The city-wide Vancouver plan discussion seems to be coming down to one thing: the end of RS-1 (or single-family zoning – the white part on the map*):
Critiques of zoning in the City of Vancouver typically begin with this:
Single-family zoning is why it’s illegal to build multi-family buildings, like apartments or social housing, on over 70 per cent of the land in Vancouver.
That was Adrian Crook in 2019. “Put an end to single-family zoning to end housing crisis.”
As PT readers will be quick to point out, RS-1 is no longer about a single family. That kind of zoning technically doesn’t exist, given that secondary suites, lane cottages, duplexes, etc. are pretty much buildable anywhere. But the land-use consequences are the same: the buildings must be stand-alone, and the sites cannot be used for ‘missing middle’ alternatives. The maintenance of single-family scale is still the determinant.**
But while zoning to maintain single-family scale may not be coming to an end anytime soon, actual stand-alone homes are diminishing, especially in contrast to the growth of apartments. ‘Changing Vancouver’ writer Andy Coupland provides some data:Read more »