Carriage houses new option

The City of Courtenay is giving residents a new opportunity to add a second residence on their property.

The City of Courtenay is giving residents a new opportunity to add a second residence on their property.

Council adopted an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment bylaw to include carriage house and accessory residential buildings in the duplex development permit area guidelines Monday and also adopted a zoning amendment bylaw to allow carriage homes on parcels greater than 1,250 square metres in the Residential Two (R-2) Zone.

“This bylaw expands the development permit area to include carriage houses and accessory residential uses,” senior planner Gina MacKay said during a public hearing earlier this month. “It was felt within the planning department that we didn’t have enough control over the form and character, and since we now have duplex guidelines, we thought it was only appropriate we expand that to include all accessory residential units.”

All properties in the R-2 zone can have only two residential units — such as a single-family dwelling, a duplex, a single-family dwelling with a suite or a single-family dwelling with an accessory residential unit.

Now, a carriage house — an additional dwelling unit that is an accessory to a single residential dwelling and has a total floor area of not more than 75 square metres — will be included in that zoning.

“We’re having a lot of inquiries from people who have property zoned as R-2 within the city of Courtenay who are interested in having a carriage house opportunity, as opposed to having a suite or an accessory residential building,” said MacKay.

“This interest is sparked, I think a lot of it is because of what we’ve done in the Old Orchard area. People recognize that there are some really great things going on down there and some really neat, creative ways to have an accessory residential unit without having a duplex, without having a suite.

“That’s something separate that really adds a lot of character to the existing neighbourhood. What we’ve done is we’ve expanded the R-2 zone to have the opportunity to have either a duplex plus a suite or a carriage house or an accessory residential unit.”

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