news : laneway houses for all (almost…)

well, looks like laneway houses are not going anywhere. the city of vancouver has just announced changes to their laneway housing policies.

check out the booklet published by the city of vancouver here.

The city has announced that, later this spring, city staff will report to city council with proposed amendments to the program and guidelines to expand the program to other single-family zoned areas.

According to the city, proposed amendments will seek to:

  • encourage the development of more one-storey laneway houses, which has less impact on neighbours and is more accessible to aging populations and families with small children;
  • make laneway housing more liveable by allowing more floor area for living and storage space, without increasing the size of the house; and
  • allow a faster permit process for one-storey laneway houses and ensure the provision of one-site parking.

According to the city, the laneway housing program will be expanded into the following new zones: RS-1A, RS-1B, RS-3/3A, RS-4, RS-6 and RS-7.

here is the official newsletter:

Changes are coming to the laneway housing program
February 22 2013

Changes are coming to the laneway housing program.  Later this spring, staff will report to City Council with proposed amendments to the LWH regulations and guidelines and to expand the program to other single family zoned neighbourhoods.

Proposed amendments
We have been monitoring laneway housing development and have identified key issues related to neighbourliness, livability, permit processing and the provision of parking.  Proposed amendments to the program will respond to these issues by:
Encouraging the development of more one storey laneway housing, which have less impact on neighbours and are more accessible for an aging population and families with small children
Making laneway housing more livable by allowing more floor area for living and storage space without increasing the size of the house
Allowing a faster permit process for one storey laneway houses, and ensuring the provision of on-site parking.
In addition to the improvements to the current regulations and guidelines, the laneway housing program will be expanded into the other RS zones of RS-1A, RS-1B, RS-3/3A, RS-4, RS-6 and RS-7.

The history of laneway houses in Vancouver
Since 2009, when the laneway housing program was adopted, over 800 permits for laneway houses have been issued and over 500 laneway houses have now been built across the city in the single family RS-1 and RS-5 zones (which make up 94% of single family lots in the city).
The laneway housing program plays an important role in achieving Council’s priorities to increase the supply of rental housing options across the city.  Laneway housing adds to the diversity of rental units in single family neighbourhoods by providing:
An additional rental opportunity and housing choice beyond owning a house or renting a basement suite and more opportunity to live in detached and ground-oriented rental housing
Additional housing while preserving the existing streetscape and adding character, vibrancy and security to the lane
Housing for diverse groups of people including: seniors ready to downsize and live close to family but independently; adult children who want to live independently but cannot afford home ownership; and renters who want to live in established neighbourhoods in detached housing.

so if you have been feeling left out (not living in RS-1 or RS-5 zone) and wanting to build a laneway house, looks like now will be your chance.

laneway

DRKdesign is familiar with laneway housing criteria, so give david a call at 604 928 6036 or check out drkdesign.ca.

oh, and be sure to check out the laneway housing talk hosted by emerging green builders, taking place on march 20th at hive. here is the link to the eventbrite signup page.

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