Saanich council explores changes to tenant limit bylaw

A bylaw that restricts the number of non-related tenants in a Saanich property will be reviewed by Saanich Staff.

Councillor Zac de Vries, along with Mayor Fred Haynes, presented the motion on Monday, which passed unanimously.  De Vries says the motion will direct Saanich Staff to explore changing the bylaw.

"Specifically at options around do we just need to increase the limit? Maybe increase it to seven? Or to six? Or do we have it respect the size of the house that's in consideration and have it correspond to bedrooms? Or do we lift the limit all together?  So they're going to explore those options and come back with implications."

He says if the implications are somehow devastating, then they will weigh their options carefully.

De Vries says he wants to see changes that will "unlock bedrooms, and provide more affordable housing".

He says although the motion passed unanimously, there were concerns raised at the meeting.  However, he believes they can be addressed in other ways.

"It was a mixed response, we heard concerns around noise, parking, and property maintenance.  Which a lot of council believes we can target more directly through other bylaws.  Like noise expression bylaws, property maintenance bylaws, and parking bylaws."

He adds that they want to create more available housing, and they will be open minded when the findings are presented to them.

De Vries says once staff have finished exploring options, they will report back to Council, who will host public hearings before any amendments can be made.

The bylaw came into focus after seven Uvic students were evicted from seven bedroom house, because the current rule states only four unrelated tenants are allowed to live under one roof.



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