Detached accessory suites

A Public Hearing for Detached Accessory Dwelling Units is planned for May 17, 2021.  Please see all the documents for the PH at this link.


Updated map of RS-6 zone (May 11, 2021) 


Maps of new DADU zones

Bylaw presented for First Reading to Council Feb 22, 2021.

On Monday, February 22, 2021 council received a bylaw for first reading that begins the process of legalizing Detached Accessory Dwelling Units in the Township. Read the staff report to council.

Public engagement results

The survey to gather public feedback on the proposed regulations and eligible locations for Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs)has been completed. Almost 500 responses were received over the 5 weeks of the survey as well as over 1,000 views of this webpage. Some of the findings of the survey are:

  • Eighty-four percent of respondents are very supportive or supportive of legalizing DADUs.
  • Sixty-three percent of respondents are very supportive or supportive of using Development Permits with form and character guidelines to regulate DADUs.
  • Support for 1 storey DADUs is about the same as that for 1.5 storey DADUs. 
  • Half the respondents are very supportive or supportive of the minimum lot size and location of the proposed eligible properites, however many respondents felt that all low density properties, including those zoned for duplexes, should be permitted a DADU as long as the maximum number of units on a property is capped at two.
  • Privacy and tree retention are the most important factors respondents would like Council to consider when creating development permit guidelines for DADUs in Esquimalt.
  • Most respondents feel that the Township should require an additional parking space for a DADU.
  • Forty four percent of respondents indicated they would like to build a DADU or may want to build a DADU in the future, usually for friends or family.
  • Read the survey results

On November 9, Council reviewed the results of the feedback and directed staff to prepare a zoning bylaw amendment for first reading in early 2021.

Detached accessory dwelling units– proposed policy and regulations

Detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs) or suites (otherwise known as garden suites, granny flats, laneway houses etc.) are currently not permitted in Esquimalt.  However, there is growing interest among the public in DADUs as a method of offsetting mortgage costs, providing a more affordable detached living option and for housing a family member. 

Council reviewed a staff proposal for legalizing DADUs and asked staff to conduct public engagement with residents about the proposed regulations and possible locations and designs of DADUs.  Once the public engagement is completed, Council will need to review and approve of any formal bylaw amendments before applications can be accepted. 

Staff report March 9, 2020

Attachment A: Minutes of the Special Committee of the Whole, October 3, 2017

Attachment B: Matrix of municipal Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations

Attachment C: Proposed zoning regulations

Attachment E: Proposed design guidelines

Highlights of the proposed regulations

The proposed regulations include requirements for the location, size and height of DADUs, as well as aspects of building design such as roof form, windows, lighting and landscaping.

Detached accessory dwelling units would be permitted on lots where ALL of the following conditions are met:

  • Currently zoned RS-1, RS-3 or RS-5;
  • The entire lot is located greater than 20 m from the Gorge Waterway or 10 m from the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
  • The lot is not a strata lot;
  • The lot is designated as low density residential on Schedule B of the Official Community Plan; and
  • Lot area is greater than 530 m2 ( 5700 ft2 ) OR greater than 475 m2 (5110 ft2) on a corner or with a double frontage (laneway).

DADUs would be permitted as an alternative to secondary suites (not both on the same property).

  • DADUs would only be permitted in the rear yard.
  • The maximum DADU size permitted would be 65 m2 (700 ft2).
  • The size of DADUs and other structures would also be limited by maximum lot coverage and setback regulations.
  • Design guidelines would guide building and site design.

For more information please contact:

Tricia deMacedo, Planner 2
Phone: 250-414-7114
Email: [email protected]