Many of us have seen these so-called "laneway houses" sprouting up across the city (I’ve been thru 2 lately..) so I thought I’d illustrate in short form some key regulations that apply to this type of residence:
o Allowed in RS-1 and RS-5 single family zones
o 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
o 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)
o Rental or family use only: no strata-titling
o Minimum of one on-site parking space must be provided
o 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)
o 1 and 1½ storey configurations are possible, with guidelines to address upper storey massing, privacy and shadowing
o 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.
J. Neil Hamilton is a Senior Property Advisor with Macdonald Realty Ltd. with expertise in the buying, selling and leasing of both residential and commercial properties throughout the GVA. He can be reached at 604-569-1940 or firstname.lastname@example.org.