My wife and I would like to register our objections to the current interpretation of the laneway housing policy. From what our intial understanding was that it would be for existing older properties. It seems to have been relaxed considerably to the detriment of neighbourhoods. The current policy seems to maximize the number of living spaces per property to the point where along with a basement suite, there could be three times as many persons residing on the property than just a single family. It appears like the City and developers have exploited the potential of the laneway house to maximize profits and property taxes. The worst example that we have observed is at the new housing/laneway housing at West 11th Ave and Blanca Street. I cannot imagine what the neighbourhood must feel besides being deceived by the City policy that allowed this to happen. There used to be consultation with neighbourhoods before development happened but this seems to have gone by the boards. We live in Dunbar and I do not want to see this happen around us as we have had to put up with enough already what with the destruction of bungalows which are being replaced by 4,500+ square foot houses. In our area, most if these houses sit empty as the owners live in China. The City is asking a lot of its tax-paying residents to accept such changes when there has been no consultation whatsover. My wife and I are gardeners and we take much pride in our property. A laneway house next door would reduce the amount of sun that our yard would receive and three residences on one property would increase the number of automobiles, on street parking and garbage collection requirements In regard to laneway housing we urge you to re-examine the policy so that:
The owner must occupy one of the dwellings.
That Laneway housing only be permitted for existing single family dwellings not new construction.
The neighbourhoods must be notified regarding one story structures.
That neighbourhoods approve any two story structures that may be considered.
Because of the backlash that laneway housing has caused, there may be value in the City imposing a moritorium until public hearings have taken place.