October 20, 2015 / News
In the City of Calgary, the debate about Secondary Suites has been a hot topic for many years. City Council recently approved an eighteen-month Development Permit exemption for Secondary Suites that runs from September 1st, 2015 until March 3rd, 2017. What’s the benefit? If you own an eligible property, you can save up to $2,200 in application fees and the cost of bypassing the Development Permit process altogether.
Before we go any further, what is a Secondary Suite? A Secondary Suite is a self-contained residential unit situated within a backyard, above a garage or in the basement of a single detached dwelling. In most instances, secondary suites have an independent access, a kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms. A suite would also have a parking space on the property and other amenities such as a balcony or yard space.
The good news is that the City of Calgary is currently removing the Development Permit fee for Secondary Suites and the requirement for the Development Permit altogether. The exemption makes it easier and faster for people interested in legalizing a suite by doing away with the development permit process when applicable.
This is the question on the minds of many property owners in the City of Calgary. Here are the two main answers to this question:
Your property is zoned to allow for a Secondary Suite.
Your property meets all the Land Use Bylaw requirements.
In the event your property is not zoned to provide for a Secondary Suite, you will still need to follow the Land Use Redesignation process. If you have questions about rezoning your property, contact Citytrend for a quick assessment.
You will still need to apply for a Building Permit to ensure that the Secondary Suite meets the building code. For the application, you will need a site plan, a cross section of the suite, a floor plan, and a facade elevation of each exterior wall where changes will occur.
Verify if your property is zoned to allow for a secondary suite.
Make sure that your property meets the lot size requirements within your land use district (lot size and lot width).
Ensure your property has proper on-site parking and private amenity space such as a yard or balcony.
Apply for a building permit and start building once approved, making sure that you and your contractor follow the Alberta Building Code.
Take note of other permits you may need which include trade permits such as Electrical and Plumbing permits.
Take advantage of this waiver period and legalize your secondary suite. For more details about the process and for support in completing the Building Permit application, call us at 403-475-2044.