Garden Suites

Garden Suites

Garden Suite

The City of Victoria has introduced a Garden Suite Policy.  A Garden Suite is  a detached legal suite located in the rear yard on property, with an Existing Land Use currently zoned with a Single Family Dwelling designation.   The existing residence cannot have an existing suite.  This may be a viable solution where the configuration of an existing residence is not structurally viable or practical.  The Garden Suite is a separate structure and equipped with sufficient amenities for inhabitant.  There are restrictions such as setbacks, site coverage, height as well as a number of other qualifying requirements.  Applications must be filed with the City for approval and is subject to the scrutiny and rigor of any building permit application.  The Design must have character, be a “high architectural quality” and to have a unique aesthetic expression or value.  This is a wonderful opportunity to relate the Garden Suite Architecture to the site as well as principle structure.  Modular and per-fabricated units will be considered, but must be retro fitted and suitable for the site.  All existing Landscape Site Elements  such as mature trees must be respected and  protected.  This may require a certified arborist report to be part of the application.  The Garden Suite must have connectivity with useable outdoor space with landscape asset.  A Rooftop outdoor space is prohibited.  However innovative solar panels, hot water heating, green roof technology, storm water and other green technology is deemed as a benefit.  Again, this is an opportunity to be creative and innovative with design and application.  The Garden Suite must fit into the “Landscape at Large” with out having any negative impacts on adjacent properties.  Properties identified with “Heritage” Designation are eligible and if the application is successful, the Suite will take on the designation as well.  A Heritage Alteration Permit is required in a situation where an Accessory Building exists on properties with Heritage Designation status.  Additional parking for the Garden suite is not required, but parking for the existing structure must be met.  There are some exceptions that apply.  All interested applicants should make further inquiries with the City of Victoria, Planning,  Engineering and Public Works Departments to determine eligibility.  Submissions are subject to a complete rezoning application and should have community support to be considered viable.    The Garden Suite is an opportunity when a conventional suite is not an option.  There is great opportunity to enhance a property when criteria is conducive with policy, and the intended use of the Garden Suite comply.  Is a Garden Suite right for your particular situation?

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