Central Saanich Meeting on Housing - Monday May 29 at 6PM

Have you or someone you know considered converting part of your home to a suite?  Wondered why majority of homeowners do not apply for a building permit? Interesting in seeing the municipality update and align their bylaws with the current BC Building code?

On Monday May 29 6PM at the Central Saanich Municipal Hall council chambers as part of the housing discussion, topics will include how can we enable and encourage more home owners to apply for and build a secondary suite to help with the housing shortage.   One of the topics will be municipality alignment to the current BC Building code. 

Since the 2019 BC government changes to promote secondary suites there are now a much wider variety of designs, typologies and secondary suite configurations available for home owners to consider during their development planning. Attached 2019 BC Building code summary of changes are specific to removing barriers, accommodating and encouraging construction of Secondary Suites.


If you missed it here is a link to 2 recent newspaper article about a motion for the district to encourage more secondary suites…



There are numerous benefits and reasons why the municipality should make this a priority from providing workforce housing that reduces the employee commute carbon footprint to having multi-generational home options for grandchildren and aging parents.  If this is of interest, we encourage you to attend the Special (Open) Council meeting that will discuss future plans for Housing and Secondary Suites

The  Secondary Suites Task Force is to identify and remove barriers to facilitate an increase in secondary suites within Central Saanich. 


 The current Central Saanich bylaw regarding secondary suites needs to be updated (to the current provincial standard). There are many underground, non-conforming secondary suites within Central Saanich that would benefit by being made legitimate – safety inspection, parking regulations for neighbours and control of density and control of impact on local municipal infrastructure. Most landlords would prefer to have a legal suite and conform to all reasonable bylaws. Tenants would have the protection of proper regulations.  

 There are two main demographics who would benefit: 

  • Late middle-age (empty nesters) or seniors with extra space in their home and the need for additional income or for extended family support; 
  • Home owners with existing mortgages who need the additional income for a mortgage helper, especially in the context of increased interest rates and an increase in the cost of living (food and energy costs).  

  Terms of Reference 

 For the Central Saanich Community Association Secondary Suite Task Force (SSTF) to facilitate an increase in secondary suites in Central Saanich municipality, by identifying, reviewing and updating municipal bylaws, policies and procedures to align with the current provincial code, legislation and direction, in collaboration with Central Saanich Municipal Council. 


  • The SSTF is not an ongoing committee. The SSTF will be discontinued after recommendations are delivered to the CSCA board, after which the CSCA will present to council, likely by the spring of 2023.
  • The SSTF can meet as many times as needed, but should plan to meet at least once per month.
  • The SSTF makes 3-5 recommendations on specific deliverables to the CSCA board by February 2023. 


  • Gather research on other BC municipalities’ approach to secondary suites
  • Meet at least once per month until the SSTF is discontinued. 
  • Maintain the short-term orientation of the SSTF which reports to the CSCA.


Three members from the CSCA.   

CSCA Board: One representative from the CSCA board to serve as liaison to the Task Force.   


  • Produce a document that can share the secondary suite research with other municipalities 
  • Produce a SSTF Report to present to the CSCA Board
  • Produce a number of formal resolution options for CSCA to present to CS council 


The status quo in Central Saanich is not facilitating enough of an increase in secondary suites.  As a task force, we are looking for people who have a common interest in making the process of obtaining a permit and renovating for secondary suites easier, reasonable, and financially attainable.   

If you have experience with, or are considering, a secondary suite and would like to assist with improving how our municipality allows secondary suites, we would like to hear from you:   


Secondary Suite Task Force presentation to Mayor and council on May 29th

Central Saanich Community Association Letter

Oak Bay Secondary Suits Overview and Permitting Information

Central Saanich Building Permits for Secondary Suites - Numbers and Charts

Secondary Suite Bylaw Task Force – Resources:

      Resource Worksheet PDF Document

(Select the above link to a view or print the PDF Document with the resource information.)

