New bylaws approved for additional dwelling units in South Frontenac

Kingstonist file image.

Homeowners in South Frontenac Township who are looking to build a basement apartment, in-law suite, or rental unit may find it easier to understand what’s required now that new bylaws have been passed for additional dwelling units in the Township.

According to a release from the Township of South Frontenac, dated Wednesday, Jan 24, 2024, South Frontenac Council passed changes to the Official Plan and Zoning By-law in September 2023 and Frontenac County approved the change to the Official Plan in December 2023 for the construction of additional dwelling units.

In the release, the Township shared that an additional dwelling unit (ADU) is a self-contained residential unit with its own kitchen, bathroom facilities and sleeping area on a property that already has a house on it. It can be a space within a house like a basement apartment or in-law suite, or a separate building on the same lot. Two additional dwelling units, one in the primary house and one in an accessory building, are allowed in South Frontenac, for a total of three living units on one property.

“For a rural municipality like South Frontenac, additional dwelling units are a creative solution to provide more housing options. For property owners, they are a way of potentially generating income to help offset housing costs. For people needing a place to live, they can provide an affordable alternative to owning a home or paying high rent,” South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal said in a statement.

“They also support our vision of being a welcoming and thriving rural community since these units often provide a way for seniors to age in place and can help young families starting out.”

The Township said that property owners who want to build an additional dwelling unit will still need to meet certain conditions, such as ensuring there is adequate potable water, sewage, road access, parking, etc. Once the requirements are satisfied, applicants will be issued a zoning certificate and can then apply for a building permit, according to the release.

There are restrictions on waterfront properties; for example, additional dwelling units are prohibited on lands located in a floodplain, within 90 metres of a lake or river, or within 300 metres of a highly sensitive (at-capacity) lake trout-supporting lake.

“While we want to support the Province’s goal of building more homes faster, as a rural municipality, we still need to make sure we are growing responsibly and sustainably,” said Louise Fragnito, Chief Administrative Officer for South Frontenac.

“Ultimately, additional dwelling units will help us achieve our goal and the Province’s goal of building more homes faster, with a wider range of housing options to meet varying needs in our community.”

The Township pointed out that the Ontario government has committed to building 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years as part of its “More Homes, Built Faster: Ontario’s Housing Supply” Action Plan.

For more information on additional dwelling units in South Frontenac, visit, or contact [email protected].

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