West Vancouver Coach Houses

I recently attended a “City Hall 2013 Meeting” at the Capilano Golf Course. The speakers included City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto, City of North Vancouver Deputy Director of Community Development Emilie Adin and Director of Planning for the District of West Vancouver Bob Sokol.

These meetings are very informative as attendees are presented with future development plans for various areas of the North Shore. For example, we were shown conceptual drawings for the area at Marine Drive and Capilano Road and the plans for Ambleside between 11th and 14th Street. The issue that created the most “buzz,” however, was the issue of West Vancouver Coach Houses.

Bob Sokol argues that Coach Houses offer affordable options for first time buyers or young families. He suggests that a Coach House is really only a detached secondary suite which West Vancouver legalized in 2010.  Others suggest that West Vancouver is simply too expensive for young families and worry what the community might look like 20 years from now without an influx of younger buyers. Coach Houses would also allow retired, fixed-income individuals to remain in their homes by creating an additional income stream.

Proponents worry more about issues such as crime, density and property values. Others suggest that individuals who cannot afford to live in West Vancouver should look to other more affordable communities.  West Vancouver’s “Housing Action Plan” takes a closer look at the issue and will be releasing their results in July.