Vancouver Council to vote on Laneway Housing

Vancouver city council will likely approve laneway housing today, which, as Frances Bula notes on her blog "will give 65,000 homeowners in the city’s RS1 and RS5 (single-family) zones the right to build a 750-square-foot house at the back of their lots".

Not all lots can build to the maximum size, however -- the ruling will require that there remain 16 feet of space between the main house and the laneway house. The lot also has to be 33 feet wide at this point.

The housing is a great way to add more rental units, or family-share units, to the city. The new buildings cannot become strata properties, so they cannot be sold off separately from the 'main' house.

A few local design and construction companies, such as LaneFab and Smallworks, have come up with intriguing sketches and plans that take the restrictions into account. One of the LaneFab designs is pictured above.

Parking, while one of the primary concerns of the discussions, is important. Ideally, it would be great to assume no additional cars would be added, as everyone will be biking and using public transit. This is probably the case in many instances, but will not always be. The number of parking spaces per lot, at least on the public street, should be limited - if you want to build these houses, you should figure out a better way to work your transportation.
The increased density will, in future, allow for more local- and pedestrial- scale retail and commercial spaces to be built on secondary arterials, and support future public transit development (such as streetcars?).

This is the future of our city - it will be amazing to watch how this housing is actually built out, and the changes it will bring!