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Colwood to waive annual fee for secondary suites

City to create one-time charge, as it has with business licence fees

Following last year’s decision to waive annual business license fees, Colwood council appears ready to go a similar route with fees for secondary suites.

At its meeting on Monday, council gave first, second and third readings to a bylaw that will eliminate the $50 annual renewal fee for secondary suites within the municipality. The goal is to simplify things for property owners and make better use of staff time that went into processing the renewals.

The changes to the bylaw will increase the initial one-time fee to $500 from $200.

Property owners that have already registered a secondary suite will be grandfathered into the process and won’t have to worry about the increased initial fee.

“There’s enough work here for city staff that people can be using their time to do much more productive activities,” said City communication manager Sandra Russell.

A staff report for council, prepared by the planning department, stated that “the cost of staff time involved in processing this relatively small amount is not recovered by the amount itself.”

The City collected just over $27,000 in renewal fees last year.

The increase in the initial application fee would partially compensate for the reduction in the annual fee, according to the report.