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Suites cash in on savings in Pitt Meadows
omeowners with illegal secondary suites in Pitt Meadows are fessing up to city hall to cash in on savings being offered once the suites are legalized.
In December, 189 property owners with in-law and secondary suites received letters from the city suggesting they comply with zoning regulations.
Thus far, 71 properties have taken action. Of those, 23 were grandfathered as in-law suites, 16 properties had their suites decommissioned, and 32 properties have applied for a licence.
Planner Dana Parr said the city has also sent out a second set of letters, reminding properties owners with known secondary suites that they will face higher utility rates if no action is taken.
Census figures reveal there may be as many as 555 secondary dwellings in the city.
Parr said the city has had some success by using a carrot to entice homeowners to comply with city regulations.
Homeowners who disclose they have secondary suites, and begin the process to legalize them, are being rewarded with savings of 40 per cent on their water, sewer and garbage rates.
Parr said the city will eventually look for illegal suites and begin targeting homeowners, but the enforcement will depend on what council wants to do.
“It could be that we continue to charge them a higher utility fee forever, or we actually go after them. It’s a tough issue,” Parr added.
City staff have also proposed a policy to deal with houses with joint ownership, where multiple generations of families live.