Illustration of a brown character home fronted by small trees

Character Home Zoning Review

Heritage and character buildings are valued by many Vancouver residents, and are an important component of defining neighbourhood identity and character.

In recent years, we've heard growing public concern over the loss of character homes in the city.

We started the Character Home Zoning Review in response to these concerns as part of the Heritage Action Plan, a comprehensive program approved by Council in 2013 to review and improve how we support heritage conservation in Vancouver.

What's happening

Council approves bylaw amendments

On October 3, 2017, Council approved amendments to the Zoning and Development Bylaw. The amendments introduce character retention incentives and increased opportunities for housing choice in all single-family (RS) zones across the city.

Public hearing on character house retention incentives and new housing choices in RS zones

City Council will consider Zoning and Development by-law amendments to introduce optional incentives for the retention of character homes, and to add new housing choices into all RS (single-family) district schedules at a public hearing. You may register to speak at the meeting.

Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at 6:00pm
Location: Council Chamber, Third Floor, City Hall at 453 West 12th Avenue

Character House Incentives Report

On July 25, Council received the staff report to introduce character home retention incentives and new housing choices in single-family zones, and amend the Zoning and Development Bylaw.

The report has been referred to a public hearing in the fall, when the public will have the opportunity to speak to Council on the report recommendations.

View the report and Council meeting agenda 

Open houses: incentives for character home retention

We held three open houses in late May for you to review and comment on the proposed incentives and draft design guidelines for retaining character homes in single-family (RS) zones across the city.

View the open house information boardsPDF file (3.7 MB)

Online questionnaire

Thank you for sharing your views on the proposed zoning incentives and draft design guidelines for character home retention through our questionnaire.

View the questionnaire summary PDF file (330 KB)

What's a character home?

White house with green trim and shutters, with white picket fence in foreground

A character home:

Renovate or redevelop a character home

Vancouver character home

Character merit assessment

Request a character assessment for a house built before 1940 before you begin renovations or apply for development permits.