Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Development

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Project Overview

The City of Quesnel’s Housing Action Plan aims to create a thriving community by increasing population density in residential neighbourhoods. We can do this by promoting Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). ADUs include secondary suites, carriage houses, and secondary dwellings. In 2019, a Zoning Bylaw legalized ADUs in residential zones.

To promote ADUs, the City of Quesnel is waiving building permit fees for the construction and legalization of secondary suites until December 31, 2022.



Types of Accessory Dwelling Units


Secondary Dwelling



Secondary (basement) Suite


Carriage House


Current Engagement

We wish to understand the community’s awareness of opportunities for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and to determine steps that we can take to support the development of ADUs. To do this, we are inviting residents to complete a four-question survey by December 17, 2021.

Click here to answer the survey.

The City is also interested in learning more about your experiences with Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Quesnel. We have created a discussion forum for sharing these experiences. It will remain open until December 17, 2021.

Click the "Share your experiences" button below to enter the forum.


Project Overview

The City of Quesnel’s Housing Action Plan aims to create a thriving community by increasing population density in residential neighbourhoods. We can do this by promoting Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). ADUs include secondary suites, carriage houses, and secondary dwellings. In 2019, a Zoning Bylaw legalized ADUs in residential zones.

To promote ADUs, the City of Quesnel is waiving building permit fees for the construction and legalization of secondary suites until December 31, 2022.



Types of Accessory Dwelling Units


Secondary Dwelling



Secondary (basement) Suite


Carriage House


Current Engagement

We wish to understand the community’s awareness of opportunities for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and to determine steps that we can take to support the development of ADUs. To do this, we are inviting residents to complete a four-question survey by December 17, 2021.

Click here to answer the survey.

The City is also interested in learning more about your experiences with Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Quesnel. We have created a discussion forum for sharing these experiences. It will remain open until December 17, 2021.

Click the "Share your experiences" button below to enter the forum.


Ask a question about Accessory Dwelling Units

Do you have questions about Accessory Dwelling Units? Enter a question here, and we will respond within five business days. If we think your question may be of interest to others, we'll share your question and our response here.  

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    I hear that the City is going to be getting ADU plans to provide to property owners who want to create an ADu on their land. Will there be an opportunity to get accessible plans and/or environmentally friendly plans like passive house, LEED, or lower GHG emission building designs?

    LindsayB asked about 1 month ago

    The City has recently received a grant to design five complete plans for secondary dwellings and carriage houses. Four of the plans will be designed to meet the BC Energy Step Code 3, and one will meet Passive House Standards. The plans will also have options for accessibility features, such as wider door frames and walkways. We hope to release these plans near the end of 2022, in which residents will be able to purchase complete designs at a reasonable rate and benefit from a faster application review.

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    How do we ensure the units are properly managed - maintained, not let to criminals, ensure adequate parking. I agree with the objectives of densification and affordable housing.

    Celden asked 3 months ago

    There are several tools in place to ensure landlords are properly managing their rental properties and that properties, in general, do not become nuisances.

    1) Landlords are held responsible for maintaining the health, safety and housing standards under the Residential Tenancy Act

    2) All legal suites registered with the City must have been built with a building permit to ensure compliance with the BC Building Code

    3) In 2020, the City adopted the Minimum Rental Standards Bylaw to ensure residential rental properties meet basic health and safety parameters. If you believe a rental property is not being maintained to the standards set out, please contact the Building Department at 250-992-2111 or buildinginspection@quesnel.ca

    4) Any legal property with more than two residential rental properties must have a business license.

    5) To ensure adequate parking in these areas, the Zoning Bylaw requires that all properties with accessory dwellings have additional off-street parking to ensure tenants do not have to park on the street. 

    6) A common reason for people to want an accessory dwelling unit is to help prevent crime on their properties. An additional unit means that there is a greater probability of people being at home, which is a deterrent in many cases. This was one of the reasons we encouraged legalizing suites in our community. 

    New people are continuously moving into neighbourhoods to rent or own a home. As a municipality, we do not have the ability, nor should we try, to select who these people are. However, we try to ensure there are adequate tools to address issues causing disturbances and promote community harmony. The best way to ensure a safe neighbourhood is to create inclusivity by building relationships with your neighbours.  

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    Is this for families and people are paying themselves? Or is this another low income or street people type of accommodation? Also where are they located?

    Cyndie asked 4 months ago

    The term Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) is used to describe three permitted options for adding a second residential unit to a residential property with a principle dwelling unit.  There have been a number of common terms to refer to these type of residential units such as basement suites, above-garage suites, or granny flats – we utilize the terms secondary suite, carriage home, and accessory dwelling units. 

    ADU’s are developed by individual property owners and can be for everyone, such as families, couples, or individuals. Prices are usually set at market rates which are determined by the property owner(s) developing the ADU.  They are typically associated with a single-detached home,  though secondary suites may also be in conjunction with row houses, and duplexes.

    Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) help create a variety of housing options to add to the rental accommodation market.

Page last updated: 05 October 2021, 08:30