Laneway housing





Laneway Housing


Laneway housing has been permitted in Vancouver's single-family neighbourhoods zoned RS-1 and RS-5 since July 2009. Laneway houses are detached dwellings located in the typical garage area of a single-family lot, facing the laneway and maintaining backyard open space. A minimum of one parking space must be provided on each lot with a laneway house, and many laneway houses include an enclosed garage. Both contemporary and traditional designs are permitted, in single-storey and partial upper-storey configurations.

Homeowners may add a laneway house while retaining the existing main house, or a laneway house may be built alongside a new main house. A laneway house can be the third dwelling unit on a site, in addition to the main house and a secondary suite. Limited to rental or family use only, with no permitted strata-titling, laneway housing is intended to respond to the need for diverse kinds of rental housing in Vancouver.



Some key regulations for laneway housing are:
    • Allowed in RS-1 and RS-5 single family zones
    • Can be located on lots 33 ft. wide and wider, with an open lane, on a double fronting street, or on a corner with a lane dedication
    • Generally located in the space where a garage would be permitted, i.e., in the rear 26 ft. of the lot (with a minimum of 16 ft. separation between the laneway house and the main house)
    • Rental or family use only: no strata-titling
    • Minimum of one on-site parking space must be provided
    • Maximum allowable unit size is based on lot size, to a maximum of 750 sq. ft. (A maximum unit size of approximately 500 sq. ft. is allowed on a 33 ft. x 122 ft. lot)
    • 1 and 1½ storey configurations are possible, with guidelines to address upper storey massing, privacy and shadowing
    • Homeowners can add a laneway house while retaining their existing main house, with or without a secondary suite. A laneway house can also be built with a new house.

    Detailed regulations and guidelines are available online to help prospective applicants determine whether their lot is eligible for a laneway house, and what kind of laneway house they can build. Links to some key resources are below:





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Laneway Housing: