Secondary suite fees approved in Langley Township

New fees will unfairly target legal suites, critics charge

Township of Langley homeowners with secondary suites will have to pay as much as $580 a year under new regulations given final approval on Monday, March 4.

Councillor Kim Richter cast the only vote against the fees.

“It will add an unnecessary and unfair burden on existing legal suites,” Richter said.

It was the same complaint a number of homeowners made during earlier council meetings.

The critics said the 1,000 homeowners who have properly registered their suites will be the first to pay, not the estimated 10,000 to 12,000 illegal secondary suites in the Township.

The exact amount billed will vary depending on whether a house is connected to municipal sewer and water services.

Township staff estimate the suite fee could bring in over $200,000 (after expenses) this year, rising to nearly $700,000 by 2015.

A Township survey of other Lower Mainland municipalities found secondary suite fees range from $500 to $900 a year.

Langley Township charges annual fees on many other types of real estate, as much as $3,000 for a gas station and as little as $92.50 for a home-based business (one that does not change the residential appearance or character of the dwelling in which it is located).