Having spent a number of years living in Kelowna in recent years I have grown to appreciate the laneway housing concept. As a matter of fact, I would consider putting a carriage house on my property in Kelowna in a heart beat. (hold the criticism for just a moment)
Despite my willingness to embrace lane way housing for my own property, I am well aware that lane way/carriage houses can be a controversial and touchy subject. Some people love it some hate it, and some have no idea what I am referring to.
Personally, I like carriage or lane way houses when they are done with respect for the property, green space, neighbourhood style, and density. I like that they can provide efficient uses of space and space planning; the option to live in a smaller space that is more appropriate to my lifestyle; and that I can live in a city, in a smaller space, and NOT be in a condo. Having a yard or green space, parking, and have the conveniences and feeling of living in a single family home at my doorstep, just a smaller more compact package. All in all, I like the concept. I do not always the execution.
In Kelowna there has been a push to increase density and create housing that is in a lower market rent category, all good things, unless of course you get the people who just toss a big pink vinyl sided box in a lane surrounded by beautiful character homes. I can easily think of a handful of poorly done carriage/lane houses just in the neighbourhood of my property in Kelowna. Every time I’ve driven past them I shudder just a little and wonder, ‘who thought that looked good here…or anywhere…and why are there no guidelines to stop these small housing alternatives from ruining the look of neighbourhoods?’
A quick search of google images will bring up a number of examples of lane housing…
I think the question in many cases is not do you support laneway housing, it is, do you think there should be stricter guidelines for these new developments so that the character of a neighbourhood and surrounding homes is not ruined?