The R-2 zone allows for single family dwellings or duplexes, subject to different minimum lot area requirements. The minimum lot size required for a duplex in the R-2 zone has been reduced to 800 m2 (~8,600 ft2) from the previous requirement of 920 m2 (~9,900 ft2). For single family dwellings the lot size requirement remains at 660 m2 or larger. Although the lot size has been reduced for a duplex, it is expected that many existing lots that meet the 800 m2 requirement would need a variance for a reduced the lot frontage since a wider frontage is required to allow a duplex (26 m vs 21 m).
Where are duplexes currently allowed?
- Currently the R-2 and R-2S zones permits both single family dwellings and duplexes.
- The R-2 zone has different lot size requirements for a single family dwelling or a duplex.
- 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.
What has changed?
- New regulations have reduced the lot size required for a duplex in the R-2 zone from the previous requirement of 920 m2 (~9,900 ft2) to 800 m2 (~8,600 ft2) .
- 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 purchasing a home.
- A maximum floor area for both single family dwellings and duplexes is now included (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 require a Development Permit to regulate design under the new infill guidelines.
- These maps show the R-2 zoned lots in red that would now meet the lot area requirement of 800 m2 for a duplex (red). The orange lots are those that met the previous lot area requirement of 920 m2 for a duplex.
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. Previously, the regulations did not establish a specified house size maximum but rather relied on provisions for lot coverage and floor area ratio (FAR) that meant the maximum house size was ultimately dependent upon the size of the lot.
How were 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.
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.