LETTER: Garden suites must come with restrictions

As Saanich council considers garden suites, this is our experience with living in a dense area of secondary suites. The biggest issue we have is that our council built bylaws that do not protect single family homes from this densification. Saanich has no idea of the number of suites, they have never forced suites to be registered, with no restriction as to how many are in any area. They have created bylaws that do not protect neighbours or neighbourhoods who choose not to have a suite. They have created a negative neighbourhood culture, as the energy to constantly call about infractions takes its toll on your life. Bylaw staff interpret the bylaw rules and taxes do not cover the impact on infrastructure.

A secondary suite property owner in our area openly told the bylaw staff that he knew he was not complying to the bylaw by not living in the home as he was renting both the house and the suite. Saanich would not act on this unless two adjacent property owners complain. Imagine admitting your guilt with no consequences.

We still have the time to adjust or create new bylaws that allow these kind of accommodation while at the same time protecting everyone. All suites, new and existing ,must be registered, with a yearly fee for suites and cottages. One complaint should justify action, with enforcement of parking restrictions and respect for properties without suites.

Allowing garden cottages and secondary suites turns single family homes into a business. This impacts the entire neighbourhood without contributing to its growth and maintenances of municipalities. Did secondary suites or will garden cottages really provide affordable housing or just line the pockets of greedy landlord with tax free income.

Barrie Szekely

Saanich

Just Posted

Needles found at Goldstream campground in Langford

West Shore RCMP respond to several calls for service associated with homeless campers

Only tent city residents allowed access at Goldstream Park campsites

Local RCMP point to reports of criminal activity and drug use in the area as cause for safety concerns

Paving complete, lines coming to the Malahat this week

$34 million safety project is 95 per cent complete with hope to relieve traffic congestion between Victoria and Nanaimo

School crossing guard clears truck debris left from evening crash

Truck crashes into hydro pole on Saanich/Oak Bay border

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Hospice to B.C. council race candidate dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Breast density to be included in mammogram results across B.C.

The information is crucial in proactively reducing the risk of breast cancer, doctors say

Canada to boost support for riskier forms of renewable energy: minister

A $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project hopes to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy

Most Read