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.
We're simplifying the coach house process
Coach houses play an important role in meeting our goal of diversifying housing options, and we're adopting a number of changes to simplify the coach house application process. These changes were approved by Council on January 20, 2020 and will come into effect soon.
This page contains both information about the pending new application process, as well as details of the current application process. If you're considering applying to build a coach house, we recommend you review all the information first before you proceed.
Existing rules and process for building a coach house
Thinking of building a coach house now? Here are the current rules
Find out if your property is eligible for a coach house
Your single family lot must satisfy these general requirements to be eligible to build a coach house:
- Your lot must be over 929 m2 (10,000 square feet) — or at least 15m (50 feet) wide on a corner lot, or with access to an open lane
- You cannot have an existing secondary suite, either attached or detached
- You must be able to provide sufficient useable onsite parking (three spaces are required; two for your principal residence and one for the coach house)
- The combined size of your principal house and coach house can't exceed the allowed maximum density for your zone
- The proposal must meet the Development Permit Area Policy of Schedule B in the OCP
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.
How to proceed
Download our complete Coach House How-To Guide to get complete details, including:
- help determining if your site is eligible
- a step by step approach to the application process
- help figuring out costs
- detailed design and development criteria
- important contacts and resources
- frequently asked questions
Proposed new application process to be considered in early 2020
News and updates
January 20, 2020 — Adoption
Council voted to adopt the proposed bylaw amendments.
December 2, 2019 — Second and third reading
Staff presented the proposed coach house bylaw amendment to Council, who gave it second and third reading. A date for Council to consider adopting the bylaw, which is the last step in the process, will be set in early 2020.
November 19, 2019 — Public hearing
Provide your input about the coach house bylaw amendments at the public hearing.
October 28, 2019 — Revised staff report to Council
Staff presented revised bylaw amendments to Council.
October 7, 2019 — Staff report to Council
Staff presented an updated report to Council with information from the public engagement process and proposed bylaw amendments.
October 14, 2018 — Community engagement
From September 20 - October 14, 2018, we spoke with residents and other stakeholders about the proposed changes to the District's Coach House Program.
July 9, 2018 — Staff report to Council
Staff presented the report to Council on the current approach to coach houses, with recommendations for proposed changes.
Staff were directed to proceed with public engagement and bring back bylaw amendments to Council for Introduction and First Reading.
Review the report that outlines these changes (starts on page 151)
Proposed improvements include new or simplified permitting requirements, changes to allowable floor space, revised parking requirements, and more.
Under the proposed changes, some lots would qualify for a more simplified process, while others would continue with the existing process.
Lot eligibility criteria
Number of storeys
Proposed new process
All of the following:
Proposed new process
One of the following:
|One or two||
Any of the following:
|One or two||
Get updates about this project
If you would like to be updated about progress with this project, please complete our online contact form, and we will notify you by email when there is new information.
(Did you take our online coach house survey and provide your email address then? You do not need to sign up again.)
- Corner lot at least 49.2 ft (15m) wide
- At least 10,000 sq ft (929 sq m) with no lane access
- Lot with frontage on two non-intersecting streets