On January 1 2012 the "Strong communities through affordable housing act 2011" came into effect. The ontario legislation allows the creation of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or basement apartment in any townhouse, semi-detached, or single family home in the province. The consquences of this new legislation will greatly change the character of a house and the neighbouhood in which it stands.
The Newmarket town council was forced to review their "Accessory Dwelling Units" by law to conform with the legislation. Under the new legislation achieving a legal accessory dwelling now involves five separate issues.
Do the local bylaws permit basement apartments?
Does the basement apartment comply with the fire code?
Does the basement apartment comply with the building code?
Does the basement apartment comply with the electrical safety code?
Has the basement apartment been registered?
6) Does the property provide
parking spaces for four (4) cars.(Newmarket ADU by law)
To be a fully registered basement apartment unit the owner must comply with the new legislation and the unit must be brought up to the current building, fire and electrical code. In Newmarket the ADU is registered to the owner of the property and not to the house. The Toronto Real estate board has noted that the term "Retrofit" only deals with a fire inspection and not the entire inspection process.
For more information on registering a Accessory Dwelling Unit contact the Registrar town of Newmarket at 905 895-5193 or visit their web site
Four Parking spaces
A registered ADU must also provide 4 parking spaces two cars for each unit. This means widening the driveway. Newmarket heights was built in 1958 as the Community of East Gwillimbury Heights, in the municipality of East Gwillimbury. In 1971 York Region was established and East Gwillimbury Heights was amalgamated into Newmarket. In the 1950's families only owned one car but as families increased and both parents began working the need for more parking in their driveway became a priority. The 3 or 4 car family were forced to park on the street. many recieved tickets for overnight parking.
In 1993 the Newmarket heights community association lobbied town council to allow homeowners to widen their driveways so that up to four cars could park in their driveway. The by law was passed in April 1994 and the zoning by law was changed to accomodate the widened driveway by law.
The intent of the by law is not to pave over the entire front lawn but to allow additional parking. By law 1994 allows a driveway to be widened in a manner that would not change the character of the community.