Laneway Housing is a Terrible Idea!

To Mayor and Council:
All I can say is what are you people thinking??
Another brainless idea from people without much long-term foresight.
I am totally against laneway housing and ask that you stop this ridiculous idea – I cannot even be bothered to explain the reasons because it is obvious your group who is in favour would not understand. So as [someone]  concerned for the environment, a tax paying, law abiding citizen of this city, I suggest you stop this terrible idea.
I own a house and live here and enjoy my lifestyle and DO NOT want to have a crammed neighborhood full of people – if I wanted that I would live in China – common folks give your heads a shake.
I am beyond words and have absolutely no faith in the City of Vancouver.
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5 Responses to Laneway Housing is a Terrible Idea!

  1. Carole says:

    We are with you! We are neighbours of a renovation and laneway house. We, as direct neighbours, are not entitled to notice or privy to any plans to construct or renovate (bigger house) and new laneway house. How are we to know if the people doing the job (in our case the unprofessional owners) are doing what’s right. We are not entitled to any information. We now must spend a considerable amount of money proving our property line, protecting own established landscaping, trees and hedges. As retired seniors, we don’t have that extra cash and energy. We have already taken out 2 garden plots (4 inch. by 8 inch.) because of loss of sufficient light.

    We’ve had direct experience with the C.O.V Permits Department as well as Variance Board and Landscaping Department. We’ve been trying to get information. This is the ‘Wild West’. No rules just a few by-laws. The rest is a ‘Civil Matter’ we’ve been told. It appears that the worker bees (who do the checking, coordinating) are doing their best with the small amount of people available. We’ve been told that the C.O.V want to reduce even further the ‘checks and balances’. The Planners, on the other hand, well it’s totally high handed towards the development side.

    Can someone direct me to a group, organization or? who is activally fighting, lobbying or preparing a class action suit against the City Mayor and Councillors.

    We have been terrorized to the point of having to stay in our home.

    We need more action!

  2. Terry says:

    I was under the impression that the hardscape areas beside the laneway house is supposed to be permeable. About one week after construction wrapped up on the laneway house on our block, a paving truck pulled up and covered the whole side yard with asphalt.

  3. Brian says:

    If you think laneway housing is bad, consider this: the Vision Council has seen that the pushback wasn’t enough to stop them on that issue so they’ve continued their assault on neighbourhoods by: permitting 3-6 story buildings all along EVERY ARTERIAL IN THE CITY. And not only that, but from 150 to 500 meters EITHER SIDE of every arterial in the city.
    For details check
    A new group has been formed to push back against one of these six story projects going in on Dunbar: .
    They want to connect with neighbourhood groups and individuals all accross the city, since like laneway houses, this new 3-6 story threat is a danger to every neighbourhood in the city. Only bigger, because there’s more money in it for the developers who fund Vision Vancouver and who have replaced “planning”.

  4. David says:

    Laneway housing is a sad band-aid for the growing issue of affordability in our city. The rental market is hotter than ever. This drives cost of land with multifamily zoning up substantially. With such low vacancy rates (1.8%), a rental building provides an extremely stable investment. Low risk investments that are tangible, hard assets like this are in extraordinary demand. Not only does it offer steady passive income, but also appreciation of the asset via inflation. Low risk transpires to be low return on cashflow (capitalization rates in Vancouver are at record lows: 3% approx). This basically means that developers/owners have very little incentive to maintain, improve or build apartment buildings in our city for rental purposes. The value is in the land, therefore the cost to acquire a site and then build a property is far too high to make economic sense. The only way we can solve the affordability issue is to have government incentives to build larger high density projects.

    The City of Vancouver is trying to tackle the issue by ‘allowing’ or ‘imposing’, whichever your prefer, the construction of laneway homes in residential communities. Not only does this offer very low supply to fix the issue, but it causes more social problems than solutions as neighbours pipe up.

    Really all I see the laneway homes doing is making the squeaky wheel of affordability problems in our city louder. Densification around Metrotown is an example of a positive motion.

  5. John Doe says:

    In response to David’s comment, he is correct that rental demand is high and vacancy is low. And yes, apartments are not significantly improved nor are they built. It is much more profitable to build condos. So here is where I challenge his statements and I assume there are many who will not like it but oh well. Is purchasing housing in Vancouver affordable? Is the condo market affordable? Well it is, because people are affording them and demand is high. So guess what, rental prices will go up in the future as the apartment class disappears but if you want to live in this City then you have to pay the price, otherwise move to Surrey and commute like everyone else. The City is now allowing a secondary suite in primary structures and laneway homes to help combat the disappearance of the rental class. In my opinion, all you renters are lucky they are doing this, as they are helping to sustain the rental market. Will rental rates still go up? Yes. But at least rentals won’t disappear altogether. By the way, the City already offers increased density in exchange for a percentage of dedicated rental housing. I know because I worked on the appraisal a mixed use commercial/residential high rise in the downtown core which included this. Laneway homes are a good thing because they not only add rental supply and enable people to live in nice neighbourhoods otherwise un-penetrable, but they allow people to house elderly parents and kids with spouses and families. You can now build up to 900 sq.ft. which enables 3 bdrm, 1.5 bath layouts, enough to support a couple with 2 kids. Additionally, this is way more affordable than buying a condo or townhome in the city for your family. See my other post concerning feasibility analysis of laneway homes and identification of legitimate and significant concerns to laneway construction here…

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