Purchasing a secondary suite in West Vancouver can be a great way to enjoy the benefits of owning a home, while being able to live in a smaller space. But you should know that there are specific requirements for purchasing a secondary suite in this city.
Minimum lot size
Currently, there is no minimum lot size for a West Vancouver Secondary Suite. However, the city council recently approved a smaller minimum lot size for single family homes. This new requirement was developed by the Neighbourhood Character Working Group and was based on feedback from West Vancouver residents.
The minimum lot size is 10500 square feet, which is the equivalent of two 292.7 square foot houses. This new size is meant to align with the BC Building Code. The minimum separation distance between the Coach House and the primary home is 4.5 metres. The maximum building size is 585.4 square metres, which is a decrease of 12.5% from the previous minimum.
The Coach House can be located at the rear of the lot. It complements the main residence. The owner must live in one of the units. There are specific guidelines relating to the size of the coach house, its location on the lot and the availability of on-site parking.
In addition to allowing for more secondary suites, the new building code will also reduce the maximum floor area. This will allow the Approving Officer to approve subdivision of large lots. In other words, if a developer is planning a large lot, the approving officer will be able to split the lot into smaller lots. The increased number of housing units would allow more families to purchase in West Vancouver.
The Neighbourhood Character Working Group would like to see a reduction in the number of monster homes in West Vancouver. The group is seeking public feedback on its recommendations until August 21.
The group wants to streamline the approval process for coach houses and secondary suites. They also want to make sure the bylaws are a match with the goals of the neighbourhood.
Maximum floor area
Having a secondary suite is a great way to generate extra rental income, especially if you’re a homeowner. In fact, a study by Square One Insurance found that about 14 percent of Vancouver homeowners have secondary suites in their home.
In the District of North Vancouver, a secondary suite is defined as an area within a single-family residential building that has living space, but no kitchen or bathroom. In order to be considered legal, the size of the suite must be less than 40 percent of the total floor area of the single-family home. In other words, you can’t have a suite larger than 968 square feet.
The current bylaw is a bit rudimentary, but the Neighbourhood Character Working Group has been trying to improve on it. The bylaw is meant to encourage the creation of new housing, while also limiting the number of “monster” homes.
The proposed bylaw would allow for a maximum floor area of 585.4 m2 (6,301 ft2), and the maximum building size is set at 206.2 m2 (2,220 ft2). This amount is less than the typical 33 by 122-foot lot in Vancouver.
The new bylaw is also intended to make the process easier for people who are building a coach house. This type of house, often known as a “laneway home,” is a popular type of secondary suite in West Vancouver. However, it isn’t universally accepted.
The bylaw also includes updates to the fee structure. For instance, an additional fee will be required if rock is removed from a property that exceeds the volume limit. In addition, new homes are required to adhere to the existing lot consolidation restriction.
The Neighbourhood Character Working Group is asking for public input until August 21. If you’re a resident of West Vancouver, you can weigh in online.
Coach house bonus
Currently, there is no one-size-fits-all rule regarding coach houses in West Vancouver. Having said that, the city is introducing a few minor restrictions aimed at increasing the density of one-story homes while minimizing the cost and complexity of building two-story homes. The new rules will go into effect in January 2022, with small additions to existing coach houses already exempt from the zoning regulations.
The Neighbourhood Character Working Group is asking for input on the best way to encourage coach houses on existing housing stock while maintaining the integrity of the city’s streetscape. The team is particularly interested in fostering the creation of livable secondary suites on suitable properties.
While the proposed changes are still being considered, the city has already launched an online form to get public feedback on its recommendations. The form can be accessed by clicking the link below.
For those interested in building a secondary suite in the basement of their primary residence, the city is offering a 0.05 FAR bonus for the purpose. This is a pretty good deal. The bonus is only for homes built before 1976. The maximum size of legal suites should remain at 968 square feet.
While the new rules don’t require a development permit, the process should be easier and faster. It should also make it easier for new homeowners to add a secondary suite in the future. In the long run, homes with secondary suites are an asset to both the neighbourhood and the homeowner.
The city is also on the lookout for the best way to promote coach houses and other affordable housing options. For example, the proposed changes would allow coach houses on lots smaller than ten acres with an approved subdivision plan.
No hen, stag or similar parties
Traditionally, a stag party took place on the evening before a wedding. It is a tradition dating back to the fifth century, when Spartan soldiers held a stag party on the eve of their friend’s wedding.
Despite the fact that a stag or hen party has been around for a long time, it is only in recent years that these parties have become big business. The market is now worth PS300 million annually in the UK alone.
In the past, a stag or hen party was a low-key get-together of the groom’s closest buddies. The modern-day stag or hen party is a multi-day extravaganza in a city known for its nightlife. It can be as simple as going out with the guys and enjoying a few drinks, or as elaborate as hiring a stripper or going to a strip club.
It is not uncommon for a stag or hen party to last for a week. A stag or hen party may also be used to normalize marriage. It is a ritual that helps to ensure that the bride and groom are safe and have a good time while they are apart. It also serves as an excuse to do something bad.
The stag or hen party may also serve as a symbol of a newfound freedom. It was once necessary to marry in order to establish a stable family and achieve economic success. Today, thanks to an increase in personal wealth, many people are delaying or even foregoing marriage in favour of living a more free-wheeling lifestyle. This has resulted in a rise in disposable income, a decrease in infant mortality and a rise in the number of stag or hen parties.
Impact on real estate market
Several academics chime in on the new proposed housing rules in Vancouver. The city is floating ambitious plans to tackle restrictive zoning rules. These plans include an increase in density and allowing for multiple homes on single-family lots.
The Making Room strategy is already sparking controversy. It would allow small-scale multifamily homes in half of Vancouver. However, the process to implement it could take up to 18 months. It would begin with 2,000 lots. Eventually, the plan would expand to about 34,000 lots. It is estimated that the number of new homes produced in Vancouver could increase by more than three-quarters.
One of the main reasons for the high prices in Vancouver is a lack of supply. In particular, there are few undeveloped multi-family sites. This makes it difficult to build multi-family dwellings. In addition, the city has high density neighborhoods, which drive up the price of single-family houses. In Vancouver, the benchmark price for a single-family detached home has risen more than 70 percent over the past five years.
In January 2018, Vancouver adopted a policy to encourage owners to divide their house into more than one unit. This is called a “character” house. Typically, a character house is one that was built before 1940.
According to Vancouver’s city hall, 67,300 of 68,000 lots in the city are affected by the duplex zoning. This means that if all of these lots were allowed to have duplexes, there would be about 17,000 more homes built in the city over the next two decades.
Secondary suites are a separate residential unit that allows homeowners to generate rental income. They must be legally registered, and meet certain restrictions. They can also help homeowners fund their mortgages.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.