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.

By expanding the program, we can encourage the conversion of more of Victoria’s larger homes to accommodate the types of housing that people in Victoria need. This includes more rental housing, more affordable home ownership opportunities and more two-and-three-bedroom units.

Updating house conversion regulations is one of several housing initiatives we are undertaking to address housing and affordability in our community.

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.

An update report will be going to the March 5th Committee of the Whole meeting. See below for details.

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 undertook a public feedback period and also consulted with the following stakeholders on the proposed changes:

  • 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

Staff will be providing an update report to Council at the March 5th, 2020 outlining the feedback received and providing recommendations for proceeding. A copy of the report, and a link to the livestream of the meeting can be viewed here.


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 December 5, 2019 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

While the consultation period has ended, you can still provide your feedback directly to Council

For question about the conversion regulations and the proposed changes, you can reach staff by email or by phone at 250.361.0382