Proposed Bylaw No. 530

To view proposed Bylaw No. 530, related staff reports, and other information, please see the Salt Spring Island Projects page under the ‘Proposed Bylaw No. 530 – Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)’ section.

Project Updates

Process of Proposed Bylaw No. 530

Following a public hearing in August 2022, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SS LTC) requested staff to propose options to address concerns raised about proposed Bylaw No. 530. In April 2023, the SS LTC endorsed the current proposed bylaw through second reading. The proposed Bylaw No. 530 is now going through a formal referral and public engagement process.

As part of the public engagement process, Open Houses were held on June 6 and June 10, 2023.

Proposed Bylaw No. 530 Information

What is an ADU?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an age-old concept that involves incorporating a second, smaller dwelling unit on the same property or as an extension to an existing single-family home. Commonly known as secondary or in-law suites, granny flats, garden suites and carriage houses, ADUs have their own entrance, kitchen, living area, and bathroom. ADUs can be integrated or attached to a single-family home, or as a detached structure, or above a garage. ADUs address housing and provide a unique housing form created by individual homeowners; they can allow Islanders to house Islanders.

All small- and medium-sized BC communities (between 1,000 and 22,000 in population) have ADUs, according to BC Housing. Salt Spring Island already allows for secondary suites and full-time rental cottages in certain areas of the island.

Why do we need ADUs as a housing option?

The affordability, availability, and adequacy of rental accommodation is a significant concern for Salt Spring Island residents. A 2022 survey among residents conducted by Islands Trust Planning Services found that more than 80% of respondents indicated support of more secondary suites and additional housing options such as ADUs. The Housing Action Program survey can be found in the survey section of the Housing Action Program page.

ADUs can diversify housing options in the Salt Spring Island community and address:

  • Housing needs: to meet the needs of the workforce and other anticipated population trends, Salt Spring Island needs to add 302 units by 2025, primarily smaller unit types (i.e., studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom.
  • Smaller households: on Salt Spring Island, 73% of households consist of one to two people, reflecting the change in demographic trends. ADUs often have one or two bedrooms, adding housing for today’s smaller households and single dwellers.
  • Low supply of rental housing stock: vacancy rates for rental units on Salt Spring Island are very low, ADUs can help provide much-needed rental housing.
  • Cost pressures for renters: according to the latest census, 45% of renters on Salt Spring Island live in unaffordable housing and spend more than 30% of their income on housing. 35% of the population on Salt Spring Island are individuals aged 65 and older, and many are seeking alternative housing options to remain on the island. ADUs in many communities have been providing option for older residents “age in place.”
  • Creating safer homes: legal ADU construction reduces the risks for homeowners and renters and can provide access to better-quality housing

Who benefits from ADUs?

  • ADUs can diversify the range of housing types and provide much-needed housing for smaller households, single dwellers and the local workforce.
  • ADUs can provide housing to family members and caregivers to provide an ageing-in-place option for property owners.
  • ADUs can provide rental income and allow homeowners to qualify for grant programs
  • ADUs are environmentally friendly housing options, typically using less electricity, water, and other resources than single-detached homes, and they don’t require new land development

Proposed regulations to allow for ADUs

Currently, the Islands Trust permits secondary suites in selected zones and detached cottages on residential properties in a few zones. Proposed Bylaw No. 530 was developed to address Salt Spring Island’s housing needs and contains a series of amendments that, if adopted, would allow secondary suites attached to a primary dwelling or accessory building (i.e., garage or workshop) and detached ADUs (i.e. cottage or garden suite).

 ADU types permitted under the proposed bylaw include secondary suites, garage or lane suites, and garden suites.

The proposed bylaw expands ADU opportunities:

  • by permitting ADUs, secondary suites and cottages in more residential areas
  • by expanding the types of ADUs allowed, including allowing attached suites in more zones, and allowing suites within an accessory structure, such as a workshop or garage, or as a stand-alone structure

A map of the properties included in the Proposed Bylaw can be found here.

