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New zoning bylaws aimed at making it easier to build secondary suites in Edmonton

A photo taken at an Edmonton City Council meeting on Jan. 22, 2019.
A photo taken at an Edmonton City Council meeting on Jan. 22, 2019. Global News

Edmonton city councillors voted to approve a number of bylaw changes on Monday to make it easier for citizens to build secondary suites on their properties.

“Additional opportunities for garage and garden suites, along with strengthened design provisions and incentives for accessible units, support high-quality suites that meet a range of housing needs across all our neighbourhoods,” said Anne Stevenson, a senior planner with the city’s zoning bylaw team.

“Ensuring a range of housing choices is an important part of building our city and creating diverse, inclusive and complete communities.”

READ MORE: Edmonton to allow secondary rental suites in duplexes and townhomes

The changes approved on Monday include allowing garage and garden suites on properties of any size, including narrow lots, as well as increasing design flexibility through changes to floor-area regulations and “simplifying regulations to create a simpler application process for builders and neighbours.”

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The new rules also allow accessible suites to be built without a parking space and increase the cap on floor area for some second-storey suites at 60 square metres that had been capped at 50 metres before.

“Only suites in mature and established neighbourhoods that meet inclusive design standards (i.e. accessible suites) qualify for the increase from 50 to 60 square metres for their second storey,” said Karen Burgess, a spokesperson for the city. “This restriction does not apply to garden suites in developing areas, and all suites in developing areas qualify for a 60-square-metre second storey.

“The total floor area allowed for the entire garden or garage suite is 130 metres squared.”

The city said the changes will take effect immediately.

READ MORE: Edmonton testing out subdividing and selling backyard garden suites

Watch below: (From May 10, 2018) If a pilot project is successful, homeowners in Edmonton could be allowed to sell off part of their property – as a subdivided garden suite. Kim Smith explains.

Edmonton considers sale of subdivided garden suites
Edmonton considers sale of subdivided garden suites