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Vancouver opens the door to duplexes

By FRANCES BULA for The Globe and Mail

Duplexes might not seem like the most revolutionary form of alternative housing. It’s just two homes on a lot, after all, instead of one – all still in one building.

But they are a small step that a cluster of cities around North America are experimenting with as one limited way to provide a slightly cheaper form of housing than the increasingly out-of-reach detached-house estate.

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And it’s a step that is provoking a huge amount of angst from residents who fear it will lead to wholesale demolition of their traditional neighbourhoods, loss of green space, parking chaos and, although no one likes to say it too openly, the arrival of a new kind of resident – the kind that can only afford a duplex.

Vancouver is one of the earliest adopters, after having voted on an initiative three weeks ago to allow duplexes in almost every part of the city that is now zoned for detached houses only. (Duplexes are allowed already in the city’s inner ring of older neighbourhoods.)



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