January 20, 2023 CSCA correspondence to CS Council:

Please use the following link to view the PDF document of the letter sent to CS Council:

       Letter was sent to Mayor and Council Jan 20th

January 11, 2023 CSCA Monthly Meeting Presentation:

Attached proposal objective is to identify and remove barriers, and to identify incentives for recommended implementation, to facilitate an increase in secondary suites within Central Saanich (Select the below link to view or print this PDF Document):

     CSCA Secondary Suite Task Force – Proposal/Recommendation for CS Council

December 7, 2022 CSCA Monthly Meeting Presentation:

Attached proposal objective is to identify and remove barriers, and to identify incentives for recommended implementation, to facilitate an increase in secondary suites within Central Saanich (Select the below link to view or print this PDF Document):

    Secondary Suite Bylaw Task Force – Research Themes

Secondary Suite Trends – What is media saying?

Title/brief description Source Date link
Central Saanich council to consider easing restrictions on secondary suites Peninsula News Review 01-Jun-23 https://www.peninsulanewsreview.com/news/central-saanich-council-to-consider-easing-restrictions-on-secondary-suites/
Central Saanich to debate secondary suite policy changes Peninsula News Review 17-May-23 https://www.peninsulanewsreview.com/news/central-saanich-to-debate-secondary-suite-policy-changes/
CRD aims to ban recyclable wood and construction waste from landfill Peninsula News Review 03-May-23 https://www.peninsulanewsreview.com/news/crd-aims-to-ban-recyclable-wood-and-construction-waste-from-landfill/
Suite idea: What B.C.’s new housing plan means for Greater Victoria homeowners Peninsula News Review 17-Apr-23 https://www.peninsulanewsreview.com/marketplace/suite-idea-what-b-c-s-new-housing-plan-means-for-greater-victoria-homeowners/
Homes for People plan calls for more density, legalization of secondary suites and flipping tax Peninsula News Review 03-Apr-23 https://www.peninsulanewsreview.com/news/b-c-unveils-new-homes-for-people-plan-with-goal-of-108k-new-houses-apartment-units/
Colwood approves changes to ease restrictions on secondary suites Goldstream Gazette 24-Mar-23 https://www.goldstreamgazette.com/news/colwood-approves-changes-to-ease-restrictions-on-secondary-suites/
Central Saanich councillor makes pitch for district to encourage more secondary suites Peninsula News Review 08-Mar-23 https://www.peninsulanewsreview.com/news/central-saanich-councillor-makes-pitch-for-district-to-encourage-more-secondary-suites/
Colwood residents back relaxing secondary suite regulations at public hearing Goldstream Gazette 08-Mar-23 https://www.goldstreamgazette.com/news/colwood-residents-back-relaxing-secondary-suite-regulations-at-public-hearing/
Getting down to business on improving the economy Peninsula News Review 05-Mar-23 https://www.peninsulanewsreview.com/opinion/mla-report-getting-down-to-business-on-improving-the-economy/
Province announces ‘one-stop shop’ for homebuilding permits Times Colonist 16-Jan-23 https://www.timescolonist.com/local-news/province-announces-one-stop-shop-for-homebuilding-permits-6384624
The most impact as quickly as possible’: Victoria to consider motion on parking minimums, multi-unit dwellings Capital Daily 03-Jan-23 https://www.capitaldaily.ca/news/most-impact-quickly-as-possible-victoria-consider-motion-parking-minimums-multi-unit-dwellings
We’ve updated housing conversion regulations to make it easier to convert houses to multiple units. “Less red tape means more housing options for renters and owners” City of Victoria 03-Jan-23 https://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/residents/planning-development/development-services/house-conversions.html
New premier delivers action to expand housing supply within first days BC Gov News 21-Nov-22 https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022PREM0065-001745
Saanich Peninsula Chamber executive director fears region could start losing companies.
Al Smith says lack of housing threatens region’s economic future 
Peninsula News Review 08-May-22 https://www.peninsulanewsreview.com/news/saanich-peninsula-chamber-executive-director-fears-region-could-start-losing-companies/
Increase Density & Cut Red Tape, Housing Affordability Task Force Says Canadian Mortgage Trends 08-Feb-22 https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2022/02/increase-density-cut-red-tape-housing-affordability-task-force-says/
Aging in Place: smart solutions for the home you love Peninsula News Review 24-Mar-20 https://www.peninsulanewsreview.com/marketplace/aging-in-place-smart-solutions-for-the-home-you-love/
Homefinder: Do’s and don’ts for secondary suites Saanich news 07-Apr-16 https://www.saanichnews.com/business/homefinder-dos-and-donts-for-secondary-suites/