What do you think about allowing different types of housing in the City’s single-family residential areas?

over 5 years ago
CLOSED: This map consultation has concluded

granny flat

The types of housing the City is considering are coach houses, granny flats and duplexes on lots not located along a major arterial road. The City is considering extending these housing options to single-family residential areas. (The existing 1999 OCP already allows a variety of housing types in Richmond’s single family residential areas. This is occurring now on some major arterial roads and in certain neighbourhood outside the City Centre).

  • A coach house is a self-contained dwelling located above a detached garage in the rear yard.
  • A granny flat is a detached, self contained dwelling located on the ground floor in the rear yard.
  • A duplex is two self-contained dwellings located either” (1) side by side, or (2) front and back.

(See the OCP housing choice survey for more details).

More information on this topic:

Benefits of new housing types.

Description of new housing types

How would new housing types fit into my neighbourhood

Possible new housing types in Richmond's single family areas

  • Olga over 9 years ago
    I think that this is another attempt to please the developers and to provide them with the long term cut of the work in the future. People of Richmond will not benefit from the increased density as it sacrifice our quality of life. The critical question about the focal densification proposal is - if there is a park land avail. in the area to offset this densification, it needs to be identified up front not to be trapped later into the situation - oh, there is no land for sale in the area anymore and we have to cut the park norm...
  • Sparky over 9 years ago
    These new housing types seem to benefit new construction especially the coach houses and granny suites. The secondary suites may not fit well into existing house construction without extensive modification. This densification is directed to the rear yard but some of the existing housing does not have space in the rear yard but they have space in the front yard. Why is there a rear yard only requirement? Some existing housing does not back unto rear lanes. The cost of service connections could be less costly if the front yard was permitted since services are usually in the road allowances. Other issues of drainage, parking, etc. need to be seriously addressed by staff prior to proceeding with this issue. Logical areas should be allowed to vote on this issue as currently Richmond has R1E zoning backing unto R1B zoning.
  • AaronKwok over 9 years ago
    I can probably see why Richmond City Hall would consider this. Its a way to keep Canada's economy moving, and would increase municipal tax revenues by size.The issue with increasing population density is the increase in electricity demand, water demand, more waste/pollution, and the likelihood of increased crime rates. The Council must ask how electricity demand will be met in the short run, what method is best to charge households on using water, and how waste will be managed to meet waste produced from these houses. Crime may also be an issue, especially with grow-ops and meth labs that will exist with the increase of population.The issue of congestion and air pollution should also be considered. I'm sure congestion is already nasty in some areas, especially No. 3 Road. It would be best if more commercial areas are available to serve the population as it increases. Another alternative is to expand bus routes and to increase the number of buses, and increasing the accessibility of bus stops (adding more bus stops to reduce walking distance).
  • gerald3393 over 9 years ago
    I believe new types of development is crucial for sustainable development for Richmond, and I mean that both economically and maintaining the quality of life. Since we could not and should not discourage a more populous Richmond in the future, the City needs to come up with the best solutions to maintain if not improve the standard of living. As a resident of the neighbourhood of East Richmond, I believe that a current problem in the neighbourhood is generally small lots west of Hwy 99 that aren't liked by most farmers. This causes the influx of Richmondites that couldn't find housing elsewhere and what I see is a negative mix of hobby farms, neglected lots with waste metal and disfunctional cars, and larger residential lots. The ultimate resolution to this problem is to allow smaller lots in the area west of the highway, in the form of estates, and enforce agricultural land east of the highway to agricultural purposes only, instead of renting houses on those lots to non-farmers.
  • buddcar over 9 years ago
    Notice that the majority of new freehold homes constructed already contain auxiliary suites (for "staff") plus expanded occupant space at the cost of yard space. This is a lifestyle choice and no amount of planning is going to revive the small duplex. Seen any built lately? Building codes could increase energy efficiency, maybe enough even to offset house size.Multi member families are not very compatible with apartment developments.
  • Solway over 9 years ago
    I live in a neighbourhood with a mix of single family and townhouse residences - and this mix works very well. An important result of this mixing is that my elementary school, junior high and high school friends came from households of different economic levels. This made for a more healthy childhood.I am however skeptical whether granny flats or coach houses could work in areas not served by rear laneways. With a rear laneway, the granny and coach house works because they can be accessed from the rear of the house. I have worked as an urban planner for the past 6 years and am having difficulty visualizing how these new housing types would work in Richmond.
  • Bob Lepsoe over 9 years ago
    I live in the Seafair area. I do not support increased population in this area.In my opinion the arterial roads, #1 Road, Francis Road and Blundell cannot support increased volumes of traffic in this area. The intersections of #1 Rd and Blundell Road and #1 Rd and Francis Road are common accident sites. The entrances and exits of the Seafair Shopping Centre are dangerous for vehicles and pedestrians every day because of the sheer volume and speed of traffic. On weekends especially, the volume of pedestrian and vehicle traffic draining off Hugh Boyd Park onto #1 Rd and Francis Rd adds to the problem. I think we've reached our population limit already. Thank you.
    Hide reply (1)
    • gengland over 9 years ago
