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Municipal News- Vancouver

January 1, 2000

October 15, 2019

Rental Incentive Review Technical Meeting

UDI recently met with city staff on September 30 in one of two meetings to review their rental incentive programs. The city is planning to go to Council on November 26 with a number of rental incentive draft proposals. Key areas that will be addressed in the recommendations of the rental incentives review include:

  • Simplifying and clarifying the City’s existing rental incentives;
  • use of the residential rental tenure zoning tool as a density bonus;
  • incentivizing rental housing along commercial arterials;
  • opportunities for delivering rental housing in lower density areas on or near arterial streets;
  • early learnings from the MIRHPP and exploring opportunities for increased rental affordability; and
  • achieving other City objectives (e.g. sustainability goals)

A sub-committee will be established with UDI, the Sustainability Group, Housing and Urban Design to discuss conflicts with energy step code requirements and urban design qualifications. UDI will be participating in the second technical review meeting with the city on November 1.

 

Broadway Plan Update

UDI met with city staff on September 30 to receive a key milestone update on the Broadway Plan. The city recently released the Draft Broadway Plan Guiding Principles and information boards based on the community engagement efforts since March 2019 and city-wide objectives. See here for the Guiding Principles Report that will be presented to city council on October 22. Phase 2 of the engagement process will begin which will involve developing growth scenarios. This Phase will be held from February 2020 –May 2020. City staff will look to build a preferred scenario that will form the fundamentals of the final proposed Broadway Plan. UDI will be engaging in three follow-up workshops with the city prior to the launch of Phase 2- slated for November 2019. The three workshops will cover:

  • Green Infrastructure and Building Design
  • Small Business, Local Business Opportunities
  • Affordability and Housing

Please get in touch with Marissa Chan-Kent to participate in these workshops.

 

Regulation Redesign Report

As noted in previous newsletters, UDI has been participating as an external advisory member on the City of Vancouvers Regulation Redesign initiative. Through it, City staff aim to:

  • Simplify, clarify, and update regulations
  • Improve the consistency of regulations and policies
  • Streamline permit review processes and establish a framework to coordinate policy development
  • Ensure land use regulations align with our emerging policies and priorities
  • Improve communication and information sharing.”

The City has now released the findings of a summer workshop “… to explore  ideas and identify alternatives for simplifying floor area and building height regulations.” Key suggestions included:

Is there a simpler way to calculate floor area?  

Is there a simpler way to calculate building height?

 

Measure to the sheathing or inside wall Keep current approach, but be consistent and clear
Improve consistency of regulations and clarify regulations A new approach: “Glass Box” or maximum envelope
More flexible building envelope (“Glass Box”) Don’t regulate storeys
Regulate Floor Space Ratio (FSR) without use of exclusions

 

Eliminate Vertical Angle of Daylight

 

Regulate above-grade floor area only Eliminate relaxations

 

Bundle exclusions as a percentage of FSR Regulate mezzanines like the Vancouver Building Bylaw

 

Eliminate primary and secondary envelopes

 

City staff are working with the External Advisory Committee to further assess and develop these suggestions. More information on the workshop is available on the City’s website.

 

Vancouver Building Bylaw (VBBL) Stakeholder 2021 Consultation

On October 2, UDI met with the City of Vancouver and key building stakeholders to review proposed changes to the VBBL for Part 9 buildings. The City is seeking to achieve 100% renewable space heating and domestic water heating. They are also adding a performance path tied to the metrics of the BC Energy Step Code.

Staff are considering three potential paths.

Prescriptive Path:

  • Space heating and hot water 100% renewable
  • Fireplaces allowed
  • Gas cooking allowed
  • No change to wall construction
  • Improvements to windows/sliding doors, air tightness, and heat recovery

Performance Path:

  • Step 4 TEDI 20kWh /m2/a metrics + GHGI 3kg/co2e/m2/a
  • 2014 VBBL prescriptive minimum
  • Fireplace + gas cooking allowed

Passive House Path:

  • Space heating and hot water can be non renewable
  • Fireplaces allowed
  • Gas cooking allowed

Staff are seeking input from the industry; this includes their estimated costs for the proposed changes, which are $3 per square foot for townhouses. They will going to Council with the recommendations in early 2020. It is expected the changes will come into effect in the VBBL in 2021.


 

September 30, 2019

Broadway Plan – Phase 1

On October 2, City Council will be briefed on Phase 1 (Engagement and Guiding Principles) of the Broadway Plan. The Broadway Plan roughly encompasses the area between Vine Street, Clark Drive, 16th Avenue and 1st Avenue along the upcoming Broadway Millennium Line Extension:

Phase 1 was the “listening phase” of the process. City staff engaged in a number of workshops, walking tours, open houses and other events as well as consulting online. UDI was involved throughout the process, and organized a meeting with City staff and members on September 23, 2019,

Staff have developed several Guiding Principles for Council approval from the consultations and current City policies. They include:

  • Support Reconciliation with First Nations and Urban Indigenous Peoples;
  • Foster a Robust and Diverse Economy;
  • Demonstrate Leadership in Sustainability and Resilience;
  • Support Affordable, Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Complete Neighbourhoods;
  • Encourage Contextual Design;
  • Recognize and Enhance the Area’s Distinctive Neighbourhoods and Places;
  • Enhance Broadway as a Great Street;
  • Provide and Support Healthy Transportation Options; and
  • Create and Enhance Parks and Public Spaces.”

Although a key principle is improving housing affordability, there is also a desire to preserve the character of neighbourhoods and “Concerns and fear about displacement of existing renters due to redevelopment pressures …”. There is also a desire for more purpose-built rental housing, co-operative housing and social housing.

It is also clear from the initial review that “The Broadway Plan faces significant utilities challenges: aging infrastructure and capacity constraints for sewer, drainage and drinking water infrastructure …,” and “To accommodate future population growth, extensive upgrades to sewer and water mains will be necessary.” Staff will also be looking at onsite “… green rainwater infrastructure as well as water harvest and re-use strategies …”.

The next phase of the Broadway Plan will be “Emerging Directions”, which is scheduled to be completed during the second quarter of 2020. The Broadway Plan should be finalized by late 2020. UDI will continue to participate throughout the process and will organize meetings with City staff at milestone points.


 

September 16, 2019

UPDATED: Development and Building 2020 Fee Increases

On September 10, city council approved of the 2020 Fee Increases for Rezoning, Development, Building and other related permits. See Administrative Report here. As noted in the previous newsletter, UDI received a letter from the city of Vancouver, notifying of the proposed development fee increases. These new fees will take effect in January 2020.

 

UPDATED: Broadway Plan

UDI will be meeting with city staff on Monday, September 23 at 9:00 am – 10:30 am to receive a key milestone update on the Broadway Plan Engagement. Space is limited – please contact Marissa Chan-Kent if you would like to attend.

 

Broadway Stakeholder Transportation Workshop Summary

On July 4, UDI participated in a Transportation Stakeholder Workshop hosted by the City of Vancouver. See here for the summary of the workshop. Participants provided input on:

  • Walkability;
  • Transit
  • Efficient Low Carbon Mobility;
  • Cycling and Micro-mobility; and
  • Transportation Supporting the Economy

 

Empty Homes Tax Workshop

UDI and other housing stakeholders will be meeting with city staff on Thursday, October 3 from 2 pm – 3:30 pm to discuss the potential policy directions of the Empty Homes Tax and review the impact of the Tax to date. If you would like to attend this meeting, please get in contact with Marissa Chan-Kent.


 

September 3, 2019

City of Vancouver Budget 2020 Survey

City staff have begun preparing for the City’s budget for 2020 and are requesting public feedback via survey. The City’s annual budget is the financial plan for maintaining and improving the services and programs. The City is looking for your priorities for Budget 2020 and thoughts on how the City is managing its finances. Input will help inform the development of the draft budget, scheduled to be presented to Council in mid-December. The survey will take approximately 12 minutes to complete. Click here to start the survey 

If you are unable to click the link, please copy and paste the full URL below into your browser:https://www.talkvancouver.com/c/al/6FAWZx3Wr7J8ScnwD4ciEJ/6AgZAY6tIncIvwYtCNl29b

 

Public Hearing for 2019 Annual Rate Adjustments to Density Bonus Contributions 

On Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 6pm a Public Hearing will be held to consider the recommended 2019 rate adjustments to density bonus contributions. The inflationary rate adjustment to density bonus contributions are an annual process that allows the City to keep pace with annual changes in property values and construction costs. In light of the current residential market, it is being recommended that Council forgo the 2019 inflationary rate adjustments on density bonus contributions related to residential development. The full report can be found here.

 

Proposed Development and Building 2020 Fee Increases

UDI received the a letter regarding proposed development fee increase for 2020. Specifically, city staff are recommending an increase of over 1% inflation and significant chances to two particular fee categories. These categories include an adjustment to Rezoning fee Section 1 to account for increased effort for applications coming from the Cambie Corridor townhouse projects, and an adjustment to the Miscellaneous fee “Appeal to the Board of Variance/Parking Variance”. See here for the letter. These proposed increases will be coming forward to Council on September 10. If approved, the new fees will take effect in January 2020.

 

Legionella Proposals

The City of Vancouver is proposing changes to the Vancouver Building By-law, effective January 1, 2021, for specific mechanical systems including cooling towers, evaporative condensers and decorative water features.

Staff will also be hosting a public workshop on Tuesday, October 29 to review the proposals, and a lunch-time presentation with Tourism Vancouver on October 30 geared towards local facility engineers and maintenance personnel. The Tourism Vancouver event will include speakers from the Fraser Health Authority and Chris Boyd from NSF International. This workshop will not be focusing on the City of Vancouver’s proposals (these will be covered at the Tuesday, October 29 workshop), but rather on what facilities can do to mitigate their Legionella risk.

If you would like more information on these events or have questions/comments regarding the City of Vancouver’s proposals please contact Cassandra McColman at 604.661.3032.


 

August 19, 2019

Open Data Portal

On August 14, the City launched a new Open Data Portal “… for users to access, search, visualize, build maps, charts and explore…,” 167 public datasets.  The new portal refreshes the Open Data website, which was launched almost a decade ago. Features of the new portal include:

  • Search, filter, and sort the catalogue of datasets. Filters include view, theme, keyword, data owner, and data team.
  • Preview datasets with tables. Visualize them with maps and charts. Refine them with searches and filters.
  • With an account, users can also follow dataset updates, and save maps and charts.
  • Data and metadata use a structured format that is easier for users and search engines to understand.
  • Download any dataset (or a selection of its records) in multiple formats for further use. Non-geospatial datasets are in CSV, JSON, and Excel formats. Geospatial datasets are in GeoJSON, shapefile, and KML formats.
  • Search and download dataset records using the API (application programming interface). With an account you can also generate API keys.”

Please see the City’s News Release on the announcement.


 

August 6, 2019 

Rental Incentives Report

On July 24,  Vancouver city staff presented an update on the initial results of the first phase of the review of rental incentives to Council, including results from two consultant reports – Coriolis and CitySpaces. The Short Term Incentives for Rental Program, Rental 100, the Affordable Housing Choices Interim Rezoning Policy, and incentives in community plans were reviewed. The CitySpaces Report includes information from a survey of UDI members conducted earlier this year. UDI will be meeting with city staff in September/October to consult on the rental incentive policy recommendations that are likely due to return to Council for November. A final report is expected in November 2019 with implementation and district schedule changes occurring in early 2020.

  • See here for a link to the rental incentive review report. 
  • See here for a link to the CitySpaces presentation on their review of the results of the rental incentive programs since 2009 & Phase 1 consultation activities.
  • See here for a link to the summary of preliminary key findings from Coriolis

The consultants found:

  • The City’s rental incentive programs have been effective and have secured 8,680 purpose-built rental units since 2009;
  • Incentives are also essential if the City wants to continue to have purpose-built rental (PBR) units constructed;
  • However, the incentives are not enough, as Vancouver annually approves less than 50% of its target for new PBR units;
  • Contributions from and partnerships with senior governments are going to be needed;
  • To encourage more construction of rental housing, the programs must be simplified and streamlined, with a specific focus on creating new secured market rental housing”;
  • Processing times at the City are lengthy and that is having an impact on the viability of some PBR projects;
  • The City has numerous conflicting policies, such as green building requirements, which are adding to the costs of rental housing;
  • The incentive programs should be offered in areas across the City – including potentially in single-family home areas.
  • Although, many rental projects faced criticism for being to tall at the time of rezoning, a survey conducted after some were built showed few objections to the design and height of the buildings;
  • There is a need to look at livability of the PBR units and projects;
  • Coriolis found that introducing vacancy control would undermine the viability of PBRs;
  • They also suggested the City consider offering increased rental density through density bonusing, as opposed to downzoning through the new rental only zoning power introduced by the Province;
  • They key incentives for builders to provide new PBRs are increased density and the Development Cost Levy (DCL) waiver;
  • Parking standards can still be reduced; and
  • PBR projects are facing challenges because of government policies such as the changes to the Residential Tenancy Act that restricts annual rent increases to CPI, the School Tax, regional development cost charges, and the new Utilities DCL.

