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City looks for public input on retaining character homes while increasing housing choices

November 18 2016

Illustration of a brown character home fronted by small trees

The Character Home Zoning Review launches next week to look at options for retaining character or heritage homes while creating more housing choices in single-family areas.

The review will consider zoning changes in several areas of the city with higher concentrations of character homes built before 1940:

  • Northwest - West Point Grey and Upper Kitsilano
  • Southwest - Dunbar, Kerrisdale, Second and Third Shaughnessy, and parts of Arbutus Ridge
  • Central - parts of Riley Park, Cambie Village, and Kensington
  • Northeast - parts of Hastings and a small section of Grandview

Retaining character homes and adding housing choices

Proposed options for these neighbourhoods will bring zoning in line with other areas, such as Kitsilano and Mount Pleasant. Some of the options being explored are:

  • Increasing floor area
  • Converting older homes into multi-unit residences
  • Adding infill housing

Ideas being explored for new home construction include reducing and rebalancing allowable floor area to improve neighbourhood fit. The review will also examine streamlining zoning regulations and the permitting process for new homes and character home retention.

Character homes are defined as those that were built before 1940, meet established criteria for integrity of original features, and are not listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register.

We want to know what you think

Four open houses are being held to give you the opportunity to learn more and provide input on options. An online survey will also be available beginning November 21.

Learn more and get the open house details

Recommendations are expected to be presented to Council in early 2017, followed by additional public consultation.


The review is being conducted as part of our Heritage Action Plan, which is examining different ways to encourage and support the retention of character homes and other heritage resources.

Retaining character homes also contributes to meeting our Greenest City goals through the reuse of quality building materials that might otherwise go to waste, and the reduction of new and often more energy-intensive materials being used to construct replacement homes.