      The problem is not the density of people, the problem is that everyone around there (and pretty much everywhere in Richmond to be honest) lives auto-dependent lifestyles. If the Neighbourhood Centres Plans can encourage more complete 'town centres' with more services and amenities within walking distance and cycling and transit service and infrastructure can be improved to become the modes of choice, there wouldn't be so much traffic.
  • Graeme Bone over 9 years ago
    I have no problem with having different variety of housing types in single-family residential areas. Richmond should follow Vancouver's example and encourage neighbourhoods with alleys to construct granny flats in the back, and if possible neighbourhoods that are being refitted with new housing should be readjusted to have back alleys. For neighbourhoods without back alleys, what about allowing housing above or in renovated garages? Single-family residential areas should also see some strategic townhouse and low rise construction to increase density. This is important for many reasons. It allows people to stay in the same neighbourhood as their lives change; for example, retired couples could move into apartments on the same street when their house is too large for them to maintain. It also helps keeps schools populated, and makes public transit more viable. As for the argument that No.1 road is already too busy for more people, I think the fact that the road is fast moving with two lanes pretty much closed for parking much of the time shows that it hasn't reached its limit.
  • dewhalen over 9 years ago
    As part of Metro Vancouver, Richmond has agreed to take on the shared responsibility of absorbing the increasing population. But we live on an island so we have no choice but to build "up" (which is already being done in spades in the city centre) and build "infill" housing in established neighourhoods. I agree with the other comments that granny suites, coach houses, duplexes, secondary suites, etc are acceptable ways to house us. Elders can stay in their own area as they age, local schools stay populated and neighbourhoods have mixed income levels and mixed family types-all good goals. However the infill housing should take on the same character and height as other houses in the area, and it should be affordable (def. is 30% of your household income is used for housing). Vancouver is having problems now because infill housing has been built that is out of character, too tall, too large and not affordable. 1/2 mill. for a 500 sq. ft. infill granny suite-come on, who can afford that?
  • CKIRK over 9 years ago
    I have nothing against growing as a city. However there is a limit and we are perilously close to it. This is no longer a garden city and will never be again. The oval has trashed so much land and made it impossible for middle income families to live anywhere close to it. We all know that Richmond has a sister city. We are now racing madly to make it our twin sister city.
  • gengland over 9 years ago
    I think that coach houses could work within Neighbourhood Centres, but are a bad idea anywhere else for two main reasons. They encourage a larger building footprint, limiting and in some cases eliminating any hope for yards or greenspace, and if they aren't near neighbourhood centres or frequent transit, those people will require cars (probably more than 1 in many cases) which isn't the point of density - you want density to reduce auto-dependency and ownership levels. Granny flats should only be allowed where an existing garage is present to avoid over development of additional garage space to accomodate a flat above.
  • Rooting for a liveable city over 9 years ago
    I think that good quality mixed housing is positive for building neighbourhood communities. My concern is whether properly designed coach houses, granny flats and duplexes contribute to the liveability of the neighbourhood, or only contributes to the pocketbooks of the developers. Growth and densification is inevitable. Saying no to creating a sustainable plan for change will leave us at the risk of unplanned change. In many neighbourhoods, adding a coach house or granny flat just won't work. In some neighbourhoods, the back yard is sufficiently large to permit such a structure without truly encroaching on the neighbours. This increases the density and creates a situation where the renters of the secondary structure develop a relationship with the property owners. A small start to neighbourhood community.I spent four weeks in Switzerland this past summer. This is a country that has their act together with regards to building liveable cities. The city and town residents are very protective of their neighbourhoods, and any new development in many towns require the builders to place posts outlining the footprint and height of the buildings. This allows the residents to engage in the development of the building. Maybe this works well over there because people identify much more with their towns, and are not as transient as in Richmond. For this all to work, we need a shift in thinking, from "I'm going to buy this nice house and not integrated into the neighbourhood" to "I want to be part of this vibrant neighbourhood community and will establish my roots here". Our city's challenge is to effect this attitude change. New housing stock is part of the solution, but not the only solution.
  • Byronst over 9 years ago
    I prefer increased density over sprawl - there are hundreds if not thousands of unauthorized 'basement' suites in Richmond - better to be 'legal and licensed'Cities are going to continue to grow, populations are going to continue to grow, we can't pretend that demand for services isn't going to happen - we need to learn how to be more efficient and how to manage the demand while maintaining quality of life
  • sschroeder over 9 years ago
    I have lived in a Richmond town house complex (loved it but it got too small for growing family), older Single family home with large lot (with family, too busy to maintain), and finally one of the newer houses on smaller lot along Williams. Love where I am now but would have loved the option to maintain a smaller footprint with the option of newer house that was in a subdivision instead of on busy road. I think different options to make it more affordable for families (smaller lots, rental potential) to remain in Richmond is crucial. At the same time reducing the environmental impact.At the same time the City needs to ensure proper infrastructure including community green spaces, appropriate sewer and storm drains and paved roadways (back alleys).
  • Sparrow about 9 years ago
    During the recent snow fall in our neighbourhood people cleared the side walk of several properties, others cleared the drainage for much further than their own property, a group of women actually cleared the whole round-a-bout. In many high density areas there was not even a path cleared on the side walk. Let's not destroy our healthy neighbourhoods by overcrowding them!