Secondary Suites

A secondary suite, also known as an accessory suite, is a separate dwelling located on a property with a single-detached or semi-detached house with its own living, cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities. Accessory Suites provide an affordable housing option in the community, and help to create more rental availability and housing diversity without affecting the character of a neighbourhood. Suites must follow regulations under the Land Use Bylaw, and require both a Development Permit and Building Permit to be operational.

View the Town of Cochrane Accessory Suite Guidelines for all regulations that need to be met under the Land Use Bylaw.

Thinking about building an accessory suite?

  1.  Discuss your proposal with Planning staff as soon as possible. We can provide early guidance, describe the process and ensure you are headed in the right direction.
  2.  Fill out a Development Permit Application
    Tip: use the Accessory Suite Checklist to make sure you have everything you need.
  3. Apply for a building permit and, if applicable, electrical, plumbing and gas permits (after the Notice of Decision is issued).

What happens next?

Once we receive your Development Permit application for an accessory or garden suite, Town staff will complete a review to determine if the application has all the required information and then will be circulated to various Town departments and outside agencies for comment. We’ll let you know if there are any comments or concerns so you can address them.

The application can then be decided on by a Development Officer (Administration). Applications with a variance over 10% go to the Cochrane Planning Commission (CPC) for a decision which meets on the third Wednesday of each month. 

The decision made is advertised to adjacent landowners and published in the newspaper to allow opportunity for an appeal.


The decision made may be appealed to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. To appeal, complete and submit a Notice of Appeal form within 21 days of the Notice of Decision appearing in the local newspaper.


Once all the conditions of the development permit and building permit have been satisfied, your accessory suite is ready for occupancy!