Beautiful Nonconformists

Many cities have many older apartment building that do not conform to current zoning codes, and so would be illegal to build now, yet are considered attractive and desirable. Below are examples in Victoria’s residential neighbourhoods.

These building have more units and are taller than what is currently allowed, and lack required off-street parking. In an article titled, Returning Seattle to Its Roots in Diverse Housing Types, Margaret Morales describes how older, non-conforming, compact housing provide affordable housing in many Seattle neighbourhoods. Restrictions on the development of such housing implemented after 1975 is a major cause of declining housing affordability in attractive cities.

These are examples of Missing Middle housing, moderate size multi-family apartments that can replace single-detached homes, incrementally increasing affordable housing supply. Many residents love them; they are compact and varied, and fit well into neighbourhoods. If residents can accept such housing after it is built, there is no reason they cannot accept more in the future.