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Municipal News- Vancouver

January 1, 2000

November 30, 2021

UDI Session on Phase 3: Refined Directions for the Broadway Plan 

On November 4, the City of Vancouver announced the beginning of Phase 3 – Refined Directions of the Broadway Plan. Phase 3, includes: 

  • 3D elements of the plan and building heights;  
  • Draft public realm framework;  
  • Housing and job estimates; and  
  • More details on some area-wide policies like housing, jobs, transportation, community well-being, arts, culture and music, heritage and public benefits.”  

UDI will be holding a session with staff to discuss the Broadway Plan on December 8 from 11am-12pm. If you are interested in attending, please email Heather Park at hpark@udi.org

For more information on the proposed Broadway Plan, see our previous section in the newsletter from November 16 here. For specific information about each sub-area, the City has released a Summary Booklet and detailed Information Boards. There is also a Summary Video of Phase 3. 

Staff will refine the Phase 3 Plan in the New Year, and there will be additional public engagement opportunities in early 2022. It is anticipated that the Draft Plan will go to Council in Q2, 2022. 

 

Climate Emergency Annual Update and Greenest City Final Report 

On November 3, City Council received an update on two of the City’s key environmental policies: the final update on our Greenest City Action Plan; and the first annual report on Vancouver’s current climate plan, the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP). 
 
Highlights from 2021 progress on CEAP include: 

  • Proposed zoning changes that will create more secure market and below-market rental housing, allowing more people to live close to shopping, transit and daily needs. 
  • Expanded transit priority routes to help buses move faster and more reliably. 
  • Updated EV-readiness standards in new non-residential buildings. 
  • A heat pump rebate program. 
  • Zoning allowances to make it easier to build with mass timber. 

The CEAP annual report also rated the current likelihood of meeting our carbon reduction targets. Despite making progress in 2021, Vancouver is not currently on track to reach the goal of reducing carbon pollution by 50% by 2030. 
 
Find out more by reading the latest reports for Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan and Climate Emergency Action Plan


 

November 16, 2021

Broadway Plan 

On November 4, the City of Vancouver announced the beginning of Phase 3 – Refined Directions of the Broadway Plan. Phase 3, includes: 

  • 3D elements of the plan and building heights; 
  • Draft public realm framework; 
  • Housing and job estimates; and 
  • More details on some area-wide policies like housing, jobs, transportation, community well-being, arts, culture and music, heritage and public benefits.” 

The proposed Broadway Plan does increase building heights – up to 40 storeys near subway stations – and up to 30 storeys in the shoulder areas along Broadway between stations. However, in the neighbourhood shopping areas, the heights will not increase that much – generally ranging between four to six storeys to “… minimize redevelopment pressures on existing businesses, and maximize sunlight on the sidewalks.” The focus of the Plan is increasing the job space (see below), market rental and affordable housing along Broadway, but there are several areas where strata will be allowed (usually with an affordable housing component).   

Staff are also proposing to increase the heights in existing apartment areas. They will allow redevelopment of rental buildings, but the new buildings would have to be 80% market rental units and 20% below market rental units. In addition, tenants would have the right to return to the new buildings at the same or lower rents, and would receive a top-up, so they can temporarily relocate during construction. The City is proposing to increase the density of projects (20 to 25 stories) to accommodate these requirements, but they recognize that redevelopment may not be viable for many sites. Their intent is to allow these areas to gradually redevelop.  

Sites in the apartment areas without rental housing can be redeveloped into 15 to 18 storey strata buildings, “… with 20% of the floor area secured as non-profit social housing.” In the RS/RT zones, the City would allow six storey market rental housing projects, and for some strategic locations 12 to 18 storey rental market housing projects, “… with 20% of the floor area secured at below-market rates.”  

The Plan includes a substantial amount of job space. For example, the Uptown/Cambie North area will be for commercial space only. Other areas along Broadway will be mixed use, but a significant office component must be built (e.g. three to four storeys of office in addition to the retail space at street level). In the industrial/mixed employment areas, the City would like to maintain the traditional light industrial functions, but would “Consider a modest increase in height and density to support innovation and creative economy uses.” In the Creative District of the False Creek Flats, the City will allow 25 to 35 stories for office space – although in some areas of the District, they will contemplate rental housing as well.  

The City is also proposing to eliminate parking minimums; although they will also have transportation demand management measures and parking maximums. To make it more cost-effective to achieve the City’s energy efficiency targets, staff are recommending that simplified building designs be allowed. Staff also anticipate lower levels of development contributions because of their “… focus on shifting toward more affordable housing and job space …”. Currently the Development Contribution Expectations (DCEs) are quite high – $330 to $425 per square foot.  

At the end of the thirty-year plan, staff anticipate that the area will increase in population by 58% (from the current 78,000 people to 123,000 people in 30 years) and the number of jobs will increase by 45% (84,400 jobs currently to 122,000 jobs). 

The above is a general summary of Phase 3; for more specific information about each sub-area, the City has released a Summary Booklet and detailed Information Boards. There is also a Summary Video of Phase 3 as well as a Survey to provide feedback up until November 30.  

UDI will be organizing a meeting with staff to discuss the Broadway Plan in early December. The City is also hosting three open houses (please register for them if you want to attend) at 511 West Broadway on: 

Staff will refine the Phase 3 Plan in the New Year, and there will be additional public engagement opportunities in early 2022. It is anticipated that the Draft Plan will go to Council in Q2, 2022. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the City at broadwayplan@vancouver.ca, or contact Heather Park at 604.661.3034. 

 

Jericho Lands Phase 3 Engagement 

The Jericho Lands planning program is a comprehensive planning process which will help create a policy statement to guide future development of the site. The planning program is exploring options that address priorities such as: 

  • Creating a complete community with a range of housing options with different income levels and tenures; 
  • Providing new housing within a walking distance of existing and future transit routes; 
  • Providing shops, services, childcare, and employment space to support the new community and the rest of the City; 
  • Creating new parks and open spaces, and a comprehensive package of other community amenities to be determined through the process. 

The landowners’ design team, working in consultation with City staff, have created two conceptual site options. These site options are an illustration of how ʔəy ̓alməxʷ / Iy ̓álmexw / the Jericho Lands could look in the future. The city is looking for your input on these site options. Please take a few moments to read the Phase 3 engagement materials and complete the survey by Sunday, November 21st

A series of six information boards can be found below for more information. 

 

Heat Pump Retrofit Survey 

The City’s Climate Emergency Action Plan identified simplification of the permit process for heat pump retrofits as a key action to help reduce carbon emissions from buildings.  

The City has engaged AES Engineering to help identify opportunities to streamline the process for adding centralized, zero-emission heat pumps to existing multifamily and commercial buildings. AES will be engaging with contractors, mechanical designers and others who apply for these permits, looking for ways to improve the current process of obtaining permits to retrofit heat pumps. Please note that the City recently updated the process for heat pump retrofits in smaller Part 9 buildings, and may review distributed units in multifamily buildings in the future. 

To participate, please fill out this survey, or email hp-retrofit-permits@vancouver.ca. Feedback from engagement & research will be used to inform recommendations, which are expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2022. For more information on the project, visit: https://vancouver.ca/hp-retrofit-permits


 

November 2, 2021

Latecomer Policy 

At the Council meeting on October 19th, Council approved the report on the Latecomer Policy. The Policy and resolutions will be used as a framework to secure individual latecomer agreements with the development industry.  

