Secondary suites rules may change
Secondary suites are in Maple Ridge to stay, although there may be some ways of making the form of housing even more popular with the public.
The suites have been allowed since 1999, but Maple Ridge district is reviewing the current conditions in which the basement suites are allowed in homes on lots of 557 sq. metres or larger, providing the owner of the property lives on site.
Following an open house in February and online comments, council considered the following suggestions from the public in a March 4 report.
• People still like the requirement to have property owners reside on site. That’s a good way of ensuring upkeep and security of the house, while renting out a portion.
• People also like the existing parking requirements, in which off-street parking for one vehicle is required for each secondary suite while there must be two parking stalls for the principal residence.
• Despite the requirements, suites are still associated with crowded streets as the higher population density affects road congestion and neighbourhood atmosphere.
• The public though also liked the concept of allowing secondary suites based on the size of the lot, rather the particular zoning of an area. The idea of putting in a basement door at the back of the house to provide another access point, was also supported.
Finally, as realtors said at the February open house, new single family homes should be build “suite ready” so they can be more easily and cheaply converted to proper suites that would meeting building and safety codes.
Staff will now work on a set of possible changes for council to consider in the next few months.
The report noted most people supported the ban on secondary suites in small-lot zones.
However, there are some larger lots in such zones which could accommodate a secondary suite.
While most people were happy with the parking requirements, congested parking on the street was the most common concern raised in the consultations, particularly in small lot areas where there are illegal suites.