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Secondary Suites Background

2019 Secondary Suites Update

A public hearing was held on December 19, 2018 for Land Use Bylaw amendments to allow for Secondary Suites on residential parcels 2 acres and larger in the Foothills County.

Land Use Bylaw Amendments for Secondary Suites on Parcels 2 Acres or Larger - pdf

Council reviewed the material presented at the public hearing and requested some amendments to the Secondary suite provisions such as but not limited to:

  • Secondary suite, detached was removed;
  • Maximum size of a Secondary suite was amended;
  • Minimum size of a Secondary suite was added;
  • Rewording of dwelling density

January 30, 2019, Council gave one reading to the revised land use bylaw amendments for secondary suites on parcels 2 acres or larger.  (see attached).

It was noted that staff are to come back to Council with the full implementation plan for how secondary suites approvals will proceed prior to the bylaw going back for further readings.

Please note, only first reading has been granted at this time.  Changes may be made to the material prior to second and third reading.


January 10, 2018, Council passed a resolution authorizing staff to proceed with a public engagement process to see if the residents support legalizing Secondary Suites in the municipality.

In March 2018 we introduced the discussion on Secondary Suites with the residents through a series of three open houses and online engagement. 

  • The response to the March public engagement showed an overwhelming (96%) support for accommodating secondary suites in the municipality, 80% of those support them on parcels over 2 acres and larger in size.
  • A summary of “What we Heard” Spring 2018 can be  reviewed by clicking on the link below:

What We Heard - Spring 2018 Summary

We used the feedback received from our March public engagement to develop a process timeline and draft policy direction for secondary suites for parcels 2 acres in size and larger.


In June 2018, public engagement involving a series of four open houses and an online questionnaire was undertaken to provide the residents with the opportunity to review draft policy direction and the process for moving forward with approvals to allow Secondary Suites in the Municipality for parcels 2 acres or larger in size.


A complete summary of what we heard at the open houses in June 2018 and feedback obtained from the Secondary Suite survey is available.  See the “What We Heard June 2018” link below.

What we Heard June 2018 Summary


Feedback received from the June 2018 engagement will assist staff with draft policy development and inform Council's decisions on approvals for proposed policy and land use bylaw amendments pertaining to Secondary Suites.

Staff is currently developing draft policy and land use amendments for Secondary suites on parcel 2 acres and larger in size.  Council will review suggested amendments and direct staff on how to proceed.  A public hearing will be held to provide an opportunity for the public to further comment on the Land Use Bylaw amendments.  The date for this hearing is anticipated for late fall 2018.


Residents that wish to obtain updated information on Secondary Suites and the process moving forward may contact Coreena Carr by email at coreena.carr@foothillscountyab.ca or by phone at 403-603-6245.