New rules that govern how mature neighbourhoods are redeveloped will require owners to limit the size of front yards but will allow basement suites to have higher ceilings.
The new regulations don’t go into effect until September, but applications made to the city will be assessed according to the new standards starting on July 7.
That will allow for adequate review time, the city said Wednesday in a statement.
Changes were made to the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay regulations after the city held public consultations with residents, community leagues and home builders.
City council approved the new regulations on May 29.
Under the changes, front yards would have to be smaller than back yards and limited to 20 per cent of lot depth.
The maximum height for buildings has been increased to 29 feet. Basement suites can now extend five feet above ground level, rather than four feet, to create the opportunity for more light through the windows.
The new regulations also require the front facades of attached homes, such as triplexes and row houses, to be staggered to clearly define the different units.
“I’m glad they warned us,” said Mick Graham with Singletree builders.
The timing of the changes means applications for infill houses won’t be rejected and then have to be resubmitted, he said.
But Graham said he’s not happy with the new regulations.
“It has thrown up a bunch more obstacles to builders who are involved in infill, adding to the expense,” he said. “It is a horrible piece of legislation but at least we get a chance to adapt to it.”
City council will have further discussions about infill. Graham would like to see best practices in other cities, such as Calgary, become a larger part of the discussion.