On Monday Edmonton city council unanimously voted to approve changes to zoning bylaws allowing suites in semi-detached, duplex and row housing. There is no longer a minimum lot size requirement for secondary suites, which opens up the opportunity to add suites on smaller lots. They also loosened restrictions on the size and location of secondary suites, relative to the primary dwelling. All secondary suites must have one off-street parking space on the property unless the home is in an area with access to high-frequency transit, including 600m from LRT or transit centres, and 150m from transit avenues. One of the benefits of these changes is that many suites that currently exist illegally in semi-detached homes around the city can be legalized. In order to encourage homeowners with currently unpermitted secondary suites to bring these developments into compliance, the double fee penalty (one for a penalty) will be waived for secondary suite application brought forward voluntarily by homeowners for one year following the passage of the proposed amendments. The city expects the changes will create 500 new legal suites in duplex homes, 600 in row-houses and about 550 in homes on small lots around the city. Legal suites can help buyers afford to buy homes and pay off mortgages faster. Investors can increase rental income by adding suites, and renters will have access to more, safer suites for rent around the city. Administration will also offer Cornerstone Grants for affordable suites, which can cover half the cost of developing a secondary suite to a maximum of $20,000. I don't know any other details about this program at this time but expect to find some in the near future. Posted by Liv Real Estate on
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