Dozens speak at Vancouver hearing that could see duplexes replace single homes

Vancouver is considering allowing duplexes in most areas of the city currently restricted to single-family homes, and the plan has prompted a lengthy public hearing that is far from over.

In Vancouver, a proposal to allow duplexes in low-rise residential areas has been widely contested. Photo by Wpcpey via Wikimedia Commons.
In Vancouver, a proposal to allow duplexes in low-rise residential areas has been widely contested. Photo by Wpcpey via Wikimedia Commons.

The city clerk says 73 people signed up to speak at the hearing that began early Tuesday evening and adjourned hours later with 34 speakers still waiting.

Some call the proposed bylaw change long overdue and an part of a comprehensive housing solution, but critics worry single-family homes will be targeted by speculators, potentially increasing home prices.

The city says it has also received 172 letters supporting the change, 258 opposing it, and a multi-name petition that is opposed.

The rezoning aims to fill the gap between still-unaffordable single-family homes and condos or townhomes that are often too small for a growing family.

If the amendment is approved, city staff will report to council about necessary adjustments to duplex regulations dealing with livability, performance, design flexibility and various technical issues.

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