Vancouver's Housing Experiment: The First Residents Move In

A local TV host will be one of the first to take advantage of Vancouver's new 'laneway housing' pilot project (allowing 'granny units' in backyards of traditional city neighborhoods). The project is facing some controversy.

"A laneway house, as defined by the city, is a small house or cottage built on the space provided for a garage. Allowed on lots 33 feet wide or wider, it can be rented, or provide alternate or additional housing for the property owner, family members or a caregiver.

It is not a stratified property, and cannot be bought or sold, as can infill housing, which is generally larger and subject to different regulations.

Last December, city council unanimously voted to allow an initial 100 laneway houses to be built in single-family neighbourhoods citywide--in either the space permitted for parking, or by converting existing garages.

While laneway housing is just one of the recommended "actions" in the city's EcoDensity Charter, also unanimously approved last year, "significant public support" for the policy convinced council to move ahead with it, and give it a trial run. "There's a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation out there about EcoDensity and the process--and it's made peopled distrustful," says Coun. Raymond Louie. "So it's important to break out each of the components and do a better job of explaining the benefits and negatives."

Full Story: Life on the lane


Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET