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Proposed changes to Secondary Dwelling Unit bylaw by the City of Ottawa

  • Thu, July 08, 2021 8:21 PM
    Reply # 10738918 on 10680060

    Update on SDU bylaw:  After a significant lobbying effort from a broad group of interested people and organizations, including ORIEO, City council decided to send the proposed changes back to City Staff with direction to better consult with interested groups in the City before bringing an updated rewrite back to council in the fall.

    This means that we were successful in getting the more restrictive bylaw delayed, at the very least.  It also gives an opportunity to lobby our councilors and work with City Staff to, hopefully, draft a better bylaw.  And by better, I mean one that is more in line with the policy guidance from the Province on second units, which is to allow them to be comparable in size with the main units in each dwelling.

    If you are planning a project in the near future and a secondary dwelling unit is part of your plan, you should take advantage of the delay and get your building permits submitted asap!!

  • Mon, June 21, 2021 1:05 PM
    Message # 10680060

    Hi everyone,

    I've just had this brought to my attention and I think it may impact many people in OREIO.  The City is in the final stages of implementing changes to several bylaws, one of which is the SDU bylaw.  The proposed changes are summarized as:

    Section 133 (Secondary Dwelling Units)

    This amendment proposes to rewrite the Secondary Dwelling Units (SDU) section for greater clarity and ease of use, and for consistency with the recently-adopted provisions for coach houses in Section 142. The material changes from the current rules are as follows:


    Current SDU rules limit SDUs to a size proportional to the main dwelling unit. The current wording is problematic for several reasons (including clarity, as well as resolving inconsistencies with Planning Act regulations on size limits). The size of SDUs is proposed to be limited to 80 square metres in the urban area or 95 square metres in the rural area, except where located entirely within one storey of the building, in which case they may occupy the entire storey, to a maximum of 120 square metres. The 80 and 95 square metre limits are consistent with the floor area limits that have been set for coach houses.

    SDUs are proposed to be limited to a maximum of two bedrooms, similar to coach houses, to ensure the limits are consistent between SDUs and coach houses, and to ensure that SDUs remain secondary in nature.

    Excludes the garage or carport from the relevant floor area calculation, to better reflect the intent of ensuring that secondary dwelling units are secondary to the main unit.

    It is proposed to remove the prohibition on separate front-facing entrances in support of SDUs (currently in Section 133(9)), consistent with Zoning By-law and Official Plan direction that front-facing entrances are generally consistent with and do not detract from streetscape character. 

    Certain provisions with respect to parking for secondary dwelling units are redundant and are proposed to be removed, as they address circumstances that are more generally accounted for in other sections of the by-law.

    I've attached the file from the City to this post.

    I'd recommend that people get in touch with their city councilor and let them know that this is not a well formed or considered change...

    1 file

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