09/11/2013 10:33 EDT | Updated 11/11/2013 05:12 EST

Coach houses could be coming to West Vancouver

A Vancouver architect says West Vancouver's approach to coach houses should help preserve existing housing stock.

The district is looking to permit laneway houses as secondary suites in single-family-zoned neighbourhoods.

West Vancouver planner Steven Mikicich says the plan is to bring in coach houses that won’t increase density but will give homeowners options.

“It’s a way of looking at their own piece of land what they could do with it and design a modest sized home to suit their needs.”

Architect Michael Geller says it will appeal to people who want to downsize but not downgrade.

"I gave a talk last week to a women’s group in Vancouver. One woman put up her hand and she's moved into a new coach house or laneway house, and her children have moved into the main house in which they originally grew up,” he said.

"I think it could be a very effective way of keeping some of those wonderful old bungalows and smaller houses and then adding onto the back of the lot, many of which are larger than the typical lots that one finds in Vancouver."

Geller says too many older homes have been knocked over to make way for coach houses as lots get re-developed.

The City of North Vancouver is considering a similar plan, calling their approach accessory coach houses that are an alternative to a suite in the main house.

West Vancouver planners will return to council this fall with draft bylaws that will go out for public comment.