Outcomes from the City’s engagement with UDI and its members can be found below: 

  1. Interest Rate: Prime+3% annual compounding interest rate was initially identified as preferred. Upon further review, it was determined that using a prime+ rate would be challenging to administer primarily due to the fact that the latecomer scheme as written in the Charter does not allow for a rate that changes frequently throughout the year.  As such, the City has landed on the rate currently applied for deferred cash CAC balances of the prime (currently 2.45%) plus 3.0%, which was 5.5% at the time the report was presented to Council. 
  1.  Subsequent Developer latecomer charges: The City proposed securing the latecomer charge for Subsequent Developers at Building Permit using cash security deposits.  The amount will be determined by the City Engineer and will consider such items as contingency and interest.  The security will be cashed at occupancy for the Subsequent Developer, with the funds transferring on the annual date to the Initial Developer and any additional security being returned to the Subsequent Developer. 
  1. Latecomer Agreement Administrative Recovery Payment: The City proposed requiring a latecomer agreement administrative recovery payment as part of settling the latecomer agreement.  This program needs to be cost recovered for the City. 
  1. Final Cost Acceptance: Notification of cost overages must be provided to Engineering promptly (not only at the end of the project). Acceptance of overage costs is at the discretion of the General Manager of Engineering Services. 
  1. Social Housing and other NPO exemptions: An option was presented on how the City could exempt parcels that are known to be owned by social housing providers and other similar organizations. Upon further review with our steering committee, it was determined to not bring this option forward.  These sites would only be paying their share into the program and the City should be transparent in how these types of developments are subsidized, such as supporting grant applications to cover these types of costs, or these entities can seek funding from other levels of government. 

If you have any questions, please contact Heather Park at hpark@udi.org. 

 

Vancouver Plan Public Engagement Launch 

The City is launching the next phase of public engagement to create the Vancouver Plan, a bold new plan for the city’s future to 2050.  
 
Vancouver Plan is our opportunity to create a city with equitable housing, complete neighbourhoods, and a thriving economy and healthy climate. Directions from the Vancouver Plan will also support the Climate Emergency Action Plan’s target of ensuring that 90% of people live within an easy walk or roll of their daily needs by 2030.  
 
As of October 25, members are able to pre-register for upcoming public engagements

The online survey will be available from October 27 through November 25, 2021. The Virtual open house will be available from October 27 through November 25, 2021. There will also be a series of Virtual Neighbourhood Area Workshops that can be registered for here

 

Streamlining Rental Around Local Shopping Areas – Public Hearing November 2 

As previously noted, City of Vancouver staff will be presenting a report for Public Hearing on November 2, as part of the Streamlining Rental Initiative. The report proposes two key changes to support the Secured Rental Policy:  

  • Allow up to 6-storeys of secured rental housing in C-2 zones without a rezoning process.  
  • Standardize requirements for new rental zones in lower density areas (RS/RT zones).  

 The background on the changes and additional details are available on the City’s website.  

These changes represent an important and positive step forward for the City’s rental incentives and UDI is very supportive.  

 Public Hearing details are listed on the City’s website, along with options to participate in the hearing. If you have any questions, please contact Cassandra McColman

 

2022 Fee Increases for Rezoning, Development, Building, and Other Related Permits 

On November 2, Council will receive a report requesting the approval of new fees for development, construction and other related matters. The report recommends that Council provide direction to: 

  • Implement productivity increases to reduce costs by $3.0M; 
  • Increase most permit and rezoning fees by 5%; 
  • Adjust budgeted salary and benefit costs by approximately $6.0M to reflect typical attrition patterns; and 
  • Temporarily draw approximately $10.0M from the general revenue stabilization reserve committed to completing permit work. 

If approved, builders can expect to see fees increase by approximately 5% effective January 1, 2022. There is an exception for the fee for owner-initiated policy amendment requests for large sites as part of the rezoning process, which will see higher increases to cover the additional planning costs associated with these applications. 

Staff will continue their work to increase efficiency with initiatives like Regulation Redesign and the Development Process Redesign already underway. To further mitigate the anticipated cost increases for the next year, staff are proposing to make adjustments to the annual salary budget and draw approximately $10.0M from reserves to cover the projected program deficit. 

The full report including a list of all existing and proposed fees (Appendix B) is linked here. If you have any questions regarding this report, please contact Cassandra McColman


 

October 19, 2021

Future of False Creek South 

As noted in previous newsletters, the City of Vancouver conducted a consultation process for 80 acres of City land in False Creek South in early 2021 to determine how the lands “… could be used to help address the housing crisis, and contribute to achieving other priorities …”. On October 21, a Report on The Future of False Creek South: Advancing a Conceptual Development Plan and Addressing Lease Expiries will be brought forward to Council, as a majority of the leases in the area will expire over the next 15 to 25 years.   

The Report includes a potential conceptual development plan and phasing strategy over the next half century – although it has not been reviewed by the Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability Department. Currently, the area’s density is 1.3 FAR. The City reviewed strategies that would increase FAR to between 3.3 and 3.7.  Staff are proposing a “New Sites and Open Space” plan, which would result in a 3.4 FAR at buildout (the nearby Senakw project’s FAR would be approximately 6.0). Please see the unit breakdown below: 

In the first phase, which would be completed sometime in the 2040s, new development would occur primarily near the Olympic Station and through “… new parcels along the north side of West 6th Avenue by repurposing the existing berm parallel to the False Creek spur line and Charleson Road.” Then residents living in buildings to be redeveloped will be offered opportunities to relocate to new units in these projects, so the redevelopment of existing co-op, rental and non-profit buildings can occur. In Phase 2 (post 2040), the City will be looking to redevelop the strata lease sites. Please see the staff presentation on the proposed development plan.  

 

Streamlining Rental Initiatives Referred to Public Hearing 

On October 5th, Vancouver City Council referred two key changes to the City’s rental initiatives to Public Hearing. These changes would: 

  1. Allow new 6 storey rental buildings through the same process as new 4 storey condo buildings (without rezoning), in C-2 zones; and  
  1. Simplify the rezoning process in low-density areas (RS and RT zones) by standardizing regulations through new rental zones, focusing on areas within walking distance of public transportation, shopping and other daily needs. 

UDI is supportive of these changes, which stem from the Secured Rental Policy approved in 2019. The Public Hearing will take place at 6pm on November 2nd, and speakers can sign up to participate beginning at 8:30am on October 22nd.  

For more information on the proposals visit the City’s website or if you have questions, please contact Cassandra McColman.  


 

October 5, 2021

UPDATED: Broadway Plan Engagement 

Phase 3 of engagement for the Broadway Plan is being moved from the end of September, to early November 2021.  

During this upcoming phase, there will be opportunity to review 3D elements of the plan which will include building heights, a draft public realm framework, housing and job projections, and additional details on some area-wide policies like housing, transportation, public benefits and community well-being. 

During the last couple of months, the City has been reviewing, summarizing and analyzing everything they heard during the Phase 2 Emerging Directions virtual open house. To read the engagement summary click here

For Phase 3 – Refining Directions, the City will continue to use a virtual open house model. They are hoping to provide some in-person engagement opportunities pending public health measures. We will be monitoring the City’s website for details on the Phase 3 launch. 

