Secondary Suites Development Permits
A secondary suite is generally defined as any self-contained dwelling unit that is located within a primary dwelling unit, where both dwelling units are registered under the same land title. A dwelling unit means a self-contained building or a portion of a building usually containing cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities and used as a permanent residence by a household.
Where are secondary suites allowed?
Secondary suites are allowed on a discretionary basis in single family homes located in a R1, R1A, R2, R3 and C1 residential district. Secondary suites may be allowed as a permitted use subject to some location criteria, if the Neighbourhood Area Structure Plan was adopted after January 1, 2010. Each neighborhood is only allowed 15% of the total number of detached dwelling units to have secondary suites. You can use Web Map to ensure the neighborhood your suite is in has not reached this maximum. Refer to Using Web Map to determine secondary suites Instruction Manual (pdf) to learn how.
Regulations for secondary suites
- One suite per detached dwelling.
- Suites must have a separate entrance door or a single entry door providing access to an enclosed shared landing area.
- If the suite has two or less bedrooms, one additional parking space in addition to the parking requirements for the main dwelling must be provided. Tandem parking is allowed.
- If the suite has more than two bedrooms, two additional parking spaces in addition to the parking requirements for the main dwelling must be provided.
Who does the Building Code apply to?
All secondary suites must be constructed to the current edition of the Alberta Building Code standard, which include some of the following:
- room and unit separations
- separate heating and ventilation systems
- egress bedroom windows
- separate entrance
- habitable room height
- interconnected smoke alarms - Maintenance and Testing of Smoke Alarms - Secondary Suites (pdf)
- Secondary Suite Building Code Information (pdf)
To apply for a development permit for a secondary suite you will need:
- Development Permit - Secondary Suite (pdf)
- Basement or Secondary Suite Application Requirement List (pdf)
- Two site plans that include:
- Location of all parking stalls on the site
- Location of new parking to be constructed (if required)
- Location of sidewalks from the parking areas to the secondary suite entrance
- Two floor plans of the secondary suite
- Pictures of all 4 sides of the house
- Letter from the owner (if applicable)
You May also require the following permits:
- Building Permit Application (pdf)
- Electrical Permit Application form for Contractors (pdf)
- Gas Permit Application Form (pdf)
- Heating Permit Application Form (pdf)
- Plumbing Permit Application (pdf)
Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your secondary suite:
- A development permit is only the first step in the process of having an approved suite. Once the development permit has been approved, a building permit and other applicable permits are required to bring the suite up to the Alberta Building Code.
- Occupancy of a secondary suite is not permitted until a valid occupancy permit is approved and issued by the City of Red Deer.
For more information, call Inspections & Licensing at 403-342-8190 or visit us on the third floor of City Hall between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.