Maple Ridge is looking at ways of creating more rental accommodation by allowing triplex, fourplex and courtyard-type buildings.
A 2012 review of secondary suites found that there’s a shortage of apartments built specifically as rental accommodation, meaning people had to depend on more unreliable places to live, such as investor-owned condos or basement suites.
According to a staff report from council’s April 18 workshop, the way to create more rental accommodations is to include duplexes and triplexes as other possible housing forms in the neighbourhood residential category.
Triplexes are considered buildings with three self-contained apartments and can be built in established neigbhourhoods because they ressemble single-family homes.
Locating the different apartments on corners and lanes and street frontages within a triplex can create a separate appearance for each unit.
Fourplexes can be built along major roads, near apartment blocks or on corners or mid-block, depending on size and fit. However, neither triplexes or fourplexes follow a linear design, which would mean they would not be considered rowhousing.
Another concept that could offer more places to live is courtyard housing, where apartments are built around a shared, open space.
Courtyard housing, like triplex and fourplex, can increase density gradually without changing the characteristics of a neighbourhood, according to the report.
Other cities have already created such zones. Coquitlam has created a triplex/fourplex zone, while Langley has developed ‘manor home’ zoning, in which square buildings contain four, ground-accessed apartments.
Vancouver has proposed courtyard-type development along the Cambie corridor.