Detached Secondary Suites (Rental Coach Houses)

Photo by Colin Perry, courtesy of Lanefab

Detached secondary suites, or rental coach houses, are legal in West Vancouver. This type of housing provides residents an opportunity to:

  • downsize into a smaller housing unit on their own property
  • provide self‐contained accommodation for an elderly parent, adult child, or on‐site caregiver
  • design a custom housing unit for a family member with special needs (e.g., limited mobility)
  • create a detached rental unit to maintain the privacy of the principal dwelling unit

Requirements for Approval

Detached secondary suites are permitted in residential zones where secondary suites are already permitted

The detached secondary suite together with the principal dwelling must not exceed the maximum allowable FAR on the site

Development Permit Required

For a detached secondary suite, you must obtain a form and character development permit prior to applying for a building permit.

Development permit approval is a two-stage application process, (1) for siting approval and (2) building and landscape design approval.

Comprehensive information is available to assist homeowners with design and development application process for detached secondary suites.

Zoning Regulations

Zoning regulations for detached secondary suites (section 130.051 of the Zoning Bylaw) including the following:

  • a maximum of one per lot
  • not permitted in conjunction with a secondary suite on the same lot, (i.e. one or the other type of suite, but not both)
  • not permitted in conjunction with a duplex
  • required to be set back from the rear property line as follows:
    • minimum 1.8 metres to the rear building wall; and
    • minimum 1.2 metres for any portion of the building containing an enclosed garage
  • must be sited a minimum distance of 4.9 metres away from the principal dwelling
  • maximum of two storeys with maximum building heights as follows:
    • 4.57 metres (one storey)
    • or 6.4 metres (two storeys)
  • For two-story units, the maximum floor area of the upper storey must not exceed 60% of the main floor area
  • maximum floor area cannot exceed:10% of lot area, OR 111.5 square metres, whichever is less
  • the registered owner of the property must occupy either the main dwelling or the detached secondary suite as his or her principle residence
  • property containing a detached secondary suite may not be used for lodgers, a personal care facility, a child care facility, or a bed and breakfast
  • one off-street vehicle parking space must be provided exclusively for the use of the detached secondary suite
  • the detached secondary suite must not be subdivided from the principal dwelling unit under the Land Title Act or the Strata Property Act

Detached Secondary Suite Application


Planning & Development Services




Throughout the public engagement process on housing, West Vancouver residents expressed a strong desire for greater housing options in their own neighbourhoods. At the same time, residents want to ensure that any new housing fits with the established character of those neighbourhoods.

More Information