Laneway house for senior relative needs variance approval

Laneway house for senior relative needs variance approval

Update:  Council voted unanimously to approve the requested variance. In addition, staff and council will review current requirements, particularly with regard to accessibility issues. Part of the review will include looking at rules/guidelines currently in place in nearby municipalities.
Port Moody laneway home will keep mom close, Tri-City News, March 21, 2019

Item 9.1 of council agenda, March 12, 2019, Development Variance Permit Application – 2706 Henry Street

This is a proposed laneway home at 2706 Henry Street in Moody Centre to enable a senior multi-decade resident to have an accessible independent space on the property where her daughter lives, also a long-time resident.

Specifications for laneway homes have only recently been included in the zoning bylaw, and this is somewhat of a test case. It requires some relaxation of the current rules, as it is slightly larger than what is allowed for an accessory building “footprint” on the lot. This is due mainly to the addition of an accessibility ramp and an outdoor deck.

Port Moody’s planning and development department is recommending the application be denied. Complete material in city council’s agenda package can be viewed here, pages 39-60.

The overall lot footprint — including the laneway house and the existing home — is well below the maximum 40% allowed on an RS1 lot, at a total of 32%.

The total Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is approximately half of the current 50% maximum allowed. If the FAR on the lot was built to maximum it would be about 4,350 sq. ft, far greater than what is proposed.

The primary hurdle appears to be the laneway “footprint” is larger than what the bylaw permits for an “accessory” building.

The side-yard setbacks meet the zoning bylaw requirements, with room to spare.

The applicant’s agent, CityState Consulting, provided the following summary:

So far, 27 nearby neighbours have indicated support for the proposal, including the neighbour immediately adjacent to the east (where the deck would face). It’s likely many others are not aware of this proposal.

You can give your thoughts to council in person at the March 12 meeting and/or by email: The applicant’s agent can be reached at

The Moody Centre Community Association welcomes your comments.


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1 Response to Laneway house for senior relative needs variance approval

  1. Gillian McMillan says:

    I strongly recommend that Council approve this laneway house with its wheelchair ramp and deck. The life-time Moody Centre resident has waited many years for permission to have a suitable house built for her on her daughter and son-in-law’s lot. Allow this to happen right away. The density is low for a near-to-transit location.

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