Sept. 5 – In looking to better meet the housing needs of both current and future residents, Norfolk County’s Planning Department will host three open houses regarding amendments to accessory residential dwelling unit policies later this month.

Open houses taking place Sept. 11 in Port Rowan, Sept. 12 in Delhi and Sept. 18 in Simcoe will allow residents to learn about accessory residential dwelling units (also known as secondary suites, basement apartments, granny flats, in-law apartments, carriage houses or nanny suites) and discuss the potential changes to accessory residential dwelling unit policies.

Accessory residential dwelling units are permanent, self-contained residential units with a private kitchen, bathroom facilities, and sleeping areas within dwellings or structures ancillary to a dwelling. They are designed to allow homeowners to earn additional income, provide housing options for extended families, create mixed-income communities, generate jobs and assist municipalities in meeting their affording housing goals.

Increasing the range of available housing options has been defined as an acute need within the county. Accessory residential dwelling units can be built as additions to a home or in ancillary structures, like above a garage. The size, type, and location of the second unit depends on the size and design of the house as well as its location on and the size of the lot.

Norfolk currently allows accessory residential dwelling units within the primary dwelling in urban areas, but the proposed changes would allow for accessory residential dwelling units in urban, hamlet and agricultural areas, within the primary dwelling or in an accessory building. Provisions are proposed related to maximum size and scale, as well as servicing and parking requirements.

Each meeting is drop-in style and takes place from 6-8 p.m. The Port Rowan session is located at the Port Rowan Community Centre (14 College Ave.), Delhi’s is at the Delhi Community Arena (144 Western Ave.) and the Simcoe event goes at the Simcoe Recreation Centre’s Norfolk Room (182 South Drive). More information on the planning department can be found at