The Okanagan is booming these days! Home to an incredibly fast paced tech-sector that continues to thrive, hours of sunshine and year round tourism, world-class golf courses and wineries…it is no wonder people want to call the Valley home. Not to mention housing that is much more affordable compared to Vancouver; it is easy to see why a substantial shortage of affordable housing has become our new norm. Today’s generation is spending far more time attending college and university and paying off student loans. Many millennials who wish to enter the housing market for the first time are renting a room from Mom and Dad, sharing space with multiple roommates or still living at home for free.
Carriage Homes: Potential Income for Your Property
A carriage home is the term used to describe a tinier house on one’s property that can be rented out, used as a guest house or provides lodging for family members. There are strict re-zoning requirements that have to be met and permits that must be approved by the City of Kelowna (or the Okanagan municipality you reside in) prior to construction commencing. Typically, these secondary dwellings or guest houses are restricted in height and size in relation to the principal dwelling. Carriage homes are unable to become stratified or subdivided. Properties that qualify may find this is a wonderful way to maximize your land and provide a supplementary secondary income or offer family and friends a space of their own.
Determining Zoning Requirements
As with any addition, paperwork must be approved and in place prior to starting any type of build or all of your hard work and dreams may be deemed illegal. Save yourself copious amounts of time and cash by ensuring you have all the facts in place. Conducting your own research is important; however, speaking with a City Official in person is often recommended. You wouldn’t want to misinterpret any zoning or permit requirements and be subject to tearing down all of your hard work. Family, friends and neighbours may all offer “helpful information,” however, the City of Kelowna in this instance has the final say and it is wise to get to know the planning and development department during this process to make sure you are working with current facts and figures. In the meantime, check out the online mapping system here to find out the current zoning status of your property.
Current Kelowna Carriage House Zoning
At this time, urban properties that permit a carriage home include properties that are zoned:
- *RU6 -Two Dwelling Housing or
- *RU1c-Large Lot Housing w/ Carriage House or
- *RU2c-Medium Lot Housing w/Carriage House
Rural properties may consider adding a carriage house if they are zoned:
- *RR1c-Rural Residential 1 w/ Carriage House or
- *RR2c-Rural Residential 2 w/ Carriage House or
- *RR3-Rural Residential 3 w/ Carriage House or
- *A1c-Agriculture 1 w/Carriage House
Of course, zoning requirements may change any time and it is essential to check with the City prior to starting any Carriage Home proposal.
Urban Planning Department: Your New Best Friend
Following the rules will save you tons of time and money. Imagine having a secondary dwelling on your property and how much value that will add to your overall investment. You’ll be helping the local housing crunch and providing your property with the means to enjoy extra income. The possibilities are endless and exciting. Carriage homes have been on the rise in our region for many positive reasons. If you think this might be beneficial to your property, it is definitely something worthwhile to consider.