The City is now in Phase 2 of its review and will be conducting further consultations with UDI and other stakeholders. It will include lessons from the Moderate Income Housing Pilot Program, and staff will be providing recommendations to Council regarding:

  • Rezoning policy improvements;
  • The potential application of rental tenure zoning in C-2 areas;
  • Changes to the city-wide and utility DCLs; and
  • A rental reinvestment program for current PBR stock.

 

Greenest City Action Plan Update: On July 23, City staff provided Council with a presentation regarding the 2019 Greenest City Action Plan Implementation Update. Their presentation outlined how well the City is doing in achieving its Greenest City Action Plan goals in 10 areas:

  • Climate and Renewables;
  • Green Buildings;
  • Green Transportation;
  • Zero Waste;
  • Access to Nature;
  • Clean Water;
  • Local Food;
  • Clean Air
  • Green Economy; and
  • Lighter Footprint.

The City has done well in a number of areas. It has already surpassed the 2020 target in increasing the number of trips made by walking, cycling and transit as well as meeting several targets in their own corporate operations. Although the City will not achieve its goal of all new buildings being carbon neutral by 2020, the GHGs have been reduced by 43% in new construction as of 2018. The City has also produced a Greenest City Action Plan Update Booklet.  Over the next year, they will be developing a new environmental plan with new targets for beyond 2020. This will include changes to Vancouver’s green building policies. UDI will keep members apprised of any changes, and we are organizing a Breakfast Seminar on the City’s Climate Emergency Response in October.


 

July 22, 2019

Vancouver Rental Application Approval: 121 new units to be Constructed at Fraser and East 22nd Street

On July 11, Council approved Strand’s rezoning application for 121 units of market rental housing, including a good diversity of 1 to 4-bedroom units, with 40% of the units geared towards families. The data from recent public surveys (Ipsos and Research Co.) is clear – Vancouverites are frustrated by the lack of rental housing options, and the vast majority of City of Vancouver residents are heavily supportive of new rental options in their neighbourhoods and on transit. This positive decision is a small step to addressing this frustration and we commend Mayor and Council for supporting this rental proposal.

 

UPDATED: 2019 Vancouver Building Bylaw Update Released

On July 16, the City of Vancouver approved the 2019 Building Bylaw (VBBL) Update. Building officials previously met with UDI members to review the new edition of the VBBL, and UDI submitted comments in a letter to the City.

 

Updates proposed to increase energy efficiency in low-rise buildings

City of Vancouver staff are updating the Vancouver Building By-Law (VBBL) for low rise residential buildings to align with the Climate Emergency response that City Council approved earlier this year. The updates will focus on energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions in building and home operation. Recently these updates were presented to UDI – view the presentation here.

Supporting the goal of climate action by accelerating the reduction of Vancouver’s carbon emissions, potential changes to low rise residential buildings (still to be modeled, costed, and tested) may include developing a new (optional) path for energy compliance. This performance path would align with one of the steps in the BC Energy Step Code, noting this has been asked for by members of the development industry. A performance path would be in addition to the prescriptive path, which has existed in the VBBL for many decades. The prescriptive path will receive some updates to match the outcomes of the performance path. The City will also develop a greenhouse gas intensity metric to achieve the goals set out in the climate emergency response. VBBL changes that are being developed will go into effect in 2021.

 

UPDATED: 2019 Annual Rate Adjustments to Density Bonus Contributions

On July 23, Council is being asked to adopt a proposed inflationary rate adjustment to density bonus contributions for certain non-residential categories with new rates becoming effective September 30, 2019, as shown in the staff Report. In light of the weakening residential market, Council is being asked to forgo the 2019 inflationary rate adjustments on density bonus contributions related to residential development.

 

UPDATED: Small Business Assessment and New Commercial Sub-class Proposal

On July 10, City staff presented the City’s recommended approach to mitigating the impacts of BC Assessment’s “highest and best use” methodology for assessing the unrealized development potential of underdeveloped commercial properties. City staff have been working through the Intergovernmental Working Group and, and in May of this year, recommended a proposal for Split Assessment through a New Commercial Sub-class to the Province. With provincial support, this approach would enable the splitting of “development potential” from “existing use” for eligible properties, and Council could lower the tax rate for “development potential” captured in the new commercial sub-class.

UDI supports this approach in principle, and strongly recommends that this proposal be implemented by the Province and Council in time for 2020. If approved, we understand that City staff are committed to engaging key stakeholders on policy development, including eligibility criteria, term and level of tax relief etc. UDI is working with a broad coalition of stakeholders representing both small businesses and commercial property owners, urging the Province to urgently address this important issue.

 

UPDATED: A City-wide Plan for Vancouver: Report Back on General Planning and Engagement Process

On July 16, Council approved the outline for the City-wide plan engagement process. The new City-wide plan will officially launch consultation in November 2019, and will hear from residents and stakeholders in the initial phase on what they value in the city and their vision for the future of Vancouver. Staff and Councilors reiterated that this plan will not put existing neighbourhood and areas plans or city-wide policies such as the Greenest City initiative on hold. Instead the more recent plans will help inform the City-wide planning process. The final report is expected back in mid-2022, with interim deliverables between now and then.

For more information or to read the full staff report, please click here.

 

Report on Intensification of Large Sites to include Moderate Income Rental Housing

An Issues Report is going to Council on July 23 on a proposal to potentially allow increases in density for large sites (greater than 1.98 acres) in exchange for Moderate Income Rental Housing. The Report is based on the City’s negotiations regarding two large sites – the Oakridge Transit Centre and Pearson-Dogwood. For these projects, staff may be able to secure an additional 350 to 400 moderate income rental housing units (for households with incomes between $30,000 and $80,000) within the next two to five years. For both sites, there would be an increase in floor area beyond the permitted density in their respective Policy Statements. Staff are seeking approval from Council to accept and evaluate the rezoning applications.

They are also seeking direction from Council to allow them to consider similar approaches on a case-by-case basis for other large sites. The Report includes a framework to evaluate proposals. For example, “Any net increase in floor area for affordable rental housing should achieve at least 25% of the units at moderate income rental housing rates i.e., for every 100 additional rental units, at least 25 should be for moderate income households.” The City would also be seeking early delivery of the moderate-income rental units. As part of the process, staff would review the pattern of development, building heights and density. There will also need to be public consultation for any changes as well as financial reviews and assessments of public amenities; although staff note, “Moderate income rental housing is unlikely generate significant revenue for additional public benefits commensurate with the increase in population.”


 

July 8, 2019

Broadway Plan Update

The Broadway Planning Team is hosting their second set of community open houses in mid-July.