Proposed Bylaw No. 530 creates regulations for ADUs and ensures regulations relating to protecting water supply. The regulations include:

  • Only one ADU or secondary suite per lot
  • No subdivision of the ADU from the primary residence
  • No additional driveways for ADUs
  • Maximum floor area of ADU is 56 square metres on lots less than 1.2 hectares, 90 square metres on lots greater than 1.2 hectares
  • No ADUs within the community well-capture zones or a community water system
  • Short-term vacation rentals are not permitted in a residential zone
  • ADUs do not include recreational vehicles or accessory dwelling units on wheels

ADUs would require a building permit and must comply with siting and use regulations in Salt Spring Island Land Use Bylaw and other required permits, such as development permits.

 

How much housing could ADUs provide?

ADUs can play an important role in diversifying housing stock and help ensure that people of all ages, including older adults, have more choice in where and how they live on the island. ADU uptake in small- and medium-sized BC communities, including Salt Spring Island, is typically low. On average, less than 10% of detached homes in small- and medium-sized BC communities have an ADU. For the first two years, staff will monitor and report on the uptake of this bylaw.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If adopted and my property conforms to the requirements, what are the steps required to build an ADU?

A: A Building Permit from the CRD is required. Prior to issuance of an Occupancy Permit, CRD requires proof of an adequate supply of potable water and confirmation that the onsite wastewater disposal system meets provincial regulations.

Q: Who ensures that on-site sewage disposal systems are properly designed and installed?

A:  A Registered Onsite Wastewater Practitioner must certify that an onsite wastewater disposal system meets the requirements of the regulations. The certified plans are filed with Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Q: Will my neighbourhood look or feel different if ADUs are permitted?

A: This is a common concern when ADUs are introduced into a neighbourhood. The intent of the proposed regulations require on-site parking for the ADU and that setbacks and height restrictions conform to the regulations, ADUs have minimal effect on the look and feel of a neighbourhood.

Q: Can I have a tiny house as an ADU?

A: There are maximum size limits, but no minimum limits as proposed in the Bylaw 530.  All ADUs must comply with the BC Building Code.

Q: Will Bylaw 530 create more short-term vacation rental (STVR) on the island?

A: Short term vacation rental is not a permitted use in a residential zone per the Salt Spring Island Land Use Bylaw.

Q: Can I sell the ADU on my property?

A: Property containing ADUs cannot be separated through any form of subdivision.

Q: When will Bylaw 530 be approved?

A: Following a public hearing in August 2022, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SSI LTC) requested staff to propose options to address concerns raised about the proposed bylaw. In April, the SSI LTC endorsed the current Proposed Bylaw No. 530 through second reading. The Proposed Bylaw No. 530 is currently going through a formal referral and public engagement process.

Ganges Village Area Plan

An Area Plan to Help Meet Community Goals

The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee is working with residents, businesses, and First Nations to create a vision and plan for the future of Ganges (Shiya’hwt/SYOWT) Village.

Shiya’hwt/SYOWT are the names of this place used by the Hul’q’umi’num and SENĆOŦEN speaking peoples.

The new plan will be shaped by the hopes and insights of the community. It will guide future development and change in a way that supports the community’s social, economic, cultural, and environmental goals. It will support the Trust’s commitment to tackling the causes and impacts of climate change, and to reconciliation with First Nations, including the preservation of First Nations’ heritage.

The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee has engaged Ahne Studio to work with them and the Salt Spring Island Ganges Village Area Plan Task Force to host the community engagement process. Ahne Studio is an engagement planning consultancy rooted in participatory design, whose plans are co-created with the communities they consult.

 

Focus on First Nations and public engagement

With the conclusion of the Salt Spring Local Trust Committee’s work with Ahne Studio, at their May 17 meeting trustees expressed gratitude for the work by Ahne Studio, Trust staff, Task Force members and all the public that have participated so far.

 

The Ganges Gathers Engagement Summary PDF can be found here.

