Laneway and Carriage Houses
New Westminster’s Laneway and Carriage House program began in 2017 after the building form was permitted through the updated Official Community Plan. The City of New Westminster now permits the development of laneway and carriage houses on many single detached dwelling properties.
Laneway and carriage houses are small, detached, ground-oriented dwellings located in backyards. Laneway houses are located on properties that have access to a lane. Carriage houses are located on properties without a lane.
These new housing forms will contribute to the amount and diversity of rental housing available in the city. Laneway and carriage houses can be used for family or as rental units, but cannot be strata-titled, sold or used for short-term rentals (e.g. for a bed and breakfast). Laneway and carriage houses offer more privacy and independence than secondary suites.
- Guide: Laneway or Carriage Houses
- Streamlined Laneway and Carriage House Guidelines (Updated)
- Supplemental Guidelines for Accessible Laneway and Carriage Houses
- Zoning Bylaw
Through the summer of 2022, the City engaged with past applicants and community members in a review of the laneway and carriage house program. Broad support for the program was heard, as well as a desire to see more laneway and carriage houses. Various recommendations for changes and streamlining of the program were received, as well as feedback regarding the need to continue to ensure that these housing forms fit well in neighbourhoods.
- Focus in on guidelines most important to achieving the intent of the program, and remove some of the detail that was resulting in longer review timelines;
- Clarify which guidelines “must be met” and which should “be considered”;
- Provide more clarity on definitions and expectations.
Starting May 1, 2023, all laneway and carriage houses must meet Step Code Level 3. The BC Energy Step Code requires new buildings to meet higher energy efficiency standards than the minimum prescriptive requirements of the BC Building Code. This aligns with the City’s Seven Bold Steps on Climate Change: Carbon Free Homes and Buildings. For more information, please visit the Buildings and Climate Action page on our website.