House Conversions

Next Generation Conversion Regulations - Update Project

The City of Victoria is currently working on a project to create a next generation of House Conversion regulations and is looking for feedback on the proposed changes.

The update to the conversion regulations is to encourage more house conversions in order to increase the number and range of housing units available while retaining existing housing and preserving the neighbourhood character.  

The proposed changes to the zoning regulations for House Conversions aim to:

  • make it easier to convert a house to multiple units,
  • facilitate the creation of more units,
  • incentivize heritage designation as well as the creation of rental, affordable rental and affordable home ownership units.

Potential Changes

In a preliminary staff report, three levels of potential change were presented: ‘Walk’ ‘Run’ and ‘Sprint’, with a staff recommendation to pursue the ‘Run’ level of change.  On December 5th 2019, Council passed a motion for staff to pursue the ‘Run’ level and undertake targeted consultation regarding the proposed change.

Proposed changes include:

  • Change the qualifying year of construction
  • Reduce restrictions on exterior changes
  • Clarify and expand opportunities to utilize under-height basements
  • Allow attic spaces to be developed
  • Allow vehicle car parking in front yard (for non-heritage properties)
  • Increase and incentivize permitted number of units
  • Allow windows and doors on front elevations
  • Decrease parking requirements
  • Require bicycle parking
  • Allow exemptions for required bicycle parking

Feedback and Project Timing

From December 2019 to February 10th, 2020 City staff are engaging in targeted consultation involving:

  • referral to the Heritage Advisory Panel
  • referral to Renters’ Advisory Committee
  • referral to each Community Association Land Use Committee with a request for feedback (if any) within 45 days
  • referral to the Urban Development Institute and the Home Builders Association with a request for feedback (if any) within 45 days
  • posting notice on the City’s website and at the Development Services counter inviting feedback

The consultation period will wrap up on February 10th, 2020. In the early spring of 2020, staff will provide Council with an update report on the feedback received. Depending on the nature of the feedback, staff may also bring forward a draft of the updated bylaw changes at the same time. Stay tuned for updates on the next steps and timing. 

Relevant Links

Sign up to receive project updates.

Next Generation Conversion Regulations staff report. The staff report includes details on the proposed changes was well as additional background information and options for potential future work.

A video of the presentation to Council is available here (click on the 'Next Generation Conversions Regulations' agenda item to skip directly to that part of the meeting).

Current Schedule G – House Conversion Regulations 

Current Schedule C – Off Street Parking Regulations

Let Us Know What You Think

The feedback period runs until February 10th, 2020. For questions about the project or to provide your feedback to Council, please contact the Development Services division at:

Telephone 250.361.0382
developmentservices@victoria.ca