Over the past four months, staff have gathered community input to help identify key ideas, interests and opportunities that are important in each neighbourhood. Comments were used to identify community values to help shape draft guiding principles for the Broadway Plan. Join City staff at upcoming events to learn more about the community values and guiding principles.

Open Houses:
CityLab, 511 W Broadway (at Cambie Street)
Saturday, July 13, 12 noon – 4pm

Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, 2305 W 7th Avenue (at Vine Street)
Monday, July 15, 3 – 7pm

Kingsgate Mall, 370 E Broadway (at Kingsway)
Wednesday, July 17, 3 – 7pm

 

2019 Vancouver Building Bylaw Update Released

The City of Vancouver will vote to approve the 2019 Building Bylaw (VBBL) Update at the next Regular Council meeting on July 9. Building officials previously met with UDI members to review the new edition of the VBBL, and UDI submitted comments in a letter to the City.

 

Small Business Assessment and New Commercial Sub-class Proposal

On July 10, City staff will be providing an update to Council regarding the City’s recommended approach to mitigating the impacts of BC Assessment’s “highest and best use” methodology for assessing the unrealized development potential of underdeveloped commercial properties. As you know, for underdeveloped properties, the unrealized development potential has resulted in significant property tax implications.

We understand that City staff has been working through the Intergovernmental Working Group and, and in May of this year, recommended a proposal for Split Assessment through a New Commercial Sub-class to the Province. With provincial support, this approach would enable the splitting of “development potential” from “existing use” for eligible properties, and Council could lower the tax rate for “development potential” captured in the new commercial sub-class.

UDI supports this approach in principle, and strongly recommends that this proposal be implemented by the Province and Council in time for 2020. If approved, we understand that City staff are committed to engaging key stakeholders on policy development, including eligibility criteria, term and level of tax relief etc.

 

A City-wide Plan for Vancouver: Report Back on General Planning and Engagement Process

On July 9, Council will be receiving an update on the development of the planning process and engagement plan for the city-wide Plan. Vancouver’s city-wide plan is expected to cost $17.9 million for the years 2019 to 2022 and involve a dedicated cross-departmental team of about 30 to 35 staff according to the Staff Report. Staff are recommending “that existing rezoning policies remain in effect during the City-wide Plan process, until such time as specific policies are brought forward to be updated or repealed based on new directions determined as part of the City-wide Plan. This would be anticipated to occur generally towards the end of the planning program, likely in conjunction with the adoption of new policy (e.g. a new City-wide Plan) addressing the areas for which older policy is being updated or repealed to align with new City-wide Plan directions.”

 

UPDATED: 2019 Proposed Inflation Adjusted Rates

Please be advised that the proposed 2019 inflation adjusted Development Cost Levy (DCL)Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) Target, and Density Bonus Contribution rates are proposed to come into effect on September 30, 2019. City Council will consider these rates on July 10, 2019 and the staff Report can be found here. This year’s rate adjustment represents an increase of 5.2% across DCL, CAC Target, and Density Bonus Contribution areas.

Please note, as a result of the current residential market downturn, staff are recommending that Council waive the 2019 inflationary rate adjustment for all residential rate categories.

Included in this year’s Utilities DCL rate adjustment is the second phase-in of the east side residential DCL rate. When the Utilities DCL was approved in 2018, Council elected to phase-in the east side residential rate over 2 years to give the development industry more time to adjust to the increased rates. Also in the July 10 report, there will be a staff recommendation amending the allocation of DCL revenues for general utilities in the Vancouver (City-wide) DCL so that it is directed on an interim basis towards utilities upgrade works associated with priority affordable housing projects.

 

Accelerating Action on Industrial Affordability Motion

At the meeting of the Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities on July 10, 2019 Council will consider a motion that ‘acknowledges the immediacy and real impacts of the industrial land crunch” and would direct staff to explore the impact of freezing development applications for non-industrial uses currently permitted in industrial districts as soon as possible. UDI recognizes the importance of industrial and employment lands to our local economy, and recommends Council refer the motion to be included in the work of the Employment Lands & Economy Review currently underway in partnership with the public and stakeholders.


 

June 24, 2019 

2019 Proposed Inflation Adjusted Rates

Please be advised that 2019 inflation adjusted Development Cost Levy (DCL), Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) Target, and Density Bonus Contribution rates are proposed to come into effect on September 30, 2019. City Council will consider these rates on July 10, 2019. This year’s rate adjustment represents an increase of 5.2% across DCL, CAC Target, and Density Bonus Contribution areas.

Please note, as a result of the current residential market downturn, staff are recommending that Council waive the 2019 inflationary rate adjustment for all residential rate categories.

Included in this year’s Utilities DCL rate adjustment is the second phase-in of the east side residential DCL rate. When the Utilities DCL was approved in 2018, Council elected to phase-in the east side residential rate over 2 years to give the development industry more time to adjust to the increased rates. Also in the July 10th report, there will be a staff recommendation amending the allocation of DCL revenues for general utilities in the Vancouver (City-wide) DCL so that it is directed on an interim basis towards utilities upgrade works associated with priority affordable housing projects.

 

Employment Lands & Economy Review Forecast Methodology Report

The City of Vancouver is in the process of developing a long-range land use policy plan to ensure an appropriate supply of land and built space for businesses and jobs is available to support future economic growth.

In order to understand and proactively plan for the needs of tomorrow, five employment forecast scenarios are being prepared. The Forecast Methodology Report summarizes the approach to forecasting for each of these scenarios, and explains how key assumptions regarding external forces will provide the Employment Lands & Economy Review with a robust range of forecast outlooks, ensuring the City is well positioned to proactively plan for its economic future.

 

Motion on Notice B.3: Transparent Process and Taxation for Land Banks Repurposed as Temporary Recreational Properties

On the Regular Council agenda for June 25, 2019, there is a motion regarding the use of development lands as public recreation space including temporary parks and community gardens. The motion notes the difference in property classification for lands converted to temporary recreational properties and corresponding mill rates. The motions calls for staff to conduct research on the implications of converted uses and report back to Council by the end of 2019 as well as engage with the Province and BC Assessment. The full motion can be viewed here.

 

UPDATED: Amendments to Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy (TRP)

On June 11, 2019 Council approved updates to Vancouver’s TRP. With the changes, it makes the municipal protections and compensation offered to renters the most generous and broadly applied in Canada. However, UDI is disappointed our concerns regarding the lack of grandfathering for instream applications and the timing of when the financial requirements in the proposed policy are initiated were not addressed by Council. More Info: Administrative Report, Staff Presentation and Minutes.

