West Vancouver To Restrict 'Monster Home' Building now in Langley BC

Published Feb 21, 22
6 min read

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So far, there's only been a small amount of interest in coach houses in West Vancouver. After a lengthy public consultation period, council approved coach houses in July 2014, but in the past year only seven homeowners have applied to add the new form of housing to their properties. Of that number, two applications have been approved, four are in progress and one was withdrawn by the applicant.

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30 in favour of supporting a staff request to further examine actions to "incentivize" coach house development. "In summary we're looking at incentives to make rental coach houses more attractive when a character house or established house is maintained on the property," community planner James Allan told council. Allan added that staff also want to "try and streamline the development permit process as well as the building permit process to help aid this type of housing to be implemented." Staff noted that the primary reasons for homeowners wanting to add a coach house are: downsizing; designing a custom living unity for a family member; and creating a rental unit with more privacy, for both the homeowner and tenant.

Still, that hasn't translated into a lot of local interest. "There has been limited take-up (of coach houses) as anticipated," explained Allan. "Rental coach houses were only permitted as an alternative to a secondary suite, and where there is available floor area on the property. There is limited economic incentive to build these.

But the small suites add value to the community. When asked by Coun. Michael Lewis about possible types of incentives, Allan noted that much of the district's older housing stock was built prior to a change in the 1990s that incentivized in-ground basements and made the area exempt from overall floor-area calculations.

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"We've had discussions with potential applicants where they've got an older one-and-half-storey character house plus basement and they haven't been able to accommodate a coach house, so that's where we'd like to explore," said Allan.

If you live in West Vancouver and ever thought of building a coach house then you’re finally in luck. After several years of careful consideration West Vancouver has followed other neighbouring cities in allowing the construction of backyard homes, beginning in the fall/winter of 2014 (in areas where secondary suites are currently allowed).

The City of North Vancouver (CNV) has had a number of coach houses built but not to the same extent as Vancouver given the more restrictive CNV program structure. West Vancouver’s offering is closer to the City of North Vancouver’s program and so while there will be coach houses built the growth won’t likely be as rapid as that seen in Vancouver.

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Allows additional privacy for owners who want to have a secondary suite without having to livein the same structure. Creates multi-generational living opportunities for either adult children or elderly parents. Owners can downsize into a smaller housing unit on their own property. But living small doesn’t mean that you can’t live large.

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This is significantly more space than many apartments in or near downtown Vancouver. Any good builder knows that designing a coach house isn’t the same as designing a standard house as there is a much greater need to maximize the use of every bit of space in a multi-functional and flexible way.

So if you’re envisioning a North Shore coach house, why not drop us a line. We’d be more than happy to hear about the project that you have in mind. West Vancouver coach house information can be found here.Share:.

You have to upgrade your sewer, water, electrical, your access, your parking. "They're difficult to build and the price per square foot to build them can be almost double," he said, noting that the City of Vancouver expects coach houses to cost $240,000 to $270,000 to build.Click to see full answer.

Contact us anytime if you have questions or want to know more about carriage houses and laneway housing. Can you build a coach house in Toronto? Yes, it is now possible to build them in the metro areas mentioned above, but they must still meet the strict guidelines enforced in each city.

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Application is usually approved in conjunction with other land development application or preservation of an existing character building. A laneway house is the same use as a coach house but was created by the City of Vancouver to increase housing density in a single family zone (west vancouver coach house). See the LANEWAY HOUSE HOW TO GUIDE: 3 to 4 months Based on the size and configurations such as one storey or one-and-a-half storey, parking stalls, building style and sizes, the cost can vary between $200K to $300K If you would like to learn more or are interested in building a coach or laneway house, contact Sherman Peng of URBANSCAPE PROJECT LTD at (778) 861-7686.

After four days on the market, the new homeowner purchased it on August 22 with a $48,000 price discount. With Toronto’s abundant laneway real estate – and in some of the city’s most desired neighbourhoods at that – logistically, many property owners in the city are capable of building a small one-family unit.

The reality is that an abundance of red tape made laneway home approval historically difficult. Despite the opportunity to build thousands of units in laneways, the concept is subsequently still a new one in Toronto. Currently, laneway properties are incredibly scarce and pricey. While laneway homes are now allowed, restrictions and regulations still make the approval process a trying one for many.

In January 2020, Toronto had issued 52 building permits for the construction of laneway suites, with another 50 building permits under review, according to CBC. Though they won’t come cheap. In June, a 22 x 55 lot in the Bathurst and College neighbourhood was listed at $1,250,000 ( it remains for sale).

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According to realtor Paul Johnston, constructing a laneway home will cost anywhere between $500,000 and $1-million. So, essentially, you’re looking at close to $2-million for the whole thing. While this is steep, keep in mind that it didn’t take long for Toronto’s pricey housing market to bounce back after an initial drop in activity at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s a reason for this sea change from what it was 30 years ago, when basement suites were controversial. In a city with a housing shortage and constant pressure to create more, it’s attractive for politicians to encourage homeowners to become the developers themselves instead of having the pros do it.

So I’m here to tell you what that is like exactly or, at least, what it was like from our end of the telescope. I’m sure that people on the other end – experienced builders or experienced city-hall building-permit issuers – will roll their eyes at parts of my tale.



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