Cranbrook city hall. File photo.

City extends grace period for non-conforming secondary suites

Recognizing the growing need for affordable housing options, Council approved changes to the City of Cranbrook’s Secondary Suites Implementation policy during last week’s meeting, extending the grace period for non-conforming suites to become compliant within the next two years.

Those who come forward to begin this process will not have to pay building permit fees, development cost charges (DCCs) or utility fees on the secondary suite during the grace period. This fee waiver is for existing non-conforming secondary suites only, not for new builds that include a secondary suite, or additions or alterations to include a secondary suite.

Recent challenges in the City’s building market have seen construction labour shortages, limited supply and high costs of building materials create high costs for all renovations, including additions of secondary suites during the past two years of the grace period.

The City sees these factors as important, but not the only factor in the low uptake by property owners to date to bring their secondary suites into conformance.

This policy, first approved by Council in 2021, provides an approach to attract property owners to legalize existing non-conforming secondary suites where no previous building permits were in place. This is a significant effort to ensure existing suites meet the building code’s requirements and to ensure the health and safety of those living in them.

To begin legalizing your suite, an application for a building permit must be completed and submitted with detailed drawings and supporting documents to the City of Cranbrook Building Division.

A compliance inspection may be scheduled at the discretion of the Building Inspector to assist the applicants with their application process. For more about secondary suites, a copy of the Secondary Suites Implementation Policy including the necessary steps to legalize your suite and other important information, visit our Secondary Suites webpage at or call the Building and Bylaw Services office at 250-489-0207.