Housing Choices Program

City Council adopted changes to the Housing Choices Program in July 2019. See the Housing Choices Summary Guide below to understand what the changes mean for your property.

The City of Coquitlam’s Housing Choices Program was adopted in 2011, with the goal of providing new small-scale, ground-oriented housing options in some residential areas of Southwest Coquitlam.

The program exists within the “Neighbourhood Attached Residential” land use designation in the Citywide Official Community Plan (also known as “Housing Choices areas”) and permits a wide range of housing options, ranging from backyard suites, narrow-lot single family homes, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and multiplexes.  In the Zoning Bylaw, the RT-1 “Infill Residential” and RT-3 “Multiplex Residential” are the zones associated with the Housing Choices Program.

The following table outlines options that apply to properties with the land use designation “Neighbourhood Attached Residential” (NAR) in the Official Community Plan (OCP).

Housing Choices Summary Guide

The Housing Choices Summary Guide (PDF) outlines options that apply to properties with the land use designation “Neighbourhood Attached Residential” (NAR) in the Official Community Plan (OCP). 

To see if you qualify for a Housing Choices project on your property and to learn more about the housing options, please review:

Map of areas designated Neighbourhood Attached Residential (NAR)

Housing Choices Review Changes (July 2019)

In mid-2017 the City initiated a review of the Housing Choices Program, to encourage more small-scale projects that add to the range of housing options available for existing residents and new families. The primary goal of the new changes was to “level the playing field” between developing larger, detached single-family homes and smaller, attached forms such as duplex, triplex, fourplex and the new multiplex form. Other objectives behind these changes are to streamline the application processing and approvals process and ensure that Housing Choices projects continue to fit into and refresh existing neighbourhoods.

A few of the most significant changes include:

  • New Residential Infill Development Permit Guidelines
    • The new guidelines apply to duplex, triplex, fourplex, and multiplex development (Housing Choices projects) and cover various topics such as good neighbour design, vehicle access and parking, garbage and recycling, building design, and landscaping.
    • These guidelines should be reviewed in full prior to submitting Residential Infill Development Permit Applications in order to ensure that common design objectives and development requirements are being met.
  • ‘Prezone’ to RT-1: Infill Residential zone
    • Recent changes have rezoned approximately 700 single-family properties in Housing Choices Areas (i.e., RS-1 and RS-3 zoned properties) to the revised RT-1 zone.
    • Most property owners in Housing Choices areas no longer have to go through the rezoning process to develop one of the housing options under the revised RT-1 zone. 
  • Revised RT-1: Infill Residential zone
    • Properties within the Housing Choices areas that are now zoned RT-1 have increased development options and flexibility. This includes housing options ranging from a single family home with a carriage house up to an attached fourplex. Reduced minimum lot sizes, increased density and more flexible parking arrangements have also been provided. Duplex, triplex and fourplex development under the RT-1 zone must now be contained within one main building. In addition to yielding smaller and more affordable units, this is also intended to improve overall site design and usability of outdoor space.
  • Revised RT-3: Multiplex zone
    • The revised RT-3 zone now allows for multiple attached building forms or multiple single-detached units on larger lots and multiple-lot assemblies. In most cases, development under the RT-3 zone will require a rezoning application.
  • Flexible parking
    • 100% tandem parking will now be permitted for duplex, triplex, fourplex and multiplex development, subject to meeting the Infill Residential Development Permit guidelines.

To learn more, check out our Housing Choices Summary Guide (PDF) or go to Part 11 (RT-1) and Part 12 (RT-3) of the Zoning Bylaw.