 

UDI Letter – Issuance of Building Permit for Excavation and Shoring  

The proposed amendment to enable issuance of a Building Permit for excavation and shoring (Stage I Building Permit) before a Development Permit was referred to Public Hearing by Council on July 20th. The item went to Public Hearing on September 21st, and was carried unanimously. This will now allow the City Building Inspector to issue a building permit, limited to excavation and shoring, before issuance of the development permit for specified projects.   

UDI wrote a letter to the City which can be read here

 

Cambie Corridor Plan Implementation 

The City of Vancouver is continuing to implement the Cambie Corridor Plan. This Fall, they are launching a public consultation for a new initiative on Alberta Street West 43rd Avenue and Columbia Park – the Alberta Street Blue Green System & Columbia Park Renewal Project. It is intended to ensure that “… the drainage and sewer servicing needs for the growing Cambie Corridor neighbourhood …,” are met and improve the park space along the Corridor. City staff are asking people who live and work in the area to complete an online survey by October 21, 2021. If you have any questions about the project, please contact City staff by email at: albertacolumbia@vancouver.ca

 

Vancouver 2050: An Expert Discussion on Planning and Growth 

On September 28th, 2021, as part of The Vancouver Plan process, the City of Vancouver held an expert discussion on long-term planning and growth in the City. The experts who participated in this discussion are listed below.  

  • Mary W. Rowe, President & CEO – Canadian Urban Institute 
  • Dr. John Rose, Instructor – Department of Geography and the Environment, KPU 
  • Marc Lee, Senior Economist – Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives 
  • Andrew Ramlo, Vice President, Advisory Services – rennie group 
  • Dr. Julia Harten, Assistant Professor – School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC 

Topics covered in this discussion include housing supply, affordability, rental housing, environmental sustainability, demographic shifts, and housing targets. The link to the recorded discussion can be found here

 

New Policy Enquiry Process Launched 

On October 1, the Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability Department lunched a new Policy Enquiry Process for development proposals that do not comply with by-laws and policy related to rezoning. A new Policy Enquiry Process has been created, providing information on background, how the process will work, and steps to making a policy enquiry, including a link to an application form.  

Staff advise to please review this page and the application form carefully before deciding to apply. Completed applications can be sent to policyenquiry@vancouver.ca. Staff will review submissions and aim to provide an initial response (including fee payment details and next steps) within 5 business days.  

Staff will endeavour to provide a formal response to policy enquiry submissions within a 3-4 month timeframe, and will keep applicants apprised of any changes otherwise. 


 

September 21, 2021

Marine Landing Review – Draft Guidelines 

Initiated last fall, the City of Vancouver is undertaking an area analysis for Marine Landing in response to new Council directions for affordable housing and intensification of job space. The area analysis builds on the existing vision established for Marine Landing in the Marpole Community Plan and Cambie Corridor Plan.  

The review has established a set of draft guidelines to inform both affordable housing and intensive employment projects through the rezoning process as sites come forward for redevelopment in the area.  The City is currently seeking feedback and the draft guidelines are available for review and comment online until September 30th.   

Visit the project page at https://shapeyourcity.ca/marine-landing-review


 

September 7, 2021

Issuance of Building Permit for Excavation and Shoring (Stage I Building Permit) 

The proposed amendment to enable issuance of a Building Permit for excavation and shoring (Stage I Building Permit) before a Development Permit was referred to Public Hearing by Council on July 20th. The proposal seeks to: 

“Amend Section 4 to permit the Director of Planning to recommend that the City Building Inspector issue a building permit, limited to excavation and shoring, before issuance of the development permit for projects including Dwelling Uses developed as Social Housing or Secured Market Rental Housing, Institutional Uses, and select Cultural and Recreational Uses.” 

If approved, these amendments would provide additional flexibility in construction scheduling for eligible projects. Eligibility would be based on proposed land use(s), the complexity of the site and context, and the proposed redevelopment plans. Sites with existing rental residential units will not be eligible.  

The full report that went to Council can be read here. This item is scheduled for Public Hearing on Tuesday, September 21. 

New VanMap  

The City of Vancouver’s VanMap is a platform for people who live and work in Vancouver to access City information on interactive apps and maps.  

The City has updated the VanMap platform and now Legacy VanMap is being replaced with the new VanMap, which includes a new VanMap Viewer (all-in-one viewer) and new apps that are faster and mobile friendly.  

If you used Legacy VanMap in the past, please shift to the new VanMap, as Legacy VanMap will be retired and no longer available as of October 31, 2021. The new VanMap will enable you to view all same datasets available in Legacy VanMap. 

To try VanMap, visit the VanMap page. If you’re new to VanMap or would like to contact the City, please check out the VanMap Help page


 

August 24, 2021

Broadway Plan Phase 3 – Refining Directions

The Broadway Planning Team is excited to announce that Phase 3 – Refining Directions will begin in late September 2021. During this upcoming phase, there will be opportunity to review 3D elements of the plan which will include building heights, a draft public realm framework, housing and job projections, and additional details on some area-wide policies like housing, transportation, public benefits and community well-being.

During the last couple of months, the City has been reviewing, summarizing and analyzing everything they heard during the Phase 2 Emerging Directions virtual open house. To read the engagement summary click here.

For Phase 3 – Refining Directions, the City will continue to use a virtual open house model. They are hoping to provide some in-person engagement opportunities pending public health measures. We will be monitoring the City’s website for details on the Phase 3 launch.


 

August 10, 2021

Latecomer Agreement Program

On September 22, 2021 a virtual UDI session will be held from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm where the City will provide UDI membership with an overview of the Latecomer Agreement Program in development. This will include eligibility of applications, as well as approaches to determining benefitting areas and cost apportionment prior to the presentation of the proposed policy to Council for approval.

For more information on the interim latecomer policy, read here. Please note that the webpage also has a form at the bottom for applicants seeking advice on a specific rezoning application.

If you are interested in attending this session, please email Heather Park at hpark@udi.org by September 13th.

 

Requirements for Electric Vehicle Charging in New Non-Residential Buildings

Last month, Council approved in principle changes to their EVC requirements for non-residential buildings as part of Big Move 3 under the City’s Climate Emergency Action Plan “… to ensure that by 2030, 50 % of the kilometres driven on Vancouver’s roads are by zero emissions vehicles.”

Currently, Vancouver mandates that 10% of stalls in commercial buildings have Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging in place. The new requirements will allow more flexibility with regard to the use of energy management systems, so the City estimates that they will typically have lower costs than Vancouver’s current non-residential EVC requirements. The new requirements will “… come into force and take effect on June 1, 2022,” and are listed in the table below.


 

July 27, 2021

Vancouver Plan Update and Quick Start Actions

On July 21, 2021, Council received a presentation from staff and reviewed their recommendations from a Report on the Vancouver Plan and several housing related Quick Start Actions. UDI wrote a supportive letter to Council regarding the recommendations.

With regard to the Vancouver Plan, the City will be now be developing a Land Use Plan in addition to a Strategic Policy Framework, which will likely be brought forward for approval next June; although the Public Investment Framework will not be addressed until 2023. Please see the timeline for the Plan below:

There were also several affordable housing Quick Start Actions noted in the Report. Staff requested that Council allow them to proceed with work on the Streamlining Rental Initiative, so it can go to Public Hearing in the Fall. The Initiative includes two incentive programs that UDI has been working with the City on for several years (see previous newsletters):

  • “Changes to C-2 district schedules to allow new six storey rental buildings through the same process as new four storey condo buildings (without rezoning); and,
  • Changes to the policy for rezoning low-density areas (RS or RT zones) to simplify the process by standardizing regulations through new rental zones and identifying locations within walking distance of public transportation, shopping and other daily needs.”

