Pre-approved Accessory Dwelling Designs will soon be available at Quesnel City Hall.
A presentation was made at last (Tuesday) night’s City Council meeting.
Five options were revealed, two for carriage houses that are built over an existing building like a shed or a garage, and three for independent units that are secondary dwellings on a property that are built from scratch.
Mayor Bob Simpson says they are an ideal way to tackle the housing crunch in a community like Quesnel.
“When you have a community like ours that hasn’t been a development community for a long, long time, it’s hard for us to attract developers on a large scale. The second challenge we have as a community is we don’t have a lot of land available for that large scale development, so your most efficient and effective way to expand your housing opportunities is on the current single family residential lot.”
Simpson says these options will save the homeowner a lot of time and money.
“We’ve had difficulty with citizens just walking in and saying I want to build another accessory unit on my property, how do I go about it ? And it’s starting from scratch. It’s getting designs and its getting designs approved, and it’s going through making sure it meets the BC building code, and making sure that they get a building permit etc.”
Simpson says they applied to the Northern Development Trust for a grant to come up with designs for the five options.
“So what we’ve done for homeowners is we’ve done all the pre-design work, we’ve done the thinking, they meet the building code requirements, one of them actually meets the highest level of the step code, so highly energy efficient. If people want to do an additional living unit on their property they can come in and say to staff here is my property, where can I build one of these things, can I build this particular model, and they’re done. They’re pre-approved and they can begin building almost right away.”
Simpson says the homeowner saves on all of the soft costs such as architect fees and structural engineering fees, and they also save on building permit fees.
The cost to build the independent units, according to the architect, ranges from 125 to 200 thousand dollars for a one bedroom and from 140 thousand to 220 for a two bedroom unit.
The net zero version for energy efficiency available for between 170 and 270 thousand dollars.