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Yes it is the second take on this housing form-rather plain bread to look at, but with lots of space and quite adaptable in the interior. The Vancouver Special was the “big box” of its time, providing the maximum allowable square footage of housing space on a lot.
Bob Ransford in the Vancouver Sun picked up the story previously published in November in Price Tags. The synopsis-Michael Mortensen suggests melding two or three 33 by 120 foot lots together to create four 1500 square foot units on three levels in the front structure, and a two story dwelling in the back, that could house a 1,000 square foot unit and two 500 square foot studios.
Of course under current zoning restrictions, this cannot be done. But what Michael suggests in his original proposal was the advocacy of a pilot program and the release of design licences with pre-approved development permits for a number of two or three lot configurations in any single family housing zone. As a pilot project these developments could connect to existing water, sewer and electrical lines. The form and its success could then be monitored and evaluated.
Michael notes that 1000 of these developments could yield 6,000 to 7,000 units. While the City is doing some good work on stacked form, its always refreshing to get an outsider’s perspective.
And I am reminded how in the late 1980’s it was almost impossible to have a legal basement suite in a single family house . A decade ago a legal laneway house behind a single family house would be out of the question. The City is densifying and we need to find smart ways to house a growing population.
Perhaps this idea is not too far off. Would this work as a demonstration project? Can this fit into single family areas? Do we still need to think of parking spaces for every unit in a single family zone?
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