Ground-oriented Residential Infill

In early 2019, the RT-2 (Ground-Oriented Residential Infill) zone was adopted. This zone covers triplex, fourplex, and courtyard housing forms of development. Please see the City’s Zoning Bylaw(PDF) for the zone requirements.

Since 2019, the City has been experiencing a growing interest in these housing forms and are looking to streamline the development application process through the use of tailored design guidelines.

Guidelines help ensure that new residential infill development within established residential neighbourhoods will be incremental and sensitive to the existing and the emerging context. These new housing forms provide flexibility for ground-oriented residential infill, offering the City and its residents’ a greater variety of housing options.

The complete Ground-Oriented Residential Infill Development Permit Guidelines are available here (PDF), which are laid out for ease of use, including illustrative images and cross-sections. The key design elements of the housing types include:
  • Single Family Character:
    o Respect the neighbourhood context, in terms of size, scale and massing.
    o Transition to neighbouring properties by stepping massing down.
    o Resemble a ‘single family’ house with a clearly identifiable front entrance oriented to the street to fit seamlessly into the neighbourhood.
    o Encourage building articulation to create a comfortable scale and interesting streetscape.
    o Create unit and building diversity to ensure a varied streetscape.
  • Greenery & Landscaping:
    o Provide usable private space for each unit through landscaping and screening.
    o Encourage permeable surfaces for pathways and driveways as well as other opportunities for infiltration and on-site rainwater retention.
    o Encourage pedestrian and neighbour-friendly lighting.
    o Utilize screen and fence material that is attractive, durable and contributes to the quality of the residential landscape design. 
  • Courtyard Areas:
    o Incorporate a flexible common area (not designed for parking) intended as a pedestrian-friendly space that invites quiet, non-motorized movement.
    o Be a focal and an organizing element of the development and not ‘leftover’ space.
    o Provide for a variety of gathering opportunities, including different gradations of privacy and multi-functional elements to provide seating / screening / recreational opportunities.
    o Envisioned as an extension of the living room with private patios and entries oriented around the common space to facilitate neighbourly interactions.
    o Defined through the use of plants, trees and minor changes in grade in addition to hard landscaping.
  • Access:
    o Require a clear access route to the entrance of the units, with neighbour-friendly lighting.
    o Share site access between units, with appropriate signage.
    o Where lanes exist they can provide concealed access to parking and reduce the amount of paved area that detracts from the streetscape. Applying recesses to front entrances and garage entrances combined with screening and landscaping can also provide each dwelling with a feeling of uniqueness.
The Ground Oriented Residential Infill Design Guidelines were adopted into the City’s Official Community Plan on November 24, 2020. The design guidelines are now in effect.