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

What is a garage suite? house image

A garage suite is a self-contained accessory dwelling unit located in the same building as a Detached Garage that has an entrance separate from the vehicle entrance to the detached garage, either from a common indoor landing or directly from the exterior of the structure. A garage suite can only be located on the same site as a single detached dwelling.  (See also Secondary Suite.)

Can my property have a garage suite?

Garage suites are discretionary on single family lots. Although every suite application is reviewed in detail, the following general regulations will apply to all homes:

  • A garage suite may only be developed on a lot with a minimum lot width of 12.2 metres
  • Only one (1) garage suite may be developed in conjunction with a principal dwelling.
  • 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 garage suite shall have a maximum of two (2) bedrooms.
  • The floor area of a garage suite including mechanical rooms shall be no less than 30m2 and no more than the floor area of the garage.
  • The minimum distance between a detached garage containing a garage suite and the principal dwelling on the same site shall be 2.4m.
  •  The maximum height for a garage containing a garage suite is the maximum height allowed for a single detached dwelling in the district.
  • The minimum side yard for a garage containing a garage suite shall be:
    •  For that portion of a detached garage that contains a garage suite, the same as that for the principal dwelling;
    •  On a corner lot where a garage containing a garage suite abuts a flanking public roadway, other than a lane, the required side yard shall not be less than that provided for the principal structure.
  • No decks or balconies on garage suite roofs shall be allowed.
  • Windows contained within the garage suite portion of the detached garage shall be placed and sized such that they minimize overlooking into yards and windows of abutting properties through one (1) or more of the following:
    • Off-setting window placement to limit direct views of abutting rear or side yard amenity areas, or direct view into a garage suite window on an abutting site;
    •  Strategic placement of windows in conjunction with landscaping or the placement of other accessory buildings; and,
    •  Placing larger windows such as living room windows, to face a lane, a flanking road, or the larger of any side yard abutting another property
  • Where garage suites are discretionary within the applicable district, the Development Authority may exercise discretion in considering a garage suite having regard to:
    • Compatibility of the garage suite with the siting, grade elevations, height, roof slopes, building types and materials characteristic of surrounding low density ground-oriented housing and development;
    •  The effect on the privacy of adjacent properties; and
    •  Any policies or guidelines for garage suites contained in a Statutory Plan for the area.

Garage Suite Parking Requirements

  • One (1) on-site parking stall shall be provided for each bedroom contained in the garage suite in addition to the two (2) parking stall 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 garage suite shall be available for the exclusive and unrestricted use of the occupant(s) of the garage suite.
  • Locating garage 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 garage 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.

block of houses

Garage suite neighbourhood distribution

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

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.

Application Requirements

All applications for garage suites must contain the following to be considered a complete application:
  • A completed application formfloor plan image
  • Permit fee of $550.00 for a suite in an existing garage (garage suite + discretionary use)
  • Permit fee of $625.00 for a suite in a new accessory building  (garage suite + discretionary use + new accessory building)
  • 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 garage 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
  • Elevation Drawings
  • A completed Addressing form (in the garage suite application package)

You may also need to apply for a Building Permit.

For building permit information relating to Garage Suites, please contact Inspection Services at 780-538-0421 or by email at inspections@cityofgp.com.

Fees

Development Permit Application fees must be paid at the time of application.
Garage Suite……………………. $150.00
New Accessory Building .............$ 75.00  (when applicable)

Discretionary Use ......………......$400.00

Refunds

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: devpermits@cityofgp.com.

For more information, call 780-538-0325

 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: 3/7/2018 2:25:37 PM