Mayor Gregor Robertson
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson at Tuesday's announcement. Credit: City of Vancouver

Vancouver has approved zoning changes in several single-family neighbourhoods, but the changes are different depending on what side of Ontario Street you’re on.

The changes will impact Mount Pleasant, Grandview-Woodland, Dunbar, Kerrisdale and Arbutus Ridge.

In the east side neighbourhoods of Mount Pleasant and Grandview-Woodland, home owners will now be able to do the following:

  • Build laneway homes (for rental),
  • Increase the number of homes allowed on a 33’ lot from two to three,
  • Construct a new detached form of duplex that allows for two separate houses on a lot, with a larger house in the front and a smaller house in the lane,
  • Build four-plexes on large lots.

On the west side in Dunbar, Kerrisdale and Arbutus Ridge, the city didn’t go as far, but is offering new incentives for owners of pre-1940s character homes to construct coach houses, while retaining the original character home.

The city says these west side neighbourhoods currently don’t allow for coach houses and other stratified housing, and that’s one of the reasons why the population of children and families has been dropping.

Point Grey was conspicuously absent from any zoning changes, despite its high number of vacant homes and proximity to UBC.

“These new zoning changes can potentially help deliver thousands of new homes across the city – the type of housing I’ve been hearing loud and clear that people want: town, row, coach and laneway homes to rent and own,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“Ultimately, I hope these changes can bring young people and families back into neighbourhoods they currently can’t afford to live.”

Advocacy groups like Abundant Housing YVR have been calling for the city to go even farther, by allowing apartment buildings and other multi-family developments city-wide, something that was commonplace pre-1940s, but not allowed in the same neighbourhoods today.

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