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One of the applicants was asking to build a secondary suite in an existing shop

Council for the RM of Hanover is looking to make it easier for residents to build secondary residences on their properties.

Reeve Stan Toews says for many years secondary suites were not allowed by the province but those rules have been loosened. He notes they are becoming far more common in the RM of Hanover and council was presented with two more applications for conditional use permits at their last meeting.

"Council approved both of them and what these people asked for is parents to move on their kid's property. One chose to live in a mobile home and the other one, they already had an existing shop so they are just adding a suite for parents."

Toews notes council is looking to make changes to their zoning bylaw so that residents don’t need to jump through as many hoops to build these secondary suites.

Jeremy Neufeld is the Planning Manager for the RM of Hanover. He says the new zoning bylaw is still in the draft stage but there are some proposed changes to secondary suite regulations.

"Firstly, we are making secondary suites a permitted use rather than a conditional use. What that means is people will not have to come and ask for permission just to have a secondary suite. Certain zones will allow for it, certain zones won’t. If your zone allows for it, it is just a matter of applying for it. We are also then changing the size limits associated with the secondary suites."

Neufeld notes under the current zoning bylaw, secondary suites are limited to 800 square feet or 40% of the primary dwelling, whereas the proposed changes would increase the maximum floor space to 1,200 square feet while still having a smaller footprint than the primary residence.

Toews says if these changes are adopted, neither of the two suites that were just approved would have needed to come to council in the first place.


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