Laneway Housing moves forward in Vancouver

Brent Toderian's picture

When Vancouver City Council approved the new EcoDensity Charter and Initial Actions earlier this year, among these was a prioritized action to further develop the idea of laneway housing. 

The issues and options report relating to this work program is now available for downloading from the EcoDensity website. 

For those cities considering laneway housing, the report might be helpful. We've proposed approaches on lots with 33 and 50 ft widths. The issues we've considered include rental vs. ownership, size/massing, shadowing, overlook/privacy, city-wide vs. pilot projects, heritage and existing house retention, impacts on backyard space and urban gardening, parking, green building design, lanescape design, etc. We've included a summary of laneway approaches from other North American cities as well.  

The analysis has been rigorous, and the public engagement has been critical in educating the results.  Although each city should of course undertake its own public and stakeholder consultations, as we have, to inform the approaches with local perspectives and needs, we still hope the work we've done can make it easier for other cities to follow suit. 

Council considers the report on October 30th. If they choose to direct us to proceed forward, the next step will be to prepare the amendments to the many affected by-laws next year for public hearing. 

Are there other cities out there working on laneway housing? We'd love to hear how our issues and approaches compare.

Brent Toderian is an international consultant on advanced urbanism with TODERIAN UrbanWORKS, Vancouver’s former Director of City Planning, and the President of the Council for Canadian Urbanism. Follow him on Twitter @BrentToderian


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