Secondary Dwelling Units

At Monday’s Council committee meeting, the Committee overturned the staff recommendation and voted to permitted secondary dwelling units as of right in the entire city. The vote was 4-1 (Mayor Brown, and Councillors Helmer, Park, and Cassidy in favour of overturning). Only Councillor Turner supported the staff recommendation to not allow them as of right in the Near Campus areas including our own. Councillor Squire spoke in favour of the staff recommendation, but he is not a member of the Committee. Councillor Hopkins had a conflict of interest in this matter and could not speak or vote.

As you may recall, at our AGM in May, a large majority attending the meeting did not want secondary dwelling units as of right in the near campus neighbourhoods. This message was delivered to the Committee on Monday.

The matter goes to full Council next week, July 25th. As a reminder, as of right means that one can create a secondary dwelling unit without a zoning change or minor variance (essentially, without notification). Nevertheless, a building permit will be required. A secondary dwelling unit is a “self-contained residential unit(s) with kitchen and bathroom facilities within dwellings or within structures accessory to dwellings (such as above laneway garages).” Also, there is no requirement that there be owner occupation in the rest of the dwelling, nor a limit to the # of bedrooms in the secondary unit. However, the maximum # of bedrooms in total remains at 5.

Under Provincial legislation, once this matter passes full Council, the decision cannot be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.

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