 

 

Public Engagement Activities Summary

Based on the Community Engagement Activities Overview by Ahne Studio the following activities have been completed:

  • Community Survey completed by 553 people.
  • Walking tours of the village to share insights and ideas on December 4.
  • Community Ideas Fair at the Public Library on December 5 for all-ages to share input in fun and creative ways.
  • Pop Up Kiosks from December 2 – 5 for passersby to share input in a fun and casual way.
  • Conversation Circle to engage those who have or are currently experiencing housing challenges as well as challenges related to additions, mental health and inadequate income and supports.
  • Virtual Sessions with community organizations that have specific interest, knowledge and/or influence/jurisdictions over topics that relate to the planning process.
  • Student Activities through self-directed, student-focused engagement exercises.

 

 

Background

At their meeting on October 6, 2020, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SSI LTC) directed staff to develop a Ganges Village Area Plan to ensure development occurs in a coordinated, sustainable, and resilient manner in order to address the issues impacting the social, economic, cultural, and environmental sustainability of Ganges Village.

On November 10, 2020, SSI LTC adopted resolutions to approve the Project Charter and its associated budget to launch the Ganges Village Area Plan planning process. A robust public engagement plan will be developed in accordance with the Ganges Village Area Plan Public Engagement Framework to ensure an effective and meaningful public engagement process. Due to the complex nature of developing an area plan and the plan’s potential impacts on land use planning for Ganges Village, the SSI LTC recommended the establishment of a task force encompassing members from diverse backgrounds that could offer a broad range of points of view from the community to assist in the process. The members on the task force will objectively apply their expertise, experience and knowledge of the subject matter as related to the development of the “Ganges Village Area Plan” process.

 

First Nations Engagement

The SSI LTC will seek to engage with First Nations with treaty and territorial interests in the Ganges Village area. Engagement will be reflective of the Trust Council adopted policy on First Nations Engagement Principles, and the foundation documents of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice. The engagement process will be guided by concerns or responses from First Nations on how to proceed in a mutually respectful and relationship building framework. “Dust & Bones” – a documentary on First Nations archeological significance can be found here.

 

Project Charter

The Project Charter is available here.

 

Public Engagement Framework

The Ganges Village Area Plan Public Engagement Framework incorporates the format and essential elements modeled after the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) best practices for public engagement. In addition, the proposed Ganges Village Area Plan Engagement Framework intends to comply with statutory requirements set forth in the Local Government Act, and the Island Trust Policy Statement on open, consultative and meaningful public participation process.

The Public Engagement Framework is available here.

The Public Engagement Plan is available here.

 

The Ganges Village Planning Task Force

The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee would like to thank the Ganges Village Planning Task Force members for their planning efforts on the Ganges Area Plan. The Task Force included the following members: David Dunnison, John Gauld, Bob MacKie, Jenny McClean, Martin Ogilvie, Robert Steinbach and Jennifer Maksymetz.

The Ganges Village Planning Task Force met on the third Thursday of every month in the past fourteen months to explore and discuss the planning options, and the public engagement process.

The Task Force also engaged in a two-day workshop facilitated by Ahne Studio. The summary of the workshop can be found here.

 

Next Steps

  • Research and analysis on existing conditions, and issues relating to land use development, transportation and mobility, housing, cultural and archeological protection, climate change resiliency, infrastructure servicing, and protection of aquifers and biodiversity.

To learn more about this work please visit the Salt Spring Island Projects page or contact Louisa Garbo, Island Planner: 250.537.9144, ssiinfo@islandstrust.bc.ca

Housing Action Program

The Housing Action Program intends to provide actions and measures to address the housing issues unique to Salt Spring Island. Actions proposed in the Project Charter include a number of actions, such as the potential for a major amendment to the Official Community Plan. The proposed Program intends to tackle a range of issues including, but not limited to, the affordability of housing, the types of housing options, and environmental sustainability as it relates to the locations, sizes, and designs of housing development. Issues such as water availability and the moratorium on new connections to the North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD) community water system, storm-water and sewer systems, active transportation infrastructure, innovative site and building design, arts and culture, and the archaeological significance will all be examined in the process. Furthermore, the existing policies within the OCP are outdated and no longer reflect the current housing conditions, as well as infrastructure servicing, transportation system, environmental conditions and other elements that impact the availability, affordability and diverse housing types on the island.

