Detached Garden Suites

Detached Garden Suites provide an important form of affordable housing in the City of Maple Ridge that benefits both renters and homeowners. A detached garden suite (or DGS) is not intended to be a second principal house on the one family lot but is rather meant to be detached, accessory and subordinate in nature to the main house.

What is New?

At the April 26, 2022 Council Workshop, Council received a report that presented eleven accessory dwelling unit (such as secondary suites) regulatory options that would support affordable housing options by expanding the rental stock in a community where infrastructure and amenities, such as schools, parks, and shopping/services, already exist. At this meeting, Council directed staff to bring forward a report that provides detailed information and description of the amendments for ten of the eleven recommendations. The ten recommendations are:

  1. Removal of the maximum and minimum gross floor area requirement for secondary suites 
  2. Development of ‘Alternate Compliance Methods for Alterations to Existing Buildings to Add a Secondary Suite’ in the BC Building Code 
  3. Options to potentially allowing secondary suites in all single-detached residential zones 
  4. Permitting secondary suites in ground-orientated duplexes and townhouses 
  5. Permitting secondary suites and detached garden suites on the same lot in the Agricultural Land Reserve 
  6. Allowing flexible siting of a detached garden suite on a lot 
  7. Removal of the minimum gross floor area requirement for detached garden suites 
  8. Permitting larger detached garden suites in specific residential zones 
  9. Permitting secondary suites and detached garden suites on the same lot in all residential zones 
  10. Development of program, for council consideration, that would create “pre-approved” building plan templates for detached garden suites

Council also directed that the current bylaw enforcement related to the issue of unregistered secondary suites be held in abeyance while the work to expand the secondary suites and detached garden suites program is underway. At this workshop meeting, Council directed staff to not bring forward a report with potential amendments to permit lock-off suites in apartments and stacked townhouses.

  • To read the April 26, 2022 Council Workshop Report, click HERE.
  • To watch the April 26, 2022 Council Workshop (starts 01:00:00), click HERE
Change in size requirements
On September 27, 2022, Council adopted Zone Amending Bylaw No. 7857-2022, removed the minimum gross floor area requirement for detached garden suites.  

  • To read the July 19, 2022 Committee of the Whole Report, click HERE.
  • To watch the July 19, 2022 Committee of the Whole meeting (starts 2:20:00), click HERE
  • To watch the July 26 Council Meeting (First & Second Reading) (starts 1:11:15) click HERE.
  • To watch the September 20 Public Hearing (starts 09:00) click HERE.
  • To watch the September 27 Council meeting (Third and Final Reading) (starts 03:09) click HERE.

Detached Garden Suite Regulations

All detached garden suite regulations can be found in the City of Maple Ridge Zoning Bylaw 7600-2019. The following information provides a summary of the regulations that apply to detached garden suites within Maple Ridge.

  • Detached garden suites are permitted in specific zones, please refer to the Zoning Bylaw.
  • One detached garden suite per lot is permitted and are not permitted on lots that are less than 557m2 in area. 
  • Detached garden suites must not more than 90m2 or 10% of the lot area (whichever is less).
  • One parking off-street parking space must be dedicated to the detached garden suite.
  • Detached garden suites must not be situated within the Floodplain Area
  • Detached garden suites must remain under the same legal title.
  • Detached garden suites must not be used for short-term/ vacation rentals.
  • Detached garden suites are not permitted where there is a Bed and Breakfast, Boarding, Secondary Suite, Temporary Residential, Caretaker Residential, or Two-Unit Residential on a lot.

Business Licence Requirements

A Business Licence is required if there are two rental units on the property. This means if the single detached home is being rented and there is a detached garden suite on the property that is also being rented, the property owner must have a business licence in order to rent both dwellings.

There is a business licence fee for rental units and there is a one-time Application Review Fee of $500. To obtain a Business Licence, please visit:

Thinking of Building a Detached Garden Suite?

Building permits are required for any new construction or renovation of a detached garden suite. A registered owner or authorized agent for the owner may apply for the building permit. For building permit application requirements, guides, and bulletins, please visit:

Work to Date

The review of current accessory dwelling unit programs (secondary suites and detached garden suites) has been underway since Fall 2017. Below are links to the most recent staff reports regarding secondary suites.

For more information on the “Detached Garden Suite Pilot Project”, please visit:

Looking for More Information?

Please feel free to contact the Planning Department by emailing the department or by phone at 604-467-7341 at any time with questions or comments about Detached Garden Suites.

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