Several improvements were recommended to the affordable housing and vacancy control requirements under the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPP) to attract more interest in it, as only 11 of the targeted 20 applications have been approved by Council with only one other project in process. Council did not support the vacancy control changes, but increased the initial rents for the affordable units under the Program. They agreed to amend the initial rents for the below market units that were previously based on 2017 rates, so they can be increased by the allowed Provincial amount each year to time of project completion. The Program will also receive an extension to the end of January next year; although projects will no longer be accepted in several zones: C-1, C-3A, RT and RS. MIRHPP applications will now be reviewed on a first come first serve basis and the special pre-enquiry evaluation process has been removed. Proponents will need to have “… a full rezoning enquiry or application package …,” into the City by January 31 to meet the deadline of the Program

Changes were also proposed for social housing projects in the Downtown Eastside. A Public Hearing for them is expected in the Fall.

There was also an update on the priority actions from the Employment Lands and Economy Review (ELER). Half of the ten actions approved in October have been completed. This includes additional flexibility for artist studios; neighbourhood grocery stores; ground floor uses in the Downtown Eastside; industrial/office uses in Mt. Pleasant; and with parking requirements. Staff will be consulting on the other initiatives, including “Actions to Mitigate Impacts of Redevelopment on Commercial Tenants.” Under the ELER they will also be developing an Industrial Area Modernization and Intensification Framework and regulations for self storage. 

Transportation Update: Late last month, staff provided Council with an update on the City’s transportation policies, investments and trends (including the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic). The presentation includes details on the mode shifts occurring in Vancouver. Decreases in transit usage and active transportation were made up by the increase in remote work. Car sharing declined due to the departure of Car2go and ZipCar from Vancouver.  Staff also reviewed several road, cycling and transit related projects and noted that transportation and street use represent 15% of the City’s capital budget. 

Items from the Climate Emergency Action Plan related to transportation were reviewed such as the Climate Emergency Parking Program, which includes residential on-street parking fees and a pollution charge that could be implemented next year. The City will be conducting a feasibility study for road pricing and engaging stakeholders. There will be an update to Council on the issue in Spring 2022. 

 

Permitting Modernization Task Force Recommendations and New Website

On July 20, City of Vancouver Council referred to public hearing recommendations from the Internal Development Application and Permitting Modernization Task Force, which will amend the City’s Zoning and Development Bylaw to enable the issuance of a Building Permit for excavation and shoring prior to the issuance of a Development Permit. This change would only apply to specific types of projects, which are:

  • Secured Market Rental Housing;
  • Social Housing;
  • Institutional uses; and
  • Select Cultural and Recreational uses.

This added flexibility for construction scheduling would provide specific exemptions from the standard DP before BP process and allow applicants to start below grade excavation and construction work earlier.

The full report is available here: https://council.vancouver.ca/20210720/documents/rr1.pdf

The City has also launched a new webpage to provide updates on actions that the City is taking to reduce the current permitting backlog.

 

Interim Latecomer Agreement Policy

The City of Vancouver is in the process of developing a new latecomer agreement policy, and has recently published a webpage providing details on their interim approach. The webpage provides potential applicants with information on key policy terms, eligibility of projects, and our methodology for determining benefitting areas. Please note that this policy is still subject to approval of City Council, and staff are expected to present the final latecomer policy to Council for approval later this year.


 

July 13, 2021

Regulation Redesign – Simplifying Height Regulations and Miscellaneous Amendments Approved

As noted in previous newsletters, UDI is participating on an External Group to advise the City on the Regulation Redesign Review, which is working with staff to simplify and clarify the City’s regulations and improve “… the user-friendliness of the Zoning and Development By-law.” Please see the latest update from City staff on this important initiative below:

At a Public Hearing on July 6, Council approved amendments to update and clarify height regulations and to make miscellaneous amendments to various by-laws and land use documents.

These amendments will come into effect late July 2021. The specific amendments include:

  • new definitions for building height and decorative roof in Section 2 of the Zoning and Development By-law and a revision to the base surface definition;
  • updates to section 10.18 height regulations in the Zoning and Development By-law to modernize language, provide more flexibility for roof access and roof-top amenity features and clarify decorative roof regulations; and
  • miscellaneous amendments to various by-laws and land use documents to correct errors.

Read the Council referral report and memorandum for more information on the changes.  If you would like more information about these amendments, please contact the Regulation Redesign team at regredesign@vancouver.ca.

To learn what we’re doing to modernize the zoning by-law format and language, visit Regulation Redesign: Modernizing the Zoning and Development By-law on Shape Your City (survey deadline extended until July 13, 2021).

 

Streamlining Rental and Proposed MIRHPP Extension

City of Vancouver staff met with UDI members last month to provide an update on the proposals to streamline rental applications in the City and extend the MIRHPP program. As previously mentioned, the City is seeking to:

  • Amend C-2 commercial zoning to allow 6 storey rental buildings without a rezoning; and
  • Update the rezoning policy for low density areas (RS and RT zones)
    • To simplify the rezoning process by standardizing regulations through new rental zones
    • To focus on areas within walking distance of transit, shopping and other daily needs.

A survey on these changes is open until July 27th.

Accompanying these proposals will be a third potential change which would re-open the City’s MIRHPP program with adjusted parameters. The proposed amendments are as follows:

  • Re-open pilot until January 31, 2022 and consider up to 20 projects, no pre-enquiry application;
  • Update rent requirements for moderate income units to achieve maximum affordability, while ensuring project viability; and
  • Narrow eligibility of locations to focus on buildings above 6 storeys & update guidance for existing CD-1 zoned sites to exclude sites with large numbers of existing renters.

The rent requirements would be adjusted to so that average starting rents are set at a maximum of 10% below the CMHC market average, or 20% below for large projects greater than 14 storeys. Rents may be increased by the RTA maximum allowable rent increase annually and can be re-indexed to discount to the current year’s CMHC market average less 10% or 20% at turnover.

Further details are covered in the linked presentation slides.

Both the Streamlining Rental proposals and the MIHRPP changes will be presented to Council with the Vancouver Plan Quick Start Actions Report on July 21st.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Cassandra McColman at cmccolman@udi.org.

 

New Policy Enquiry Process 

Council approved a report regarding the Policy Enquiry Process, Guiding Principles and Criteria on July 7th, 2021 

UDI also submitted a letter in support of the policy, which can be found here.  

Policy Enquiry is a new process for considering development concepts that depart from Council-adopted policy or by-laws related to rezonings, but that advance important goals and priorities of the City Council.  The process and staff’s advice will be guided by the principles and criteria established by Council. The Criteria focus on key themes and priorities for the City, such as Reconciliation, Housing, Jobs / Economy and Cultural/Social and other city serving amenities. They also capture other important priorities relating to neighborhood design, sustainability, ecology, and municipal infrastructure. Proposals that meet or exceed these criteria will be prioritized for Council’s consideration and direction.  

Council will have the opportunity to consider these proposals through the policy and/or rezoning application phases of the review process, including how those proposals may further advance the City’s vision for a more inclusive, complete and sustainable City of Vancouver. 

The public will have the opportunity to participate in the process through the application phases, including council meetings, public open houses and public hearings.  

A flow chart detailing these pathways can be found in Appendix B, on p. 14 of the linked report.  