The current objectives within the OCP do not reflect Trust Council’s implementation of the First Nations Engagement Principles Policy, Trust Council’s Reconciliation Declaration, and Trust Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency. The Housing Action Program also proposes to explore amendments to the Land Use Bylaw to better promote affordable housing and sustainable development and potential development of incentives for pilot projects or sustainable site and building designs.

First Nations Engagement

The SSI LTC will seek to engage with First Nations with treaty and territorial interests on Salt Spring Island. Engagement will be reflective of the Trust Council adopted policy on First Nations Engagement Principles, and the foundation documents of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice. The engagement process will be guided by concerns or responses from First Nations on how to proceed in a mutually respectful and relationship building framework. “Dust & Bones” – a documentary on First Nations archeological significance can be found here.

Project Charter

The Project Charter is available here.

Salt Spring Local Trust Committee Initiatives:

Tiny Homes Pilot Project

Public Engagement Framework

The Housing Action Program Public Engagement Framework incorporates the format and essential elements modeled after the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) best practices for public engagement. In addition, the proposed Housing Action Program Engagement Framework intends to comply with statutory requirements outlined in the Local Government Act, the Island Trust Policy Statement on open, consultative public participation.

The Public Engagement Framework is available here.

The Public Engagement Plan is available here.

Public Engagement Activities

  • Monthly Task Force Summaries to the Salt Spring Local Trust Committee
  • Online/mail-in survey
  • Continuous update of this project page
  • Educational material
  • Conversation with a Planner
  • Open houses
  • Other in-person workshops post COVID

We Want to Hear From You!

Please consider adding your views in the following ways:

Conversation with a Planner

You are invited to chat with a planner and ask any questions you may have, share your concerns, and provide comments on the Housing Action Program project. Please review our Project Charter to see relevant topics you might like to discuss.

A planner is available to meet via Zoom every Thursday from 10:00 am – 11:00 am, and 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm throughout the duration of the project. In person meeting will become available later in the year, depending on COVID restrictions.

*Please note that the intent of these meetings is not to answer any specific questions relating to development review or the permitting process. This meeting is specifically set aside for public engagement on the Housing Action Program.

Please reserve a day and time by sending a message to ssiinfo@islandstrust.bc.ca

Survey

Initial feedback on housing needs on Salt Spring is found in the Phase I survey results here:

Addressing Housing Needs on Salt Spring Island

Housing Action Program Task Force

The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee appointed Maïkan (Forest) Bordeleau, Daniel Wood, Stanley J. Shapiro, Kerrie Proulx, Nejmah Guermoudi, Yvonne Saunders, Jessica Terezakis, Bryce Chapman, Rhonan Heitzmann and Freyja Skye to the Housing Action Program Task Force.

The Housing Action Program Task Force Terms of Reference is available here.

The Housing Action Program Task Force will meet on the first Thursday of every month at 10am. More information about the meetings can be found on the Salt Spring Island Projects page under folder 6. Other Information.

Initiatives of Housing Task Force:

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Land Use Bylaw amendment

Housing Facts and Figures

  • Salt Spring Island is the largest, most populated, and most visited of the Gulf Islands
  • The population grew by 10% between 2006 and 2016
  • The median age in 2016 was 55.4 years
  • There were 4,840 households in 2016, with an average household size of 2.1 persons per household
  • The median income on Salt Spring Island in 2015 was $59,077
  • Salt Spring Island’s Housing Stock is 81% single detached homes
  • 76 percent of households own their home
  • 24 percent of households rent

Background

The list below is not exhaustive

Community Housing Background Report & Recommendations (2005)

Island Trust Community Housing “Tool Kit” (2010)

Senior Housing Strategy (2010)

Affordable Housing Guide (2011)

Community Housing (final report -2016)

Housing Working Group Report (2020)

Baseline Report – Affordable Housing in the Islands Trust Area 2019

Capital Regional District Housing Needs Assessment – Salt Spring Island 2020

 

To learn more about this work please visit the Salt Spring Island Projects page or contact Louisa Garbo, Island Planner: 250.537.9144, ssiinfo@islandstrust.bc.ca