Saanich homeowners will now be able to add tiny dwellings to their backyards after the municipality approved garden suites this week.

“As housing in our region becomes increasingly difficult to find or afford, looking for ways to increase options is key,” said Mayor Fred Haynes in a statement.

Haynes added that the approval will provide more diverse rental housing in the District of Saanich.

The District says garden suites must meet the following criteria to be approved:

  • The lot must be in an RS zone
  • The lot must be in the Garden Suite Area (Sewer Service Area)
  • The lot must be a minimum size of 400 square metres
  • The lot must be a minimum width of 12 metres
  • The principal building on the lot must be a single-family dwelling
  • There cannot be a secondary suite on the property

The suite itself should be a detached, ground-oriented dwelling located in the read yard of a property.

Owners must live on the property, either in the main single-family dwelling or the garden suite.

Additionally, suites cannot be rented on a short-term basis (such as through AirBNB or as a Bed and Breakfast), and cannot be sold or strata-titled.

More information on the application process is available online at the District of Saanich website.