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Blog by Kevin Wong

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Laneway Housing

Laneway Housing is a term adopted by the City of Vancouver and refers to secondary residential accommodation which faces into a back laneway, and essentially occupies the footprint previously zoned only for a garage. Laneway Housing was identified as a solution to the city’s housing and environmental challenges, during its intensive “EcoDensity” study which took place over the past two years. A massive 68,000 Vancouver residential lots are now zoned to allow Laneway Housing throughout most of Vancouver, from UBC to Boundary Road.

Laneway Houses are 500‐750 sq.ft., one or two‐bedroom detached homes with 1‐2 covered or uncovered parking spaces, fronting onto the back lane of the primary residence. The same amount of open space that existed under the previous zoning is maintained. There are additional regulations to protect that open space. For example, uncovered parking spaces must be of a permeable nature.

Laneway Houses are permitted on properties zoned RS 1 and RS 5. This includes the vast majority of the Vancouver area, from UBC to Boundary Road, with the exception of the downtown area and most of the areas in Kitsilano and East Vancouver. A minimum lot width of 33 feet is required to allow a 500 sq.ft. home. Lots over 50 feet wide can accommodate a home of 750 sq.ft. The length of the lot must allow for a minimum of 26 feet for the new home plus 16 feet of backyard open space between the two homes.

For a complete guide from the Greater Vancouver Homebuilders Association Click Here