Support for secondary suites in Saanich

Homeowner unable to obtain approval for use of accessory buildings

I am writing to offer strong support for the proposed allowance of secondary suites in accessory buildings.

I moved to Saanich in September 2015 and my large Cadboro Bay property has two 1,000 square foot accessory buildings which, though built legally, had been illegal rentals for many years. Over the past year I renovated both buildings by permit to code, converting one to a garage and the other to a studio.

Over the past year I have asked Saanich if I could use the studio:

For a short-term vacation rental or long-term university student rental? No.

For visiting family and friends? No.

To house a sponsored Syrian Refugee family? No.

As temporary housing for ourselves while we renovated the main house to avoid paint fumes and dust? No.

As a creative space for multiple artists? No, because only the homeowner can create items in an accessory building if those items may be sold in the future.

With much time, effort and expense, I have created a safe space that I would like to be able to legally share with others. I appreciate the need for more housing and am fortunate to live in a beautiful place with ample parking on my property. There is no reason for a building that was both constructed and renovated legally to be sitting vacant during an affordable housing shortage.

Ramona Johnston