New policy on suites in Fort St. James

The District of Fort St. James has adopted a new policy regarding secondary suites.

The District of Fort St. James has adopted a new policy regarding secondary suites.

Mayor Rob MacDougall and council adopted the policy, they say, to provide guidelines to ensure fire and building codes are being observed, but not to deter homeowners from having rental suites.

The policy would also allow the district to recover the costs of utilities being used by the additional suite.

The policy outlines the district’s response to deal with complaints of secondary suites.

The bylaw enforcement officer will contact the homeowner and arrange for an inspection by the fire chief and the building inspector.

The secondary suite could then be allowed to continue to function as a secondary residence as long as it complies with building codes and fire regulations and the utilities are paid for.

Mayor and council expressed their hope the new bylaw will still encourage people to develop or rent suites to help alleviate any rental shortages in the community.