Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When will laneway housing be allowed in your neighborhood?

I just got this email message from Joaquin:

The City has been working on amending single family zoning to allow laneway housing. This new housing form will be located in the typical garage area where it maintains backyard open space. As per past City Council direction, it will be limited to 1 ½ storeys, have at least one off-street parking space, and be rental or family only (no stratification will be allowed).

Recently, a City Council Motion directed that action relating to new affordable and rental housing, be prioritized. In explaining the motion, Council referenced laneway housing specifically as such an opportunity for prioritized action and fast-tracking. The laneway housing timeline has therefore been adjusted to provide draft zoning amendments for public comment and Council consideration at the July 21st Public Hearing.

Many homeowners have been indicating their wish to apply to build a laneway house as soon as possible. Laneway housing was also identified as having broad public support through the EcoDensity public engagement in 2007-08. Public discussion on specific issues and options then occurred in fall 2008, leading to the list of features that laneway housing zoning will incorporate.

Prior to the July public hearing, staff will again meet with stakeholder groups and provide information to the broad public. If Council approves zoning changes, development applications can start right away.

Further information is available on the City’s website at: vancouver.ca/ecodensity - under "What is Next?"

--> rachel
This is very exciting to see- the City is taking a lot of initiative to move these changes forward quickly. For our project, this may mean being able to have an influence on the building of first laneway housing.


  1. Q: Does laneway housing address affordability in the city?
    A: Council has chosen an option that **requires LWH to be family or rental**, using
    the same mechanisms as for secondary suites in single family homes. Strata
    titling or ownership of the units is not an option. LWH speaks to the extremely
    tight rental market in Vancouver by offering an additional affordable choice.

    Emphasis on the stated target residents. This is worth keeping in mind. I'll add a note on the wiki in the target audience section.

  2. *nods* definitely worth noting, as it speaks to the city's priorities. We should keep it in mind while we design, but try to avoid limiting the flexibility of our design because of it.