Garden Suites – Coach Houses

Garden Suites were adopted into the Town of Gibsons Zoning Bylaw on April 7, 2015. This page provides some information about Garden Suites and the process to construct them. Detailed information is provided in the Garden Suites Guide.

What are Garden Suites?

Commonly referred to as coach houses or laneway homes, Garden Suites are small detached dwelling units that are usually found at the rear of a property. Garden Suites are primarily rental suites and can come in a variety of forms. Garden suites are usually accessed through a lane.

Why Garden Suites?

Garden Suites use existing infrastructure, providing a sustainable and economical way to increase and diversify the rental housing stock. They provide housing for a variety of people, including those who would like to downsize, relatives of homeowners, aging parents and renters who would like a detached dwelling rather than a condo or basement suite. Rental income also provides a “mortgage helper” for homeowners.

Is there a specific area that Garden Suites are allowed?

Yes. Garden Suites are only allowed in some areas of the Town of Gibsons. This is due to the prevalence of laneways in some areas of the town and the direction of the Official Community Plan. View the map of designated areas here.

What is the process to develop a Garden Suite?

Firstly you must be in the Garden Suite Designated Area to be able to build a Garden Suite. Once you have confirmed this there is a two-step process to developing a Garden Suite:

1. Apply for a Development Permit for Form and Character

An application to development a Garden should be submitted to the Town. The application will show the proposed design, form and character in response to the Official Community Plan’s design guidelines for Garden Suites. The proposal will need to address the setbacks and height requirements for Garden Suites as outlined in the Zoning Bylaw.

Once the application is complete, the proposal will go to the Advisory Planning Commission (APC), a group of volunteers that meet each month, to assess if the design fits with the guidelines.

The APC sends their recommendations to Council, who will ultimately decide to issue the Development Permit.

2. Building Permit

If a Development Permit is issued, the applicant can now apply for a Building Permit and begin construction.
OCP Development Permit Guidelines for Garden Suites
Can I build a Garden Suite?
Need more information?

If you have a question regarding Garden Suites please contact the Planning Department on 604-886-2274 send an email with “Garden Suites” in the subject line.