 

UPDATED: Proposed C-2 zoning inclusion in the Rental Housing Stock ODP

On June 12, 2019 Council considered a motion to extend the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan to C-2 zones, so the 1 to 1 replacement of rental housing would be required. UDI raised a number of concerns about the proposed downzoning in a May 27 letter to Council and spoke in opposition to the motion on June 12. Ultimately Council defeated the recommendation to extend the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan to C-2 zones and approved the recommendation for staff to consider future protection measures to preserve rental housing in the C-2, C-3A, and all RT zones.

 

Regulation Redesign Project

As noted in previous Newsletters, UDI has been participating on a Regulation Redesign External Group to assist the City “… to simplify the land use regulatory framework to improve permit processing.” On June 19, there was a Stakeholder Workshop on improving how floor areas and building heights are calculated. Please see the staff presentation on these issues.


 

June 10, 2019

UPDATED: Motion on Notice B.2- Protecting Rental Housing Stock Along Arterial Streets

On June 12, Council will be hearing from speakers on a motion to extend the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan to C-2 zones, so the 1 to 1 replacement of rental housing would be required. Staff under the motion are asked to prepare a by-law and bring it forward for Public Hearing within four weeks of approval of the motion. Staff are also requested to consider future protection measures to preserve rental housing in the C-2, C-3A, and all RT zones.

UDI raised concerns regarding the motion in a May 27 letter to Council and will be speaking to the motion on June 12. One issue that we have raised is the need for City staff reviews as well as extensive consultations with affected parties before any by-laws are passed. UDI strongly recommends that members consider writing to Council (see their emails below) or signing up to speak against the motion.

E-mail addresses for members of Vancouver Council:

 

Proposed Amendments to Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy (TRP)

City staff will present a report to Council on June 11 regarding proposed amendments to the existing Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy (TRP). We appreciate staff’s efforts to involve UDI, tenants, property owners and other stakeholders throughout the process, and are generally supportive of the proposals. With the proposed changes, it will make the municipal protections and compensation offered to renters the most generous and broadly applied in Canada. However, we have some substantive concerns regarding the lack of grandfathering for instream applications and the timing of when the financial requirements in the proposed policy are initiated.

The report recommends that Policy coverage be, “Extended to projects involving the consolidation of two or more lots that contain existing secondary rental where the new development is proposing five or more dwelling units.” However, there will be an exemption for new tenancies started after the land has been purchased for redevelopment and are two years or less in duration at the submission of a development or rezoning application.

If passed, the amended TRP would offer increased compensation to displaced tenants based on the length of tenancy, as well as moving allowances and additional provisions for tenants facing housing barriers. The City would also require mandatory meetings between tenants and applicants, with City staff in attendance, in addition to better communication between applicants and tenants including Mandatory Needs Assessment provided at the pre-application enquiry stage.

The report also states that tenants will be entitled to full protections offered under the TRP as of the date of application, even if a project has not yet been approved. UDI has concerns regarding the timing of this requirement, as it may signal to tenants and the community that approval of a project is an eventuality- which is not necessarily the case.

UDI has submitted a letter to Mayor and Council regarding the report and if you have any questions or concerns please contact Cassandra McColman at 604.661.3032.

 

UPDATED: Broadway Plan Engagement

As previously mentioned, the City of Vancouver has begun hosting a series of “walkshops” for the months of May and June throughout the Broadway Plan area. While in-person walkshops are at capacity, you can still provide feedback through the virtual tour, online at the City of Vancouver’s website. Virtual tours will include the same information as in-person events and provide opportunities for comments. As the Planning process continues, updates will be posted on the City’s Broadway Planning page.

 

Childcare Workshop with UDI members

On May 21, City of Vancouver staff held a workshop with UDI members on Childcare spaces and policies. Staff presented on current provision requirements and anticipated demand for childcare spaces in the coming years. Staff requested feedback on current practices and challenges that builders may face in providing these spaces. The staff presentation has been made available and if you have any questions or comments please contact Marissa Chan-Kent at 604.661.3033.


 

May 27, 2019

Motion on Notice B.2- Protecting Rental Housing Stock Along Arterial Streets

At Tuesday’s regular Council meeting, a motion regarding rental building along arterial streets will be discussed. When the Rate of Change Policy was implemented, C-2 zones (along arterials) were exempted because they are areas where the City has focused development to revitalize commercial areas and increase access to transit while minimizing neighbourhood impacts and on rental housing. We note in the original Report to Council on the Rate of Change Policy, staff anticipated increased growth in the C-2 zones, but stated, “Development in the C-zones could generate substantial increase in supply at low risk to the rental housing stock.”

UDI concerned that if passed, this motion would have a tremendous impact on the City’s planning approach and the ability of our members to deliver much need housing options for Vancouver residents. If mixed-use housing projects are restricted in the C-2 zones, it is not clear where in the City those lost housing (including affordable and rental) units would be built.

UDI has written a letter to Mayor and Council requesting that the motion not be passed or instead referred to staff for further research and analysis. If you have questions regarding this motion, please contact Jeff Fisher at 604.661.3031.

 

Broadway Plan Engagement

The City of Vancouver has begun hosting a series of “walkshops” for the months of May and June throughout the Broadway Plan area. These sessions consist of a walking tour and a workshop that will serve as an opportunity for community members to help shape the neighbourhood specific strategies for the Broadway Plan. UDI staff will be attending each walkshop. If you would like to attend, see the schedules and associated registration link here. If there is a particular walkshop that you would like to attend but is sold out, please contact Marissa Chan-Kent

 

UPDATED: Regulation Redesign

As noted in previous newsletters, the City is conducting a Regulation Redesign project.  A report with several recommendations was brought to Council on May 15th and was referred to a public hearing, with a date to be set shortly.

The City will also be holding a Regulation Redesign workshop on FSR and Height on Wednesday, June 19. This event is designed for frequent users of the City of Vancouver’s Zoning and Development By-law. Participants will be invited to explore ideas and identify alternatives for simplifying height and floor area (FSR) regulations. As the city changes and evolves, land use regulations have become more complicated and confusing. This is an opportunity to bring your ideas to the table and work with other industry stakeholders and City staff. Registration will open on May 29 at vancouver.ca/regredesign.


 

May 13, 2019

UPDATED: Climate Emergency Response Motion passes

As mentioned previously, Vancouver City Council was debating a motion to enhance Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Response, which was passed on April 29.  This motion followed a Report and presentation provided by staff. City officials have assured UDI that consultations for each of these proposals will occur before future reports go to Council regarding them.