Staff will be turning their attention to finalizing the implementation work associated with this new Process, including submission requirements, fees, review timing expectations, and process expectations.  This work will take a few months to finalize, and staff are targeting a launch of the new Policy Enquiry Process after the summer break.   

Staff will be working with enquirers and applicants in the interim for those who have previously submitted policy non-compliant enquiries, and to work with those applicants to align their proposals with the newly approved Council criteria.  Staff will advise applicants of any additional submission or fee requirements in this regard as well. 

The ability and timing for staff to review policy non-compliant enquiries in the interim will be subject to finalizing those earlier noted implementation efforts discussed above. 

Please direct your questions and information to policyenquiry@vancouver.ca or contact Templar Tsang-Trinaistich, Issues Manager for Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability (Templar.tsang-trinaistich@vancouver.ca)  

As a reminder, any applicants seeking to submit a standard rezoning enquiry or rezoning application can do so through the Rezoning Centre at rezoning@vancouver.ca, and additional information can be found on the City’s rezoning website. More information regarding the Policy Enquiry process will be provided on the City’s website in the coming weeks. 

 

Density Bonus Rate Annual Reports Approved

Further to the previous updates, on July 6th Council approved the updated Density Bonus Zoning Contributions, which will take effect on September 30, 2021.


 

June 29, 2021

UPDATED: Streamlining Rental- Industry Office Hours

As mentioned previous, the City of Vancouver is considering policy and zoning changes to streamline the development process make it easier to build secure rental housing in more neighbourhoods in Vancouver. 

The proposal includes two primary actions:

  1. Changes to C-2 zoning to allow new 6 storey rental buildings through the same process as new 4 storey condo buildings (without rezoning)
  2. Changes to policy for rezoning in low-density areas (RS and some RT zones) to simplify the process by standardizing regulations through new rental zones, and by focusing change in areas within walking distance of public transportation, shopping and other daily needs

These changes consolidate, updates and strengthens rental incentive policies that have been in place in Vancouver for over a decade.

The feedback survey deadline has been extended until July 27th– please take a few moments to provide your comments by visiting the Shape Your City page.

Industry Office Hours (July 6-8)

Interested developers and applicants may sign up for 30-minute office hour sessions with Staff to discuss proposal enquiries – sign up here.

 

Street and Traffic Bylaw – Section 30 Updates

City of Vancouver Engineering Department has been working on proposed Street and Traffic Bylaw changes that are being brought to Council on July 6th. Engineering’s current regulatory redesign work, led by Kevin Cavell, involves updating a section of the Street and Traffic By-law that allows for temporary occupancy of streets and boulevards for construction related activities.

Staff have updated the regulation to make it more user-friendly by:

  • simplifying and clarifying this heavily used section of the Street and Traffic By-law
  • establishing clear fees for use of the street, sidewalks, lanes, and traffic lanes throughout the city
  • amended enforcement regulations through ticketing
  • consolidating the most frequently used regulations into a single location for ease of use by moving the Street Occupancy regulations currently in the Vancouver Building Bylaw (VBBL) to the Street and Traffic By-law
  • including indemnification of the city through insurance provisions for all street use and street occupancy permits (The provision for insurance currently exists in the by-law but is to be extended for all street use/occupancy permits.)

If you have questions please email RegRedesign@vancouver.ca or Cassandra McColman at UDI.

 

DCL/CAC/Density Bonus Rate Annual Reports

On June 11, the City the released the 2020 Annual Report on Development Cost Levies and on June 16, the 2020 Annual Reporting on Community Amenity Contributions and Density Bonus Zoning Contributions. Both reports include details regarding the money collected from development projects last year and how revenues from Development Cost Levies (DCLs), Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) and density bonuses were spent. Please note that this year’s rate adjustments for DCLs, CACs, and density bonuses will be 1.2%. The rate adjustment for DCLs and CACs takes effect September 30, 2021, while the Density Bonus Zoning Contributions were referred to public hearing on July 6, 2021. If approved at public hearing, new rates would take effect September 30, 2021. For further information, please see the following reports:

Since the inception DCLs in the early 1990s, total receipts the City has received from the program is over $1.1 billion. Last year, the City approved 8.1 million ft2 of permits for new construction (down by 1 million ft2 from 2019), and collected $115 million in DCLs. This is up substantially from 2019 because last year was the “… the first full year when projects paid Utilities DCLs …”. There were a total of $6.2 million of DCL exemptions/waivers/reductions in 2020. Staff note in the DCL Report that “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, DCL revenue contemplated in the 2019-2022 Capital Plan is forecast to decrease by ~$157 million (from ~$672 to ~$515 million).” The Report also includes information on the capital projects completed with DCLs between 2009 and 2020. 

In terms of CACs and density bonuses, only $16 million of cash-in-lieu contributions were received in 2020 – just over a third of what was received in 2019. However, the Public Benefits secured from approvals of additional density last year were valued at $307 million from 4.7 million ft2 of net additional floor area. In 2019, it was $86 million. It should be noted that over 75% of the $307 million came from three large rezonings, and $220 million will be going to housing. Details of the total benefits received and how they were allocated is outlined in Appendix B of the Report. In addition, several secured market rental and social housing projects that were approved did not provide CACs or density bonuses, and as a result the City received:

  • 2,413 secured market rental units, including 290 below-market units
  • 2 land dedications to the City for social housing
  • 801 social housing units from non-profits secured in-kind
  • 134 shelter units
  • 4 social service centres
  • Expansion of a social/cultural space.”

Council questioned staff about whether there were delays in rezoning projects reaching enactment. Staff reported out that 92% of these projects were enacted within two years and 99% within four years.

The City has also released a short video about CACs for Vancouver residents.


 

June 15, 2021

Development and Permit Process Improvements

Council recently directed that an Internal Development Application and Permitting Modernization Task Force be established. On June 8, they received their first bi-monthly presentation/report from staff. Staff identified four steps they have taken to speed up the development application process, and reduce the current backlog:

  • Enable temporary staff overtime;
  • Pilot a new data collection model for ASHRAE compliance;
  • Limit penalties for some instances of previously unpermitted work for residential and commercial renovations; and
  • Shift the onus of landscape maintenance during the construction process to applicants for demolitions, renovations and field reviews.”

They also received approval from Council for two of three initiatives, which UDI supported (please see the attached letter):

  • Relaxations of the design guidelines for some neighbourhoods; and
  • Temporary relaxation of some provisions in the Trees By-law.

Council did not approve the third proposal to delay the implementation of the mandatory zero emission building construction guidelines for Part 9 homes in the Building By-law for one year. 

Staff also noted they are “Increasing opportunities for electronic submissions and doing everything we can to make all permit and licensing applications digital.” Details are provided in their presentation. They also provided an update on the Development Process Redesign Review (DPR) which UDI, with other stakeholders, have been assisting the City with. The focus of the DPR work is on “Rezoning enquiry, Policy enquiry, application, enactment, public consultation, customer service, policy framework.” In a September report to Council, staff will be will be bringing forward proposals for:

  • New options for Rezoning Enquiry;”
  • A “New Policy Enquiry process for policy non-compliant proposals;
  • New procedures for non-compliant rezoning applications;” and
  • A “comprehensive project review assessment process.”

The presentation also included an update on issues and initiatives that the Engineering Department is managing, including the impact of the Professional Governance Act and a new Latecomer Agreement Framework that will be going to Council for approval this Fall.

