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Kitchener one step closer to fourplex construction, Waterloo decision coming later

A person seen measuring wood in this file image. (Photo by Los Muertos Crew via Pexels) A person seen measuring wood in this file image. (Photo by Los Muertos Crew via Pexels)

Fourplex construction in Kitchener has gotten the green light, while Waterloo will have to wait a little longer for approval.

Both cities addressed the issue at Monday night’s council meetings.


In Kitchener, council reviewed and approved four-unit dwellings on properties that were not originally zoned for them.

"The purpose of that zoning regulation was to establish those rules," explained Janine Oosterveld, a planning manager with the City of Kitchener. "In the coming weeks, those rules will come into place for property owners to, as of right now, build more of those units."

Oosterveld said the next step will be to get approval from the Region of Waterloo, followed by an appeal process that would last 20 days.

"I expect in the next couple of months that, subject to no appeals, that their rules could be in effect," Oosterveld said. "Developers and homeowners will take time to design their projects and then issue their building permits."

She added that over 41,000 lots in Kitchener will have permission to build up to four units on their properties.

"Allowing four units on properties allows for gentle density," Oosterveld explained. "We call it the 'missing little'. It's a subset of missing middle housing that looks at these small multiplexes as well as backyard [tiny] homes."


In Waterloo, council didn't vote on the new bylaw but questioned planning staff during an informal meeting. Staff brought up issues such as parking availability and the possible height of buildings.

Staff will make draft amendments in the spring and come back to council in the fall for final recommendations.

"Is this timeline acceptable?" one delegate asked during the meeting. "We're in the middle of a housing crisis, we better act like we're in the middle of a housing crisis. Of course there are concerns around height and bringing homes into stable neighbourhoods, they can all be discussed in due course, but lets take incremental steps."

Both meetings come one week after Premier Doug Ford spoke openly against the construction of fourplexes. Top Stories

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