Coach Houses

In the Town of Comox, a coach house is a small standalone residential unit typically located in the backyard of a single-family dwelling. Either the coach house or the single-family dwelling must be owner-occupied. Currently, coach houses are only permitted in the R3.3 Single-Family/Secondary Suite – Large Lot Zone. As contained in the Official Community Plan Residential Detached Policy 2.1.1.4, the long-term intent is to expand the availability of this housing option to other zones.

A new Development Permit Area (DPA) #17: Coach Houses was created to: 

  1. Establish objectives:
    • For the form and character of coach houses;
    • To promote energy and water conservation; and
    • To promote a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;
  2. Create a series of exemptions to allow developments that meet standard design criteria to proceed without development permit application; and
  3. Create guidelines for non-standard proposals.

DPA #17 applies to all lands designated Residential in the OCP, which support coach houses, including lands currently zoned R3.3 Single-Family/ Secondary Suite – Large Lot, where coach houses are a permitted use.

Comox Zoning Bylaw Amendment:

  1. Permits modular (prefabricated building or components) as a coach house;
  2. Restricts front and exterior side yard aggregate access driveways and parking areas to one per side and a maximum six (6) metres wide, to maintain existing neighbourhood character and promote ground water recharge; and
  3. Requires screening from an adjoining parcel where a coach house is located closer than 7.5 metres from a lot line.

No properties were pre-zoned to permit coach houses. The implementation of the proposed Coach House Zoning Standards would require rezoning of each specific parcel through the applicant’s submission of a rezoning application, which triggers a public consultation component in the form of newspaper ads and a public hearing.

For more details regarding a coach house, view the Coach House Guide (PDF).