniors (people 65 and over) and the disabled. CMHC funding programs are subject to change. Please make inquiries with CMHC regarding the program to determine if you are eligible and what costs might be covered if your application for assistance should be approved.