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Will Changes to West Vancouver’s By-Laws affect your plans?

Will Changes to West Vancouver’s By-Laws affect your plans?

You may have heard about the West Vancouver zoning changes. These new zoning by-law changes are going to affect what is possible when building a new home in West Vancouver. If a new build is on your radar you NEED to be aware of this. As of January 31, 2022 these changes will become law. 

We all know that ownership of land doesn’t mean you can do what you want with it and from time to time the rules get changed. Well, that’s what’s going on now and as Home Designers it is our responsibility to be up to date on what the changes are and how they will impact your project. The My Home Designer team can advise clients about what they can do and more importantly, what they can’t do as these changes come into effect.

Some of the zoning changes will enhance the beauty and walkability of our neighbourhoods. For instance, there are new opportunities for Secondary Suites, Coach Houses and Laneway Homes, in addition to neighbourhood beautification guidelines…..

west vancouver zoning changes

Floor Area Ration

However, in this article we are focusing on the changes to Floor Area Ratio (FAR). At My Home Designer, we are looking at what those changes will mean for you as you design your home. 

With the looming deadline, there is still time to complete your design and have it submitted for approval before these restrictions become law.

Here are the changes in point form:

  • The recommendations call for a reduction in the FAR for new houses from the current 0.35 to 0.30 on lots larger than 7,285 sq. ft. 
  • For lots between 4,500 sq. ft. and 7,285 sq. ft., the buildable area for the house would be a fixed 2,200 sq. ft, reduced from 2,550 sq. ft.
  • To encourage housing diversity, the working group suggested a bonus FAR for a secondary suite of up to 500 sq. ft. or a 0.05 FAR bonus, whichever is less. 
  • Coach houses are recommended to come at FAR bonus of 800 sq. ft. or 0.10 FAR, whichever is less.
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What can you do about it?

With a deadline of January 31, 2022, there is a window of time available to begin the architectural drawing stage of your project and have it submitted for approval. We would strongly recommend that this process begin sooner rather than later. You certainly want to begin the design process ASAP before run out of time as there is a long process ahead!

Of course, our expert My Home Designer team, an architectural firm in West Vancouver is taking a deep dive into how this will impact future builds. But, we are also in a position to get your home design completed and submitted ahead of the deadline, so you don’t have to compromise your plans.

If you need to learn more about this we would love to hear from you. You can book a free consultation with our expert designer Aryo Falakrou. Aryo will be able to answer all of your questions and support you in the next steps.