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The City issued 350 Laneway permits in 2012, that is a big increase from the average of 146 from 2009-2011! Laneway houses are one of the many ways homewowners help pay for their mortgages. With the new mortgage rules limiting what most people can afford, having a secondary source of income in your property, whether through laneway houses or secondary suites, is a natural move for most families. They can build the laneway house and rent it out until their family grows and needs the extra space. Many families are opting to share land, with one generation in the laneway house and the other inhabiting the main house. Laneway houses aren't costly to build, though the process can be long and quite involved, and you need to have the proper RS-1 or RS-5 Zoning to begin with. 


For more information on the process of building a laneway house, see my Laneway Guide here


If you have any questions, or would like to chat about your possibilities with laneway houses and what you can afford, feel free to contact me


Information taken from News 1130:

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Here is a great, easy to understand Guide on Building Laneway Houses in Vancouver:

Laneway Housing How To Guide 


Like main houses, laneway houses must be located in a defined portion of a lot and are subject to regulations regarding zoning (only RS-1 and RS-5 are allowed), setbacks, fire access, lane access, size, height, parking and tree protection. Together, these siting and design regulations provide a basic template for laneway house design. 


Like many developments in Vancouver, the application process can be long, but laneway houses are becoming

much more common. In order to apply for the approval from the city, you have to do your due diligence beforehand.


A very brief outline of the steps involved are:  


1. Site Servicing Research: Investigating costs and requirements for sewer, water, electrical and gas. 

2. Pre-Application Review: Submit a site survey and other plans for Engineering, Design and Landscaping. 

3. Application Process: Submit your permit application with all related approvals (i.e. Homeowner Protection, etc.)


Note that this research, and the application itself can be quite costly before any building is actually done. Other costs include architects, builders, materials, furnishings, unexpected delays and more.


The attached Laneway House Guide features more in depth information on the requirements, resources, as well as some good examples for 33 and 50 foot lots. 


If you have any other questions about laneway houses or specific neighbourhoods, feel free to contact me

You can find some other guidelines here: 


Laneway Housing Zoning Regulations:

RS-1 & RS-5 District Zoning Regulations: |

Laneway Housing Guides:

Laneway Housing Submission Checklist:

Protection of Trees Bylaw:

Homeowner Protection Office:

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