Finding the best ways to house Regina’s growing population at a reasonable cost to both Home Owners and the City is a conversation we all seem to be having. And, maintaining vibrancy in established communities is key to a healthy city. Laneway and garden suites are part of the possible solution to achieving growth and vibrancy in existing neighbourhoods, although it is a contentious issue for some. Laneway and garden housing refer to secondary suites which are detached from the primary dwelling and located near the rear of side of the property and may be accessed by a laneway or pathway.
Regina City Council approved a Laneway and Garden Suite pilot project in January 2016 as a method of testing out the new guidelines on residential lots within established neighbourhoods throughout Regina. Six proposals were selected to participate in the program. There is currently laneway housing in Harbour Landing and The Greens On Gardiner – go by and have a look for yourself! They have not caught on as fast as it has in larger cities, but perhaps it will take some time for Reginians to warm up to them.
Secondary suites is an option for residents to subsidize their income or to live with relatives while maintaining a private space. Secondary suites also help reduce urban sprawl and creates a smaller environmental footprint. Recently, the City reduced some of the restrictions on where secondary suites can me incorporated. We should be seeing a lot more of them as they make economic sense for many homeowners.