Municipal News- Burnaby
May 1, 2020
See here for City of Burnaby updates on COVID 19
April 9th the City of Burnaby welcomes your thoughts on the 2019 Annual Municipal Report https://www.burnaby.ca/About-Burnaby/News-and-Media/Newsroom/We-welcome-your-thoughts-on-the-2019-Annual-Municipal-Report_s2_p7332.html
March 23rd Metro Mayors ask Province to provide urgent COVID-19 fiscal support to cities, relief for renters and landlords https://www.burnaby.ca/About-Burnaby/News-and-Media/Newsroom/Metro-Mayors-ask-Province-to-provide-urgent-COVID-19-fiscal-support-to-cities–relief-for-renters-and-landlords_s2_p7283.html
March 20th Limited Public Access to Burnaby City Hall Beginning Monday, March 23 https://www.burnaby.ca/About-Burnaby/News-and-Media/Newsroom/Limited-Public-Access-to-Burnaby-City-Hall-Beginning-Monday–March-23_s2_p7281.html
March 13th City of Burnaby actions on COVID-19 guided by Health Authorities https://www.burnaby.ca/About-Burnaby/News-and-Media/Newsroom/City-of-Burnaby-actions-on-COVID-19-guided-by-Health-Authorities_s2_p7278.html
March 10, 2020
UPDATED: Rental Use Zoning Policy and Revised Tenant Assistance Policy (TAP)
Burnaby’s updated Rental Use Zoning Policy was approved by the Planning and Development Committee on February 25th, and was presented to Council on March 9th. UDI President & CEO, Anne McMullin, communicated UDI members’ concerns with the revised policy directly to Mayor Hurley and Council, including that the incentives proposed in the finalized policy do not go far enough to encourage the construction of affordable rental units beyond the 20% inclusionary requirement. These changes may even discourage builders from constructing additional market rental housing in their projects. Further concerns were raised at the UDI Liaison Committee meeting with City of Burnaby Staff on March 3rd.
The final policy can be viewed here.
The Tenant Assistant Policy was also presented to Burnaby Council on March 9th. UDI previously submitted a letter to Staff regarding this policy.
Density Bonus Value Negotiations
Following a meeting with City Staff in January, UDI submitted a letter providing recommendations regarding the density bonus value negotiation process. UDI also recommended that a bulletin be produced by the City to clarify various stages of the negotiation process and how they intersect with the rest of the development review steps. At the Liaison Committee meeting on March 3rd, Staff indicated that they are open to producing a bulletin and are currently exploring options.
January 28, 2020
UPDATED: Revised Tenant Assistance Policy (TAP)
On December 2, City Council approved in principle the City’s Tenant Assistance Policy (TAP). See here for the report. Although this report stemmed from the recommendations from the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing, a task force which UDI and select builders participated in, the policy deviated significantly from the original recommendations and much clarity is required on the implementation of the policy. Following a committee liaison meeting on December 11 where this policy was first brought forward for discussion with UDI, we wrote a letter outlining our concern with the TAP and how it departed from the Mayor’s Task Force recommendations. UDI also included a list of technical questions for city staff regarding the implementation of the TAP. The city plans to continuing consulting with UDI to receive input on the policy. A report summarizing the results and recommendation to adopt the revised policy will then be presented to council. If you have any questions, contact Marissa Chan-Kent.
December 9, 2019
Revised Tenant Assistance Policy (TAP)
On December 2, City Council approved in principle a revised Tenant Assistance Policy. Staff were directed to begin public and stakeholder consultations on the revised Policy. However, it is now in place for any applications that proceed to Council while the consultation process occurs. The UDI Liaison Committee is meeting with Burnaby staff regarding the TAP on December 11, 2019.
The new Policy includes a number of new elements and it applies to:
- “Tenants resident at the time of rezoning application submittal;
- Tenants eligible under the existing policy, if the rezoning application has not had Second Reading;
- Tenants who received buy-outs prior to rezoning application submittal; and
- Primary tenants only, unless transferred by tenant to a sub-lessee, roommate, or other occupant not on the tenancy agreement.”
