Is Your Property a Good Fit for a Garden Suite?

Summary: 6 key property considerations when thinking about building a garden suite

Almost every residential lot in Edmonton can have a garden suite, however some properties are better suited than others. This article highlights a few things homeowners should consider when thinking about whether their property is a good fit for a garden suite.

For a variety of reasons, homeowners often mistakenly conclude that they are not allowed to build a garden suite on their lot. Here are a few misconceptions that we hear quite often:

Concern: “My property is not large enough for a suite”

There is actually no minimum lot size requirements in place limiting you from building a suite, so you are not limited by your property size.

Concern: "I don’t have a lane/alley"

You can still build a garden suite even if you don’t have a lane, however, it will be limited to a single storey (as opposed to 2 storey if your property backs onto a lane).

Concern: "I’m not on a corner lot"

You do not need to have a corner lot to build a garden suite. Under Edmonton’s old garden suite regulations, they were only allowed on corner lots, however, this has since been changed.

Ideal properties for garden suites will have the following characteristics:

  1. Zoned to permit garden suites

  2. Utility connections in the back (tie-in from the lane/alley)

  3. Good clearance from power lines and poles

  4. Lot coverage of the primary house isn’t more than 24%

  5. Relatively flat lot

  6. Good access to transit and local amenities

1. Zoning

The first thing to look at is your property’s zoning, which will tell you what can be built on your lot. If you are unsure what your lot is zoned as, you can check here. Ideally, you’ll want your property to have garden suites listed as a permitted use, as opposed to discretionary.

Garden suites are a permitted use in the following zones: RF1, RF2, RF3, RF4, RF5, RF6, RSL, RPL, RR, RMD, TSDR, TSLR, GLD, HVLD, GHLD, SLD.

Garden Suites are a discretionary use in the following zones: RA7, RA8, RA9, HDR, EETR, SRH.