Duncan approves secondary suites

After a lengthy process, Duncan city council formally approved secondary residential suites at its Dec. 16 meeting.

"It’s something that has been in the community plan for some time," Mayor Phil Kent pointed out. "We wanted to move forward carefully."

The bylaw amendment allows for secondary suites inside single-family residences and garden suites – free-standing buildings located behind primary dwellings. It both legalizes suites that are in place already and opens the door for new suites.

Secondary suites will improve affordability, Kent noted, and help the city increase density in its core. For homeowners, it will make mortgages easier to pay off, and seniors could benefit from being independent longer.

"It does provide an opportunity for many people to stay in their own homes," Kent said.

Council conducted a number of open houses to seek public input on the amendment. The top concern was the impact on parking in residential areas, which was addressed by the requirement of an onsite spot for each suite.