Vancouver Poised to Increase Residential Zoning

The city council will vote on a proposal to eliminate single-family only zoning in favor of rules that would allow up to six units per residential lot.

1 minute read

July 26, 2023, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of large single-family homes in Vancouver, BC suburb

edb3_16 / Adobe Stock

“Vancouver housing could become radically more dense if the city allows up to six homes per lot for the half of its land traditionally reserved for single-detached dwellings, as council votes this week on whether to send the change to public hearing,” according to an article by Frances Bula in The Globe and Mail.

Under the proposed new rules, multi-unit buildings will be allowed to take up a larger percentage of lots than before. Theresa O’Donnell, Vancouver’s head planner, said “This is rezoning the 52 per cent of the city that’s effectively been off the table for years.”

If approved by the city council, the proposal will go to public hearing and could take effect next January.

“The city’s projections indicate that a single-detached-house property that sells for $2.8-million now could become home to four smaller homes that sell for $1.1-million apiece – still not cheap, but less than the single house,” Bula adds.

“Some housing advocates have criticized the new policy as being unlikely to get a lot of take-up because it will be much more challenging for average homeowners to finance a fourplex or sixplex, compared with a laneway house,” known as an accessory dwelling unit in the United States. Local builders say they predict demand will be high, citing the rise in demand for duplexes when the city legalized them in 2019.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023 in The Globe and Mail

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