The City of Vernon is inviting the public to weigh in on a key part of its housing action plan: secondary suites.
For many years, the city has encouraged the development of secondary suites in the community. Secondary dwelling units can expand the community’s stock of rental housing, helping to meet the need for affordable housing by employees seeking jobs in Vernon, families and seniors.
Council endorsed a new housing action plan in September 2022, encouraging the creation of rental suites within single family homes, semi-detached dwellings and in detached carriage houses or secondary dwellings.
The city is now seeking input on this item of the plan.
Residents are invited to visit the Encouraging Secondary Suites in Our Community project page on engagevernon.ca and complete the survey, which is open until Friday, March 24.
A summary of the survey responses and draft bylaw amendments are expected to be presented to council in May.
The housing action plan has streamlined the secondary suite application and approval process while also reducing fees.
“Given that the secondary suite rental sector plays a very important role in meeting rental housing demand, the (housing action plan) calls for encouraging the creation of rental suites both within single family homes and in detached carriage houses or secondary dwellings,” reads the survey webpage.
The survey asks respondents whether they agree that the city should allow and encourage rental housing including secondary suites and dwellings across all of its neighbourhoods, as well as which housing types they would like to see secondary suites created in.
The survey also asks whether respondents agree that a way to encourage rental housing is to require less on-site parking for suites near public transit stops and walking and biking paths. It also asks what they think the maximum size for secondary dwellings should be.