Secondary Suites / Carriage Houses

The introduction of “secondary suites” and “carriage houses” as a permitted form of residential housing in a community is generally seen as an opportunity to:

  • diversify housing stock and add housing choice;

  • allow for greater privacy and independence for both the owner and the tenant;

  • create a more livable alternative to basement suites;

  • create potential accommodation for extended family or caregivers;

  • allow people to age in place and stay on their properties as their lifestyles change over time; and

  • expand rental housing options for young people, seniors and families while generating rental income for homeowners.

Currently, the Village of Keremeos only allows for “secondary suites” in the Agriculture (A) and Country Residential (CR) Zones and does not permit “carriage houses” in any zone.

In 2013, however, Council adopted a new Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaw for the Village which contains a number of supportive references to allowing “secondary suites” and “carriage houses” in a wider range of zones (i.e. “encourage economic development by allowing home owners to use portions of their home for… secondary suites”).

As part of the on-going implementation of the OCP Bylaw, the Village of Keremeos is now seeking feedback on the introduction of “secondary suites” and “carriage houses” into the Residential Zones (i.e. R1, R2, R3 and R4).  Please review the Zoning Map to determine which Residential Zone your property is currently designated.  Feedback forms can be downloaded by accessing the following link: Feedback Form.

Secondary Suites:

“Secondary suites” are seen to be an effective way in which to address affordable and rental housing objectives within a community.  Under the BC Building Code, a “secondary suite” must be comprised within the footprint of a principal dwelling unit, must be provided with its own external entrance and cannot exceed a floor area of 90 m2 or 40% of the floor area of the principal dwelling unit.

The Village of Keremeos Zoning Bylaw further requires that “secondary suites” be located within an existing single family dwelling, that no more than 1 “secondary suite” permitted per parcel, “secondary suites” must be connected to a community sewer system and must provide an additional vehicle parking space to the 2 spaces required by a single family dwelling.

Carriage Houses:

“Carriage houses” are dwelling units that are developed above a garage and, similar to “secondary suites”, must be provided with their own external entrance.

Due to the different character of “carriage houses” (i.e. being located on a second storey), they require a greater building height than what is currently contemplated for “accessory structures” in the R1, R2, R3 and R4 Zones.  This larger height requirement carries with it the potential to alter the existing character of a neighbourhood and impact adjacent properties through a loss of privacy or overshadowing, etc.

In those communities that have allowed “carriage houses”, maintaining the character of existing neighbourhoods has been an important consideration and has resulted in a specific set of building requirements for “carriage houses”, specifically, they should:

  • be subordinate in size to the principal residence on the property;

  • compliment but not replicate the principal residence;

  • respect the scale and built form of neighbouring properties; and

  • respect the privacy of adjacent neighbours by trying to minimize overlook and shadowing impacts.

In response to these considerations, it is proposed that a new set regulations accompany the possible introduction of “carriage houses” in the Residential Zones, specifically:

      Carriage Houses

      Where permitted in this bylaw, carriage houses must meet the following criteria:

  1. The total floor area occupied by the residential use must not exceed 90.0 metres2.
  2. The siting of carriage houses shall be in accordance with the principal structure setbacks specified in a zone.
  3. The residential use of carriage houses must be located within the second storey of an accessory building or structure.
  4. The maximum height of an accessory building or structure comprising a carriage house shall not exceed 7.5 metres.
  5. The carriage house cannot be subdivided from the building it is part of under the Strata Property Act.
  6. A carriage house shall be connected to the Village of Keremeos sanitary sewer system.
  7. One off-street parking space shall be provided for the exclusive use of the carriage house.