Vancouver tool simplifies laneway home development
It is the first iteration of the city’s new Project Requirement Exploration Tool.
- Vancouver is looking to speed up development processes with digital tools.
- Last month they launched the interactive digital Project Requirement Exploration Tool (PRET) and its first iteration is streamlining laneway home development.
- Vancouver is also asking the province for statutory changes to simplify procedural requirements for rezoning so more projects may proceed without the need for rezoning.
The Whole Story:
The city of Vancouver is looking to streamline laneway home construction.
Last month the city launched the interactive digital Project Requirement Exploration Tool (PRET), which allows applicants to research and understand all regulations and requirements associated with their site.
The first iteration of PRET’s digital features helps applicants in residential, single-family zones explore if a laneway house is allowed on the property, identify required permits and determine if construction of their laneway is feasible, all before they submit an application. PRET helps applicants ensure their projects are consistent with zoning requirements, which officials say will significantly reduce the time required to process and issue those permits.
“We’re proud to unveil a digital permitting tool to simplify, speed up and modernize permitting,” said Mayor Ken Sim. “By launching the PRET for laneway homes we are taking an important step, bringing us closer to the 3-3-3-1 goals for permitting approval timelines and meeting the provincial housing targets, underscoring our all-hands-on-deck approach to getting homes built faster.”
As part of the launch process, the city invited frequent laneway house applicants to evaluate the interactive technology and provide feedback. Participants commended how the tool’s eligibility check and tailored list of required documents supported them in submitting complete permit applications.
“We are grateful to industry members who took part in testing the Project Requirements Exploration Tool (PRET),” said Andrea Law, general manager, development, buildings and licensing. “The City will continue to work with residents and businesses as we evolve PRET to include more project types in more zones in Vancouver.”
Upcoming improvements to Vancouver permitting in the near term include:
- Expanding PRET to include more project types and areas in Vancouver.
- Expanding the fast-track renovation permits to include commercial renovations.
- Further simplifying land use policies and guidelines, and recommending council revoke several existing land use policies.
- Eliminating a significant number of additional development permit conditions.
- Expanding the auto-issuance of some sprinkler permits online.
In addition to this work, the city is advocating to the province for statutory changes to simplify procedural requirements for rezoning so more projects may proceed without the need for rezoning.