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What Can I Build On My R1-1 Zoned Lot? A Guide to Redevelopment in Vancouver

Updated: Feb 6

Whether you're a homeowner or an investor, understanding the zoning regulations is crucial for navigating the redevelopment process smoothly.

As your trusted building designer, we’re here to demystify the intricacies of the R1-1 zoning bylaw and help you unlock the full potential of your property.

Exploring Multiple-Dwelling ("Multiplex") Options


Understanding the Basics

Multiple-dwelling ("Multiplex") use, a groundbreaking initiative within the R1-1 District, offers the opportunity to construct ground-oriented multi-family buildings on single sites. However, it's essential to note that the information contained in this blog is exclusively related to new construction.  There are different rules which apply to renovations or conversions of existing buildings.

The number of units permitted on a site is contingent upon the site's frontage and area, as outlined below:

Minimum Site Frontage: Ranges from 10.0 meters (32.8 feet) to 15.1 meters (49.5 feet).

Minimum Site Area: Ranges from 306 square meters (3293.8 square feet) to 557 square meters (5995.5 square feet).

Number of Units: 3 to 4 units on a 33’ lot, with a maximum of 6 or 8 units on a 50’ lot for secured market rental developments.

Achieving Density

To achieve a maximum base density of 1.0 FSR, developers have three paths:

1. Ownership (Strata) Development:: Cash density bonus contribution, or

2. Provision of a below-market homeownership unit, or

3. Secured Market Rental: All units must meet rental tenure requirements.

There are also other options to achieve additional FSR density.  Ask us how, book a consultation now

Site Eligibility Criteria


Here’s a quick checklist to confirm if your Vancouver building site is eligible for a multiplex building:

Vehicular Access

For a site to be eligible for multiple dwelling ("multiplex"), it must have:

- Access to an open lane.

- Be located on a corner served by an open or dedicated lane.

- Be double-fronting.

Parking access for double-fronting sites should prioritize the quieter street to minimize traffic conflicts.

Site Frontage, Depth, and Heritage Considerations

Eligible sites must have:

- Minimum frontage of 10 meters (32.8 feet).

- Minimum depth of 30.4 meters (99.7 feet).

- No heritage-designated buildings, interiors, or landscapes.

Character houses are eligible for demolition and redevelopment with multiple dwelling options, with optional incentives available for retention projects.

Floodplain Considerations

Sites must not be located in a designated floodplain, ensuring safety and compliance with environmental regulations.


Navigating the R1-1 zoning bylaw requires meticulous planning, adherence to regulations, and a clear understanding of site eligibility criteria. After operating in the City of Vancouver for almost 10 years, our team of experts is committed to guiding you through every step of the redevelopment journey, ensuring compliance with zoning regulations while maximizing the potential of your property. 

Contact our team at Phase One Design for a Complimentary Consultation.


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