Multiple Houses

Zoning Changes: City of Nanaimo Responds to Bill 44

Bill 44 – zoning changes

The Provincial Budget announced in April includes Bill 44-Small Scale Multi Unit Housing (SSMUH) initiative.  Municipalities in BC had to take action and announce their zoning bylaw changes by June 30, 2024.

On June 18, 2024 the City of Nanaimo’s response was announced.

What is Zoning?

Zoning refers to designations that are set out by a city or regional district that outline what is and isn’t allowed, including conditions for development and land use.  Previously, the bulk of Nanaimo’s residential zoning was R1 – this allowed for one single residential dwelling, or for two principal dwellings on certain corner lots.  R1 zoning has been changed to R5 for the most part; R5 allows for development of small scale multi family residential dwellings of up to 3-4 units.  Many homeowners can now add a secondary suite, and a carriage house.

Click here to check out this City of Nanaimo Zoning Map

Other Changes

Among the changes to zoning types, Nanaimo now recognizes suites in duplexes, row houses and townhouses.  Lot size restrictions for secondary suites are removed, and R5 zoning have decreased front yard setbacks.  Units zoned R14 Old City Low Density, allow for fourplexes, and have special density provisions if the integrity of existing homes are being retained.  For specific details and questions please contact the City of Nanaimo.

The Province’s action of SSMUH addresses the ongoing housing shortage being faced by British Columbians. With multiple programs available, homeowners should ensure they are aware of the tools and resources at their disposal.  The Secondary Suite Incentive is available for those who are building a suite in their principal residence.  This is a $40,000 forgivable loan that assists homeowners with the cost of renovations. The rental suite must be rented at below market rents for 5 years.  To find out what ‘below market rents’ means in your area, please click Here

Our May Blog Post has the basics on the Secondary Suite Initiative. 

For further details of the Suite Assistance Initiative, visit BC Housing Assistance – Suite Initiative.

Our team is here to answer any questions you have. We will help determine the options for turning equity into cashflow. Call us 250-753-2242.