The R-2 zone currently permits duplexes if the lot is over 920 m2 (~9,900 ft2), with single family dwellings on lots 660 m2 or larger. The regulations would allow duplexes on lots 800 m2 (~8,600 ft2) or larger; however, it is expected that most of those properties would require a variance from Council as well since a wider lot frontage is required to allow a duplex (26 m vs 21 m).
Where are duplexes currently allowed?
- Currently the R-2 zone permits duplexes on lots 920 m² or greater, or a single family dwelling on lots 660 m² or greater.
- There are approximately 848 lots zoned R-2 in the District of which approximately 93% are in Brentwood Bay Village.
- The R-2S zone permits duplexes or a single family dwelling on lots 550 m2 or greater.
- There are only two lots that have been developed and one lot recently rezoned to the R-2S zone.
What has changed?
- In the R-2 zone, the proposed amendments would reduce the lot area requirement for a duplex from 920 m2 to 800 m2.
- In the R-2S zone, the proposed amendments would differentiate between single family dwelling and duplex with lot coverage and floor area ratio regulations. A duplex would be permitted a floor area ratio of 0.5 and lot coverage of 35%, which is slightly larger than 0.45 and 30% for a single family dwelling.
- One of the significant advantages of supporting more duplexes is that they can provide more attainable options for buying a home.
- A maximum floor area for both single family dwellings and duplexes is also proposed. (See max. house sizes.)
What does this change mean?
- This would allow approximately 120 more lots to build a duplex without needing to rezone. However, the lot frontage requirement for a duplex is also larger than a single family dwelling, (26 m vs 21 m) and it is anticipated that many of the potential duplex lots would require a variance to be approved by Council before a duplex could be constructed.
- Development of a duplex lot would also be regulated through a development permit process.
- These maps show the existing R-2 zoned lots that meet the current requirement of 920 m2 to allow a duplex (in orange) and those lots that meet the proposed requirement of 800 m2 to allow a duplex (in red).
Parking and traffic concerns are often raised when new developments are proposed, regardless if a variance to reduce parking is requested. Realizing this is a subject matter that needs to be looked at more closely, the OCP amendments include two new policies:
- Update the off-site servicing standards to include on-street parking as part of the frontage improvements, in balance with other priorities for use of the roadways such as sidewalks, street trees, and bike lanes.
- Consider establishing a Parking Fund to collect cash-in-lieu payments when a variance is granted, that would be used to improve public parking and alternative transit infrastructure.
Another project initiative currently underway in the District is the development of an Active Transportation Plan, which would help identify priority locations where pedestrian and cycling improvements are most needed, and where new pathways can improve connectivity throughout the District.
In addition to the floor area ratio, each ‘R’ zone now includes a maximum house size expressed as total floor area.Currently, the LUB does not establish a specific house size maximum but rather relies on provisions for lot coverage and floor area ratio (FAR). These vary between zones and the maximum house size is ultimately dependent upon the size of the lot.
How where the proposed maximum house sizes determined?
The maximum house sizes were determined by multiplying the allowable floor area ratio by minimum lot area and adding 20%. The reason to include an additional 20% is to account for lots that are somewhat larger than the minimum lot area.
Currently there are no house size limits for agricultural zones. A maximum house size of 500 m2 (5,381 ft2) is proposed for the Agricultural zones to reflect the provincial Agricultural Land Commission regulations, and to address similar concerns resulting from large homes impacting farm land.
What is the impact?
To evaluate this proposed regulation the previous 5 years of completed residential building permits were reviewed. A total of 79 building permits located in the ‘R’ zone were analyzed. Of the analyzed permits, 1/2 were R-1XS zoned, approximately 1/3 were zoned R-1 or R-2, and the remaining were a mix of the RCH-2, R-1S, R-1Z, or R-1M zones.
When comparing the average house size built within each zone to the proposed maximum house size, only the R-1XS zone was slightly over the proposed maximum. Many of those over the proposed were built with a suite at the maximum FAR of 0.6.
Some homes in the R-2 zone also exceeded the proposed maximum, but they were on larger properties, one that was almost 1 ha in area. See summary table below:
No. of Permits
Highest Floor Area (m2)
Lowest Floor Area (m2)
Average Floor Area (m2)
Proposed Max (m2)
No. Exceed Max
430 m2 (4628 ft2)
50 m2 (538 ft2)
330 m2 (3552 ft2)
45 m2 (484 ft2)