Early results from Saanich’s public engagement campaign show Saanich is ready to approve detached, garden suite style housing. Though some garden suites already exist, this study would move to legalize the suites in Saanich. Saanich.ca

Early survey results show Saanich ready for garden suites

Early results from the District of Saanich’s garden suite study show general community support for legalizing garden suites in single family areas of Saanich.

The public engagement campaign ran earlier this spring as more than 1,000 people completed the community survey and more than 300 people attended two open houses, said a release from Saanich this week. Garden suites, by definition, are ground-oriented residential dwellings in the backyard of a property with a single family house as its primary use.

See: Garden suites must come with restrictions

Among the common concerns Saanich is hearing around garden suites are how they’ll be regulated, the building size and height, location, parking and design. Enforcement and the approval process for garden suites was also discussed.

In particular, Saanich noted “a lack of strong support to the idea of allowing garden suites to be used as short-term rentals.”

R.A. Malatest & Associates are now running an in-depth survey to validate the responses received in the first community survey.

Information on the study is available at saanich.ca/gardensuites. The follow-up survey will build on the feedback received through the first community survey and other public engagement events and provide direction around regulations for the suites.

A draft regulatory framework, based on the feedback, is scheduled to be ready for the fall with hopes of presenting final recommendation to council in early 2019.Garden suites are not currently permitted in Saanich. Council voted in September of 2017 to study the legalization of garden suites.

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