Secondary Suites

In Salmon Arm

Secondary suites are a type of dwelling unit which is accessory to the principal residence on a property, with the suite being an integral part of the residence and having at least one heated wall or floor in common. They are also referred to as basement, upper or lower suites. The urban residential policies of the City's Official Community Plan emphasize infilling, densification, housing diversity and affordability. It is acknowledged that secondary suites can help achieve these goals.

A secondary suite is only allowed on a property if the zoning of that property permits the secondary suite use. The following zones permit this use:

  • R-8 (Single Family / Secondary Suite Residential)
  • A-1 (Agriculture)
  • A-2 (Rural Holding)
  • A-3 (Small Holding)

To determine the zoning of a property, please review the Zoning Bylaw and associated maps. If your property falls within one of the urban residential areas of the City, it may be possible to rezone the property. For example, an owner could make a Zoning Amendment Application to the City to rezone a property from the R-1 (Single Family Residential) Zone to the R-8 (Single Family / Secondary Suite Residential) Zone. A link to the application form and guide is provided below.

Zoning Amendment Application Form and Guide (PDF)

In addition to having the correct zoning in place, there are a number of other Zoning Bylaw regulations and B.C. Building Code requirements for secondary suites. When a Building Permit application is made to the City to either convert an existing space to a secondary suite or to build a secondary suite as part of new residential construction, plans are reviewed to ensure B.C. Building Code requirements have been met. The link below provides additional information for convention secondary suites.

Information for Conventional Secondary Suites (PDF)

Proposed Detached Secondary Suites

The City is researching opportunities to promote new forms of secondary suites in Salmon Arm, sometimes referred to as carriage, coach or laneway houses. While current policies and regulations allow for consideration of the conventional secondary suites detailed above, the City is contemplating new Official Community Plan policies and land use regulations to permit stand-alone secondary suites that are detached from the principal residence. As part of this process the City is seeking feedback from various stakeholders, including the public.

The City will be holding a Public Open House on Monday, July 15, 2013 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Room 100 at City Hall. Background information and a survey are available below for those who wish to provide feedback. For more information, please contact the Development Services Department at 250.803.4021.

Public Survey – Online (Complete by July 22, 2013)
Public Survey – Paper Copy (Complete and return to City Hall by July 22, 2013)
Public Open House - Presentation Slides (PDF)
Information for Proposed Detached Secondary Suites (PDF)
Background Report (PDF) – July 2008
Background Report (PDF)– May 2013