Update on the Legacy of Art Cowie: Continuing Efforts to Legalize Townhouses in Vancouver

From Vancouver Sun writer Bob Ransford: "Freehold attached row houses are a common form of housing both new and old almost everywhere except Vancouver.  The freehold form of ownership is often viewed as a superior, as the homeowner feels he or she truly owns a piece of real estate, rather than owning a right to a limited area and sharing common property, like most condominium developments. "This form of housing uses land more efficiently than probably any other form of housing that has direct access from the street.  But these townhouses don't exist in Vancouver.  That's because B.C.'s Land Title Act is missing a crucial provision that allows adjoining neighbours to register an agreement on the property's title that governs how they jointly deal with the common wall they share.

"B.C.'s land title laws are standing in the way of Vancouver welcoming a form of housing that could add to diversity in the city and help to improve housing affordability.  We've seen row houses in Vancouver, but with the exception of one experimental project, all are owned communally as condominium homes under B.C.'s Strata Property Act, rather than outright in a freehold form under the Land Title Act, like most detached housing.

"The late Art Cowie, who was a Vancouver MLA, city councillor, Park Board commissioner and professional planner, worked tirelessly before his death more than a year and a half ago to make freehold row townhouses a reality in Vancouver."  Full article here.  (Photo credit: Michael Geller.)