Accessory Dwelling Review


The Regional District is currently in process of updating the regulations within the Okanagan Electoral Area Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Bylaws as they relate to "accessory dwellings". 

This includes allowing for accessory dwellings - also informally known as " carriage houses" - as a permitted use in certain low density residential zones (i.e. RS1, RS2, etc.) and Small Holdings (i.e. SH) zones, subject to certain regulations.

Communities that have introduced accessory dwellings as a permitted form of residential dwelling type have generally seen this as an opportunity to:

  • diversify housing stock and add housing choice;

  • allow for greater privacy and independence for both the owner and the tenant;

  • create a more liveable alternative to basement suites;

  • create potential accommodation for extended family or caregivers;

  • allow people to age in place and stay on their properties as their lifestyles change over time; and

  • expand rental housing options for young people, seniors and families while generating rental income for homeowners.

In introducing accessory dwellings to greater range of zones, the Regional District is proposing, amongst other things, the following regulations:

  • density be limited to either one (1) secondary suite or one (1) accessory dwelling, but not both (i.e. if a principal dwelling has previously been developed with a secondary suite, an accessory dwelling would not be allowed).
  • an accessory dwelling will not be permitted on a parcel less than 1.0 ha in area unless connected to a community sewer system (as per Okanagan Basin Water Board direction).
  • the built form of an accessory dwelling comply with the regulations of the applicable zoning for maximum building height and setbacks applied to an accessory building or structure.
  • an accessory dwelling be provided dedicated on-site vehicle parking space and private amenity area of not less than 15.0 m2 in area.
  • the maximum floor area of an accessory dwelling not exceed 90.0 m2.

It is further being proposed, amongst other things, to introduce consistent regulations across the Okanagan Electoral Area Zoning Bylaws in relation to:

  • the definitions of "accessory dwelling", "amenity space", "floor area, gross", "floor area ratio" and "secondary suite".
  • the general regulations governing accessory dwellings in all zones (i.e. maximum floor area of 90.0 m2 unless a greater amount is specified in the applicable zoning of a property).
  • the general regulations governing "secondary suites" in all zones (i.e. on parcels less than 1.0 ha in area the secondary suite must be connected to the same septic system serving the principal dwelling unit).
  • clarifying the regulations regarding when an accessory structure may be considered part of a principal dwelling unit for the purposes of determining permitted building height, setbacks and uses.
  • allow the clustering of permitted accessory dwelling floor areas within a single structure on parcels in the Resource Area (RA), Agriculture (AG1, AG2 & AG3) and Large Holdings (LH1 & LH2) Zones based upon parcel size.

Amendment Bylaw Status: Adopted February 20, 2020

Draft DocumentsPublic ConsultationRegional District Board Consideration

Draft Amendment Bylaws:

Amendment Bylaw No. 2785
(version 2019-12-04)


Amendment Bylaw No. 2785
(annotated version - 2019-12-04)

Public Hearing:

Thursday, February 6, 2020

9:00 a.m.

101 Martin Street, Penticton

(RDOS Boardroom)


Feedback Form

Public Hearing Notice

Planning & Development Committee:

Administrative Report

Administrative Report - 1.0 ha Policy

Minutes (2019-03-07)


Bylaw Introduction (1st & 2nd reading):

Administrative Report



Minutes (2020-01-09)


Public Hearing:




3rd Reading:

Administrative Report


Minutes (2020-02-06)



Administrative Report

Minutes (2020-02-20)

Contact Us!

For additional information, or to submit comments, please contact:
Christopher Garrish 
Planning Manager