PT is getting great comments on a post – City Council: Duplexing and Messaging – put up on November 14.
Let’s bring it forward, and begin again with the latest post from one of our great commenters, Ron van der Eerden. (For those who were part of the comments stream, feel free to repost, but try to add something more to the discussion.)
I doubt duplexes will be very attractive to developers, that being “big bad developers”. A few very small developers may take advantage. But for a small developer it’s a big risk and big money for what would still be an expensive product. I’m certain the outgoing council knew this would be a fairly inconsequential move with few repercussions and unworthy of the massive consultation some would have preferred. It’s more symbolic. A baby first step.
Basement suites in old houses were always an afterthought with abysmal floor plans and wasted space. Often with low ceilings, even lower under ducts and beams, freezing cold floor slabs, terrible leaky windows, drafty, dark and subject to the landlord needing entry for mechanical system maintenance and repair. In new duplexes they would be planned from the beginning and avoid all of those shortcomings. You’d fit more usable space in a smaller footprint. Where once you had two units you can have four. It wouldn’t go from three to two because you can’t have a laneway house if you want a duplex.
I’m sure that’s coming. So ultimately you’ll be able to have five units where once there might have only been one. This strategy is all in service to those many people who just can’t let go of the idea of a neighbourhood of houses. The feel of the street would be largely unchanged. It’s not the answer. It’s an answer, one that might play out here and there across the city maybe gaining some momentum once laneways are allowed.
To get the density we should be aiming for around transit hubs and stations we need to call in the big bad developers.