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
- Laneway and Carriage House Development Permit Guidelines
- Supplemental Guidelines for Accessible Laneway and Carriage Houses
- Zoning Bylaw
- Legal survey requirements
- Servicing Requirements - Subdivision and Development Control Bylaw
- Letter of Authorization
The City of New Westminster is reviewing the successes and challenges of the Phase One Infill Housing Program. Launched through adoption of the Official Community Plan in 2017 after considerable community engagement, the goal of the program is to provide more housing choice for New Westminster in the form of laneway and carriage houses, and infill townhouses and rowhouses. Visit the Be Heard New West page for project updates.
Starting January 1, 2020, all laneway and carriage houses must meet Step Code Level 2. 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. City staff is currently developing a handout with more information on how Step Code would work with your laneway or carriage house project. For more information, please visit Energy Save New West.
Development Permit Amendments
Effective January 1, 2020, a new reduced fee is available for amendments to approved laneway and carriage house Development Permits. These amendments could include changes to height, floor area or window configuration. This will make it easier to facilitate changes to laneway or carriage houses during the Building Permit or construction stages of the project. Projects will still need to comply with the Zoning Bylaw, DPA Guidelines and BC Building Code.
Zoning Bylaw Amendments
On February 25, 2019 Council adopted changes to improve the design of laneway and carriage houses. Click here to read the Council report and Zoning Bylaw amendments.
Further review and revisions to the infill housing program will be ongoing. To keep up to date on any future consultation activities, please see our Infill Housing Phase One Monitoring Program.