Infill Housing Phase One: Monitoring

The City is monitoring the implementation of laneway and carriage houses, and townhouses and rowhouses.

The analysis and evaluation stage of the first phase of the Infill Housing Program has been put on hold while staff focuses on other Council priority areas. We expect to relaunch the Monitoring Program work in 2022. Applications for laneway and carriage houses, and infill townhouses and rowhouses will continue to be processed following the current policy.

The goal of the Monitoring Program is to understand the progress and challenges of the Infill Housing Program: Phase One in providing more housing choice for New Westminster residents. Community members and stakeholders, including designers and builders, still have the opportunity to provide feedback on the laneway and carriage house program through an online survey, available on the Laneway and Carriage House webpage. The following kinds of information is being sought:

  • number of laneway/carriage houses and infill townhouse/rowhouses approved and constructed
  • distribution of these projects across the city
  • property or site characteristics of projects
  • quality of physical design
  • common difficulties encountered by applicants
  • feedback from neighbours and other community members

The feedback received through the Monitoring Program will be used to help identify recommendations to Council about refinements to the program. This could include refinements to the design guidelines, zoning regulations, and/or approval process. Staff may also recommend changes to the Official Community Plan Land Use Designation Map to allow for ground oriented infill housing in more areas of the city.

A one-year interim report was presented to Council on February 2, 2019, which included a summary of the first year of the Infill Housing Program. At that time, some zoning changes were made to make the design of laneway and carriage houses, and infill townhouses and rowhouses easier. Please review the Council report and Zoning Bylaw amendments to learn more.  


Providing more housing choice is a key focus of the Official Community Plan (OCP). In New Westminster, this means encouraging more ground oriented housing forms. Typically a ground oriented unit has a separate, exterior door directly onto the street (without passing through a common lobby or corridor).

The forms of ground oriented housing that received the most support during the development of the OCP were laneway and carriage houses, and townhouses and rowhouses. These forms were the focus of Phase One of the Infill Housing Program, and are now permitted within the appropriate land use designations and zoning districts.

Laneway and Carriage Houses

Laneway and carriage houses are small, detached, ground oriented dwellings located in back yards. Laneway houses are located on properties that are accessible from a lane. Carriage houses are located on properties without lanes. Laneway and carriage houses can be used for family or as rental units.

Interested in building a laneway of carriage house? Click here to learn more.

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.

Interested in building infill townhouses or rowhouses?