New Rules Approved for Laneway Housing in the City of Vancouver!

The City of Vancouver recently held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, regarding Lane Way Houses (LWH) with a few rules changed for building them.

After having more than five hundred LWH approved and constructed across the city of Vancouver, some of the key concerns noted are privacy for neighbours, storage and accessibility. Furthermore, there is a concern that only some of the residentially zoned areas allowing for LWH, namely RS-1 (Residential Single Family) and RS-5 (Residential Single Family/ Density Bonus). RS-1 and RS-5 zoned areas make up 94% of the entire single detached living areas in the city. So the current City Council is looking to expand the allowance of LWHs to all RS zones.

Laneway Houses Feb 2013

The proposed and approved changes are:

– Keeping the existing two-level loft style option, but adding another option for one-level of living space only by extending the back wall allowance on the LWH by 6 feet (for single-level only, and the 16 foot distance between LWH and principal home still is required). This will allow for more room for storage, extra living space, and accessibility.

– The formerly required interior parking would now become an exterior parking space, only with permeable ground. (It was largely understood that very few of the indoor parking spaces were actually being used for parking. So permitting outside parking instead increases the interior living space and removes the concern of people cheating on the original rules.)

– Finally, the city will allow the zoning to open up to all RS zoning not just RS-1 and RS-5 but to RS-1A, RS-1B, RS-2, RS-3, RS-3A, RS-4, RS-6, RS-7 so more people can access this program.

– And, stream-lining the permit review process (for single level LWH).

For more detail on this development check out The City of Vancouver web site.

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