Lantzville District Hall. (News Bulletin file)

Lantzville District Hall. (News Bulletin file)

Lantzville council adopts policy permitting secondary suites

One councillor who opposed policy calls for ‘suite zones’ in the district instead

Lantzville will allow secondary suites and carriage homes.

During a council meeting on Feb. 10, Lantzville councillors voted 3-2 in favour of adopting a zoning bylaw that permits secondary suites and carriage homes throughout the district.

Secondary suites are technically not permitted anywhere within the District of Lantzville under existing zoning; however, according to a recent staff report, there are “numerous” existing secondary suites and carriage homes within the community and they “may not” meet the provincial building code.

The report goes on to note that any new secondary suites and carriage homes built in British Columbia after February must comply with local bylaws and the provincial code.

During the Feb. 10 meeting, Coun. Karen Proctor told other members of council she felt the policy “will definitely get us started in the right direction.”

However, Coun. Ian Savage said he couldn’t support the policy because there has been a lack of public consultation on the matter.

“All the current suite owners should have a say,” he said. “Those considering putting in a suite should have a say and all other residents should have a say as well.”

Savage encouraged councillors to look at other municipalities’ policies on secondary suites and carriage homes, explaining that other municipalities have taken longer to approve similar policies. He also expressed concerns that new subdivisions could be filled with secondary suites and carriage homes and that they could cause problems for the district.

“It has caused problems elsewhere and we simply don’t know if we are facing that here,” Savage said.

The solution, according to Savage, is to create “suite zones” in Lantzville, which would limit secondary suites and carriage homes to specific areas of the community.

“To me the obvious solution is to create a suite zone like Kelowna has and measure the results,” Savage said.

The City of Kelowna allows secondary suites to be constructed in “most residential zones other than townhomes and multi-family complexes,” according to that city’s website, whereas West Kelowna only allows secondary suites to be constructed on properties that have specific zoning designations such as small parcel, country residential agricultural, rural resource and single-detached, according to the municipality’s website.

Coun. Will Geselbracht acknowledged that there are secondary suites in Lantzville that have gone unregulated for years but said he hasn’t heard of any complaints regarding them.

“I think most people subscribe to the good neighbourhood policy of keeping the cars off the highway, off the driving paths of other neighbours’ properties, of keeping the noise levels down,” he said.

Geselbracht called the proposed policy “well-reasoned” and thoughtful.

“It doesn’t come down with the hammer,” he said. “It’s more of a velvet glove that we’ve got three different categories of suites. We’ll have suites that are here and they can stay here as long as there’s no complaints about them.”

Coun. Jamie Wilson said there is new development coming in Lantzville and it is likely that some of those properties will have secondary suites. He also said the district could benefit from having secondary suites in new development due to assessed property values. Wilson also said he doubts that Lantzville will see subdivisions filled with secondary suites.

Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain said he couldn’t support the policy at this time but felt it was a great start. He said many residents in Lantzville want to see regulation around secondary suites but council isn’t involving them in that process.

“We’re not allowing them to have a voice or inviting them into the process of developing this regulation,” he said. “I don’t know if all people are going to be terribly happy about carriage houses.”

Swain and Savage were the only two members of council to vote against the policy. 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help them find a 16-year-old who has been missing since Sunday. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: 16-year-old Nanaimo boy located safe

Teen had been reported missing last week and it was thought he may have left town

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to make its operations more efficient as it works on long-term goals around carbon-neutrality. (PQB News file photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo works to become carbon neutral by 2032

RDN committee of the whole members endorse plan developed by consultant

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Nanaimo singer Victoria Vaughn recently released an EP with local producer Austin Penner. (Photo courtesy Taylor Murray)
Nanaimo singer and recent VIU grad releases EP about becoming an adult

Victoria Vaughn’s ‘Growing Pains’ recorded with local producer Austin Penner

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

The Nanaimo Clippers are seeking assistance in raising money for Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. Texting NANKIDS to 41010 will see a $10 donation to the food bank. (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo Clippers look to assist food bank with fundraising goal

People can text-to-donate to support Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank

Polystyrene has been outlawed as a take-out option for restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Black Press Media file photo)
Styrofoam done as a takeout option on Island’s Pacific Rim

Tofino and Ucluelet ban polystyrene take-out containers

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

This photo shows crews battling the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Six fortunate to escape terrifying early-morning fire in Greater Victoria

Damage to the duplex extensive with one resident said to be ‘catatonic’ after escaping building

Most Read