 

Child Care Spaces and Arts/Culture Displacement Workshop

 On Tuesday, May 21 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, UDI and the City of Vancouver are hosting a workshop to discuss a draft incentive proposal for addressing the child care spaces gap and share information on the loss of arts and culture spaces and discuss the related impacts on arts and culture of the city. City staff are seeking UDI members feedback on these topics and welcome the opportunity to brainstorm creative solutions. The workshop will be divided into the two topics with an hour for each in order to accommodate members with interest in only one area. Details of the meeting are as follows:

Tuesday, May 21 2019

507 West Broadway (Crossroads Building) – 5th Floor, RM 511 Cityscape Conference Room

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Childcare Spaces

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Displacement of Arts and Culture Spaces

Please RSVP to Marissa Chan-Kent if you are interested in joining any part of this workshop.

 

Regulation Redesign

As noted in previous newsletters, the City is conducting a Regulation Redesign project.  It is a comprehensive review of Vancouver’s regulations, policies, and processes for planning, development, and building. The purpose of the review is to

  • Simplify, clarify, and update regulations;
  • Improve the consistency of regulations and policies;
  • Streamline permit review processes;
  • Ensure land use regulations align with emerging policies and priorities; and
  • Improve communication and information sharing.”

On May 15, a report will be going to Council updating them on the project. It includes several recommendations, to be referred to public hearing, such as:

  • Making several sections of the Zoning and Development By-law more user friendly;
  • Clarifying the height regulations in the I-3 District Schedule;
  • Clarifying “… how requirements for social housing and secured market rental housing are applied to floor area increases achieved through heritage density transfers or heritage amenity share purchases in the C-5A and C-6 districts”; and
  • Repealing a number of policy and guideline documents that are outdated.

The City has also updated its website with additional information for proponents. There is an updated Zoning and Development By-law webpage, and a new page with amendments to Zoning and Land Use Documents. Staff have also created a Zoning and Land Use Document Library.  

UDI sits on the Regulation Redesign External Group, which has been meeting on a number of issues, including simplifying regulations in the Zoning and Development By-law and its district schedules to make them more user-friendly, up-to-date and streamlined.  As part of this work, the Group has been considering how to simplify building envelope, floor area, exclusion and height measurements. They have also been looking at updating various land use definitions and reviewing conditional vs. outright uses as well as relaxations.

Later this year, staff and the Group will also be considering options for a framework to clarify City priorities, so there is more certainty for applicants. The City will also be updating the terms of reference for various land use advisory committees and “… creating criteria and a guide for the development of policies and guidelines and implementation of amendments …”.

There have and will also be opportunities for UDI members to be involved in the process through stakeholder events, surveys and open houses, including and upcoming event in June (see upcoming newsletters). Mayor Kennedy Stewart will also be speaking about the project at his upcoming address to UDI on June 13. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Marissa Chan-Kent at 604.661.3033.


 

April 29, 2019 

UDI Rental Incentive Survey 

The City of Vancouver is undertaking a review of their Rental Incentive Programs and would like to better understand more about your experiences developing rental housing in Vancouver to help identify new opportunities and existing challenges to consider for future rental housing policies. The survey will close on Monday, May 13. The Rental Incentive Program review will consist of two phases where staff will be targeting July 23 to report back to Council on Phase 1 regarding research and consultation results. Phase 2 includes option identification and policy refinement and will aim to deliver staff’s final policy recommendations by November 2019. UDI met with city staff on Friday, April 26 to discuss this program review –  see here for staff’s presentation. If you have any questions, contact Marissa Chan-Kent.

To take the survey click here.

 

Climate Emergency Response

On April 24, City Council received a Report and presentation from staff on how Vancouver can ramp up their climate action efforts to best respond to the climate emergency. In their April 24 Report, staff provide a work plan with several future policy initiatives. Some are quite positive:

  • The City is making land use improvements, transit investments and linking the two the first two Big Moves in their Climate Emergency Response;
  • They are also proposing further reductions parking standards;
  • Mass timber construction will be made easier in the future;
  • They will be improving urban design policies that will allow for simpler construction; and
  • The City is seeking to computerize their development review process to reduce trips by proponents to City, which will reduce carbon emissions.

However, there are also other proposals that will require further deeper consultation with our sector and others, including:

  • The regulation of embodied energy in new construction;
  • Potentially speeding up the upcoming requirements in the Zero Emissions Building Plan for new construction;
  • Zero emission retrofits and deep retrofits;
  • Developers funding a Vancouver Climate Trust, which would pay for improvements in existing buildings;
  • The Expansion and enhancement of the False Creek District Energy System;
  • Increased commercial Electric Vehicle Charging requirements;
  • Parking policies to encourage and then require the use of electric vehicles; and
  • Banning carbon-emitting vehicles from parts of Vancouver in the future.

As a leader in sustainability, Vancouver is well positioned to meet its carbon reduction targets under the Paris Agreement. However, partnership and collaboration between governments, businesses, stakeholders and the public will be required if we are to be successful, and moving forward we recommend the city undertake a rigorous approach to stakeholder engagement. Some of the proposed Actions will be challenging, such as balancing Council’s climate goals with its affordability ones.

Council will need to be prepared to offer deeper incentives and rebates to achieve many of the housing related actions, including better managing embodied carbon in construction and the deep and zero emission retrofits. City officials have assured UDI that consultations for each of these proposals will occur before future reports go to Council regarding them. UDI will keep its members updated on the progress of the City’s Climate Emergency Response, including the Council debate on the Report’s recommendations which is expected at the continued City Finances and Services Committee meeting this afternoon.

 

Updated: Staff Advice on “Emergency Interim Zoning Policy for Broadway Corridor to UBC” Motion

On April 23, Vancouver Council approved a revised motion to implement an interim rezoning policy for the Broadway neighborhoods west of Vine to UBC. The staff report can be found here, and the meeting minutes, including final motion as approved, can be found here. “Generally, rezonings will not be supported by staff and recommended to Council in the Broadway area west of Vine until the city-wide plan and/or future area planning is completed. The policy includes some grandfathering provisions for instream projects and “Rezoning applications will be considered for projects involving social and supportive housing, community care facilities or group residences, secured market rental housing, secured below market rental housing, and affordable student housing associated with educational institutions.”

 

BCIT Passive House Course

The City of Vancouver supports a deeply discounted Passive House tradespersons course at BCIT for tradespeople/designers/builders 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.  

Course participants will:

  • Learn hands-on approaches – high performance buildings
  • Earn BC Housing Group A CPD credits
  • Be eligible to write the exam to become a Certified Passive House tradesperson

The next course session is taking place June 10-14, 2019. For more information please visit BCIT’s course page.


