Secondary Suites and Accessory Dwelling Units

pic - secondary suites

UPDATE - JULY 2022

At the July 18, 2022 Council Meeting, Council directed the following questions back to staff:  

  1. Is the District able to grandfather existing secondary suites/accessory dwelling units?
  2. What is the potential population of the District of Highlands if secondary and accessory dwelling units were permitted under the provisions of Draft Highlands Zoning Bylaw, 1988, Amendment No. 41, (Accessory Dwelling Units) Bylaw No. 438, 2022?
  3. What is the potential population of the District of Highlands if secondary suites and dwelling units are limited to properties equal to or greater than 2 acres?

 After the responses return to Council, the project will be referred to the Sustainable Land Use Select Committee.

UPDATE – JUNE 2022

At its June 20, 2022 Regular Meeting, Council was presented with possible regulatory changes to allow secondary suites/accessory dwelling units. Here is the staff report.   

Below are the draft amendments to the Zoning Bylaw and the Building Regulation Bylaw. These bylaws are expected to be on Council’s agenda for the July 18, 2022 Meeting:

Bylaw 438_Pg 1

Bylaw 438_Pg 2


Bylaw 439

MAY 2022

At its May 2, 2022 Regular Meeting, Council amended the Secondary Suites and Accessory Dwelling Units Draft Policy/Program Outline to the version below.  This version was the subject of a Special April 19, 2022 Committee of the Whole Meeting; here is the Staff Report.

Apr 20-2022_SS-ADU ApproachBACKGROUND

While secondary suites are not permitted under existing zoning regulations, it is estimated that approximately 30% to 50% of properties in Highlands have some form of unauthorized secondary suite and/or additional unapproved dwellings. Given increasing land costs and housing shortages in the region this trend is likely to continue.

Here is a timeline of the District's recent investigation into regulating secondary housing: