Secondary Suites

Secondary Suites

The purpose of this page is to provide information about secondary suites in the RDN. This information is intended to assist property owners wishing to construct a secondary suite and provide direction and assistance to property owners who have an unrecognized secondary suite.

Secondary suites are allowed in the following zones:

  • Bylaw 500 - AG1, RS1, RS1.1, RS2, and RU1 – RU10 (inclusive)
  • Bylaw 1285 – A-1, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4

Secondary Suites are not permitted in all other zones, unless specifically listed as a permitted use in that zone.

Suites in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR)

Secondary suites within the principal dwelling unit are permitted in the ALR.

On December 31, 2021, amendments to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) Act came into effect that allow a second dwelling in the ALR provided it is not larger than 90 square metres. Please note that the second dwelling is subject to RDN zoning regulations so may not be permitted on all parcels in the ALR.

For more information, please contact the ALC at 1-604-660-7000 or consult their website at

Our mapping tool, RDNMap, can be used to determine if a property may be located within the reserve. See buttons below. Please note that this information should be confirmed with the ALC.

RDN Secondary Suite Regulations

Don't know which bylaw applies to you? Look up your address in the RDN WebMap:

Please note: the mapping tool works best on Microsoft products. If you experience technical problems with the tool, please contact GIS [at] (GIS[at]rdn[dot]bc[dot]ca)

Have a question? Need more information?

Please contact Community Planning
Phone: 250-390-6510 (Nanaimo area) or toll free in BC 1-877-607-4111 Fax: 250-390-7511 Email: planning [at] (planning[at]rdn[dot]bc[dot]ca)