Missing Middle heights


I have been asked several questions about “missing middle” building heights. Here is some info.

The City of Victoria website has updated bylaws and policies. The bylaws passed by Council on Jan 26 allow houseplex heights of 8m for flat roofs, or 9m for other roofs.

How high is that? I’ve heard concerns that houseplexes might be 40 ft high, that they might be four storeys, that they might be twice as tall as a regular house with two floors.

These concerns were voiced frequently in the summer when I was door knocking (and the specific numbers with remarkable consistency that suggests misinformation was being circulated).

So how high is 9 m?

Well, 9m is just under 30 feet. Not even close to 40 ft.

But what does 9m or 30 ft look like? A four storey apartment tower?

No. Here is a photo of a 6-plex that is 9.23m high.

So 9.23m looks basically like a normal two-storey house with a livable basement. Not twice the height, and not even close to 4 storeys.

And remember, the bylaws are 8m or 9m.

(By the way, I’m working on other initiatives, and I don’t plan to spend a lot of time discussing missing middle over the next few months. I’m just providing this info here because I had the conversations already. As I said during the Council meeting on the 26th, we can see what kind of applications the City receives, and adjust the rules if and when needed based on real-world experience. We have a report due from staff at the 6-month point, a formal review at the 18-month point, and we can gather information and make changes at any time before or after those milestones.)