Accessory Cottages & Carriage Houses

As an alternative to a secondary suite within the main house, most residential "R" and "RE" zones are allowed to apply to construct either a 1-storey cottage or a 2-storey carriage house (Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit) under the regulations of  Land Use Bylaw 2072 and the guidelines for Intensive Residential Development in Official Community Plan 1600.  

What can they be used for?

  • Accessory Dwelling Units are permitted for family members, caregivers, caretakers, employees, or long-term rental housing purposes.

  • They are not to be used as a Bed and Breakfast or for short-term vacation rentals. 

  • Accessory Dwelling Unit may not be stratified, subdivided, or otherwise legally separated from the principal dwelling.

Accessory Dwelling Units general regulations:

  • Only 1 is permitted on a lot: a suite, a cottage, or a carriage house.

  • Accessory Dwelling Units are not allowed on properties containing a duplex and are not allowed on a panhandle lot within the Urban Settlement Area.

  • One additional off-street parking spot is required and is to be energized for a future E.V. charging station.

  • Detached Accessory Dwelling Units cannot have a basement area.

  • Secondary service connections from municipal systems are not permitted. Upgrades to the existing services may be required due to the increased demand, including to private septic systems or potable water supply. Confirmation of adequate services will be required as part of the Building Permit application.

"R" ZONED PROPERTIES

For all ‘R’ Residential zoned properties, which are within the Urban Settlement Boundary (as shown on Schedule 'A' in the Official Community Plan), the regulations allow for a 1-storey cottage (Detached Accessory Building) as an alternative to a suite within the principal dwelling.

A lot must be 400m2 (4,305 s.f.) or larger to have a suite, or 500m2 (5,381 s.f.) to have a cottage

Prior to issuance of a building permit:

  1. An Intensive Residential Infill Development Permit is required through the Planning Department (see OCP Guidelines 11.10.7)

  2. Covenant is required to be registered on the Land Title that would:

  • confirm the dwelling is for rental housing purposes (does not allow short term vacation rental or Bed & Breakfast),

  • that no other Accessory Dwelling Unit is permitted on the property,

  • that the Detached Accessory Dwelling unit cannot be subdivided or separated from the principal dwelling in any way, and

  • allows for occupancy by property owners, family members, caregivers, caretakers, or employees

The size of a permitted cottage varies by "R" zone per the table below:

Zone

Minimum Lot Area

Cottage

 

(m2)

Up to Max. Size of:

R-1

780

70 m2 (753 ft2)

R-1M

660

70 m2 (753 ft2)

R-2 (SFD)*

660

70 m2 (753 ft2)

R-2S (SFD)*

550

50 m2 (538 ft2)

R-1S

480

50 m2 (538 ft2)

RCH

440

50 m2 (538 ft2)

R-1XS

300**

50 m2 (538 ft2)

                * SFD = Single Family Dwelling
              ** Lot must be at least 500 m2 in area to have a cottage

"RE" ZONED PROPERTIES

For ‘RE’ Rural Estate zoned properties, which are located in Rural areas, the regulations allow either a 2-storey carriage house or 1-storey cottage (both called Detached Accessory Dwelling Units) as an alternative to a suite within a principal dwelling.

The maximum floor area for a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit is 90m2.

Prior to issuance of a building permit, Covenant is required to be registered on the Land Title that would:

  • confirm the dwelling is for rental housing purposes (does not allow short-term vacation rental or Bed & Breakfast),

  • that no other Accessory Dwelling Unit is permitted on the property,

  • that the Detached Accessory Dwelling unit cannot be subdivided or separated from the principal dwelling in any way, and

  • allows for occupancy by property owners, family members, caregivers, caretakers, or employees.   

For sample layouts see Official Community Plan 1600 Section 11.10.7

If you are interested in building an Accessory Dwelling Unit email planning@csaanich.ca with the property address and any existing information you have regarding lot size, lot coverage, and protected trees.

FAQs