British Columbia

Vancouver considers mini-suite zoning law

The City of Vancouver's latest push to increase the city's housing stock has some critics complaining of densification gone wild.

The City of Vancouver's latest push to increase the city's housing stock has some critics complaining of densification gone wild.

A staff report to be debated by city council on Tuesday recommends allowing secondary suites as small as 205 square feet to be built within existing apartments.

Coun. Raymond Louie told CBC News the suites-within-suites could be rented out to help pay off a mortgage, or used by extended family members.

"The concept is that we provide people of different economic circumstance the ability to live and work in our city at the same time," said Louie.

But the idea isn't sitting well with Alicia Barsallo, the leader of the Coalition Against EcoDensity and For Livability, who accused city hall of working to turn spacious Vancouver into a cramped city like Tokyo.

"An apartment is already a small living space. It is not fair to renters to subdivide this little box," said Barsallo.

The secondary suites are only proposed for some areas of the city, including southeast False Creek and the residential areas of downtown. But the proposal won't likely be the only zoning proposal to draw the ire of some residents.

City hall is also working on changes to the zoning regulations to promote other ways to increase density including laneway housing and legalizing more basement suites.

Later this week, the city will host an open house about a developer's plan to put 36 townhouses on three residential lots at Granville Street and 51st Avenue.  

 

 

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