Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing (Bill 44)

The Province amended the Local Government Act through Bill 44 in Fall 2023, requiring local governments to update their regulations to permit small-scale multi-unit housing (SSMUH). To comply, relevant bylaws must be updated and adopted by Council by the deadline of June 30, 2024. 

Staff have conducted a comprehensive review to understand which sites in West Vancouver are impacted and have prepared proposed Zoning Bylaw amendments for these affected properties. Council has set the date for first, second, and third readings on May 27, 2024, with final adoption anticipated (and legislatively required) in June 2024. The Local Government Act also prohibits a public hearing on the proposed amendments to comply with SSMUH.

Council Report

May 2024 update

Council is scheduled to consider proposed Zoning Bylaw No. 4662, 2010, Amendment Bylaw No. 5327, 2024 regarding Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing to comply with Provincial Bill 44 (2023) at the 7 p.m. regular Council meeting on Monday, May 27, 2024. 

These proposed amendments will affect a total of 222 parcels in the following zones: CU3, CU5, CD4, CD48, CD77, CD80, CD81, CD92, RD1 (only those greater than 555 m2 and within 400 m from a prescribed bus stop on the Frequent Transit Network), RD3 and RM1. 

Properties in zones outside of the above list are not impacted by the Province’s SSMUH requirements and no amendment is expected for these zones. Please visit the Council Report to learn more.

What is SSMUH?

Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing (SSMUH) refers to a range of housing options that are ground-oriented and provide diverse options that can be compatible in scale and form within established neighbourhoods.

Examples of small-scale, multi-unit housing include:

  • Secondary suites in single-family dwellings
  • Detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs), like coach houses or laneway homes
  • Triplexes 
  • Rowhomes
  • Multiplexes

Where does SSMUH apply?

The SSMUH requirements (per Section 481.3 of the Local Government Act) apply only to residential parcels that are located within provincially-defined “Restricted Zones”.

Restricted Zones are parcels that are currently zoned to allow single-family and/or duplex dwellings, with or without one secondary suite per principal dwelling. This definition does not encompass parcels that permit single-family dwelling, secondary suites (basement suites) and detached secondary suites (coach houses). As most single family sites across the District already permit three units per parcel, these sites are not subject to the SSMUH regulations. See the “Summary of Proposed Amendments” table on page four of the  Council Report  to learn which zones are impacted by SSMUH legislation.

Note: If a property is zoned RS1-5, or RS7-10, it is not considered “restricted” and therefore is not subject to SSMUH requirements. The RS6 zone (Abode & Eagle Island) is considered a “Restricted Zone” as defined in the Local Government Act. However, the District is in the process of submitting an exemption request to the Province for these parcels, as its island nature raises specific concerns regarding safety, emergency response, marine access, engineering services, and environmental impacts for the prescribed increase in permitted units.

How many units are permitted?

The legislation prescribes the minimum dwelling unit densities based on parcel size and proximity to frequent transit bus stops for parcels that are within “Restricted Zones”:

  • Parcel area < 280 m2 = 3 units
  • Parcel area ≥ 280 m2 & > 400 m from prescribed bus stop = 4 units
  • Parcel area ≥ 281 m2 & ≤ 400 m from prescribed bus stop = 6 units and no parking requirements for the 6 units

Staff have reviewed the Zoning Bylaw, parcel sizes, and locations to assess SSMUH applicability. Visit the April 29, 2024 Council Report to learn more about which parcels are impacted and their prescribed requirements for housing units.


For any questions regarding SSMUH, please contact the Planning Department via email: [email protected]

To learn more about the Province of BC’s housing initiatives, please visit the following websites: