Secondary Suites

Secondary suites contribute to the community by providing accessible rental housing, lowering property ownership costs and providing in-law residences for family members who need at-home care. In light of this, View Royal permits secondary suites in some residential and rural zones.

Secondary Suites

Definitions & Zoning

Secondary Suite & Parking Requirements

Apply for a Secondary Suite Permit & Annual Renewals

Decomissioning a Secondary Suite

Definitions & Zoning

What is a Secondary Suite?

Zoning Bylaw 900, 2014 [PDF - 2 MB] defines a secondary suite as:

"a secondary and subordinate dwelling unit that is entirely contained within, and is subordinate to, a detached residential building in accordance with Section 4.1 of this bylaw."

A secondary suite is identifiable by the ability to cook food with appliances such as a stove, hot plate, microwave, or convection oven.

Where are Secondary Suites permitted?

Secondary Suites are permitted within the following land use zones*:

  • R-1: One family residential (large lot),
  • R-1A: One family residential,
  • R-1B: One family residential,
  • R-1C: One family residential (medium lot),
  • R-2: Duplex Residential (Detached Only),
  • A-1: Rural,
  • A-2: Pike Lake Rural Residential,
  • A-3: Rural Residential; and
  • CD-9CS - Low Density Suite Residential (Lakeside Village).

*Note: some properties, despite having the proper land use zoning, may be restricted from having a secondary suite due to covenants placed on the property title that prohibit this use. If the Town of View Royal is not a signatory to the covenant, the Town will not enforce the conditions of a private covenant. You can find what restrictions may be placed on your property title by reviewing the certificate of title and associated covenant documents. 

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Secondary Suite & Parking Requirements

Secondary Suite Requirements

Properties located within the allowable zones are not automatically permitted to have a secondary suite. The property must also meet all of the secondary suite requirements. 

The following are requirements to be eligible for a secondary suite:

  • The property is owner occupied;
  • The property is in an approved zone and has a minimum lot size of 600m²;
  • The secondary suite is located in a single detached home that contains only one suite;
  • The secondary suite has a floor area of no more than 40% (or 90m², whichever is less) of the home;
  • The secondary suite complies with the B.C. Building Code and the Town's Zoning Bylaw;
  • The property does not contain a daycare (small or large), a Level 3 home occupation business, or any facility licensed under the Community Care Act or Assisted Living Act;
  • The property meets the parking requirements (see below).

Parking Requirements

Homes with secondary suites are required to provide one extra “stand-alone” parking space (not sited in tandem with another required parking space) in addition to the two required spaces for the primary residence, for a total of three required parking spaces.

Parking requirements include:

  • The parking space must be a minimum of 2.6m wide by 5.5m long;
  • Parking spaces in a garage cannot be included towards the three required parking spaces;
  • The three parking spaces can be in a front yard but cannot exceed 50m² exclusive of the driveway to reach these;
  • The extra parking space for the secondary suite must be contained on the property and cannot encroach on public property;
  • In the case of a corner lot, parking spaces for homes with a secondary suite must be located at least 6m from the point of intersection of the abutting roadways. 

Click here to view a sample Parking Plan [PDF - 809 KB].

Click here to view the Guide to Secondary Suites [PDF - 51 KB]

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Apply for a Secondary Suite Permit & Annual Renewals

Secondary Suite Permit Application

If you have a secondary suite on your property that is occupied (regardless of who is living in it - including family members), a secondary suite permit is required and must be renewed annually.

The Secondary Suites Permit Bylaw No. 601, 2005 defines two "Types" of Secondary Suite Permits:

  • Type 1 Permit: a permit issued for a secondary suite that complies with the B.C. Building Code.
  • Type 2 Permit: a permit issued before September 1, 2007 for a secondary suite that does not comply with the B.C. Building Code.

To Apply for a Permit

All new secondary suite permits are Type 1 permits. To obtain a Type 1 secondary suite permit, you must:

  1. Complete a Type 1 Secondary Suite Application [PDF - 193 KB];
  2. Include the following supporting documents:
    • An acceptable parking plan; and
    • Copy of proof of ownership (State of Title Certificate or Certificate of Infeasible Title) dated no more than 30 days prior to submission.
  3. Submit the application, supporting documents, and pay the required fee of $150.00 to the Town of View Royal.

A Building Official or Bylaw Enforcement Officer may visit your home to ensure that all requirements are met prior to a permit being issued.

Annual Permit Renewals

All secondary suite permits must be renewed annually before March 1st. To renew your Type 1 or Type 2 secondary suite permit, you must:

  1. Complete a Secondary Suite Renewal Application [PDF - 121 KB];
  2. Submit the application and pay the required renewal fee of $100.00 to the Town of View Royal.

*Note: If a permit holder fails to renew the permit by March 1st, the permit will lapse and a new Type 1 Secondary Suite permit application and permit fee will be required.

Click here to view payment options for application and renewal fees.

New Owners?

If you purchased a home that has a permitted suite, the current permit will transfer and you can continue with the annual renewal process provided all requirements continue to be met.

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Decomissioning a Secondary Suite

If your secondary suite is temporarily unoccupied, you may complete a Secondary Suite Acclamation Form to state that you are not using the suite and thus are not required to obtain or renew any permits until you want to use the suite again. To obtain a Secondary Suite Acclamation Form, please contact the Development Services Department.

If you plan to permanently remove the secondary suite from your dwelling, click here to view the Guide to Decomissioning a Secondary Suite [PDF - 75 KB].

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