 

Regulation Redesign Review

As noted in previous newsletters, UDI is participating on an External Group to advise the City on the Regulation Redesign Review, which is working with staff to simplify and clarify the City’s regulations and improve “… the user-friendliness of the Zoning and Development By-law.” At the June 8 Council meeting, staff presented a Regulation Redesign – Simplifying Height Regulations and Miscellaneous Amendments Report which has been referred to Public Hearing on July 6.  Staff are proposing to:

  • Add new definitions for building height and decorative roofs;
  • Amend the base surface definition;
  • Update the height regulations; and
  • Clean up the Zoning and Development By-law with other housekeeping amendments.

In addition, the City will be conducting an online engagement regarding the modernization of the Zoning and Development By-law between June 15 and July 6, 2021. They will be requesting feedback on:

  • Four sample residential district schedules (RM – multiple dwelling districts) in the new interactive PDF format;
  • Ten proposed new defined terms to clarify and simplify the language in the district schedules; and
  • Two outdated regulations to be considered for removal.”

If you have questions or would like to submit ideas to improve the City’s planning and development regulations, please contact the project team at regredesign@vancouver.ca.


 

June 1, 2021

Broadway Plan

As noted in previous newsletters, the City of Vancouver is developing an Area Plan for the Broadway Corridor to accommodate the Millennium Line Extension. Staff are currently in Phase 3 of the PlanRefining Directions. As part of their work, they are “… refining the future street design within the future station areas along Broadway … to make Broadway a ‘Great Street’.” The City is seeking feedback on:

  • “… public space and street upgrades at the future Broadway Subway Station sites;”
  • The design elements on the blocks where the stations will be located;
  • Parklets/seating areas ;
  • Street trees;
  • Green infrastructure;
  • Patios; and
  • Loading, pick up and drop off.”

To provide feedback, please complete the City’s survey by June 15 or contact the City’s Broadway Plan staff at broadwayplan@vancouver.ca.

 

Proposed rate adjustments for Vancouver DCLs, CAC Targets and Density Bonus Contribution rates for Sept. 30, 2021

This year’s rate adjustments for Development Cost Levy (DCL), Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) Target, and Density Bonus Contribution rates are proposed to come into effect on September 30, 2021. Vancouver City Council will consider these rates on June 22, 2021. This year’s rate adjustment represents an increase of 1.2% across DCL, CAC Target, and Density Bonus Contribution areas.

The proposed rates are posted on the City’s website:

Background – Annual Inflation Adjustment System

All of Vancouver’s pre-set development contributions are adjusted annually for changes in property and construction inflation. The City uses public, third-party data to calculate the impact of annual inflation on these rates. This adjustment system was first approved by Council in 2010 for use on DCLs and then expanded in 2016 to apply to CAC Targets and Density Bonus Contributions. Rates are adjusted annually through a report to Council every June or July, with new rates effective on September 30th of every year. Visit http://www.vancouver.ca/financegrowth for more information.

Please note the 2020 Annual Reports on DCLs, CACs and Density Bonusing is anticipated to be released in early to mid-June.

If you have any questions or concerns related to the proposed rates, please contact Cassandra McColman.

 

Complete and Connected Neighbourhoods

A critical component of the City’s Climate Emergency Action Plan is the “… target to ensure that 90% of people live within an easy walk or roll of their daily needs by 2030.” As such, “Creating complete, connected and culturally vibrant neighbourhoods is a key goal of …,” the Vancouver Plan. The City is seeking to build neighbourhoods where the needs of residents (regardless of background) are all within walking distance of their homes. They are conducting a survey on what should be included in complete and connected communities.  Please complete the survey by June 15.


 

May 18, 2021

Policy and Zoning Changes to Streamline Rental Development Process

The City of Vancouver is considering policy and zoning changes to streamline the development process make it easier to build secure rental housing in more neighbourhoods in Vancouver. For almost three decades, very little new secure rental housing was built in Vancouver resulting in a significant shortfall that has contributed to the current housing crisis.

The proposed changes stem from the Council approved Secured Rental Policy, which provides incentives to encourage the construction of new rental housing. The proposal includes two primary actions:

  1. Changes to C-2 zoning to allow new 6 storey rental buildings through the same process as new 4 storey condo buildings (without rezoning)
  2. Changes to policy for rezoning in low-density areas (RS and some RT zones) to simplify the process by standardizing regulations through new rental zones, and by focusing change in areas within walking distance of public transportation, shopping and other daily needs

These changes consolidate, updates and strengthens rental incentive policies that have been in place in Vancouver for over a decade.

 

Virtual Information Sessions

We are holding two online information sessions for the general public to provide an overview of the Secured Rental Policy and information on the policy and zoning changes being considered to make it easier to build rental housing in more neighbourhoods. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and comment on the changes proposed in small group discussions as part of the session.  Additionally anyone can provide comments via the project webpage: shapeyourcity.ca/rental-rz

Please see the Eventbrite links above for more details.

 

Office Hours

In addition to the online information sessions, staff will be setting aside timeslots to meet with interested members of the general public or community groups about the Streamlining Rental work, to discuss particular parts of the proposal or to answer any specific questions. We will schedule these times for mid-June, please stay tuned to our webpage for more details.

 

Provide Your Comments

To learn more about the proposals and share your thoughts via a comment form, please visit our Shape Your City page.


 

May 4, 2021

New Senior Leadership Appointments

Late last month, the City of Vancouver announced two new appointments to its senior leadership team. Former Deputy City Manager, Paul Mochrie, was appointed as the City’s new City Manager and Theresa O’Donnell, who previously the Deputy Director of Current Planning was appointed as the new Director of Planning and GM or Urban Design and Sustainability. Both has assumed their new positions on an interim basis prior to the confirmation of their permanent appointments. UDI congratulates both Paul Mochrie and Theresa O’Donnell on their new roles and looks forward to continuing to work with them and their teams.


 

April 20, 2021

Rental Housing Stock ODP Extension to C-2 Zones

On April 1st, Vancouver City Council approved a motion to extend the RHS ODP to C-2 Zones. The approved motion also included amendments that directed staff to do consultation with landowners, residential and business tenants on maintaining affordable rental stock as part of the ongoing C-2 work.

In addition, Council also directed staff to report back on options for density transfers and offsets.

 

New Task Force on Development Application and Permitting Modernization

On March 31st, Council approved a motion taking measures to address the permitting backlog in the Development Building and Licensing department. The final motion also established a new task force to be headed by the City Manager with direction to report back on measures to address the backlog within 16 months, in addition to regular updates provided to Council.

You can read the full motion as approved here.

 

False Creek South Consultation

As noted in previous newsletters, the City of Vancouver conducted a consultation process for 80 acres of City land in False Creek South during the month of February to determine how the lands “… could be used to help address the housing crisis, and contribute to achieving other priorities …”. A False Creek South: Opportunities for the Future Engagement Summary Report has now been released. The findings include:

  • Overall support for the City to consider opportunities to address affordable housing and public priorities;
  • A “Majority of Vancouver residents see all housing types as very or fairly important, with family housing, accessible and adaptable housing, and purpose-built rental seen as most important overall.”
  • A majority viewed the public priorities as being important – especially environmental and social issues; and
  • Over two-thirds of residents agreed the City should use revenue from the development of market units in False Creek South to help pay for more non-market housing that is affordable …”.

