Tiny houses, coach homes, garden suites proposed in Delta

Delta council, at its upcoming meeting on Monday (June 3), will consider preliminary approval for bylaw amendments to permit small-scale, multi-unit housing on any property that is currently zoned for single-detached or duplex dwellings.

The meeting starts at 5 p.m.at the North Delta Centre for the Arts.

The province, through one of its pieces of housing legislation, is requiring municipalities to update their zoning bylaws by June 30, to permit small-scale units on such lots, a move which could dramatically change the appearance of traditional single-family neighbourhoods.

Currently, Delta’s Official Community Plan (OCP) and zoning bylaw generally limits choices to single-detached homes, secondary suites, and in some cases coach homes or duplexes in areas designated and zoned for lower density. The regulations do not allow other forms of accessory dwelling units, except through rezoning and in most cases OCP amendments.

The provincial legislation will require municipalities to permit three-to-four units on single-detached lots, with up to six units on larger lots that are close to transit stops with frequent service.

Municipalities covered by the legislation may permit additional density, if desired, but cannot have bylaws that allow for fewer permitted units than the provincial legislation.

The province this year announced the release of its Small-Scale, Multi-Unit Housing Provincial Policy Manual with site standards to help local governments work with homebuilders to move forward with viable housing projects.

Delta’s zoning change also introduces proposed parking regulations of one space per unit for the properties, with no parking required for units below 355-square-feet in size or within 1,312 feet of a RapidBus station.

Meanwhile, the City of Delta, in a parallel process, is also planning other sweeping updates to its OCP.

The province has required all municipalities to have updated housing needs reports, which Delta has already undertaken as the basis for the city’s Housing Action Plan.

Housing needs assessments will become the basis for reviewing and updating each municipality’s OCP by Dec. 31, 2025.

Delta, which last fall was given a mandated housing target by the province, plans to also have final approval for the new OCP by the end of June.

Council gave preliminary approval for the OCP update in April.

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