Regulations: Laneway House

Regulations and Guidelines For Laneway House

Some of the key regulations for laneway housing  issued by the City of Vancouver are:

  • Allowed in RS-1 and RS-5 single family zones
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Rental or family use only: no strata-titling. View cost-benefit of owning a laneway house.
  • Minimum of one on-site parking space must be provided
  • 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)
  • 1 and 1½ storey configurations are possible, with guidelines to address upper storey massing, privacy and shadowing
  • 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.

Laneway house landscapeDetailed regulations and guidelines are available online to help prospective applicants determine whether their lots are eligible for the construction of laneway houses. 

Links to some key resources are below:

Laneway House Regulations governing the Zoning and Development By-law.

Laneway Housing Guidelines PDF(72kb).  Laneway housing guidelines focus on creating neighbourly relationships with adjacent properties, a positive lanescape, and enhanced environmental performance of the entire site. Development Services staff work with applicants to determine how design on a specific site can best meet these guidelines. We offer a “turnkey solution in financing, design and build you a laneway house” according to your lot size and zoning.

Photos of Laneway Housing – this collection of photos shows the diversities and choices you have when building your laneway house. It is best to consult a home builder who is experienced in laneway housing for options on the design of a laneway house most suited for your lot… parking requirement, the size, finishing and inside furnishing to meet your budget.

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