Detached Garden Suite Pilot Project

Detached Garden Suites (DGS) have been permitted in Maple Ridge since regulations were adopted in 2008. A review of the DGS and Secondary Suites regulations was undertaken in the Fall of 2017 through a public consultation process that included a stakeholder workshop and an open house event. The public consultation outcomes were presented at the February 6, 2018 Council Workshop, wherein Council directed staff to provide information on pilot projects to:
  • Allow a Secondary Suite and DGS on the same lot;
  • Allow a DGS size to be a minimum of 20.3m2 (219 ft2); and
  • Allow a DGS size to be up to 140m2 (1500 ft2) or 15% of the lot area, whichever is less.
A DGS Pilot Project scoping report was presented at Council Workshop on May 1, 2018, wherein the following resolution was passed:

That staff be directed to proceed with the Detached Garden Suite Pilot Project Process, outlined in the report titled, Detached Garden Suite Program Review: Pilot Project Process, dated May 1, 2018.

The primary aim of the DGS Pilot Project process was to have constructed examples of DGS units, in one or more of the Council endorsed configurations, and to invite Council and the public to tour the completed projects and provide further input as part of the DGS and Secondary Suite regulatory review. 

Outcomes of Detached Garden Suite Pilot Project

On April 14, 2020, the outcomes of the Detached Garden Suite Pilot Project were present to Council at the Workshop meeting. From the outcomes of the DGS Pilot Project process, it is clear that larger DGS units are a very popular option within the community. The larger unit option was supported through the public consultation process in 2017, generated the majority of inquiries on the review process and the DGS Pilot Project, and also received the majority of support from the DGS tours survey. Helping to provide affordable housing for family members and keeping them close by is a very attractive option for many property owners. It has also been identified through the DGS regulatory review process that there are a few fixed-cost challenges in trying to reduce the cost of constructing a DGS unit, so that more property owners would choose this option for providing rental stock within the community.

To read the April 14, 2020 outcomes report of the Detached Garden Suite Pilot Project, click HERE.
To watch the April 14, 2020 Workshop meeting (starts at 01:00:00), click HERE

Detached Garden Suite (DGS) Tours

The City of Maple Ridge held three DGS Pilot Project Tours on Wednesday February 19, 2020 (5:30PM – 7:30PM), Saturday February 22, 2020 (1:00PM – 3:00PM) and Sunday February 23, 2020 (1:00PM – 3:00PM). The tours showcased three DGS units: two were built under the DGS Pilot Project and one was built under the current DGS regulations. These tours were designed to:

  • Raise awareness of the City’s DGS program,
  • Provide an opportunity for Council and the community to tour two DGS pilot project units that were constructed as part of a DGS and Secondary Suite (SS) regulatory review, and
  • Showcase successful projects within the community.
A survey was made available to registered attendees to invite their feedback on the DGS units on the tour. The information gathered through the survey and the tours will help inform Council’s consideration of the DGS Pilot Project and be included as part of the consultation summary. 

A copy of the materials from the DGS Pilot Project Tours can be found here:

Background Information on the DGS Pilot Project Process

The following reports and attachments provide background information on the DGS Pilot Project, which was initiated through a Council resolution at the February 6, 2018 Council Workshop Meeting.

Review of Secondary Suites and DGS programs

The DGS Pilot Project is part of a review to potentially expand the Zoning Bylaw regulations for Secondary Suites (SS) and DGSs. More information is available on the Accessory Dwelling Unit Review webpage.