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New proposal aims to preserve character homes and increase density

Last Updated Jul 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm PDT

(Martin MacMahon, NEWS 1130 staff photo)

This new rule applies to 12,000 character homes in the city

Public hearing about the issue will be held this fall

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s a proposal to increase density while preserving Vancouver’s character homes and stop people from tearing them down to build new mansions.

City staff will put forward some interesting options to council next week.

Staff are proposing owners of character homes in some neighbourhoods be allowed to build and sell laneway homes or parts of a home if they agree to maintain the existing house.

As for the uptake, the city’s General manager of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability points out laneway houses have become popular after a slow immediate uptake.

“I guess I would point to the laneway homes a few years ago, which were very few in the beginning and there are now about 500 a year. Over a decade that adds up,” says Gil Kelley with the City of Vancouver.

This new rule applies to 12,000 character homes in the city if the changes are approved by city council.

Dunbar, Kerrisdale and Arbutus Ridge are among the neighbourhoods where you could see these changes.

As it stands, laneway rental housing can already be built there — these changes would allow for the construction of laneway homes that could be sold, or for character homes to be separated into multiple units.

“These proposed changes from city staff respond to the desire for people to have more housing options in single-family neighbourhoods, neighbourhoods where they currently cannot afford to live,” explains Mayor Gregor Robertson.

There will be a public hearing in the fall about the issue.