Vancouver approves near-record number of permits for laneway houses in 2013

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As municipalities such as Burnaby and the District of Vancouver drag their heels on approving laneway housing, the City of Vancouver nearly tied its record for permits in 2013.

According to city statistics, 348 permits were granted in B.C.'s largest municipality, down from 350 in the record year of 2012.

In Vision Vancouver's first year in control of the city in 2009, only 18 permits were awarded. That rose to 192 in 2010 and 229 in 2011.

Vision councillor Geoff Meggs told the Straight by phone that laneway housing is "part of our toolbox to deal with the housing-affordability crisis".

"The long-term solution, of course, is going to require action at the provincial and federal level, and we've been advocating for that," Meggs said.

Richmond, Delta, Langley Township, Maple Ridge, and Coquitlam allow laneway houses, which also go by the name "carriage houses" and "garden suites".

Meanwhile, Burnaby's social-sustainability strategy identifies allowing laneway housing as a "priority action" to increase housing affordability. But council has not passed a motion allowing these structures.

Over in the District of North Vancouver, staff have researched best practices concerning coach houses, but there is still not a policy in place to allow for them.

Coach houses are permitted in the neighbouring City of North Vancouver and the District of West Vancouver.

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david taylor
when will we get more infrastructure
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Rating: -5
Does not Compute
Vision councillor Geoff Meggs told the Straight by phone that laneway housing is "part of our toolbox to deal with the housing-affordability crisis".

So making a $1 million dollar house into a $1.4 million house by adding a laneway home to it is all part of dealing with housing affordability?

There are better ways of creating rental housing than by building expensive accessory buildings in people's back yards.

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Rating: -4
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