Coming in 2017 —
‘Supplementary Utility Charges’
See below for more information.
In 2014, City Council adopted a comprehensive program to permit secondary suites in single-family homes. Since then, the City has issued over 700 permits for the construction of secondary suites in either new or existing residences. The Program is a response to recommendations from within Burnaby’s Official Community Plan and Social Sustainability Strategy. Under the program, owners of single-family residential properties can:
- construct a suite as part of a new single family home;
- renovate an existing home to include a suite; or
- obtain permits to legalize an existing suite.
The program recognizes that secondary suites provide a number of benefits. They provide affordable rental housing, a “mortgage helper” for property owners, and can facilitate ageing in place. As such, secondary suites are valued by both homeowners and tenants.
Secondary suites are subject to zoning regulations, building regulations, and licensing regulations. They are also subject to supplementary utility charges. Secondary suites are expected to be safe and neighbourly; complaints about secondary suites and safety issues are enforced.
Overall, the program aims to:
- increase safety standards for homeowners and tenants;
- protect affordable housing options;
- ensure that neighbourhood impacts are minimized;
- provide for fair and equitable utility and permit fees;
- assist property owners with legalization efforts; and,
- focus on citizen ‘complaint-based’ enforcement priorities.
- Secondary Suites in Summary
Secondary Suite Definition
A secondary suite is defined in the City's Zoning Bylaw as “an accessory dwelling unit fully contained within a single-family dwelling.”
Features of an accessory dwelling unit may include:
» One or more habitable rooms;
» Bathroom facilities;
» Kitchen or cooking facilities;
» A separate entrance, either interior or exterior;
A suite does not need to be rented; it is the physical features of the unit that make it a secondary suite.
Permitted Zone Districts:
Secondary suites are permitted within single-family dwellings in the following zone districts: R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R9, R10, R11, R12, A1, A2, A3, and RM6.
Secondary Suite Size:
» Maximum permitted - 90 m2 (970 sq. ft.) or 40% of the total gross floor area of the principal building (whichever is less)
» Minimum permitted - 32 m2 (344 sq. ft.)
An additional separate off-street parking space is required to serve the secondary suite.
New in-law/caregiver suites are no longer permitted under the Zoning Bylaw. Existing licensed in-law/caregiver suites may remain as legal non-conforming (“grandfathered”) uses as long as the required annual licence and statutory declaration are maintained. All in-law / caregiver suites are subject to supplementary utility charges regardless of the legal status or occupants of the suite.
A property with a secondary suite is not permitted to have:
» boarders and lodgers;
» a boarding, lodging, or rooming house;
» a child-care facility or family child-care centre;
» home occupations that include in-home client services;
» a group home, private hospital, or supportive housing facility; or,
» an in-law/caregiver suite.
Home Rental Business Licence:
A Home Rental Business Licence is required for non-resident property owners who rent out both the principal single-family dwelling and the accessory secondary suite. The licence is subject to conditions that enable enforcement of any issues that could affect neighbouring properties.
- Building Permit Process
Application Process for Existing Single Family Dwellings
A legal secondary suite must comply with all applicable City Bylaws and associated safety codes. In order to ensure that these requirements are met, the property owner must obtain and finalize a building permit and any related plumbing, electrical, gas or heating permits for the suite.
For information on permits for a suite in an existing single family dwelling please see the Building Department brochure Building Permit Application Requirements for Interior Finishing.
For information on permits for a suite in a new single family dwelling, please see the Building Department brochure Building Permit Application Requirements for New Single and Two Family Dwellings.
General information is also available in the Building Department brochure, Secondary Suite.
- Licence and Permit Fees
A Home Rental Business Licence is required for non-resident property owners who rent out both the principal single-family dwelling and a related secondary suite. This Licence fee includes the initial application fee of $270.00 and an annual $92.00 renewal fee.
Building Permit Fee
Building Permit fees are based on construction value. Please refer to the Permit Fees page for more information.
Coming in 2017 — ‘Supplementary Utility Charges’
- Supplementary Utility Charges
Properties with secondary suites are subject to supplementary utility charges to cover the costs associated with additional water and sewer services for suites. The supplementary fees are based on 50% of the single-family dwelling charge for water and sewer services.
» These fees are included in the annual utility billing notices received by Burnaby residents.
» Properties with secondary suites are subject to the fees whether or not the suite is occupied.
- Advance Notice of Utility Billing – Summer 2016
The City has a comprehensive “Secondary Suites Inventory” established for billing processes. All properties identified in this inventory that have not previously been billed for the additional utility services were mailed a special “Advance Notice of Utility Billing” package in the summer of 2016. The package included:
» the “Supplementary Utility Charges” information;
» additional information about the Secondary Suites Program; and,
» instructions on how property owners can update the City’s records should the property NOT include a secondary suite. This included arranging for a free City inspection of the property.
In February 2017, all properties that remain on the Secondary Suites Inventory will receive the supplementary utility charges on their standard utility billing notices.
Burnaby Secondary Suite Inventory
The Burnaby Secondary Suite Inventory is a list of all of the residential properties that have been identified as having a secondary suite.
Please contact us to confirm that your property is on the inventory.
Frequently Asked Questions
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