Frances Bula header image 2

NPA candidate calls for moratorium on laneway houses

November 9th, 2011 · 69 Comments

Okay, a bit confusing that a council candidate is opposing the laneway houses that the NPA’s mayoral candidate is supporting, but anyway, this ought to get Bill some support from irate residents in Dunbar and Point Grey.

NPA Council Candidate Bill McCreery calls for a moratorium on laneway housing.

Over the past two years laneway houses have been an unwelcome addition to many Vancouver neighbourhoods.  Local residents have complained to the Vision Vancouver City Council about their loss of privacy and their loss of on-street parking spaces, along with a variety of other concerns.  However, the Vision Vancouver Council has chosen to ignore these concerns.

In addition to improving laneway housing’s standards and guidelines, NPA Council Candidate Bill McCreery calls for an immediate moratorium of future laneway housing development permits pending the results of a thorough review of standards, guidelines and approval procedures.

McCreery, an architect, says: “This is necessary because of the negative impacts these new homes are having on their neighbours.

“In a nutshell these are the principle concerns:
• The one and a half storey, really two storey, laneway house is an unacceptable fit into most neighbourhoods because of privacy intrusions.  Parking requirements are also increased so there is inadequate street parking, especially for laneway projects on narrower lots.  They also create significant changes in neighbourhood character.
• There are neighourhoods where this concept has been accepted, and there are others where it has not.  Individual neighbourhoods should have a say in whether laneway houses are for them or not.
• The current approval process is too complex, and uncertain.  It also takes too long and is too costly.”

McCreery suggests: “Vancouver needs to research how laneway housing is being done more successfully in other cities – such as Seattle.  If Vancouver laneway housing is to continue in a way that is acceptable to local residents, we need to improve the end product because current practices are not working and are not acceptable.

Categories: 2011 Vancouver Civic Election