Vancouver Co-Housing recently celebrated a move-in for their new development at 1729-1735 East 33rd Avenue rezoned from Single Family use to a Comprehensive Development by-law permitting 31 units on a 2 lot assembly (c.45 units/acre). The project was the subject of a lengthy review process and some debate but to their credit the owner-builders persevered. It’s an interesting project offering affordability (compact units, good design and shared amenities) and new types of community as a notable counterpoint to the more common demolition of single family dwellings and replacement with even larger homes in the close-in suburbs of our supply and affordability-hungry city.
Is there a collaborative way forward from here to refine some prototype designs so that subsequent projects can get started more quickly with less expense? It would also be great to do a follow-up study on the design, the approvals process, and post-occupancy interviews with residents and neighbours.
Courier
Courier2

Quick Stats

  • 3 suburban lots (2,749 sm / 29,590 sf)
  • Dwellings: 31
  • Floor Space Ratio: 1.1 (Gross Floor Area/Site Size)
  • Built Area: 3,023 sm / 32,549 sf
  • Common Space: 20% of built area
  • Avg unit:  839 sf (exclusive of common area)
  • Max Height 10.7m (stepped)
  • Site Coverage: 55% max
  • Overall Density: 46 units/acre

Links

Architect Charles Durrett’s Co-Housing Public Lecture – Nov 19, 2012
Urban Design Panel – Oct 24, 2012 (Non Support: 2-6)
Urban Design Panel – 5 Dec 2012 (Deferred)
Urban Design Panel – Jan  16, 2013 (Non Support: 4-6)
Rezoning Report – Jan 29, 2013
Courier Article – Feb 26, 2013
Vancouver co-housing complex draws concern: Cedar cottage co-housing seeking rezoning
Public Hearing – March 12, 2013
Bylaw Enactment CD-1 (564) – April 1, 2014
CBC Story – Owners Set to Move In Dec 28, 2015
Courier Story: March 10, 2016
Owners of Vancouver’s first co-housing complex move in: ‘Breaking bread’ together a key component of the co-housing philosophy
Courier Story: April 18, 2006 “Support for shared housing vital to Vancouver’s  future”

Site Plan

Site plan

Comments

  1. Ride my bike by here everyday to work, and it’s hard not to notice the large photo-voltaic (solar energy) installation on the roof. It would be interesting to know how much of their energy usage is offset by this.

  2. This is a viable way to shave the high cost of housing and build a community in a sustainable fashion. And 31 units from three lots — a pretty impressive gain while maintaining the low rise residential character of the neighbourhood!
    Those original lots were huge and represent one of the key issues causing, in part, our housing affordability crisis (Kerry Gold’s opinion notwithstanding): land waste and zoning inefficiency. Here is an solution for the future, though in several respects it was a tough slog. There was a vocal lack of acceptance by a minority of neighbours. Kudos to the group for sticking it out, and to the city for ultimately approving the rezoning.
    Though it’s not my cuppa (design and management by committee don’t appeal to everyone), I wish them all the best of everything.

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