Good news for Kelowna homeowners wanting to add secondary suites.
They are now exempt from development cost charges (DCCs) under the city’s updated DCC bylaw. The news is not good for anyone wanting to build a carriage home on their property. The DCC for such a project will now be approximately $25,000.
The city has previously subsidized carriage homes and secondary suites, charging a flat rate of $2,500. Those dwellings would pay a much higher DCC normally, but the difference is borne by taxation, according to Joel Parisien with the city.
“But as part of this update, the ministry has said you can no longer provide a direct subsidy to one specific development category and not the others, you have to have a blanket approach.”
A carriage home would pay slightly less in DCCs than an apartment, added Parisien. The change did not still well with incumbent council candidate Mohini Singh.
“I feel in this climate where we’re facing such a strong housing crunch it’s still another form of rental housing,” she said. “It also serves to be a mortgage helper for a person who’s trying to hold on to their primary residence.”
Singh said she could support a small increase, but not $25,000.
“I feel this hurts homeowners who are looking for mortgage assist and rental houses on their property. Also, people looking for rental homes.”
Secondary suites outstrip carriage houses five-to-one and are treated as a specific residential development by the city, according to Parisien. It’s estimated that 30 per cent of single-family homes in Kelowna will be built with secondary suites or carriage houses.
Singh was opposed to the adoption of the new bylaw.