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Stratifying Laneway Homes on the North Shore? We'll See.

Blog by Frank Ingham | December 1st, 2017

Make Way for Laneway... Some big changes have come to Vancouver zoning. Just this past October, the City of Vancouver Council approved policies that allow for more density on single family lots throughout the city. In the RS or one-family zones, homeowners are now allowed to build a laneway home, stratify it, and then sell it. The intention being to encourage the maintenance of older Vancouver residences and to introduce more affordable homes within the city.

In Grandview, Woodlands, and Mount Pleasant, Council now allows the number of units on a standard thirty-three foot lot to increase from two dwellings to three. While laneway homes were originally restricted to the RS traditional single family zoned areas, they can now be buit in the RT zones as well. This means that now a house can be built as a duplex with a laneway house in the RT or two-family zones. Three units on one lot can be owned by one person or, with the new zoning, be stratified and sold to separate owners.

While not yet able to stratify, North and West Vancouver homeowners are able to build detached secondary suites and rental coach houses. This type of housing provides residents an opportunity to:
• downsize into a smaller housing unit on their own property
• provide self‐contained accommodation for an elderly parent, adult child, or on‐site caregiver
• design a custom housing unit for a family member with special needs
• create a detached rental unit to maintain the privacy of the principal dwelling unit

Some of the zoning regulations include:

• a maximum of one per lot
• not permitted in conjunction with a secondary suite on the same lot
• not permitted in conjunction with a duplex
• required set backs from the rear property lines and minimum distances from the principal dwelling
• maximum of two storeys with height specifications
• the registered owner of the property must occupy either the main dwelling or the detached secondary suite as their principle residence
• the detached secondary suite must not be subdivided from the principal dwelling unit under the Land Title Act or the Strata Property Act

With the ability to stratify a laneway home now an option in Vancouver, it will be interesting to see how far the North Shore Districts will be willing to go with their laneway and coach house by-laws. I would love to hear your thoughts on stratifying coach or laneway homes on the North Shore.

More details are here:

Vancouver Proposes New Incentives



Photo courtesy of Lanefab. Photographer: Colin Perry