 

April 16, 2019 

“Re-conceptualizing” the City’s Rental 100 Program

On April 3, Councillor Swanson’s Motion on Notice B.6, was referred by Council to staff for consideration. The motion will be considered as part of the City’s broader review of rental incentive programs already underway. 

 

Unifying the Planning and Development Departments 

Representatives from BOMA, UDI and LandlordBC recently met with Deputy City Manager Paul Mochrie regarding the group’s joint request for the City to consider reunifying the planning and development services functions, as an important first step to transformational improvements to the City’s processing challenges. We sincerely appreciated Paul’s time engaging with the group and for his understanding and acknowledgement of the issues that were identified.

 

Tenant Relocation Survey

This survey originates from a request from the City of Vancouver staff to canvas our members to better understand how their current tenant relocation policies have been working and what areas can be improved. Understanding rental builders will have experiences in other municipalities with tenant relocation, there is also an opportunity to review those policies as well. 

If you have experience with tenant relocation, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey


 

April 1, 2019

Unifying the Planning and Development Departments

UDI alongside HAVAN, the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, BOMA, the Canadian Federation for Co-operative Housing and Landlord BC co-signed the following letter to Mayor and Council, requesting that they take the bold step towards addressing lengthy processing times by unifying the planning and development services functions at the City under one department. As Kaye Krishna departs to begin her role as the Deputy Minister to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, this broad coalition believed that there is a natural opportunity to reconsider the organization and planning and development services functions at the City to better improve communication between policy staff and development review staff. A small group of the signatories will be meeting with City of Vancouver staff this Friday to continue discussions on this matter.  

 

“Re-conceptualizing” the City’s Rental 100 Program

Through Motion on Notice B.6, Councillor Swanson is proposing significant changes to the City’s successful Rental 100 program, including instructing staff to make the necessary by-law amendments “that would suspend, as soon as possible, the development cost levy waiver for for-profit rental housing until a thorough review of the Rental 100 program can be undertaken”. UDI Members will know that the Rental 100 program is already under review with proposed changes expected in Q4 2019, so if Councillor Swanson’s motion is approved as proposed, it would add substantial additional uncertainty for rental builders in the interim. Please share your comments with Mayor and Council ahead of Motion B.6’s consideration on Wednesday.

 

Vancouver Piloting Changes to Council Meeting Procedures

Vancouver City Council has agreed to trial a number of changes to the way Council meetings are conducted that are expected to help make the meetings more efficient, while providing more certainty on timelines for those who have registered to speak.

  • One significant change is a reduction in the amount of time allotted―reduced from five minutes to three―for both members of the public who have registered to speak to an agenda item at Council, as well as to members of Council who are asking questions of speakers.
  • A second significant change, based on feedback from the public, is that people who have registered to speak to a City staff report will be heard on the day the agenda item is listed. In the past, Council only heard speakers at Standing Committee by referring agenda items with registered speakers from the regular Council meeting to the Standing Committee Meeting on the following day. During the pilot project, speakers to motions put forward by Councillors (Member Motions) will be heard on Wednesdays at the Standing Committee meeting between 3 pm and 10 pm.
  • City staff are also exploring whether it is possible to release the Council meeting agendas and associated materials earlier; currently, agendas are published one week in advance.

The pilot is set to run for the Regular Council and Standing Committee meetings in April and May, after which staff will report back to Council on the success of the pilot.

 

2018 Statement of Financial Information

The City has filed is 2018 Statement of Financial Information which includes the City’s audited consolidated financial statements. Of note, in 2018 the City collected $256.7 million in Developer Contributions, a decrease of $74.8 million from 2017, but $129.7 million higher than budgeted. 2018 Budget variances also include an additional $38.1 million for vacancy tax that was not budgeted and $19.7 million higher than budgeted license and development fees.


 

March 18, 2019

Renters Protection Review

On March 15, UDI met with the City of Vancouver to discuss Affordable Housing and Tenant Relocation policies and the work that the City of Vancouver has planned in these areas for 2019-2020. See here for the presentation provided to UDI members. UDI will be releasing a survey shortly that will ask members to review existing policy as it relates to tenant relocation and request suggestions on how to improve affordable options for vulnerable tenants. If your company has experience in tenant relocation, please contact Marissa Chan-Kent.

 

Heritage Incentive Program Changes

On March 14, City Council passed the Heritage Incentive Plan Report that included changes  to the Transfer Density Program, Heritage Façade Rehabilitation Program Policies and Procedures and Heritage Incentive Program Grant administration. See here for the presentation given to Council by staff. UDI sent the following letter of support for the Heritage Incentive Plan, while also recommending minor changes to the proposed Plan and a request to consult on the Statement of Significant evaluations process.

 

Updated: Emergency Interim Zoning Policy for Broadway Corridor to UBC

On March 6, Council has referred an amended motion regarding interim zoning for the Broadway Corridor from Arbutus to UBC back to staff, to provide a legal briefing. Staff are expected to report back by the end of April on the implications of the motion as amended.


 

March 4, 2019

Broadway Plan Consultation

The City of Vancouver is launching a two-year process to develop a comprehensive area plan for the Broadway corridor. This plan will focus on opportunities to integrate new housing, jobs, and amenities around the new Broadway Subway. Several open houses have been scheduled for early March and will be opportunities to provide feedback on the plan. For more information, please visit the City of Vancouver’s webpage.

 

Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities

Council has deferred decision on three housing related items to March 5, 2019. These items include the Staff Presentation Protecting Tenants from Renovictions and Aggressive Buy-Outs, the Staff Report Improving the Effectiveness of the Empty Homes Tax, and the referred Motion Emergency Interim Zoning Policy for Broadway Corridor to UBC.


 

February 5, 2019

Council Motion – Improving the Effectiveness of the Empty Homes Tax

On January 30, Vancouver City Council passed an amended motion directing staff to conduct a review of the Empty Homes Tax. This review will cover exemptions and definitions, as well as provide metrics on its effectiveness and potential impact of future increases. UDI submitted a letter to Mayor and Council regarding the motion, to express ongoing opposition to the City’s use of taxation measures which will not help to address affordability.

 

Employment Lands and Economy Review Survey

The City wants your help to understand the space needs of Vancouver businesses. As a business owner or operator in the city, you have valuable insight to contribute to this plan. You can provide input through a short, confidential survey where you can share characteristics of your business, your space preferences, and some of the challenges you may have experienced doing business in the city. The information and feedback collected will help the City develop recommendations for supporting Vancouver’s employment lands and our economic future. Please take the survey here.

 

Millennium Line Extension to UBC

On Wednesday, January 30, Vancouver City Council voted to endorse Skytrain as the preferred technology for the future rapid transit extension from Arbutus Street to the proposed terminus at UBC. You can find the City’s report, presentation and video of the 8-hour deliberation here.    

