Making Room Program duplex proposal referred to public hearing

July 26 2018 –

Zoning changes that would allow duplexes in most single-family areas across the city will be considered by City Council in the fall, after Council referred the recommendation to a public hearing earlier this week.

On June 20, as part of the Making Room Program, Council directed staff to move forward on initial actions, including changes to some or all single-family zones to allow duplexes as an option.

"Current single-family zoning in these areas already allows for a basement suite and a laneway home," says Paula Huber, Senior Planner. "What we're proposing is allowing a duplex as a third option for these homeowners."

These proposed changes support the Housing Vancouver Strategy adopted by Council in November 2017, and are a result of engagement with more than 10,000 residents over a period of 14 months.

Creating new housing opportunities

The intention, as outlined in the Housing Vancouver Strategy, is to create new housing opportunities in low density neighbourhoods across the city, and it is one of the ways the City is focusing on shifting towards the types of homes that meet the needs of people who live and work in Vancouver.

Further work looking at how to ensure any larger changes such as triplexes, four-plexes, townhouses, and apartments limit speculation and produce housing that is attainable will continue over the next year as staff engage the community about what they want to make room for in their neighbourhoods.

Information meetings for duplex changes

For now, information meetings regarding duplex changes will be held in early September prior to the Public Hearing. These meetings will provide information on the proposed changes and provide an opportunity for residents to ask staff questions.

If approved following the Public Hearing, this change would allow more housing choice within neighbourhoods for families, downsizing seniors, and other households seeking housing options that fall in the "missing middle" between single-family homes and higher-density apartments.

Making Room Program

Over the next year, staff will continue work on the Making Room Program and will:

  • Map and research current conditions in low-density neighbourhoods
  • Analyze new housing options and types for consideration
  • Explore ways to improve affordability
  • Engage with residents on what they want to make room for in their neighbourhoods
  • Develop principles and selection criteria to identify suitable locations for new housing options in neighbourhoods across the city, considering factors such as proximity to transit, shopping, schools, parks and amenities
  • Evaluate where the greatest opportunities exist with the least impacts for increasing housing diversity, including triplexes, four-plexes, townhouses and apartments
  • Develop recommendations on changes beyond permitting duplexes in single-family zones and reporting back to Council in spring 2019.

Learn more about the Making Room Program