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Village to waive fees for legalizing non-conforming suites and Accessory Dwelling Units

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The Village of Cumberland is hoping to encourage homeowners to legalize non-conforming suites and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) through the waiving of building and plumbing fees for suite conversions from October 1, 2016 through to March 31, 2017.

The Village recently enacted a new Zoning Bylaw that allows for Accessory Dwelling Units (including coach and carriage houses) in specific zones within the municipality. Prior to the zoning bylaw coming into effect these units were not allowed within the Village. There are also buildings that were constructed in the Village that were not originally intended to be an Accessory Dwelling Unit, which can now be legally converted into an ADU (such as garages, garden studios).

“The Village is trying to put out incentives to encourage homeowners to come forward and legalize their non-conforming suites and accessory dwelling units,” said Mayor Leslie Baird. “We are trying to create as much safe and affordable housing as possible in the community, and hopefully this will help.”

All suites and ADUs that are to be brought into conformance will need to meet Equivalent Life Safety Standards, which are measures that could be taken to provide a level of safety equivalent to that outlined in the BC Building Code (BCBC) for secondary suites and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

To help provide information on the program, as well as information in regards to building new Accessory Dwelling Units in the Village, planning staff will be hosting an Accessory Dwelling Unit workshop from 6 to 8 pm on October 26, 2016 in Council Chambers located at 2675 Dunsmuir Avenue.

Interested homeowners are encouraged to contact the Village of Cumberland at 250-336-2291 for more information.

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