 

April 6, 2021

50% Off Passive House Course at BCIT

The City of Vancouver supports a deeply discounted Passive House tradespersons course at BCIT for trades/builders/sub-contractors/energy advisors/architects/engineers etc, that work in the city of Vancouver. It’s a great opportunity to get intensive and hands-on Passive House training for half the regular cost. The next course session is taking place April 20-June 22, 2021.   

Course participants will: learn hands-on approaches to high performance buildings; earn BC Housing Group A CPD credits; and be eligible to write the exam to earn the Certified Passive House Tradesperson designation.

 Check out https://www.bcit.ca/construction/passivediscovery/ and https://www.bcit.ca/study/courses/cesa1501 for more information.


 

March 23, 2021

Broadway Plan: Industry Update

Further to the consultation plan noted previously, the City of Vancouver held a meeting with builders active in the Broadway Plan area on March 12, 2021, see the slides here. Staff provided an update on several key elements that will form part of the new Plan, including:

  • Places, such as designated villages, residential areas, centres, and industrial/employment areas;
  • Affordable housing
  • Community well-being including childcare facilities and social amenities;
  • Jobs and economy;
  • Transportation and street design; and
  • A One Water approach through the Rain City Strategy, blue-green systems, and rainwater management systems.

A Survey is running until March 31st, if you are active in the Plan area, please take a few moments to complete the survey here.


 

March 9, 2021

RHS ODP Extension to C-2 Zones Public Hearing March 11, 2021

As previously mentioned, the City of Vancouver is considering extending the Rental Housing Stock ODP to C-2 Zones. A report will be going to public hearing next Thursday, March 11 at 6pm.

The report that Staff has developed lays out many serious issues with the proposed extension and we are very concerned with the negative impact that it will have on builders and landowners.

If you would like to sign up to speak or submit comments online, please use the links below:

Request to Speak: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/request-to-speak-at-a-public-hearing-form-2.aspx

Send Comments Online: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/contact-council-public-hearing.aspx.  

If you would like to follow the meeting online there are a few options linked below:

 

Broadway Plan: Emerging Directions Engagement

The Broadway Plan’s Phase 2 Emerging Directions Virtual Open House is now live on the City’s website.

Open house materials detail proposed directions for land uses, housing, jobs, parks, public spaces and connections and amenities. The overall focus will be on how neighbourhoods will grow and manage change through a neighbourhood-based planning approach that recognizes the distinct communities, places, issues, and opportunities in Mount Pleasant, Fairview and Kitsilano.

How you can participate

  1. Get the highlights in the interactive StoryMaps
    The Broadway Plan’s StoryMaps are an interactive web-based tool that combines maps, pictures, videos, and text to show you the highlights of the Broadway Plan’s Emerging Directions.  To learn more visit our website.
  2. Read the full details in the online information boards
    A set of files in PDF format, similar to the information boards you’d find at the COV’s in-person open houses, is also available on the City’s website to provide you the details about the important contextual information and emerging directions for all three neighbourhoods and area-wide policies.
  3. Share your feedback
    What do you think about the emerging directions for Mount Pleasant, Fairview, or Kitsilano?  What do you think of the area-wide policies? 
  • Tell the City in the survey by March 31. Take the survey
  • Have a question? Sign up for our “office hours” to speak to a Broadway Plan team member. Sign up here
  • Have a question about the Emerging Directions? Leave us a question on the “Questions” tabs on the Broadway Plan ShapeYourCity website

Sign-up for our workshops
The City of Vancouver is holding a series of virtual workshops, which focus on the highlights of the Emerging Directions, covering the neighbourhoods of the Broadway Plan and area-wide policy. To sign up, visit:

 

Shape Your City Online Engagement: Proposed amendments to simplify height regulations

Regulation Redesign is working on simplifying and clarifying land use regulations to make them easier to understand. We’re proposing new definitions in Section 2 for “height” and “decorative roof”, and updating the definition for “base surface”. We’re also proposing amendments to Section 10.18 to modernize language and update terms, to provide more flexibility for rooftop amenity spaces and access, and to clarify decorative roof regulations.

Learn more about the proposed amendments to simplify and clarify height regulations and to share your feedback at Shape Your City. Comment form closes March 31, 2021.

Shape Your City: shapeyourcity.ca/regredesign-height

Website: vancouver.ca/RegRedesign


 

February 23, 2021

Broadway Plan 

Last week, the City launched its Broadway Plan’s Phase 2 Emerging Directions Virtual Open House, which will be running between February 16 and March 31. The Broadway Plan will be a 30-year plan for the areas adjacent to the Broadway extension of the Millennium Line – between 1st Avenue, 16th Avenue, Vine Street and Clark Street. There are several opportunities to participate, including:

If you have questions, you can sign-up to contact a Broadway Plan team member or email them to broadwayplan@vancouver.ca.

Staff also released detailed online information boards for the Emerging Directions, many of which will be of interest to UDI members, including:

  • Potential Adjustments to the View Corridors;
  • Provisions to ensure sunlight on streets continue as well as the protection of green leafy streets;
  • Exploring Commercial rent controls;
  • Exploring “… opportunities for additional height/density for renewal of aging social and rental buildings over the long term,” but “… prevent speculation by restricting new density to social, below-market and market rental;”
  • Continuing “… to require no net loss of rental housing and,” exploring “… options to replicate existing affordability levels or, with subsidies, achieve greater levels of affordability;”
  • Developing “Options for right of first refusal into new housing for local residents;”
  • Potential pre-zoning for rental and social housing;
  • Expanding “… groundwater and rainwater management requirements for new development,” and establishing Blue-Green systems to manage rainwater;
  • Establishing childcare targets, exploring opportunities for childcare being incorporated in work spaces; and integrating childcare into larger sites;
  • Mitigating the displacement of food businesses;
  • Having zero operating emission buildings including having zero emissions areas, and having “… allowances for simplified low carbon building forms;”
  • Developing “Design guidelines to integrate climate change and seismic goals,” as well as to ensure good indoor air quality, noise reductions, thermal comfort and to make buildings adaptable to changing climate conditions;
  • Developing embodied carbon targets for new construction;
  • Developing policies for deep energy retrofits;
  • An exploration of expanding the City’s District Energy System;
  • Requirements for Community Benefit Agreements for projects of many sizes;
  • Supporting “… additional density for strata ownership housing only to enable new below-market housing or other community amenities such as childcare or non-profit space;” and
  • “… Exploring innovative funding options and tools for Growth needs that do not rely on CACs typically provided with additional strata density.”

The draft Broadway Plan is expected to be ready for Council consideration at the end of this year, please see the timeline below. UDI will keep members informed as the Plan moves forward.

 

 

Women4Climate Mentorship Program

In 2019, Vancouver became the eighth city to launch a local C40 Women4Climate Mentorship Program. Now in 16 cities worldwide, the W4C Mentorship Program aims to empower the next generation of climate leaders to create a healthier, greener, more resilient, and economically prosperous urban future.

Each year, mentees are matched with political and business sector leaders, as well as leaders from international and community organizations. Over the 10-month mentorship period, mentees:

  • Receive knowledge, experience, and support from their mentors
  • Partake in monthly leadership training and networking opportunities
  • Network with local and international women working on their own climate initiatives

Are you working on a climate initiative that is advancing low carbon buildings and materials, active transportation and transit , complete communities, EV infrastructure, or carbon sequestration? Does your climate initiative actively work to reduce the systemic inequities experienced by residents throughout the city while meeting the needs of communities disproportionately  impacted by climate change? If you live or work in Vancouver, this program may be for you.