There are now three key parts of the compensation package:
- “Monetary compensation, either as a rent “top-up” on temporary accommodation [the tenant can to find the housing themselves or rely on the proponent] or, in exceptional cases, as a lump sum cash payment;
- Moving expenses [both for moving into and out of the temporary accommodation], either in-kind or as a cash payment; and
- Right of first refusal on a replacement unit, at the same rent as their current unit, adjusted for permitted allowable rent increases as per the RTA” [Residential Tenancy Act].
The TAP has broad application and limited instream protection. It applies to:
- “Purpose-built market rental buildings with >5 units;
- Rezoning applications for redevelopment or renovation; and
- Applications that have not received Second Reading as of effective date of the policy.”
Staff will also be developing an Implementation Guide which will include details on how to fulfill the requirements of the Policy for proponents, and a Tenant Assistance Policy brochure for tenants. UDI will update members throughout the consultation process of the TAP.
October 29, 2019
Changes to Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy
On September 17th, the Planning and Development Committee discussed the letter that UDI submitted regarding the Rental Use Zoning Policy and Initial Implementation Framework. Subsequently, the committee brought forward a motion to explore changes to the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy as it pertains to the affordable rental housing component and vacancy control. The motion states:
THAT staff amend the conditions of the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy to require that the equivalent of 20% of the proposed units under RM, or RMs Districts be provided as affordable rental housing at or below Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation market averages and that additional RMr Density for rental uses not be subject to vacancy control. CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY -4- 2.A)
The Committee advised that clarification regarding the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy is required in reference to the 20% rental housing component. The proposed amendment is intended to stipulate that the 20% rental component must be provided as affordable rental housing at or below Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) market averages. Staff advised that the proposed amendment to the Stream 2 component of the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy is to clarify that the units not be subject to vacancy control.
The proposed amendment would require that the 20% inclusionary component must be 100% affordable, at or below CMHC market average rents.
This motion was referred to staff for report back. UDI discussed this topic at a recent Burnaby Liaison Committee meeting and as such, has struck a small subcommittee to coordinate a letter submission to outline alternatives to vacancy control. If there are any suggestions or challenges, please get in touch with Marissa Chan-Kent.
August 6, 2019
Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing Report
On July 29, the final report of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing was adopted by Council alongside the City Manager’s council report. See here for reports. The final report included 18 policy directions and 10 Quick Starts that were previously released with the interim report. Staff will begin to work on the policy recommendations in the context of a Housing Strategy, new Official Community Plan and look to integrate with the current work underway with the Transit Plan.
Rental-Tenure Zoning Policy Update
UDI recently met with city staff to seek clarity on the implementation and interpretation of the Rental Tenure Zoning Policy that was adopted by Council on May 27, 2019. The city will be issuing a bulletin imminently to provide further information on the application and timing of the policies.
July 8, 2019
UPDATED: Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Policy
Further to the June 24 update, the Proposed Zoning Bylaw Text Amendment – Affordability Offset Density report went to Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 25 and was passed. UDI continues to communicate with city staff on outstanding inquiries regarding the Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Policy. UDI hopes to schedule a meeting with city staff to address questions from the development community before the end of July.
June 24, 2019
UPDATED: Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Policy
As noted below, the City of Burnaby has established a new rental policy that addresses rental replacement, inclusionary zoning and allows rental in commercial zones. While UDI appreciates and supports Council’s efforts to protect displaced tenants and increase the number of rental and affordable housing units throughout the City of Burnaby, many builders are finding it difficult to move forward with their projects due to some of the provisions in the new Policy (e.g. the vacancy control of units). UDI wrote a letter to Council regarding our members’ concerns about the Policy and recommendations to improve it. In addition, a builder representative of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing will be presenting industry concerns to members of Council on June 25.
