Detached Garden Suites
Detached Garden Suites (DGS) have been permitted in Maple Ridge since regulations were adopted in 2008 and continue to 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?
Larger Detached Garden Suites
At the October 24, 2023, Council adopted Zone Amending Bylaw No.7866-2022 to permit detached garden suites up to 140m2 (1,500 ft2) or 15% of the lot area, whichever is less, in the zones that already permit a detached garden suite outside of the Agricultural Land Reserve. Detached garden suites within the Agricultural Land Reserve have a maximum gross floor area of 90m2. Prior to adoption, the topic was discussed at the July 11, 2023 Workshop and the September 5, 2023, Committee of the Whole meeting.
- To read the July 11, 2023 Council Workshop Report, click HERE.
- To watch the July 11, 2023, Council Workshop (starts 1:41:18), click HERE.
- To read the September 5, 2023, Committee of the Whole, click HERE.
- To watch the September 5, Committee of the Whole (starts 00:24:00), 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 140m2or 15% of the lot area (whichever is less); unless the property is within the Agricultural Land Reserve.
- Detached garden suites within the Agricultural Land Reserve must not be more than 90m2 or 15% 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 (unless within the Agricultural Land Reserve), Temporary Residential, Caretaker Residential, or Two-Unit Residential on a lot.
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. To read the April 26, 2022, Workshop report, click here: Agenda/Report
Below are the ten recommendations moved by Council and the current progress on each item.
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
In progress. More information to come.
Options to potentially allow secondary suites in all single-detached residential zones
In progress. More information to come.
Permitting secondary suites in ground-orientated duplexes and townhouses
In progress (duplex only). More information to come.
Permitting secondary suites and detached garden suites on the same lot in the Agricultural Land Reserve
|Completed. Zone Amending Bylaw No. 7929-2023 adopted June 27, 2023.|
Allowing flexible siting of a detached garden suite on a lot
More information to come in Q3 2023.
Removal of the minimum gross floor area requirement for detached garden suites
Permitting larger detached garden suites in specific residential zones
Bylaw No. 7866-2022 adopted October 24, 2023.
Permitting secondary suites and detached garden suites on the same lot in all residential zones
More information to come in Q3 2023.
Development of program, for council consideration, that would create “pre-approved” building plan templates for detached garden suites
Subject to Council input, process to be initiated in Q4 2023.
Business Licence Requirements
A 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
If you have questions, please contact the Planning Department:
To Learn More About Past Work, Click on the Tabs Below
On June 27, 2023, Council adopted Zone Amending Bylaw No. 7929-2023, to permit secondary suites and detached garden suites on the same lot in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).
On September 27, 2022, Council adopted Zone Amending Bylaw No. 7857-2022, removed the minimum gross floor area requirement for detached garden suites.
At the January 26, 2021, Regular Council, Council adopted the bylaw 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. To view the bylaw, click here: Agenda/Report
To view past reports related to this topic, click the links below:
- July 14, 2020Agenda/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
Detached Garden Suites (DGS) have been permitted in Maple Ridge since regulations were adopted in 2008. A review of the DGS and Secondary Suites regulations was undertaken in the Fall of 2017 through a public consultation process that included a stakeholder workshop and an open house event. The public consultation outcomes were presented at the February 6, 2018 Council Workshop, wherein Council directed staff to provide information on pilot projects to:
- Allow a Secondary Suite and DGS on the same lot;
- Allow a DGS size to be a minimum of 20.3m2 (219 ft2); and
- Allow a DGS size to be up to 140m2 (1500 ft2) or 15% of the lot area, whichever is less.
A DGS Pilot Project scoping report was presented at Council Workshop on May 1, 2018, wherein the following resolution was passed:
That staff be directed to proceed with the Detached Garden Suite Pilot Project Process, outlined in the report titled, Detached Garden Suite Program Review: Pilot Project Process, dated May 1, 2018.
The primary aim of the DGS Pilot Project process was to have constructed examples of DGS units, in one or more of the Council endorsed configurations, and to invite Council and the public to tour the completed projects and provide further input as part of the DGS and Secondary Suite regulatory review.
Outcomes of Detached Garden Suite Pilot Project
On April 14, 2020, the outcomes of the Detached Garden Suite Pilot Project were present to Council at the Workshop meeting. From the outcomes of the DGS Pilot Project process, it is clear that larger DGS units are a very popular option within the community. The larger unit option was supported through the public consultation process in 2017, generated the majority of inquiries on the review process and the DGS Pilot Project, and also received the majority of support from the DGS tours survey. Helping to provide affordable housing for family members and keeping them close by is a very attractive option for many property owners. It has also been identified through the DGS regulatory review process that there are a few fixed-cost challenges in trying to reduce the cost of constructing a DGS unit, so that more property owners would choose this option for providing rental stock within the community.
Detached Garden Suite (DGS) Tours
The City of Maple Ridge held three DGS Pilot Project Tours on Wednesday February 19, 2020 (5:30PM – 7:30PM), Saturday February 22, 2020 (1:00PM – 3:00PM) and Sunday February 23, 2020 (1:00PM – 3:00PM). The tours showcased three DGS units: two were built under the DGS Pilot Project and one was built under the current DGS regulations. These tours were designed to:
- Raise awareness of the City’s DGS program,
- Provide an opportunity for Council and the community to tour two DGS pilot project units that were constructed as part of a DGS and Secondary Suite (SS) regulatory review, and
- Showcase successful projects within the community.
A copy of the materials from the DGS Pilot Project Tours can be found here:
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