Secondary Dwelling Units

A secondary dwelling unit (SDU) or accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a self-contained living unit with its own kitchen, sleeping area, and washroom facilities, and which is located on the same property as a dwelling unit. An accessory dwelling unit is sometimes referred to as a garden suite, laneway home, carriage house or garage suite.

Secondary Dwelling Units in Sicamous

Three types of secondary dwelling units are permitted in Sicamous. It is important to understand the zoning of your property to determine whether you are permitted to have a secondary dwelling unit. Financing options are available for secondary dwelling units, including the Secondary Suite Incentive Program offered by BC Housing.

Secondary Suite

A Secondary Suite is a Secondary Dwelling that is part of or attached to a Principle Dwelling Unit. It can be above, at ground, or below ground level, depending on the flood plain.

The Secondary Dwelling can be up to 40% of the Floor Area of the Principle Dwelling Unit (Single Unit Dwelling or Duplex Unit).

  • ie. 140 sqm Principle Dwelling = 55 sqm Secondary Dwelling (1500 sf & 600 sf)

A Secondary Suite can be up to 10m in height and must be attached by a breezeway.

Garden Suite

A Garden Suite is a Secondary Dwelling that is a stand-alone Accessory Building. It is not combined with other accessory buildings.

A Garden Suite can be up to 6 m in height and up to 40% of the Floor Area of the Principle Dwelling Unit (Single Unit Dwelling or Duplex Unit).

  • ie. 140 sqm Principle Dwelling = 55 sqm Secondary Dwelling (1500 sf & 600 sf)

Coach House

A Coach House is a Secondary Dwelling that is part of an Accessory Building like a garage. It can be above the garage or at ground level.

The Secondary Dwelling can be up to 40% of the Floor Area of the Principle Dwelling Unit (Single Unit Dwelling or Duplex Unit).

  • ie. 140 sqm Principle Dwelling = 55 sqm Secondary Dwelling (1500 sf & 600 sf)

An Accessory Building, such as a Coach House can be up to 100 sqm in Floor Area, including the garage portion.

  • ie. 55 sqm secondary dwelling + 45 sqm garage = 100 sqm Total Floor Area (600 sf + 484 sf = 1,084 sf Total Floor Area)
  • approx. 24 ft x 20 ft double garage

An accessory building containing a Coach House can be up to 8m in height if the Coach House is wholly or in part located on the Second Storey of the Accessory Building.

Can I have a Secondary Dwelling Unit?

Secondary Dwellings are permitted in most residential zones, as well as a few others. These are:

  • R-1 (One & Two Unit Residential)
  • R-2 (Small Parcel Residential)
  • R-3 (Mobile Home Residential)
  • R-4 (Hillside Single Family Residential)
  • A-1 (Agriculture & Resource Development)
  • CR (Country Residential)

Please check your zoning to Learn More about which types of Secondary Dwelling are allowed. Some zones only allow for Secondary Suites or Coach Houses and Garden Suites.

The R-1, R-3, A-1 and CR Zones allow all types of secondary dwelling units.

District of Sicamous Zoning Map

Need help checking your zoning? Contact us!

Phone: (250) 836 2477


Secondary Suite Incentive Program (BC Housing)

The Province of British Columbia will introduce the Secondary Suite Incentive Program (SSIP) in April of 2024 through BC Housing.

This three-year pilot program will provide conditional financial assistance to homeowners who wish to construct long-term, affordable rental units, including secondary suites.


  • Registered owner(s) of the property
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Live in the property as their primary home
  • Combined gross annual income of all homeowners on title of less than $209,420 (in the previous tax year)

Qualified homeowners will be eligible for a forgivable loan covering 50 per cent of construction costs for installing a new secondary suite or attached/detached unit up to $40,000.

The loan will rebate costs to the owner after the construction is complete and an occupancy permit is issued. If the homeowner meets certain conditions, including renting the unit at below-market rates for a minimum of five years, the loan will be forgiven.

More information:


Please feel free to email your questions to!

February 2024

The District of Sicamous is seeking public input to determine which secondary dwelling designs will form part of the District's new pre-approved plan library. Council will choose to purchase three designs from each contractor based on preferences expressed during the public input period.


Public Input Opportunities

What is a Pre-Approved Plan Library?

The District of Sicamous is creating a pre-approved plan library. The library will include building plans that can be purchased by residents at a low cost. The pre-approved library will allow residents to purchase building plans that are already cleared to meet the criteria required by the District. This will ensure an accelerated building permit review process. Residents who want to use a pre-approved plan from the library should ensure their property's zoning allows for a secondary dwelling.

Proposed Secondary Dwelling Designs

Please visit the links below to view the secondary dwelling designs proposed by each contractor.


  • In June of 2023, the District issued Expression of Interest (EOI) #1220-20-147 requesting proposals from designers to create pre-approved construction designs for secondary dwellings.
  • On July 6, 2023 the District held an open house about secondary dwelling units.
  • On August 10, 2023 the District housing committee met to consider the secondary dwelling plans that were submitted in response to the EOI.
  • At the October 11, 2023 regular council meeting, council awarded the EOI to both Hausen Projects and McDiarmid Construction Ltd. to produce three designs each.
  • At the January 11, 2024 housing committee meeting, the committee recommended that the District proceed with public engagement before determining what six designs will be selected.
  • At the January 24, 2024 regular council meeting, council directed staff to proceed with public engagement via a survey and open house.