Interim Policy for Secondary Suites in the Town of Jasper
Article 1.0 Effective Date
Section 1.01 This Interim Policy takes effect on March 2, 2020.
Article 2.0 Purpose
Section 2.01 The purpose of this interim policy is to permit the development of secondary suites in the Town of Jasper without significantly affecting the built form. By permitting secondary suites, this policy aims to:
- Provide safe additional housing units;
- Increase the diversity in housing units; and
- Provide a transitional opportunity to legalize suites built without permit.
Article 3.0 Scope
Section 3.01 This interim policy applies to Secondary Suites in the Town of Jasper.
Section 3.02 Where conflict exists between this interim policy and other policies or plans, the most recent policy, or interim policy applies.
Article 4.0 Context
Section 4.01 Community - In 2013, a community-led group approached Parks Canada with a request to consider secondary suites within the Jasper townsite. Parks Canada, with the Municipality of Jasper, commissioned a consultant to develop a series of deliverables and recommendations to encourage more housing in the community for eligible residents. Public consultation was held in February and March 2019 exploring public interest in a variety of topics including Accessory Dwelling Units (“ADU’s”) and a What We Heard Report was completed on September 5, 2019. The public was in favour of incorporating ADU’s in areas where site sizes were adequate and building code requirements could be met. Secondary Suites are a form of ADU.
Section 4.02 Regulatory & Policy - The Canada National Parks Act (S.C. 2000, c.32) section 16.(1)(m) states the Governor in Council may make regulations respecting…the control of the location, standards, design, materials, construction, maintenance, and removal and demolition of buildings, structures, facilities, signs, and other improvements and the establishment of zones governing uses of land and buildings. Under this, and related authorities, The Town of Jasper Zoning Regulations (C.R.C., c.1111) were created and are currently in the regulatory process of repeal and replacement. In the interim, the Draft 5.0 Regulations Respecting the Use of Land in the Town of Jasper (March 29, 2005), hereafter referred to as the “Land Use Policy,” is currently being applied as policy. This interim policy applies to secondary suites only, and will be used in conjunction with the Land Use Policy.
Article 5.0 Expected Results
Section 5.01 This Interim Policy is intended to provided clear understanding for the community of Jasper and Parks Canada of the requirements when assessing and issuing development permits for Secondary Suites. This interim policy shall be continually reviewed and updated to ensure it achieves its purpose. It shall ultimately provide direction towards formally incorporating Accessory Dwelling Units into the Land Use Policy.
Article 6.0 Definitions
Section 6.01 For the purpose of this interim policy:
“secondary suite” means a second self-contained dwelling unit within a primary dwelling unit that has its own kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities. Secondary dwelling units must not be limited by, nor included in, any density control requirement, including for example, number of dwelling units.
Section 6.02 Subject to (a), where terms are undefined in this interim policy, definitions in the Land Use Policy shall apply.
Article 7.0 General Requirements
Section 7.01 Building Code Conformance - All new construction, be it a new building including a Secondary Suite or the conversion of a part of an existing building into a Secondary Suite, must be in conformance with the current Safety Codes in effect at the time of permit application and not the safety codes at the time the building was initially constructed.
Section 7.02 Subdivision – A Secondary Suite may not be condominiumized, subdivided from an existing site, or assigned separately from the primary dwelling through a tenant in common arrangement or otherwise.
Section 7.03 Occupancy – A Secondary Suite may only be occupied by eligible residents, as defined in the National Parks of Canada Lease and Licence of Occupation Regulation (SOR/92-25). Secondary Suites may not be rented, or made available for, periods less than 30 days.
Article 8.0 Secondary Suite Requirements
Section 8.01 Permitted Use Districts - A Secondary Suite shall be a Permitted Use in the following Districts:
- R1 (One-Unit Dwelling);
- R2 (Two-Unit Dwelling);
- R2H (Old Town Jasper Historic);
- R4 (Compact Lot District) sites which:
- Have the primary dwelling unit on permanent foundation developed in conformance with current Land Use Policy and this Interim Policy (excluding mobile homes); and
- Have executed a lease amending agreement removing the “Owner Occupancy” requirement,
- CCWa (Cabin Creek West One-Unit Dwelling);
- CCWb (Cabin Creek West Two-Unit Dwelling); and
- CCWc (Cabin Creek West Two-Unit Dwelling) excluding Block 39 Lot 48.
