Frequently Asked Questions

How can more units be added to a single detached residential (house) property today?

The City already has a secondary suite program and a laneway/carriage house program for properties on the mainland. Adding these two rental units to your property is available in most single detached residential (house) zones. Both these unit types have new streamlined review processes.

Approval for a laneway or carriage house is through a Development Permit, which is design based and does not need to be considered by City Council. Creating a secondary suite requires only a Building Permit. Click through the links to learn more about the processes.

Where can small scale multi-unit housing be built in the city?

Prior to the Province's changes, infill housing has been allowed in areas of New Westminster that are designated for “Ground Oriented Residential” in the Official Community Plan. Ground oriented infill housing includes duplexes, triplexes, quadraplexes, cluster houses, townhouses, and other equivalent building forms. Interim policy and design guidelines are used to evaluate these applications, which are processed through site specific rezoning. The City is currently working on an expanded infill housing program. Click here to learn more!

In infill housing projects, it is important to consider tree retention and the servicing needed for additional units which includes sanitary and sewer capacity, stormwater management, electrical load and wire undergrounding, as well as resurfacing of curbs, roads, and sidewalks. Click here for a list of other considerations for development in New Westminster.

Why has New West not made more changes to its zoning in response to the province's new housing legislation?

Most residential neighbourhood properties in New Westminster already permit several housing units, which can be built today. Given that, the City is not required to make more changes to our zoning at this time. More infill housing opportunities are coming too, and our work to allow them will take into consideration New West specific things (like hills!) as well as the intentions of the Province’s program.