Suite enforcement plan coming

Council mulls over how best to enforce secondary suites

  • Sep. 13, 2011 12:00 p.m.

By Matthew Peterson – Ladysmith Chronicle

The Town of Ladysmith is addressing how it will police in-house secondary suites.

During its implementation of the in-house suites, council had decided to try and relax some of the design standards for current in-house suites while making sure safety standards were followed.

Town staff have since discovered they do not have the authority to do so as the BC Building Code is a province-wide document and would need approval from the province. Any changes would have to be applied across B.C.

In a report to council, staff have said it is better for the town to approach it from an enforcement angle, handling complaints as they arise, or fit different priorities.

Highest priority is defined as a suite not meeting basic life-safety requirements.

Medium priority are new complaints received after the adoption of Bylaw 1774 (making in-home suites legal).

Lowest priority are complaints received before the adoption of the bylaw about newly constructed suites with a building permit. Attached to the same motion, council will direct that the building and plumbing bylaw be amended to waive building permit fees for five years for new work to an existing suite requiring a building permit.

And that council confirms that user fees (water, garbage, etc.) will be applied to a secondary suite.

Everything is subject to the adoption of Bylaw 1774.

A public hearing for secondary suites is planned for the Sept. 19 meeting.

Ladysmith Chronicle