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Build a coach house
A coach house is a detached compact home, 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.
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
- no existing secondary suite or coach house on the property
- 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 on a local street that is at least 15m wide and 36.5m deep, or a lot with open lane access that is at least 15m wide, the process you use to apply depends on the height of the coach house you want to build.
- One storey coach house — Apply for a building permit directly
- Two storey coach house — Apply for a development variance permit for height, and then a building permit
Lots without local street or lane access
- Corner lot on a non-local street at least 15m wide and 36.5m deep
- 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
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.