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Secondary suites provide an important form of affordable housing in the City of Grande Prairie that benefits both renters and homeowners.

What is a secondary suite? Basement Suite

A secondary suite, also known as a basement suite, is a separate living area contained within a single detached dwelling. It functions as a self-contained accessory living unit complete with a kitchen, bathroom and a bedroom area. It may share common space with the primary residence; for example, a laundry room.


Can my home contain a Secondary Suite?

Every suite application is reviewed in detail.  The following general regulations apply:  

  1. A secondary suite may only be located in a single detached dwelling
  2. The suite shall not exceed 40% of the gross floor area of the home or 80 square metres, whichever is less
  3. A secondary suite shall have a maximum of two (2) bedrooms.
  4. A secondary suite shall have a separate entrance from the entrance to the principal dwelling, either from a common indoor landing or directly from the exterior of the structure. The entrance to the secondary suite shall not open into a garage.
  5. A secondary suite may only be developed on a lot with:
  • a minimum lot width of 11 metres where rear lane access is provided or
  • a minimum lot width of 12.2 metres where no rear lane access is provided

A lot with a single detached dwelling shall only be permitted to have one (1) of the following:

  •     a Secondary Suite;
  •     a Garage Suite; or
  •     a Home Business

A secondary suite is not permitted to have a Home Business.

Secondary Suite Parking Requirements

  • One (1) on-site parking stall shall be provided for each bedroom contained in a secondary suite in addition to the two (2) parking stalls required for the principal dwelling
  • Parking stalls are required to be hard surfaced with asphalt, concrete, paving stone or similar material but not gravel.
  • Parking stalls for the secondary suite shall be available and maintained for the exclusive and unrestricted use of the occupant(s) of the secondary suite.
  • Locating secondary suite parking stalls in tandem with the parking stalls required for the principal dwelling is not permitted.  However, if multiple parking stalls are required for the secondary suite, these can be arranged in a tandem parking configuration.

Tandem Parking means a maximum of two parking spaces, one behind the other, with a common or shared point of access to a street or lane.

Parking stalls for the secondary suite shall not be located in a garage, or in tandem with the parking stalls in the garage unless the garage is divided with a wall and has two (2) separate overhead doors.  

block of houses

Secondary Suite Neighbourhood Distribution

A maximum of three (3) secondary suites and/or garage suites will be permitted within a 50m radius surrounding and including the proposed property, and no more than two (2) secondary suites or garage suites in a row will be permitted. radius1

How is the radius calculated?  

The 50m radius will be measured from any part of the property boundary.  All lots contained wholly or in part within the 50m radius will be included in this calculation.

Processing Your Application

Processing times for Development Permit applications depend on the type of development.  Provided the application is complete with all of the required information, most applications can be ready for release within two weeks. If a variance is required, the process may take longer.

Application Requirements

All applications for a secondary suite (as an addition to an existing structure) must contain the following to be considered a complete application:

  • A completed application form  Basement Suite Layout
  • Permit fee of $150.00 (in addition to a new dwelling permit and fee if applicable)
  • An Authorization Letter. If your name is not listed on the property’s land title, you require an authorization letter from the owner.
  • A copy of your Survey/Real Property Report with the Parking stalls for the secondary suite and principle building indicated (a parking stall is 2.7m x 5.8m)
  • A floor plan, showing the layout and total square footage of the proposed suite
  • A completed Addressing form

A fire inspection or building inspection is required depending on the age of the secondary suite.

  •  If the suite was existing prior to December 31, 2006 a fire inspection is required before a secondary suite is occupied.
  • If the suite was constructed after December 31, 2006 a building inspection is required before a secondary suite is occupied.


Fire Prevention information relating to Secondary Suites can be found by clicking - Secondary Suites

The Fire Prevention Department can be contacted by phone at 780-538-0393 or send an e-mail to

Building Permit information relating to Secondary suites can be found by clicking - Secondary Suites

The Inspection Services Department can be contacted by phone at 780-538-0421 or by email at



Development Permit Application fees must be paid at the time of application.

Secondary Suite……………………. $150.00  (in addition to the fee for a new detached dwelling when applicable)


Where an applicant wishes to cancel a development permit application, there will be no refund of the fees paid.

Where to Apply

In Person:

Planning & Development
9505 – 112 Street
Grande Prairie, Alberta
T8V 6H8

Office Hours: 8:30AM – 4:30PM, Monday to Friday

By Email:

Applications can be submitted electronically by emailing all required documentation to:  

For more information, call 780.538.0325


Click here to download the Secondary Suite brochure.

This is a general guide and has no legal status. It cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws and policies currently in effect. The City of Grande Prairie accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information.



Last updated: 7/4/2018 2:50:03 PM