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Brampton improving process to make second units safe, legal and livable 

BRAMPTON  — At its meeting today, Brampton Planning and Development Services Committee approved changes aimed at making the City’s second unit policies more flexible and efficient.

Since 2015, second units have been permitted in detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings in Brampton, subject to zoning requirements. In order to be legal, they must be registered with the City.

After careful monitoring of the program, the following changes will be made, pending City Council approval on June 7:

  • Parking – the width of a parking space will be reduced from 2.7m (8.8 feet) to 2.6m (8.5 feet). This maintains the requirement for three on-site parking spaces, but provides more opportunity to park two cars side by side on the driveway of detached and semi-detached houses.
  • Unit size – the second unit must be smaller than the principal dwelling. This replaces the current system of basing the second unit size on a percentage of the house’s size, and maintains the intent of having an “accessory” unit.
  • Registration process – building permit applications and registration applications will be submitted for review at the same time, improving the efficiency of the current two-step process.
    Above-grade side entrances – landings will be permitted for above-grade side entrances, as long as they don’t affect access to the rear yard.
  • Legal non-conforming (LNC) units – LNC units are those that have been recognized by the City as existing before November 16, 1995 and have continued to be used as a two-unit dwelling since that time. Since they don’t require zoning compliance, the initial $200 registration fee (which includes verifying zoning compliance) will be waived. A $200 refund will be processed for LNC units that have already applied for registration.

“Affordable housing is foundational to poverty reduction. In a growing city like Brampton, second units can provide an affordable housing option for many people – but not every house in Brampton can safely house a second unit,” said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. “We have listened to our residents, and these changes provide more flexibility while still ensuring these units are safe, legal and livable.”

The City’s one-time registration program ensures that second units meet all requirements under the Ontario Building Code or Fire Code, Electrical Safety Authority and Zoning By-law. Homeowners who do not register their second unit with the City may be subject to a fine of up to $25,000 for individuals or $50,000 for a corporation. For more information, visit www.brampton.ca/secondunits

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