This webpage provides information about the specific requirements and approval processes for building a coach house.
Coach Houses in Port Coquitlam:
- are self-contained accessory dwellings at the rear of residential lots
- are small homes with a maximum size of 70 sq.m. (753 sq.ft.)
- may be at street level or above a garage
- may not be the principal dwelling on a lot
- may not be subdivided or stratified
- can be rented, but not as short-term or vacation rentals
Neighbourhood FitPort Coquitlam’s coach house design guidelines promote high quality design and ensure a good fit with the neighbourhood. They cover:
- appearance and scale
- compatability with surrounding homes
- privacy of neighbours
- on-site parking
Steps to Building a Coach House
- Lots must be in a residential zone (RS1, RS2, RS3, or RS4) and designated Residential or Small Lot Residential in the Official Community Plan (OCP). Learn how to find out your lot’s zoning and OCP designation.
- Lots must have available floor area (no more than 0.5 floor area ratio (FAR)). Learn how to calculate your lot’s available floor area.
- Lots where the principal dwelling contains a secondary suite or daycare must have a minimum lot size of 740 m2. All other lots must have an area of at least 370 sq. m. (3,983 sq. ft.). Learn how to determine your property’s area.
- Corner lots or lots with laneway access must have a minimum frontage of 10 m (32.8 ft).
- All other lots must have:
- width and frontage of at least 12 m (39.4 ft.)
- at least 5 m (16.4 ft.) of uninterrupted road edge (no driveways or letdowns) along the front of the property
- an unobstructed 2 m (6.6 ft.) path from the front of the lot to the coach house for emergency access (free from shrubs, trees, fences or other structures)
- The maximum height of a coach house is two storeys and:
- Up to 8.5 m (27.9 ft) to the peak of the roof if the roof slope is 9 in 12 or greater; or
- 7.5 m (24.6 ft) for a less steep roof.
- Full-height basements are not permitted. Crawl spaces are permitted, but are limited in height to 1.5 m (4.9 ft.)
- All coach houses must provide a minimum of 15 sq.m. (161.5 sq.ft.) of private outdoor space.
- Each coach house must provide at least one independently accessible parking space (not tandem with parking for the principal dwelling), located either in a garage or a parking pad.
- If the parking space is in a garage, 23 sq.m. (247.6 sq. ft.) is exempt from the total floor area used to calculate the lot’s floor area. A connecting door from the garage to the coach house is not permitted.
Interior side yard
|RS1: 10% of lot width, between 1.2-1.8 m
RS2, RS4: 1.2 mRS3: 1.8 m
Exterior side yard
RS1: 20% of lot width, between 2.4-3.5 m
RS2, RS4: 2.4mRS3: 3.5m
|Rear||Minimum setback of 1.2 m (4 ft.)|
|Distance from main house||Minimum of 6 m (20 f.t)|
|Emergency access for a midblock property||
Minimum 2 m (6.6 ft.) unobstructed path from the front lot line to the front of the coach house
Coach House Building Design Guidelines
- The building’s appearance is secondary or accessory to the principal dwelling.
- The building design is compatible with the principal dwelling.
- Architectural elements are appropriately scaled to the overall building form.
- Windows and skylights promote natural lighting.
- The design, siting and orientation of windows, balconies, patios and decks provides for visual privacy between adjoining properties. Scale, Massing and Building Orientation
Scale, Massing and Building Orientation
- The area of a second floor must be not more than 60% of the first storey’s footprint.
- Balconies are restricted to the second storey (not rooftop) and must be at least 2 m. (6.56 ft.) wide.
- Stairs to a second storey must be enclosed within the building.
- If on a corner lot, the front door must face the flanking street.
- The floor area of a second storey must be integrated within a sloping roof, recessed or articulated.
- For a lot with lane access, the building façade facing the lane must include architectural elements to avoid the appearance of a blank wall and to minimize the visual impact of garage door(s).
- Exterior lighting, including high-wattage motion-activated security lights, must be designed to enhance the experience of the lane at night and not intrude on neighbouring properties.
- Lighting within eaves is restricted to the façade facing a lane or exterior side.
Landscaping and Screening
- A landscaped path must connect to the coach house to the street (consider pervious materials such as pavers).
- Any open parking space for a coach house must be screened with landscaping or fencing.
- An outdoor space at least 2.4 m. (7.9 ft.) deep must be provided next to the coach house, consisting of lawn or pavers and screened by trees, decorative fencing or layered planting.
- There must be at least two trees on the lot.
- Garbage and recycling space must be provided in a designated area that is screened from patio areas and the lane, or located in an accessory structure or garage.
Preapplication ProcessAfter determining that a lot can meet the requirements, an applicant should follow these steps.
- Consider project costs such as:
- Cost of construction
- Connecting services / utilities from main house • Potential improvements to services (e.g., water)
- Potential driveway widening
- $1,100 Development Permit fee
- $2,500 refundable landscaping deposit
- Building Permit fee based on the value of construction
- Service connection fees from utility providers •
- Develop a design that meets the zoning, design and landscaping requirements.
- If a development is within 50 meters of a watercourse, contact the Planning Division to confirm if a Watercourse Protection Development Permit is needed.
- Discuss the proposed design with neighbours, and ask if they have any concerns. Give particular attention to how windows, balconies and lighting would be oriented.
- Submit a complete Coach House Development Permit Application. (To streamline the review process, consider submitting a Building Permit application concurrently. This can also be done after the Development Permit is approved, although it will extend the approval timeline.)
- Erect a development sign on the property when you submit your application. Learn about sign standards.
- Staff will review the Coach House Development Permit application and may request changes if it does not comply with the design guidelines or there are building issues.
- The Coach House Development Permit application will be forwarded to the Smart Growth Committee for approval.
- Submit a refundable $2,500 landscape security.
- The Building Permit will be issued after Development Permit approval, and the Building Permit drawings must reflect the approved design.
- Once both the Development Permit and Building Permit are issued, start building!
More InformationPlanning Division
LocationCity Hall Annex (Above the Bank of Montreal)
200-2564 Shaughnessy St
Port Coquitlam BC V3C 3G4
Mailing AddressPlanning Division
2580 Shaughnessy St
Port Coquitlam BC V3C 2A8