Garden suites a go

Victoria city council makes policy official

Nobody turned up to speak at a public hearing into the City of Victoria’s garden suite policy last week.

Council voted to make the pilot project official.

While the detached suites have spurred little controversy, some people did write letters opposing the policy.

Those concerned, for example, suggested we would be ruining residential green space, but the reality is your site coverage can’t be any more than is currently allowed under existing zoning,” Coun. John Luton told the News in an email.

Others have complained the suites, located in the backyard, could erode neighbours’ privacy or sunshine. Council, however, will examine each application on a case-by-case basis to ensure it’s a good fit in the neighbourhood before granting a rezoning.

To date, only one garden suite has been approved but it is not yet built.

“I think it’s a good policy and one that gives us another tool to help create diversity, livability and affordability into the city,” continued Luton. “It’s not going to work on every property, and we don’t expect a rush of applications, but the city needs to evolve and providing housing opportunities for new generations of Victorians.”