West Vancouver caps new houses at mere 6,600 square feet

New bylaw restricts ‘monster homes’, allows smaller lots in B.C.’s most exclusive community where benchmark house price tops $3 million.

After a two-year public process, the District West Vancouver council has taken steps to limit the construction of ‘monster houses’ in the municipality.

On July 27th the District West Vancouver Council voted to approve bylaws aimed at maintaining neighbourhood character while pushing for 'gentle densification' which is basically a process of setting a limit on maximum house sizes, which are determined based on lot size and its neighbouring lots. 

However, this bylaw also allows for more subdivisions of larger lots and provides owners with the chance to build coach houses and include secondary suites on their properties. 

If you are a resident in West Vancouver you have probably seen many homes that outsize and do not fit in with any of their neighbouring homes, the idea of this bylaw is to encourage smaller homes to avoid this. 

These changes will be coming into effect in January of 2022. This change follows a long citizen-led consultation process that began in 2018.

Coun. Nora Gambioli applauded the change, calling it “the beginning of the end of new monster homes” in West Vancouver.

“This is a really positive shift in our single-family neighbourhoods,” said Gambioli. “In another 10 or 20 years it is going to make a very big difference.”

The biggest change coming from this bylaw is the maximum floor area ratio which is a ratio of the house size to lot size ratio changing from 0.35 to 0.30.

For example, on a 15,000 square foot lot, the current maximum house size is 5,250 SQFT, under the new regulations, the maximum size would be decreased to 4,500 SQFT, a very large difference.

The bylaw also provides “density bonuses” for coach house construction for owners who retain smaller, older homes on their properties. The process for coach house approvals is to be streamlined.

The bylaw is also changing how enclosed deck areas are included in the floor space ratios of homes along with changing how roof heights are calculated.

If you would like to learn more about this upcoming bylaw, or if you are thinking about buying or selling your properties, please contact Matt Gul, who is a top luxury real estate agent situated in West Vancouver, who can help you with all of your needs. To contact Matt Gul please call him at 778.888.8888 or email him at matt@mattgul.com