Second Residential Units

Consultation has concluded

Note: At it's June 6 meeting, Planning Committee recommended that the proposed zoning by-law and Official Plan amendments for second residential units be approved. The recommendation will be brought forward to the June 18, 2019 Council meeting.


The City of Kingston is proposing to amend the zoning bylaws to allow for more second residential units throughout the city. Associated Official Plan Amendments are also being proposed. Second residential units are also referred to as secondary suites, basement apartments, granny flats, in-law apartments, or as coach houses when detached from the principal home.

They are self-contained residential units that are in

Note: At it's June 6 meeting, Planning Committee recommended that the proposed zoning by-law and Official Plan amendments for second residential units be approved. The recommendation will be brought forward to the June 18, 2019 Council meeting.


The City of Kingston is proposing to amend the zoning bylaws to allow for more second residential units throughout the city. Associated Official Plan Amendments are also being proposed. Second residential units are also referred to as secondary suites, basement apartments, granny flats, in-law apartments, or as coach houses when detached from the principal home.

They are self-contained residential units that are in addition to a principal residential unit and have separate access, private kitchen, bathroom facilities, and living space within the principal home or in an accessory building.

In 2011, the Planning Act was amended to require municipalities to establish Official Plan policies and Zoning Bylaw provisions allowing second residential units in single detached, semi-detached and row houses, as well as in ancillary structures. The City’s Official Plan permits second residential units within single detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, linked and row houses, as well as in accessory structures. The Official Plan also states that the zoning bylaw shall identify locations where second residential units are permitted, being all areas that permit single detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, and linked and row houses.

Currently, the City’s Zoning Bylaws only permit second residential units in certain areas of the city and requires them to be located within the principal home. Proposed changes include expanding the areas where second residential units are permitted and allowing second residential units to be detached from the principal home.

See more information on the existing regulations for second residential units.

The proposed amendments were presented at a public meeting on July 5, 2018 and a survey was also held between June 27 to July 13 to obtain additional input. Revisions have since been made to the proposed amendments and highlights of the changes are indicated below:

View a summary of proposed Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments.

February 2019

The proposed revised amendments are undergoing a technical review process and have also been posted to receive public feedback from January 21 to February 4, 2019, at which time further revisions will be made and presented with staff recommendations during a Public Meeting to the Planning Committee in early Spring 2019.

If approved, proposed changes will create updates to Zoning Bylaws (95-259, 76-26, 97-102, 32-74, 8499, 3072 and 8402 ) and amendments to the Official Plan.

May 2019

The following amendments are a result of the feedback received from the February 2019 engagement and will be presented at a Planning Committee Public Meeting on June 6, 2019.

Consultation has concluded
  • Zoning By-law and Official Plan amendments are now in effect

    5 months ago

    Having passed the 20 day appeal period, the second residential unit Official Plan and zoning by-law amendments are now in effect.

    Having passed the 20 day appeal period, the second residential unit Official Plan and zoning by-law amendments are now in effect.

  • Zoning By-law and Official Plan amendments approved by Council

    5 months ago

    Council passed the proposed Second Residential Unit Zoning by-law and Official Plan amendments at its June 18 meeting. The amendments are now subject to a 20 day appeal period before taking effect.

    Council passed the proposed Second Residential Unit Zoning by-law and Official Plan amendments at its June 18 meeting. The amendments are now subject to a 20 day appeal period before taking effect.

  • City seeks input on changes to allow second residential units city-wide

    11 months ago

    The City of Kingston is seeking online input on a number of changes to the proposed Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments that would allow second residential units – separate apartments in or detached from the principal home – to be created city-wide.


    The City of Kingston is seeking online input on a number of changes to the proposed Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments that would allow second residential units – separate apartments in or detached from the principal home – to be created city-wide.