To join this international community of emerging women climate leaders, apply before March 7th.

For more information about the mentorship program and to apply, visit vancouver.ca/w4c

For more information about Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, visit vancouver.ca/climateemergency


 

February 10, 2021

False Creek South Public Engagement

Between now and February 28, 2021, Vancouver residents and stakeholders are invited to participate in the False Creek South Lands: Opportunities for the Future consultation process. This public engagement seeks input about how 80 acres of City-owned lands in False Creek South could potentially be used to help address the housing affordability, and contribute to achieving other City priorities such as accelerating action on climate change; increasing the focus on equity and social issues; and protecting and building the local economy. 

 

How to participate

The City is seeking input about options for the future of City-owned lands in False Creek South, which will help shape Vancouver. This includes the role of market housing units. Here’s how you can get involved:

 

Online Events Schedule

Meeting Type Date Time
Small Group Meeting (False Creek South residents and stakeholders)   Tuesday February 16 12-1 pm 
Small Group Meeting (City-wide stakeholders) Tuesday February 16 6-7 pm
Small Group Meeting (City-wide stakeholders) Wednesday February 17 12-1 pm 
Public information and Q&A session Wednesday February 17 6-7 pm 
Small Group Meeting (False Creek South residents and stakeholders) Thursday February 18 6-7 pm 
Public information and Q&A session Thursday February 25 6-7 pm 

 

Please register for an online event by clicking the name of the event above. Interested individuals are encouraged to register in advance, as space is limited. The City will send a link to join the meeting when they confirm your registration. Please Visit ShapeYourCity.ca/FCSLands for more information.

 

 

Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan (ODP) Extension to C-2 Zones

As noted in previous newsletters, UDI has raised concerns to the City of Vancouver regarding proposals to extend the Rental Housing Stock ODP (with the one-to-one replacement of rental units) to the C-2 zones since a Council motion that was introduced in Spring 2019. Unfortunately, Council adopted the idea in November 2019 as part of the approval of the Secured Rental Policy, which was intended to provide builders incentives to build more purpose built rental (PBR) housing in the Vancouver. UDI has met with staff and written/spoken to Council throughout the process about the ramifications of extending the Rental Housing Stock ODP to the C-2 areas. Following the presentation of a referral report, these changes were referred to public hearing at the February 9th Regular Council Meeting. The Public Hearing date is expected to be in early March 2021.

 

In their Report, staff identify “… impacts and implementation challenges …,” if Rental Housing Stock ODP is extended to the C-2 Zones. This includes the potential loss of $400 million to $550 million dollars in combined value for the 380 properties affected by the proposed change with individual property losses ranging from 10% to 50%.

 

City staff met with financial institutions, and in the Report, they note several concerns lenders raised, including the potential of rental providers being forced to payout their financial institutions or face foreclosure due to the loss in value of C-2 properties with rental units. In addition, “… lenders also expressed concerns related to their perception that the proposed changes signal instability in the regulatory regime, which increases risk from an investment perspective. This may impact their future decisions to continue to invest in Vancouver.”

 

UDI will provide updates to our members as this issue progresses.

 

 

Broadway Plan

On February 3, the City of Vancouver Broadway Planning Team announced a Phase 2 – Emerging Directions Virtual Open House that will take place between February 16 and March 31 on the ShapeYourCity website. The website will include information on the emerging policy directions for the 30-year Broadway Plan, as well as opportunities for feedback and further participation.

Boundaries of the Broadway Plan in purple.


 

January 26, 2021

Employment Lands and Economy Review (ELER) Quick Start Actions

As noted previously, the City of Vancouver recently completed their Employment Lands and Economy Review Phase 2 in October 2020. One of the primary deliverables of the in-depth analysis and engagement work completed throughout the ELER were the Emerging Directions which summarized what staff have heard to date and are intended to help guide future planning and engagement in the Vancouver Plan process. Details on the Emerging directions can be found through the link below.

Emerging Policy Directions, Ideas for Potential Actions for Vancouver Plan Process

In addition, four quick start actions stemming from the Phase 2 Report were approved on January 21st, 2021:

  • Mount Pleasant I-1 Amendment and New I-1C District Schedule
  • Downtown-Eastside/Oppenheimer District Official Development Plan Text Amendment – Retail Continuity Policy Review for Flexibility of Ground Floor Uses
  • Development By-law Amendments to Remove Barriers to New Work-Only Artist Studios in Industrial Areas
  • Initial Zoning and Development By-law Amendments to Support Neighbourhood Grocery Stores

The report summarizing the recommendations for each action is available here.

 

Regulation Redesign

As noted in previous newsletters, UDI has been working with the City on its Regulation Redesign project, which is “… a comprehensive review of … land use regulations and related policy documents,” to simplify and clarify them. One of the issues addressed through the project is amendments made for balconies and decks that were approved last summer by Council. Please see the update below from the City Vancouver on the changes and a link to a recent bulletin they released on the issue.

“The City of Vancouver’s new bulletin on Balconies, Decks, Entries, Porches and Verandahs, Patios, and Roof Decks is live! Thanks to your input over the past two years, Council approved amendments on June 25, 2020 to update and improve consistency of regulations by introducing new definitions for balconies, decks, entries, porches and verandahs, patios and roof decks and updating regulations for these elements to make them more consistent between zones.

The new bulletin is a comprehensive document that explains the administration of these newly defined building elements. This topic-specific bulletin is available on the Zoning and land use document library at Vancouver.ca/zoning-library.

It will be used by applicants and staff to ensure a common understanding of these administrative practices. We invite you to use the new bulletin.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

The bulletin provides information on these building elements including:

  • Inclusions/exclusions from floor area calculations (e.g. for areas under balconies and decks, and for landings)
  • Projections into required yards (e.g. for landings, eaves)
  • Where patios can be located on site and how raised patios are regulated
  • How Roof Decks are categorized and administered

 

Click here to read the new Balconies, Decks, Entries, Porches and Verandahs, Patios, and Roof Decks bulletin.

For questions, please contact the Regulation Redesign Team:  RegRedesign@vancouver.ca

Webpage: vancouver.ca/RegRedesign


 

January 12, 2021

Regulation Redesign

As noted in previous newsletters, UDI is participating on an External Group that is advising City staff regarding the Regulation Redesign Project – an initiative “… to simplify the City’s land use regulations, policies, and online tools to improve and streamline permit processing.” It is one of many initiatives Vancouver is conducting to improve process times. It is linked to the Development Process Redesign Project. There are also improvements being considered and reviewed by the Engineering and Development, Buildings and Licensing departments.

The goals of the Regulation Redesign Project include:

  • Simplify and clarify land use regulations to make them easier to understand and implement;
  • Modernize regulations and language and improve the format of land use documents to make them more user-friendly;
  • Improve the consistency of land use regulations and policies;
  • Improve communication abo

Featured Events

UDI Project Tour - 397 West 7th Ave

December 8 @ 3:00 pm

Located at 7th and Yukon Street in Vancouver near the Broadway/Cambie Skytrain transit nexus, the new four storey, 17,000 ft2...

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UDI Vancouver - Holiday Reception 2021

December 9 @ 5:00 pm

This holiday season, we are excited to be able to host our UDI Holiday Reception in-person once again for our UDI Members, public...

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UDI U40 Winter Social 2021

December 15 @ 5:00 pm

This holiday season, we are excited to be able to host our U40 Winter Social once again! Join us at the Loft...

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