A Secondary Suite is defined in the Zoning Bylaw as, “a second, self-contained dwelling unit with private access, its own kitchen and bathroom, and located within a single-unit dwelling, within a detached accessory building or within a townhouse dwelling unit as permitted in CD-40 and CD-69 zones, complying with the requirements of section 4.5 of this Bylaw.”
The installation of a secondary suite in a new or existing single unit dwelling or within an accessory building (also known as a “carriage home”) is permitted by the District of Squamish, subject to both the District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw and the British Columbia Building Code (BCBC).
The Zoning Bylaw currently permits secondary suites in all new and existing single-unit homes and includes the following requirements:
The Zoning Bylaw also permits secondary suites within an Accessory building and includes the following requirements:
A secondary suite is permitted within a single-unit dwelling or house, or above a detached accessory building. For clarity, secondary suites are not permitted in two-unit (duplex) dwellings and only one secondary suite is permitted PER lot.
Detached accessory buildings including a secondary suite may be used for temporary living accommodation during the construction of a principal building on the same lot.
Yes, secondary suites require private access, whether in a principal building or a detached building.
It is up to the Owner or Owner’s Agent to verify that a suite has been granted Occupancy from the District. Even if an Owner is being billed for Utilities for two units, it does not necessarily mean that all other zoning and building requirements have been met. If in doubt, contact the District’s Building Department to request this information.
The District charges utilities based on a per unit dwelling basis. If you add an additional unit to your property/dwelling, the fees will reflect the additional unit.
If a secondary suite is in place, the District of Squamish does bill for the added utility cost associated with the additional dwelling unit. If you are not planning on using the suite for its intended purpose, decommissioning the suite is an option.
Take the following steps to decommission a suite. The BC Safety Authority requires that you employ a certified electrician for all electrical works.
Once this work has been completed, you will need to fill out a Suite Declaration form with the Building Department and book an inspection. There is a fee associated with this inspection. Once the inspection is complete, the Building Inspector will sign the form and you will bring it to the District’s Financial Services department to have the utility charges from your secondary suite.
A secondary suite must form a single real estate entity with the single-unit or townhouse dwelling. No strata titling is permitted at this time.
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