Neighbours unhappy with Vancouver laneway houses
Published Thursday, October 21, 2010 7:14PM PDT
Not all Vancouver residents are pleased with the backyard homes that have been popping up all over the city since laneway housing got the green light a year ago.
West side resident Don Wishlow has been watching with displeasure the laneway house under construction next door to his home.
"It was a bit of a shock. I don't appreciate the fact that people in the balcony on the first storey have the opportunity of looking down onto my garden. I've lost a fair amount of privacy," he told CTV News.
The two-level laneway house is one of five currently under construction in a single block of West 11th Avenue, and some neighbours are not happy.
"There were no notifications, we had no opportunity to do any consultation, and suddenly these five lane homes are being built on our one block," resident Wally Kerchum said.
Bryn Davidson of Lanefab Design/Build, the company behind the laneway home next door to Wishlow, says that five backyard homes aren't too many for a single block.
"I don't think it's too many. I think, like anything new, it's going to seem like too many to begin with," he said.
The price tag for this particular Lanefab project is around $260,000.
"They are expensive compared to a garage, but compared to a condo of an equivalent size they are very affordable," Davidson said.
A total of 175 permits have been issued in Vancouver since laneway housing was approved. Each home can have a garage and up to 750 square feet of living space.
"For many people it allows their family member to be able to live in Vancouver, and in many situations it's actually the homeowners themselves who are looking to downsize into the lane house," Davidson said.
That was the city's vision for laneway housing, but 60 per cent of the permits have been issued to homeowners who are also tearing down and rebuilding the main home.
Currently, there are no limits on the number of laneway houses in a single alley.
That doesn't sit well with people like Kerchum.
"In our block, five is far too many, but we're stuck with them right now, unfortunately. There really has to be a limit," he said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson