Background

On June 2013 Laneway Housing by-law (LWH) was amended to include RS-1A, RS-1B, RS-2, RS-3, RS-3A, RS-4, RS-6 and RS-7 zones.  The amendment also allows larger LWH. The LWH will not have a strata title but can have its own address. It can build as one or two storey as long as the top floor does not exceed 60% of main. .

Summary of the decision

  • The LWH initiative is for Single Family Residence (RS-1A, RS-1B, RS-2, RS-3, RS-3A, RS-4, RS-6 and RS-7) zoning areas in Vancouver. Click here to see the RS Vancouver Map
  • 1 1/2 storey is allowed with the upper floor not exceeding 60% of the main Floor living area. The one-floor option can have addition 6 ft setback to the yard but still need 16 ft separation from the house.
  • Need a separate sewer and storm system. Cannot connect to the existing main house sewers.
  • Upgrades would NOT be required to the main house when a laneway house is added.
  • The LWH floor area would not be included in or added to the floor space ratio allowed for the principal house, but rather be considered as a separate floor area that reflects the size of the lot, as is currently done with garages.
  • Min 32.15' wide lot. For 33' lot the maximum area for the LWH is 688 sqft
  • Wider lots, the maximum area is 940 sq ft. 16% of lot size not exceeding max
  • Maximum height 18-20 feet for 1-1/2 storey and 12-15 feet high for 1 storey LWH
  • Minimum living area of 280 sqft with possible relaxation down to 204 sqft
  • Stairs, under and over height are not included in area calculation
  • Minimum distance of 16’ between the main house and the LWH.
  • At least one Mandatory uncovered permuable parking spot
  • 10% of width sideyard setback with one side relaxed to 2 ft but no windows or deck facing the neighbou
  • LWH to be set back by a minimum of 3 ’ from the rear property line at the lane.
  • Sprinkler system is required for a LWH.
  • The LWH floor area would not be included in or added to the floor space ratio allowed for the principal house, but rather be considered as a separate floor area that reflects the size of the lot, as is currently done with garages.
  • Garage conversion may be allowed as long as it meets the requirements of new construction.
  • Development Cost Levy is same as RS? house at $2.91 per square foot.
  • The main entrance and upper floor windows should be facing the lane
  • Stairs to the upper floor should be enclosed within the allowable footprint
  • Allowing green roof for passive solar orientation
  • a minimum of 1 on-site parking space is required.  Any change requires a public hearing
  • The LWH would be a small house in the backyard where the garage is now.
  • Non-Stratification Covenant. Need to sign an agreement with the city to ensure that Laneway House is not strata titled
  • Need Home Owner Protection Office approval (HPO.ca 800.407.7757 )prior to applying to Building permit
  • Building permit fees is based on project value
  • Development Permit fee $1000 one storey and $1520 for 1-1/2 storeys
  • Development Cost Levy $2.43 per sqft. same as RS house
  • Sewer service cost $1650 - $8359 + depending on existing sewer connections
  • Water Service cost $5400 if upgrade needed
  • BC Hydro cost $600 - $20,000 depending on service required
  • Terasen Gas $25 for the 1st $1535 construction cost + additional fees for $1535

Pre-Application Process

Engineering pre-clearance: Site Survey / Sewer & Water Design (604)873-7323
Design Process: Photos of site & Adjacent/ Site Survey/ Site Plan/ Plan, Elevation & Sections (604)873-7611
Pre-app Landscape Process: Preliminary Landscape Plan/ Arborist Report Needed (604)873-7611
Laneway Checklist                   http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/laneway-housing-checklist.pdf  

Useful Contacts

New Electrical Servicing from BC Hydro (877)520-1355
Gas line location (800)474-6886
Terasen Gas (888)224-2710
Homeowner Protection Office (800)407-7757
ALMA Building and Renovation Ltd. tony@ALMA-BuildingAndRenovation.com (604)880-1129

Disclamer: : Information on this page was retrieved from the City of Vancouver website. Alma Building and Renovation Ltd. is not responsible for the accuracy of the information listed above