Small lot & R-1XS

Small lots are defined as any lot 500 m2 (5,382 ft2) or less in area, or a narrow lot with 15 m (49 ft) or less in frontage. Small lots may exist or be created under the R-1XS, R-1Z, R-1S and RCH zoning regulations. 

What has changed?

  • The development of a small lot would require a Development Permit to regulate design under the new infill guidelines.
  • Lots need to be at least 400 m2 (4,305 ft2) in area to be allowed a suite or 500 m2 (5,382 ft2) for a cottage, this is due to the design impacts and constraints to sensitively develop small lots.
  • The R-1XS zone was zone specifically intended to address small lot infill developments. Please see below.

The R-1XS Zone

The R-1XS zone was created specifically for small lot infill developments.

What has changed?

  • A minimum lot area requirement of 300 m2 (3,229 ft2) is required for any new R-1XS lot. 
  • One floor area ratio of 0.5 would now apply to the R-1XS zone.  Previously the R-1XS zone had two applicable FAR regulations, which was unusual.   
  • Most R-1XS lots are considered ‘small lots’ and would also be impacted by general regulations for small lots, such as requiring a lot area of 400 m² to be allowed a suite and 500 m2 to have a cottage.

What does this mean for existing R-1XS lots?

Any existing dwelling that was lawfully constructed but would no longer comply with the zoning regulations due to the proposed amendments would become what is known as "legal non-conforming". Buildings that are legal non-conforming can be maintained /repaired over their life time. 

Any existing lot that does not meet a new lot area requirement is still considered a legal lot and can be developed in accordance with the applicable zone regulations.

While some of the established R-1XS lots may become non-conforming if they were constructed to the maximum size with a suite, the average lot size for existing R-1XS lots is 415 m² and the vast  majority have been 300 m² or larger. The smallest have been two lots in the East Saanich Road and Jeffree Road development, which are just over 200 m².