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Experts weigh in on backyard suites in Regina, resident input welcome

The City of Regina is seeking feedback from residents on backyard suites, and on proposed regulations associated with the affordable housing option in the city. Kael Donnelly / Global News

The City of Regina is currently doing some public engagement and testing proposed regulations for backyard suites – also known as laneway and garden suites.

Backyard suites are a type of secondary accommodation that may be permitted on a residential lot. The city says they offer a number of benefits including creating more housing choices, increasing affordability, property-sharing, potential rental income and also deliver on infill development goals and strategies in the City’s Official Community Plan.

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“Going back to 2013, city council approved 11 lots for this type of development,” said Ben Mario, acting manager of city planning. “In Harbour Landing, we approved a few more. In 2016, there were guidelines prepared by a consultant, we approved for infill locations two more that we legally approved.”

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Between 2013 and 2019, city council completed pilot projects which saw a total of 28 backyard suites built throughout the City in new and mature neighbourhoods.

Home developers such as Regina & Region Home Builders’ Association (RRHBA) are very supportive of an expanded role for backyard suites as they are described to provide significant community benefit.

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“They provide potential extra housing for external families … and for some, it can add extra income,” said Stu Niebergall, RRHBA president and CEO. “It allows for aging in place … and the increased property values as well.”

Currently, the City of Regina is seeking feedback from residents on proposed regulations to permit this type of housing in the city.

Residents are encouraged to share their input by Jan. 30 to help refine recommendations that will go to council for consideration in April. For more information, visit Regina.ca/backyardsuites to review the draft regulations.

Click to play video: 'Laneway Suites expanding'
Laneway Suites expanding

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