Build a coach house
A coach house is a detached compact home, which is a type of infill housing usually built in the rear yard of a single-family residential lot.
Sometimes called a laneway house or carriage home, a coach house can provide you with additional rental income, while increasing the diversity of rental housing choices in single-family neighbourhoods.
A coach house can't be sold separately from the main house or placed under strata title.
The provincial government has introduced the Secondary Suite Incentive Program, which offers up to $40,000 in forgivable loans to help homeowners create new affordable secondary suites. Learn more about the Secondary Suite Incentive Program
Can you build a coach house on your property?
To be eligible to build a coach house, your lot and proposal must meet these general requirements:
- zoned single-family residential (RS)
- within the urban containment boundary (UCB) in the Official Community Plan
- the combined density of the main house and coach house can't exceed the maximum density allowed by zoning
- the proposal must meet development permit area (DPA) requirements, if applicable
How to apply to build a coach house
If your lot and proposal meet the general requirements, you can apply to build a coach house. The application process varies depending on whether or not your lot has access from a lane or local street, and in some cases, the size of coach house you want to build.
Lots with local street or lane access
If you have a corner lot that is at least 15m wide and 36.5m deep and on a local street, or a lot that is at least 15m wide and has open lane access, you can apply for a building permit directly.
Lots without local street or lane access
- Corner lot that is at least 15m wide and 36.5m deep and on a non-local street
- Lot with double frontage (street at both ends) at least 15m wide
- Lot with no lane access, but at least 929 sq m
Not all single family home sites are suitable for coach house development. Be sure to confirm with us that your property qualifies before you proceed with your application.
Ready to proceed? Start here
To get started with your coach house project, please download our Coach House How-To Guide, which provides homeowners, designers, and builders with step-by-step assistance to:
- assess site eligibility
- identify the applicable permit process
- identify potential costs for coach house development
- prepare permit applications
- understand best practices in coach house building design
Other documents you may need
Council adopted bylaw amendments related to secondary suite regulations and the coach house program on December 4, 2023.
Increasing housing choice and diversity
Coach houses help increase the diversity of housing choices in single-family neighbourhoods.
A healthy and diverse range of housing options will improve affordability throughout the entire housing continuum, and will lead to a more vibrant, inclusive, diverse, and well functioning community.