Lots of cities have underutilized back lanes and everybody pays lip service to the idea of urban intensification and provision of low-cost housing. So you would think that putting housing in back lanes would be a no-brainer, but it has been a contentious fight of architect and planner against NIMBY (or more precisely, not in my neighbour's back yard) homeowner for as long as I can remember. Now the City of Vancouver, bless their courageous hearts, has legitimized it.
It ain't easy; there is a long list of setback and window requirements to retain sunlight penetration to backyards;
and control of window overlook into other people's backyards.
Just the illustrated guidelines PDF run to 22 pages, but they are great reading for anyone interested in back lane housing- clear and straightforward, something I have wanted to see for years.
Housing will be limited to 1 ½ storeys, have at least one off-street parking space, and be rental or family only (no stratification will be allowed). Congratulations to the City of Vancouver; Read it all at the Vancouver Ecodensity Planning Initiative, via Lighthouse
More on Back Lane Housing:
Laneway House by Kohn Shnier Architects
Back Lane Intensification by Pyatt Studio
Romses Architects: From Vertical Farms To Backlane Solar Prefab
Superkül Laneway House Renovation is Supercool
The Courtyard House Copes with Crowds