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Do you want some privacy or want some additional space to work and live in a peaceful environment? Coach house or Laneway House is a perfect solution for all your space problems.

Laneway houses contribute to the amount and variety of rental housing in the city. And also offers privacy and independence. These types of houses must fulfill the development permits and zoning by-law guidelines.

Development Permit Process

By counting all the zoning regulations, all the laneway houses are concerned with a development permit. The key points of development permit for a laneway house in west Vancouver are as follows

  • To give an effective combination of laneway houses with the built form and landscape character of existing adjacent properties.
  • To reduce site changes and retain the features of the site.
  • To encourage the high standard design, landscape and construction of houses.
  • To assist the energy and water conservation and also lower the emission of greenhouse gases.

The director of the Planning, Land Development & Permits, West Vancouver has the power to accept or reject the application of laneway house by considering zoning bylaw regulations and the BF-B3.1 guideline.

To attain first-class laneway houses, such variances must be considered by keeping in view the site features, adjacent property’s design, steep topography and existing views. Council approves the applications by considering the variances and regulations of the zoning bylaw. The applicant can request to reconsider the application in case the director has rejected it.

Approval Process

This development permit application for laneway houses is a two-stage process.

Siting Approval

  • It is reviewed and approved by considering the siting guidelines like the location of the lot, designs of buildings and landscape.
  • The applicants must elaborate their neighbors related to their proposal issues raised.

Building and Landscape Design Approval

  • It is reviewed and approved by considering the siting guidelines.
  • After approving, the planning staff gives notification to residents with the necessary proposal information.

Submission Requirements

The papers need to be submitted for the development permit of Laneway House application to west Vancouver city as follows

  • Provide complete information on the application form.
  • Submit application fee which depends on the type of unit.
  • A letter of authorization is signed by the owner.
  • Evidence is required that the applicant has discussed with neighbors about the suggested development, the issues raised and how they suggested to be resolved.
  • Must draw a site survey that shows

Dimensions and areas of the lot

Topography and natural features of the site where laneway house is being built.

Legal obligations

Building and site proximity with adjacent properties

  • A context plan for laneway house.
  • The photographs of the site
  • All the necessary project details.

Step 2

  • Provide details about building floor area plans, elevations, sections and materials.
  • Provide details about the proposed landscape design.
  • Must describe sustainable design measures.
  • Describe accessible designs.

Design Guidelines

Site and Landscape Designs

To lodge a laneway house, changes in endurance grades and natural site features should be reduced. Adjacent areas of laneway houses must be landscaped with low maintenance. Consider drought-resistant plant materials and water collection systems for irrigation and initiate the vegetation by assimilating in new landscaping where it is possible.

For patios, driveways and walkways must use permeable materials. The outdoor living areas of laneway houses must be specified and sheltered with the help of soft landscaping, architectural elements, changes in grade and also use visual screening to maintain privacy. Rain gardens, bioswales or rock-pits are used to keep rainwater coming from the roof or other hard surfaces. These are also used for the natural filtration of rainwater.

It is necessary to provide the areas for waste or recycling containers and mechanical equipment or utility meters must be affixed on the side or back wall of laneway house to avoid any visual and noise impacts on adjacent properties.


The laneway houses entrance must have a walkway to provide access to the street and it should be recognizable. For corner lots, the primary entry and projecting windows must be inclined towards flanking street. The laneway houses address should be clear at the start of the street and it must light up at night. The front door of the building must be 0.6m apart from the exterior building.

Roof and Massing

In the double story laneway house, the upper story must have massing within the sloped roof. The dormer must be 0.6m from the edge of the exterior walls and 1.2m from roof eaves. To maintain the privacy of neighbors the laneway housing must be limited to a single story on larger lots.


On smaller lots, the inclination, size and placement of windows must consider the proximity of adjacent properties. The upper and ground-level windows must be built in such a manner to minimize the overview and privacy of other adjacent buildings.

Outdoor Living Spaces

Private spaces should be separated from the principal building. The private spaces must also be screened to maintain privacy of laneway house and main homes.


Driveways must build with permeable materials. For normal lots’ parking is provided in the rear yard, while for corner lots parking is an inclined interior yard with access to an open lane.

laneway houses increases your property value. These houses can provide you extra rental income opportunities and are a perfect addition for you if you are lacking some space. It’s best to build a laneway house on your property.

Our Process

  1. A complete and thorough site inspection
  2. Extensive client consultation to craft your dream home
  3. Complete set of concept drawings with your review approval
  4. Final drawings and detailed to your exact specifications
  5.  Budgeting along the way, so you know your options and all the related costs. Need something changed, no worries, we will let you know exactly what, if any, additional expenditures are involved
  6. We handle all city hall permit requirements on your behalf, to ensure smooth sailing without administrative headaches
  7. Construction and inspections. You project manager over see the entire process  start to finish, dealing with all stages of the process and any questions you may need answered along the way
  8. Final walk-through to ensure your total satisfaction with the end result


Our team utilizes the latest cloud based technology for project management. Clients can easily check in to see current progress, pictures, change order requests, budget and much more.  We keep on track and on budget to ensure your project is completed to your satisfaction.


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