Carriage houses & Secondary suites

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Carriage houses and secondary suites are two types of additional residential dwellings, and they are regulated differently. Where zoning permits carriage houses and secondary suites, a property can have either one secondary suite or one carriage house in addition to a single-family dwelling. Both carriage houses and secondary suites require building permits.

Carriage House

A carriage house is a smaller, secondary house that can be used for guests or family, or as a long-term rental. Carriage houses are restricted in size and height relative to the main dwelling and can’t be subdivided or stratified.

What you need to know: 

A carriage house is only permitted on urban area properties located within the City’s Core Area that are zoned:

  • RU6 – Two Dwelling Housing
  • RU1 – Large Lot Housing
  • RU2 – Medium Lot Housing

A carriage house is only permitted on urban area properties located outside the City’s Core Area that are zoned:

  • RU6 – Two Dwelling Housing
  • RU1c – Large Lot Housing with Carriage House
  • RU2c – Medium Lot Housing with Carriage House

A carriage house is only permitted on rural area properties zoned:

  • RR1c - Rural Residential 1 with Carriage House
  • RR2c - Rural Residential 2 with Carriage House
  • RR3c – Rural Residential 3 with Carriage House

There are different development regulations such as floor area, site coverage, setbacks, and height, as well as development cost charges, depending on if you’re building a carriage house or a second principal dwelling.

Secondary Suites

A secondary suite is a self-contained dwelling, located within a single-family dwelling, that has its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom and living area. It must be inter-connected to the primary dwelling and is restricted in size based on the size of the principal dwelling.

What you need to know: 

All secondary suites must be registered with the City of Kelowna. Registration confirms that suites comply with the BC Building Code and Zoning Bylaw. Prior to allowing occupancy of a secondary suite, a building inspector will need to inspect the premise and grant occupancy.

Step one is to ensure that a secondary suite is allowed at your property – please review your property's zoning and then visit the Zoning Bylaw to review info for your zone. If unsure, you can call Development Services at 250-469-8960 to review with you over the phone.

Step two is to apply for a Secondary Suite Permit. Once you are ready to apply, you can do so online or in person at City Hall, second floor.

If you do not have plans of your home (required as part of your building permit) or you are unsure at what stage the City last inspected, you can apply for a Property Information Request.  This will allow City Staff to pull together a file for you of all permits attached to your property, this will also provide your zone and your future land use.  

If this suite is not allowed on this property per zoning, or you choose to not legalize the suite for other reasons you must apply to decommission your illegal suite – please visit Demolition/decommission | City of Kelowna for a bulletin outlining all steps required for a successful decommission. Permits of this type must be applied for in person at City Hall.

How to report: 

To report an unregistered/illegal carriage house or secondary suite, please call Bylaw Services at 250-469-8686

Need more information:

Development Services 
250-469-8500 (City Hall)

Community Planning

Bylaw Services 

Reference Bylaw:
City of Kelowna Zoning Bylaw

Other references and quick links: