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There are some big changes coming  to Vancouver zoning as reported   in Metro News. You can read through the reports on changes to the single family zoning areas and the Grandview/Mount Pleasant areas here.  On Tuesday City of Vancouver Council approved policies that will allow for more density on single family lots throughout the city . In the RS single family zones, homeowners will be allowed to build a laneway home, stratify it, and sell it off.  The intention is to encourage the maintenance of older Vancouver residences and to build more laneway homes. This is the first time that laneway houses could be split from the original title and sold.

In Grandview Woodlands and in Mount Pleasant that have denser “RT” zones, Council is allowing the number of units on a standard thirty-three foot lot to increase from two dwellings to three. This means that now a  house could be built as a duplex with a laneway house in the RT zones. Larger lots will now be allowed to create four unit developments.

In the case of the RT zones, the three units on one lot can be owned by one person, or again can be stratified and sold to separate owners. Laneway homes were originally restricted to the RS traditional single family zoned areas;  laneway homes can now be buit in the RT zones  as well.

There is one strange wrinkle in all of this. Originally the idea was that the size of new  single family homes in the RS zones was to be distrained to encourage the retention of older character homes.  This restriction is now gone. Strangely though, the same restriction was approved for houses in the RT zones, so that if a heritage home is demolished the City can limit the size of a new house. You could argue that this restriction should also apply in the RS single family zones that are losing 1,000 single family homes annually and are being replaced by larger single family homes with no rental  accommodation available to the local market.

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