 

Vancouver Housing Work Plan 2019

City staff provided an update their Housing Work Program presentation to Council on January 29, 2019. Council has provided early direction on a number of priorities to address the housing crisis, including strengthening renter protection, enhancing support and preventing displacement and developing more robust and accessible engagement processes. Other priorities include deepening affordability in new residential development projects and taking rapid actions to address persistent homelessness. Council have also showed an increasing ambition and urgency to address the climate emergency; recognizing that building emissions play a large role. Finally, Council issued direction on expediting a city-wide plan that includes accommodating growth, pursuing reconciliation and increasing housing that’s locally affordable. The key program initiatives that city staff are prioritizing based on Council’s early direction include rapid action on homelessness, shelter-rate homes, renter advocacy and supports, Rental 100 and Development Cost Levy review and integrating housing priorities and climate action. City staff expect to report back to Council in Q1 on progress regarding the Renters Office, Motion 10 – Protecting Tenants, Empty Home Tax By-law Amendments, Regent and Balmoral report and Housing and Homelessness Grant Reports. About 30 rezoning applications are anticipated to go to Public Hearing which includes approximately 30 social and rental housing projects that represents 2,350 units.

 


 

January 8, 2019

Updates to the False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility By-Law

On December 18, 2018 Vancouver City Council approved a number of amendments to the Energy Utility System By-law 9552 to provide greater design flexibility for buildings connecting to the NEU and to implement an Initial Connection Levy for future customer buildings. City Engineering Services has produced a memo summarizing the changes that is pertinent to developers and associated mechanical consultants with interests in the False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility Service Area.

 

Passive House & the Vancouver Building By-law (VBBL)

The City of Vancouver has released a Bulletin with a compiled initial list of accepted alternative solutions language for Passive House projects to meet specific VBBL requirements, conditional to final Chief Building Official approval. The summary includes language for:

  • Recirculating hood fans [9.32.3.3.(b)(i)];
  • Vestibules [10.2.2.8]; and
  • Part 9 checklists, energy models, and GHG limit for large homes [10.2.2.20].

If you have suggestions for other potential alternative solutions (not including Air Admittance Valves, as those are already under investigation) that City staff should consider in future updates of this document, please contact Brady Faught or Chris Higgins. The City also has a Passive House page on its website. 


 

December 10, 2018

Regulation Redesign Project

The City of Vancouver is embarking on a Regulation Redesign Project, which is a comprehensive review of its regulations, policies, and processes for planning, development, and building. The purpose of the review is to:

  • Simplify, clarify, and update regulations;
  • Improve the consistency of regulations and policies;
  • Streamline permit review processes;
  • Ensure land use regulations align with emerging policies and priorities; and
  • Improve communication and information sharing.”

UDI has representation on the External Advisory Group for the Project. The Group has already had its first meeting (November 21) and there was a Roundtable Event with stakeholders on November 28. The City has also setup a website for the Regulation Redesign Project, which includes information on it, updates, information on future events and a portal for feedback. If you would like to provide feedback directly to UDI, please contact Marissa Chan-Kent at 604.661.3033.

 

Motion B.10

Councillor Jean Swanson tabled a motion entitled “Protecting Tenants from Renovictions and Aggressive Buy Outs,” and brought it to council in November. The motion included many actions that would control rent rates and provide tenant protections that are outside of municipal jurisdiction. This prompted city staff to send this memo to City Councillors to clarify the division of responsibilities and actions taken by the province and municipality.

The motion was then amended to reflect the jurisdiction that the municipality has purview over. As this motion sets a dangerous precedent on introducing vacancy control or rent control into new and existing rental projects, UDI wrote the following letter to City Council, expressing our concern for consideration prior to their debate and decision. On December 4, City Council made further minor revisions and then unanimously passed the motion. Notably, staff are to report back to Council in Q1 2019 on engagement with the province and amendments to the Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy. See minutes of the Council meeting and final motion (page 26-30) here

 

Land Value Capture Motion

Councillor Boyle has put forward a motion that the City study the implications of capturing the land value increases associated with new infrastructure in the City (e.g. rapid transit, hospitals, parks and roads) that would paid at the time of the sale of property or during the redevelopment process. Discussion on the motion will continue at the December 12, 2018 City Finance and Services Committee. UDI has written a letter in response to the motion. We have highlighted the need for industry consultation, the need to provide density and cost certainty. UDI has also recommended that such a charge only be considered for rapid transit and any funding collected from it be used for transit investments. 

 

Report to Council- Water Use in Buildings

On December 4, City of Vancouver Council unanimously passed a motion supporting the recommendations of a staff report on Water Use in Buildings: Enhanced Public Safety, Efficiency and Long-Term Resiliency Measures. This report supports enhanced monitoring and testing of equipment in buildings, including cooling towers, rainwater harvesting, decorative fountains, and geothermal exchange systems. UDI submitted a letter in support of the report, and encouraging further consultation with builders if additional measures are contemplated.  


 

November 21, 2018 

Council Motion: Protecting Tenants from Renovictions and Aggressive Buy-Outs

A motion was proposed for the City of Vancouver Council meeting on November 13, regarding tenants’ rights and vacancy control. UDI submitted a letter to Mayor and Council opposing the motion. LandlordBC also submitted a letter of opposition on the issue. Following initial discussion, General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability, Gil Kelley provided a memo to Mayor and Council regarding the legal standing of the motion. The motion has been referred to the Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities for further discussion at their next meeting on November 27.  

Neighbourhood Energy Utility Optimization

Throughout 2018, the City of Vancouver held four consultation sessions with UDI members on proposed amendments to the Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) Energy Utility System By-law, including relaxations to provide greater design flexibility for buildings connecting to the NEU and the implementation of an initial connection levy for future customer buildings. On December 11, City Council is scheduled to consider these changes, which factor in the substantial feedback received from the development community throughout the consultation process. Staff are recommending that the NEU adopt the connection levy effective September 1, 2019 for new building permit applications. Please find a summary of recommendations in their letter here

 City of Vancouver Map of NEU Service Area


 

November 13, 2018

NEU Optimization Opportunities – Feedback

Following the October 26 meeting, UDI provided the City of Vancouver with the following response letter on the presentation that was brought forward to seek final input on amendments to the NEU by-law to increase design flexibility for customer buildings, connection fees for future developments and technical optimization opportunities. The City is aiming to present building design requirements and connection fees (as part of the 2019 NEU Rate Report) to Council by December 11. If you would like any further information, please get in touch with Marissa Chan-Kent

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