New Energy Step Code Requirements for Part 9 Buildings
At the Council meeting on June 24, there is a proposed Building Bylaw Amendment to incorporate ESC requirements into the building code for Part 9 residential buildings. If the bylaw is given final approval, as of September 1, 2019, Step 1 of the Energy Step Code will be required for all residential Part 9 Building Permit applications for new construction. Additional proposed administrative requirements include an extra mid-stage air tightness (blower door) test, building energy labeling, and a requirement to engage an energy advisor or registered professional. After approximately one year, Step 3 of Energy Step Code is proposed to be required, pending reporting back to Council based on findings and feedback of Step 1 implementation. The full staff report is available here.
May 27, 2019
Community Housing Task Force releases Interim Report
Formed in January 2019, The Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing is an initiative to explore strategies to improve housing affordability. Among the Task Force members, UDI and the development industry occupy four positions. As a part of the Task Force mandate, they have released an interim report for information to council. Included in the report are 10 recommended “Quick Starts” that were created in response to the issues raised by residents during the public consultation process and in collaboration with the Task Force. The Recommended Quick Starts cover rental and ownership housing, a range of housing forms, the roles of the private and non-profit sector, and the needs of people in various ages of a typical housing lifecycle.
Framework proposed for Rental Tenure Zoning
Since last summer, projects have been frozen in Burnaby as the City develops policies to protect and enhance rental units in the City. On May 27, Council will be considering a Report from staff with several proposals to address these issues, which will allow projects to proceed. The Report includes four proposed policies:
- Rental Replacement;
- Inclusionary Rental;
- Allowing Rental housing within Commercial Districts; and
- Protection of Existing Rental Sites.
Under the Rental Replacement policy, units lost to redevelopment would have to be replaced at a ratio of 1:1 or 20% of the proposed units (which ever is higher). Affected tenants would be given first right of refusal, and rent levels must be similar to the rents lost to redevelopment. Staff are also proposing density offsets to address the costs associated with the policy.
Under the Inclusionary rental housing policy, developers will be required to provide 20% of the units they build in projects as rental housing. Again, there would be some density offsets – especially if the units provided are affordable (20% below the CMHC market average).
The City is also rezoning purpose built rental buildings to prevent them from being redeveloped under the prevailing zoning to non-rental buildings. However, proponents would still be able to seek rezonings, but would have to follow the Rental Replacement Policy.
The Burnaby Liaison Committee will be meeting on May 29 to discuss the four proposed policies. In addition, UDI sits on the Mayors Task Force on Community Housing, which is also meeting on May 29. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Marissa Chan-Kent at 604.661.3033.
April 16, 2019
Energy Step Code Consultation for Part 9 Buildings
The City of Burnaby is consulting on a proposed approach for Energy Step Code for Part 9 Buildings. Please provide comments on the proposed approached, as summarized in the attachment on their website here: www.burnaby.ca/greenbuildings
Please also complete the online questionnaire and consider attending their information session – details as below.
Attend the in-person information session:
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
7:30-9:30 AM, with a hot breakfast served at 7:00 AM
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Room 103, 6450 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
The session is free but space is limited; please register by April 24 at www.burnaby.ca/ess-rsvp
If you have questions – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 5, 2019
Mayor’s Housing Task Force
On January 28, City Council approved of the members to participate in the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing. UDI’s CEO and select members were approved to participate in the Task Force, alongside housing advocates, local unions, co-operative housing organizations and other builders. This Task Force will seek to advance Burnaby’s response widespread affordability issues by providing advice and information to Council on innovative policies, directions, and specific initiatives within City’s jurisdiction, to increase the supply and diversity of affordable housing. The Task Force will begin meeting mid-February 2019 and will convene bi-weekly until July 2019. They will deliver an interim report at three months and a final report to Council at the end of the six months. See here for the Task Force’s terms of reference.
January 8, 2019
Groundwater Investigation Update
City staff plan to bring this presentation on groundwater investigations to Council for final endorsement in March 2019. The purposes of the requirements outlined in this presentation are to protect groundwater as a potential potable resource and to limit the impact on downstream infrastructure. These requirements will be requested early in the development application process to ensure enough time for proponents to catch appropriate seasons for measurement and testing. Please contact James Lota or Simone Rousseau if you have an application in process and need to discuss the guidelines as stipulated in the presentation.