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City makes it easier to build granny suites

Will no longer have to rezone property to create second apartments for family members
Greater Sudbury has made it easier for families who want to create a second unit in their homes for older relatives. File photo.

Greater Sudbury has made it easier for families who want to create a second unit in their homes for older relatives.

In the past, families had to go to planning committee to get a temporary rezoning, which would have to be renewed every few years.

The city has now eliminated that step, although the units still have to meet building standards.

A second unit is defined as a self-contained unit consisting of a room or rooms in a single detached, semi-detached, rowhouse dwelling, street townhouse, or accessory buildings. The unit may be in any part of the house, not just the basement. A second unit has a separate means of entry, a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping facilities.

“Second units must still comply with building and fire codes, and zoning and property standards bylaws,” a news release from the city said Wednesday. “They must also go through the necessary building permit application and approval processes.”

Mayor Brian Bigger is quoted as saying in the release that the new policy will make more affordable housing available to the city's older citizens.

“Second units enhance the quality of life and place for residents by contributing to neighbourhood revitalization and diversification, and creating a greater mix of housing options across the city,” Bigger said. 

“The city is committed, through its official plan, to building a greater city for residents,” Jason Ferrigan, director of planning services for the City of Greater Sudbury, said in the release. 

“Creating a variety of housing options helps us meet the needs of current and future populations. With a simplified application and approval process, second units are now a more accessible option for homeowners.”

Second unit policies include certain conditions such as:

  • Restriction of one second unit per lot
  • Adequate servicing available (infrastructure)
  • Not being located on, or adjacent to, hazard lands
  • Not causing alterations to the main building exterior that would change the character of the existing neighbourhood
  • Meeting all applicable requirements of the zoning bylaw, building code, fire code and property standards bylaw
  • Only permitted in detached, semi-detached, street townhouses and row houses, and ancillary structures.

Zoning By-law amendments include:

  • No increase in lot coverage or building heights 
  • Minimum requirement of one parking space per unit.

A second unit is defined as a second dwelling unit (self-contained living quarters), located within a structure of an owner-occupied single family dwelling.

Visit for more information on second units.


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