Armstrong council will get more information about the process of legalizing illegal secondary suites in the community. (File photo)

Illegal Armstrong suites to be discussed

Council to discuss ways to make non-conforming secondary suites legal to help with housing

The suite life will be a topic among Armstrong council at a future meeting.

Council passed a motion at a regular meeting in February to have staff bring back additional options for council to consider the legalization process for illegal secondary suites.

Community services manager Warren Smith told council Monday, March 22, that the city’s management team met to discuss a really large, comprehensive issue.

Smith said secondary suites are an important form of community housing.

“They provide needed rental housing, allow for multi-generational living, increase housing diversity, improve affordability for homeowners, and are a low-impact form of densification which make efficient use of existing housing stock and municipal infrastructure,” he said.

A comprehensive process, Smith said, must be undertaken with the intent to:

  • bring non-conforming suites into compliance;
  • increase affordable housing;
  • reduce costs where possible;
  • mitigate liability;
  • inform the community of the liabilities in operating a non-conforming suite;
  • understand the impacts of recent BC Building Code changes respecting secondary suites relative to City of Armstrong’s policies and bylaws;
  • improved online and communications materials;
  • identified opportunities that could encourage secondary suites;
  • provide recommendations for updates and new policies that will reduce barriers and increase opportunities for non-conforming secondary suites to legalize

Council unanimously directed staff to schedule a future Community of the Whole meeting to discuss the issue of illegal secondary suites.

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