New Designs to Meet Vancouver’s New Laneway Housing Regulations


Smallworks’ Signature Vancouver

What are the affects of Vancouver’s new Laneway Housing regulations? Here is a simple bullet point summary:

  • Increases the permitted floor area to 0.16 of the lot size, up to a max. of 900 square feet

33’ lot: increase of 141 sf. (plus 40sf. of storage)

50’ lot: increase of 150 sf. (plus 40sf. of storage)

  • Allows an additional 40 square feet for storage space (either for closet space or a separate storage room, e.g. for bike storage
  • Increases the permitted footprint of a one storey home by allowing it to extend into the rear yard up to 6 feet so that all floor area can be built at grade (a two storey home must stay within the regular footprint)
  • Continues to require a 16 foot separation between a LWH and the main house to maintain backyard open space.
  • Limits the height of one storey units to the maximum allowed for a garage (12 to 15 feet depending on roof form)
  • Allows a 5 percent increase in site coverage (area that buildings can occupy on a site) to a maximum of 45 percent, for single storey homes
  • Allows 10% side yards setbacks, and a 2-foot setback (without windows) on one side, for single storey LWHs, regardless of zoning
  • 1.5 storey LWH follows the same zoning setback requirements as their individual zoning allows
  • LWH can be situated on sites at least 32.15′ wide
  • Main entry door when at the lane must be set back 5 feet
  • On corner site main door must face street
  • Lane elevation: at least 10% of the face must include windows at least 1.1m sq (i.e. 30×48 windows)
  • Wall cladding materials have to be consistent and wrap around building corners 4-6 feet before changing to something else
  • One external parking space for both one and 1 1/2 storey LWH is mandatory
  • Continued use of permeable materials for surface parking is still required

See Smallworks New 2.0 Laneway House Designs and Floor Plans


Smallworks’ Version 1 Floor Plan for the Signature Vancouver


Our newest models accommodate the changes made by the City of Vancouver to its Laneway Housing Regulations.

By | 2016-11-15T09:05:55+00:00 June 9th, 2013|News & Trends in Small House Living|


  1. Dave January 24, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    Hi, can a 66 x 125 RS5 have both a LWH and a separate detached double garage built on the lot in addition to a new home?

  2. David November 9, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    do the parking pads have to be a certain size?
    What restrictions if any are there for the parking pad?
    do they need to be 10″ by 18′ or so?


  3. Jake June 24, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Patricia, Thanks for your comment. We agree with you and hope to be able to build you a beautiful small home very soon. Smallworks truly appreciates your continued support.

  4. Jake June 24, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Hi Bob,
    The proposed changes has opened up all the RS zones for building a LWH: RS-1, RS-2, RS-3, RS-4, RS-5, RS-6 , or RS-7 are potentially eligible; that’s if the lot meets the requirements. No news on any other zones being opened up.

  5. Kathleen Higgins June 22, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    My husband (from Delta) spoke in favour of the Laneway Houses at the recent public hearing. We are promoting this concept during the North Delta Area Plan Review now underway for the first time in 20 years. We’re soon-to-be empty-nesters living in an aging rancher on a 66′ by 100′ lot in North Delta. I’m emailing to ask if you know of a real estate lawyer who specializes in Tenants in Common Agreements. If a Main house and its Laneway house could not be a strata recognized by the city, a Tenants in Common Agreement, could still create two different owners on the one lot. This would allow young families and seniors each to have the security of ownership, albeit in a model different from conventional fee simple or strata title. Laneway houses with no garages are a great development for Vancouver and a great precedent for all of Metro Vancouver to follow. Wishing you every success. Kathleen Higgins, Delta

  6. Bob June 14, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Is there a proposed change for LHs to be built on areas differently zoned than at present

  7. Patricia Fraser June 13, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Jake, I thought your presentation was very helpful at the public meeting on Tuesday evening. I am very happy the amendment passed (although it won’t affect our project). More laneways mean better living across the city.

  8. David Rogers June 13, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Hi Jake,
    Thanks for update.
    Will the single story LHW be able to be built for less $$. If so, what % less if possible to estimate?

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