This was the response by one West Vancouver resident at the Public Forum last night organized by the District to seek public input into whether coach houses should be allowed on single family lots. The speaker also noted he had homes in Port Moody, Yaletown, and West Vancouver, but chose West Vancouver since it didn't have any social housing.
Yes, he really said that, to a chorus of boos from the majority of people assembled in the Kay Meek Centre.
Earlier in the day CBC Televison's Meera Bains visited Hollyburn Mews to see what West Vancouver's first legal coach houses look like. While these 1800 sq ft coach house units are just one example of what might be possible, they too were criticized by someone in the audience for only having a single car garage!
West Vancouver is considering a wide range of options to promote coach houses, which are defined as detached dwellings that are accessory to a larger single family house. They are considering appropriate limits on size, form of tenure, etc. My sense is that the District will copy the best from the Vancouver Laneway Housing program, while introducing its own ideas to improve the program.
My recommendation is that they not offer density bonuses for laneway housing, in an effort to encourage the retention of older homes on the lots.
I also think they should allow basements to reduce the above ground bulk.
In some instances, coach houses should be available for sale as well as for rent.
Eventurally, I would like to see Vancouver incorporate the same ideas into its program.
In the meanwhile, here's some footage of Hollyburn Mews and Stephen Mikicich, the West Vancouver planner who along with Director Bob Sokol is very capably leading this initative.