Section 8.02 Maximum Gross Floor Area – A secondary suite may be no more than 45% of the gross floor area of the dwelling unit within which it is located.
Section 8.03 Density – A maximum of one secondary suite per primary dwelling unit shall be permitted.
Section 8.04 Parking - No additional on-site parking shall be required for a Secondary Suite as long as the site has a minimum of One (1) required on-site parking stall for each dwelling unit. For sites without back lane access, additional on-site parking to accommodate a Secondary Suite may be located in the front setback as long as it does not conflict with the required front yard landscaping requirements of the district it is located within.
Section 8.05 Exterior Entrance – A Secondary Suite must have its own direct access route to the outdoors. For the purposes of providing access to a secondary suite only, the following are permitted forms of access:
- An interior connecting stairway or doorway accessing onto an enclosed entrance hall or vestibule;
- An exterior stairway providing independent access to the basement or second floor from outside the building, provided the stairway is not located on the face of the primary dwelling unit facing the front property line, and forms the only access route to the secondary suite; and
- An exterior doorway accessing onto an independent route of travel to the secondary suite, provided the doorway is not located on the face of the primary dwelling unit facing the front property line.
Article 9.0 Transition Compliance Strategy
Section 9.01 Application – Article 9.0 applies only to suites which, in the opinion of the Superintendent, could be considered to be secondary suites, and existed prior to the Effective Date of this Interim Policy, but were developed without obtaining the permit(s) required by the Land Use Policy.
Section 9.02 Effective Period – This Transition Compliance Strategy is only in effect for development permit applications, consistent with Section 5 of the Land Use Policy, received by the Parks Canada Development Office from March 2, 2020 to April 30, 2021.
Section 9.03 Exterior Entrance – A Secondary Suite entrance may be located on the face of the primary dwelling unit facing the front property line.
Section 9.04 Safety Codes – At the Superintendent’s discretion, Secondary Suites may be exempt from code requirements that do not pertain to human life safety. All Secondary Suites applying for permits under this Transition Strategy must meet measures that provide a level of safety equal to that outlined in the applicable code for secondary suites.
Article 10.0 Exemption from the Requirements of this Interim Policy
Section 10.01 In the application of this interim policy, it may not always be possible to carry out the requirements. In these instances, approval for a variance from the requirements of this interim policy, may be obtained from the Superintendent of Jasper National Park, provided that the requested exemption does not contravene applicable legislation, or the intent of applicable, policy. Application for a variance shall be subject to the same process stated in the Land Use Policy under the criteria stated in Section 5.(7)(a).
Section 10.02 The rationale for a variance and the approval must be documented.
Article 11.0 Monitoring and Review
Section 11.01 The Realty and Municipal Services Department shall monitor this policy and ADUs in Jasper and provide advice and updates to the Superintendent and the Municipality of Jasper. This Interim Secondary Suite Policy is subject to amendments or termination at the Superintendent’s discretion.
Section 11.02 This Interim Policy will be reviewed as needed and at a minimum of annually by Parks Canada. It will remain in effect until the review indicates it should be rescinded or it is superseded by a new policy, at which time it will be deemed rescinded.
Article 12.0 Related Legislation, Policies and Guidelines
Section 12.01 Unless explicitly stated otherwise, secondary suites are subject to all acts, regulations, and policies pertaining to development in the Town of Jasper in effect at the time of application. These requirements may include:
- Canada National Parks Act (S.C. 2000, c. 32);
- Town of Jasper Zoning Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1111);
- National Parks of Canada Lease and Licence of Occupation Regulation (SOR/92-25)
- National Parks Building Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1126);
- National Building Code of Canada (2015);
- National Plumbing Code of Canada (2015);
- National Fire Code of Canada (2015);
- National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (2017);
- Province of Alberta Safety Codes Act and Regulations thereunder including, but not limited to:
- National Building Code – Alberta Edition (2019); and
- Alberta Fire Code (2014),
- Draft 5.0 Regulations Respecting the Use of Land in the Town of Jasper (March 29, 2005);
- Architectural Motif Guidelines for the Town of Jasper (1993), as amended (1997);
- Design Guidelines for New Development in Old Town Jasper (2005); and
- Area Redevelopment Plan for the Jasper Mobile Home District (2004),
All as amended from time to time.
Article 13.0 Approval
Field Unit Superintendent
Jasper National Park