REGINA – Over the next few decades, Regina’s population is expected to hit 300,000 and all of those new residents are going to need somewhere to live.
The city is aiming to have 30 per cent of those new residents live in existing neighbourhoods by trying to capitalize on the increasing popularity of laneway housing, a unique type of residence that’s beginning to make its presence felt in Saskatchewan’s capital.
“It’s a little more upscale I guess, as far as Regina’s concerned,” Jesse Brewer said as he walked his dog.
Brewer was speaking about the laneway suites built atop the garages in the Greens on Gardiner community.
“This is just a different form – where the secondary suite would be allowed in a detached unit outside of the home,” Diana Hawryluk, the City of Regina’s executive director of planning and development, explained.
In a push to increase residential density, the city launched a pilot program with over two dozen laneway units built in the new neighbourhoods of Harbour Landing and Greens on Gardiner.
Now, the city is expanding the program.
“With this pilot, it’s for already existing neighbourhoods throughout the city. So, it has to be a little bit different because it needs to be a little bit sensitive to the existing neighbourhood and neighbours,” Hawryluk added.
It means residents in areas like Cathedral and Heritage, could apply to retrofit their own laneway garages into rental units, thereby offering more options for prospective renters.
When asked if he would live in one of the laneway homes, Brewer responded, “Yep, absolutely.”
The planning commission has come up with a list of 23 guidelines and design elements that homeowners would have to follow, such as building height, lot coverage, landscaping and parking.
The pilot project will be used by the city to test those guidelines to see if the suites have minimal impact on neighbourhoods.
“The Guidelines and Pilot Project will assist with the implementation of our policies to permit this type of housing in the city,” Hawryluk said.
Development applications for the Laneway and Garden Suites Pilot Project will be accepted until 2 p.m. on March 31. Property owners will then be selected for the project after a review and evaluation of the site and building design.
The pilot project applies to all residential areas where single detached homes are permitted.
More information is available at designregina.ca/currentprojects.Follow @BrandonGonez