Update: The City of Kelonwa has issued the following clarification to the news release it issued Monday about its change to the secondary suite process:
“A news release issued yesterday to note the final adoption of the secondary suite process by council needs some clarification.
Specifically, the information about bylaw enforcement of illegal suites may have left the impression that enforcement would begin seeking out illegal suites after a 30-day grace period.
To clarify, bylaw enforcement action will only apply to approximately 10 properties that had previously applied for rezoning to legalize their suite and currently do not have the appropriate building permit or business licence approvals in place. The affected properties will be receiving written notification shortly advising of the steps required to legalize their suite.
Enforcement personnel will not be actively seeking out unlicenced suites, but will be responding to requests for service as usual.
Council approved final adoption of the streamlined process for secondary suites Monday.
The new process permits a secondary suite in single-family dwellings in most residential zones without needing to rezone the property.
“This change will help provide more affordable housing stock in Kelowna with minimal impact to neighbourhoods,” said Mayor Walter Gray. “No new infrastructure is required because the secondary suites are contained within existing single-family homes.”
The new process requires a building permit application concurrent with a business licence application, both of which are reviewed by city staff to ensure a dwelling can support the inclusion of a secondary suite.
A business licence is required to legalize any existing or new secondary suites within a single-family dwelling. A 30-day grace period now begins for owners of unregistered suites to conform to the new process before bylaw enforcement is initiated.
This change applies only to secondary suites being created within an existing single-family dwelling. Secondary suites in accessory buildings, now known as carriage houses, will continue to have a separate approval process.