Detached Garden Suites
Detached Garden Suites provide an important form of affordable housing in the City of Maple Ridge that benefits both renters and homeowners. A detached garden suite (or DGS) is not intended to be a second principal house on the one family lot but is rather meant to be detached, accessory and subordinate in nature to the main house.
What is New?At the April 26, 2022 Council Workshop, Council received a report that presented eleven accessory dwelling unit (such as secondary suites) regulatory options that would support affordable housing options by expanding the rental stock in a community where infrastructure and amenities, such as schools, parks, and shopping/services, already exist. At this meeting, Council directed staff to bring forward a report that provides detailed information and description of the amendments for ten of the eleven recommendations. The ten recommendations are:
- Removal of the maximum and minimum gross floor area requirement for secondary suites
- Development of ‘Alternate Compliance Methods for Alterations to Existing Buildings to Add a Secondary Suite’ in the BC Building Code
- Options to potentially allowing secondary suites in all single-detached residential zones
- Permitting secondary suites in ground-orientated duplexes and townhouses
- Permitting secondary suites and detached garden suites on the same lot in the Agricultural Land Reserve
- Allowing flexible siting of a detached garden suite on a lot
- Removal of the minimum gross floor area requirement for detached garden suites
- Permitting larger detached garden suites in specific residential zones
- Permitting secondary suites and detached garden suites on the same lot in all residential zones
- Development of program, for council consideration, that would create “pre-approved” building plan templates for detached garden suites
Council also directed that the current bylaw enforcement related to the issue of unregistered secondary suites be held in abeyance while the work to expand the secondary suites and detached garden suites program is underway. At this workshop meeting, Council directed staff to not bring forward a report with potential amendments to permit lock-off suites in apartments and stacked townhouses.
- To read the April 26, 2022 Council Workshop Report, click HERE.
- To watch the April 26, 2022 Council Workshop (starts 01:00:00), click HERE.
On September 27, 2022, Council adopted Zone Amending Bylaw No. 7857-2022, removed the minimum gross floor area requirement for detached garden suites.
- To read the July 19, 2022 Committee of the Whole Report, click HERE.
- To watch the July 19, 2022 Committee of the Whole meeting (starts 2:20:00), click HERE.
- To watch the July 26 Council Meeting (First & Second Reading) (starts 1:11:15) click HERE.
- To watch the September 20 Public Hearing (starts 09:00) click HERE.
- To watch the September 27 Council meeting (Third and Final Reading) (starts 03:09) click HERE.
Detached Garden Suite Regulations
All detached garden suite regulations can be found in the City of Maple Ridge Zoning Bylaw 7600-2019. The following information provides a summary of the regulations that apply to detached garden suites within Maple Ridge.
- Detached garden suites are permitted in specific zones, please refer to the Zoning Bylaw.
- One detached garden suite per lot is permitted and are not permitted on lots that are less than 557m2 in area.
- Detached garden suites must not more than 90m2 or 10% of the lot area (whichever is less).
- One parking off-street parking space must be dedicated to the detached garden suite.
- Detached garden suites must not be situated within the Floodplain Area
- Detached garden suites must remain under the same legal title.
- Detached garden suites must not be used for short-term/ vacation rentals.
- Detached garden suites are not permitted where there is a Bed and Breakfast, Boarding, Secondary Suite, Temporary Residential, Caretaker Residential, or Two-Unit Residential on a lot.
Business Licence RequirementsA Business Licence is required if there are two rental units on the property. This means if the single detached home is being rented and there is a detached garden suite on the property that is also being rented, the property owner must have a business licence in order to rent both dwellings.
There is a business licence fee for rental units and there is a one-time Application Review Fee of $500. To obtain a Business Licence, please visit: https://www.mapleridge.ca/191/Business-Licensing
Thinking of Building a Detached Garden Suite?
Building permits are required for any new construction or renovation of a detached garden suite. A registered owner or authorized agent for the owner may apply for the building permit. For building permit application requirements, guides, and bulletins, please visit: https://www.mapleridge.ca/184/Building
Work to Date
The review of current accessory dwelling unit programs (secondary suites and detached garden suites) has been underway since Fall 2017. Below are links to the most recent staff reports regarding secondary suites.
- October 3, 2017 - Council Workshop - Report (PDF)
- February 6, 2018 - Council Workshop - Public Consultation Summary Report (PDF)
- May 1, 2018 - Council Workshop meeting report (PDF). Council endorsed a DGS Pilot Project process and timeline.
- June 19, 2018 - Council Workshop meeting report (PDF). A Look-Book conceptual document (PDF) was prepared for four properties participating in the DGS Pilot Project.
- June 26, 2018 - Council Meeting report (PDF). The report presents four Zone Amending Bylaws for four DGS Pilot Project participants.
- November 27, 2018 - Council Meeting report (PDF). Council granted final readings of the Zoning Bylaw Amendments and Housing Agreement bylaws to the following two Phase 1 Pilot Project participant properties
- January 14, 2019 - a report entitled, Detached Garden Suites (DGS) Pilot Project – Phase 2, was presented at Council Workshop and the following resolution was passed: that staff be directed to not proceed with phase 2 of the DGS Pilot Project.
- June 25, 2019 - Council Workshop Agenda/Report
- September 17, 2019 - Council Workshop Agenda/Report
- April 14, 2020 – Council Workshop - Pilot Project Outcomes Report Agenda/Report
- July 14, 2020 - Council Workshop Agenda/Report
- November 17, 2020 - Committee of the Whole (CoW) Agenda/Report
- November 24, 2020 - Regular Council (First and Second Reading) Agenda/Report
- January 19, 2021 - Public Hearing Agenda/Report
- January 26, 2021 - Regular Council (Third and Adoption Reading to remove owner occupancy requirement) Property owners no longer have to live on the property that has the secondary suite. However, properties that have two rentals on the property are required to hold a valid Business Licence in order to lawfully rent out both dwelling units. Agenda/Report
- April 26, 2022 - Workshop (Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulatory Options) Agenda/Report
- To see the recordings of each meeting, please visit the webpage link here
For more information on the “Detached Garden Suite Pilot Project”, please visit: https://www.mapleridge.ca/1887/Detached-Garden-Suite-Pilot-Project
Looking for More Information?Please feel free to contact the Planning Department by emailing the department or by phone at 604-467-7341 at any time with questions or comments about Detached Garden Suites.