Second Dwelling Units

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location of SDUs

The Council of the Corporation of the Town of Pelham passed By-law No.4371 (2021) on September 7, 2021, which adopts amendment no. 12 to the Town of Pelham Official Plan under Section 22 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended. Furthermore, Council passed By-Law No.4368 (2021) on September 7, 2021, being a by-law that amends Zoning By-law No. 1136 (1987), as amended, under Section 34 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended, with consideration given to all written submissions relating to the by-law that were made to Council before its decision and all oral submissions relating to the

The Council of the Corporation of the Town of Pelham passed By-law No.4371 (2021) on September 7, 2021, which adopts amendment no. 12 to the Town of Pelham Official Plan under Section 22 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended. Furthermore, Council passed By-Law No.4368 (2021) on September 7, 2021, being a by-law that amends Zoning By-law No. 1136 (1987), as amended, under Section 34 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended, with consideration given to all written submissions relating to the by-law that were made to Council before its decision and all oral submissions relating to the by-law that were made at the public meeting.


The More Homes, More Choice Act (2019) require municipalities support housing choices by 'identifying a diverse range and mix housing options', noting that Second Dwelling Units (SDUs) play an essential role in addressing affordable housing and contributing to housing options. Currently, the Town of Pelham Official Plan has limited policy guidance concerning SDUs. The Zoning By-law does not speak specifically to permitting an SDU, which results in property owners maneuvering through red tape should they wish to request permission for an SDU.

Establishing an SDU requires several applications and permits, making it difficult and expensive to achieve. And instead of obtaining the necessary permissions, people are building SDUs illegally, without the benefit of building permits or inspections to ensure compliance with Building and Fire Code requirements. This negligence can result in unintended life safety risks to the habitants of the SDUs. Staff have drafted SDU policies and regulations to align with the recent Provincial updates. These updates will highlight the specific needs of the public; resident engagement will play a key role in developing a "made in Pelham" solution.

Currently, the zoning by-law does not contain specific regulations permitting an SDU. The zoning by-law amendment seeks approval to allow two (2) SDUs that are self-contained units with bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping facilities separate from those of the principal dwelling on the same lot. The amendment will permit an SDU in single-detached, semi-detached, townhouse dwelling or detached accessory building in the Agricultural (A), Special Rural (SR), Residential Village 1 (RV1), Residential 1 (R1) and Residential 2 (R2) zones, and comply with the provisions of the Town's comprehensive zoning by-law.

Presently, the Official Plan does not contain policies specific to Second Dwelling Units, but allows for Accessory Apartments only in single-detached dwellings and only in the College and Emmett Street neighbourhood. However, the Zoning By-law has not been updated to conform with this policy. The draft proposes a Second Dwelling Unit's permission in a principal dwelling unit and accessory structure subject to meeting specific policy requirements. Those policies include deleting and replacing accessory apartments throughout several sections in the Official Plan. These policies would be slightly amended to ensure that the floor area of the proposed unit will be less than the gross floor area of the principal residential unit.


  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Thank you for your interest in the Second Dwelling Unit policy and regulation.  This survey is now closed, however, comments on the project can still be submitted to the Policy Planner at tlotoole@pelham.ca for consideration. Staff are preparing revisions to the proposed policy and regulation and will be recommending updates to our policies at a Council Meeting to be held this summer. For more information on the project, please continue to check the project website https://engagingpelham.ca/second-dwelling-units         

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Page last updated: 01 Mar 2022, 01:02 PM