Infill Housing

Providing more housing choice is a key focus of the Official Community Plan (OCP).
In New Westminster, this means encouraging more ground oriented housing, laneway houses and townhouses, duplexes, triplexes and quadraplexes.  Enabling these forms of housing is aligned with Council’s new Strategic Priorities Plan, which identifies homes and housing options as a key priority for the City. 

Laneway and Carriage Houses

Phase One of the Infill Housing Program was launched in 2017 after considerable community engagement, and includes policies that encourage laneway and carriage houses. These types of housing help increase housing choice and contribute to the amount and diversity of available rental housing.
Improvements to the program were made in 2019, following a one-year review.  Further review was undertaken in 2022, including consultation with past applicants and community members. This led to the creation of Streamlined Guidelines for Laneway and Carriage Houses, which are now being piloted. For details on the review and new Streamlined Guidelines, visit the Laneway and Carriage House webpage.

Townhouses and Rowhouses

Townhouses and rowhouses are attached, ground oriented units. The units are side-by-side, not stacked. Rowhouses are fee simple developments with parking on each fee simple lot. Townhouses are strata title developments which may have shared or designated parking typically at the rear of the property. Infill townhouse and rowhouse projects provide smaller and fewer units than standard townhouse projects, which helps them fit better in established neighbourhoods. 
These dwelling forms were also enabled in 2017, and the program was refined in 2019. Consultation on the program was undertaken in 2022, but given the on-going housing crisis, anticipated changes to provincial regulations, the scope and timeline of that review has shifted.
Interested in building infill townhouses or rowhouses?
  • Click here to view the Infill Townhouse and Rowhouse Development Permit Guidelines.
  • Click here to view the Infill Townhouse and Rowhouse Residential Zoning District (RT).
  • Click here to learn more about building townhouses and rowhouses.
  • Click here to learn more about development in New Westminster.

Duplexes, Triplexes and Quadraplexes

The next phase of the Infill Housing Program will include consideration of how duplexes and triplexes are permitted. Allowing these housing forms is one way the City can help increase the amount of ground oriented infill housing other than single detached dwellings, a key objective of the Official Community Plan. In order to facilitate pilot projects in advance of a policy framework, Council has endorsed an interim development review policy.
Click here to see the Interim Development Review Policy: Duplexes, Triplexes and Quadraplexes.

Applicants interested in building duplexes, triplexes and quadraplexes now have two options:
  1. Wait until the full Program is developed. At which point we will be able to provide more clarity and guidance to applicants and likely a shorter application process.
  2. Apply as a pilot project. Pilot projects will help us understand which regulations, guidelines, and approval process to include in the program. Pilot projects would be subject to thoughtful design, site planning and landscaping review, and likely a longer application process. Applications that don’t meet the requirements outlined in the Interim Policy will have to wait for the full Program to be developed.
It is recommended that applicants who wish to proceed as a pilot project contact the City to set up a pre-application meeting at which time a Planner will evaluate and advise whether the application is consistent with the Interim Policy. At this meeting the Planner can also discuss with you the application requirements and approval process, and answer any questions you may have.

Regulations and guidelines for small or compact lot subdivision have not been included in the first two phases of the Infill Housing Program, as single detached dwellings are already well-represented in the city’s current housing stock. Although this form of infill could be examined at a future date, at this time staff is not recommending small or compact lot applications to Council.

For more information please contact the Planning Division by phone at 604-527-4532, or by email at .