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Member Newsletter – January 2017

January 30, 2017

Member Newsletter   |   January 2017
This bulletin updates our stakeholders on UDI news, advocacy work, legislation, events, surveys, relevant media stories and more. Feedback welcome to Director of Communications, Cheryl Ziola

Significant changes to the Contaminated Sites regulation have been made, effective November 1, 2017. These changes could have a significant impact on your project! Last November, UDI released a Member Bulletin addressing these Omnibus changes, governing everything from soils and vapour to metals. Three UDI Contaminated Sites Committee members met with Ministry of Environment (MOE) staff in December to discuss Omnibus changes, with additional meetings planned.  UDI will host a breakfast seminar tentatively scheduled March 29th, to update members on Omnibus changes.


The Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board of Directors adopted Phase One-Trans Link 10-year vision in Nov. 2016. One proposed revenue-generating tool is a region-wide Transit Development Cost Charge (DCC). UDI continues to advocate for industry involvement in  shaping this new TransLink development fee.  UDI has submitted its comments on transit development levies, found here.


City of Burnaby
UDI’s Burnaby Liaison Committee continues to meet with senior City of Burnaby planning staff on the Metrotown Plan. The Draft Plan will be finalized in Q2 2017. UDI is supportive of the plan and will provide comments to Council on the plan’s second phase by the February.

City of Richmond
UDI sent a letter in Dec. 2016 to Richmond regarding proposed DCC increases. UDI’s main concerns are: lack of consultation and the high increases, particularly in the industrial sector. UDI recommends a phasing approach in our letter. Additional meetings with city staff are planned. 

City of Vancouver
Council recently passed the Empty Homes Tax (see the staff report and staff presentation). Concerns were raised that the current exemption for developments may not go far enough. In addition, sites with parcels that are vacant, but zoned residential, may be taxed under the policy. City staff agreed to additional consultation with UDI on potential emerging tax implementation issues. UDI’s Real Estate Legal Issues Committee will be invited to participate. Read UDI’s letter to City staff here


Okanagan Chapter
UDI’s City of West Kelowna Municipal Liaison Committee reported progress on an issue that developers in West Kelowna have been facing with BC Hydro’s corridor width requirements on hillsides.  A constructive meeting with all stakeholders has led to a new pilot project to achieve corridor width reductions and new BC Hydro standards for hillside developments. Work is underway to create an Okanagan Communities Comparative Analysis Report that would provide key financial metrics on cost and pricing data for local municipalities.  

Okanagan Chapter
Fraser Valley Group
The Surrey Schools Coalition, which includes UDI, the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, the Surrey Board of Trade, and the Surrey District Parent Advisory Council made a presentation to the Surrey School District Board regarding the need for more capital funding for schools in development areas of the City on January 19th, 2017. The Coalition met with Hon. Minister of Education Mike Bernier on January 24th and on January 26th. Shortly after, the BC Government announced its commitment of $217 million for capital projects over the next three years to be planned and led by a new joint executive project board with the Surrey School District.  Thank you to Nathan Hildebrand of Canadian Horizons Land Investments for spearheading this effort on behalf of UDI.


 Nathan Hildebrand (left), Anne McMullin (second from left) with Minister Bernier (left of presentation) and other coalition members. 
2017 Forecast Luncheon Highlights

Thank you to our three respected industry leader panelists: Andrew Grant of PCI Developments Corp., Brian McCauley of Concert Properties Ltd., and Eric Carlson of Anthem Properties Group Ltd. Thanks to Jon Stovell of Reliance Properties for his outstanding moderation skills.


  • British Columbians have an insatiable rental demand, but not enough rental units to meet their needs, said Brian McCauley, who added 75 per cent of rental stock in Canada is over 30 years old. He also called on communities to modernize their “archaic” zoning rules.
  • Eric Carlson said the Vancouver market is “balanced” rather than in a bubble, adding prices are expected to rise another 10 per cent in 2017. Because of Vancouver’s perception as a safe haven from all the global uncertainties and controversies, we’ll continue to see more people coming. 
  • Andrew Grant said BC’s growing tech sector could be hampered by a lack of appropriate homes near transit infrastructure. He called for more “complete communities” around fully developed transit hubs.  By 2020, he said about 16,000 more tech jobs are expected.

Congratulations to our Forecast contest winner winner Graham RussellQuadReal. Don’t forget to provide us with your 2017 predictions before Feb. 1st here: New forecast contest.

Due to the lengthy Forecast Lunch 2017 wait list of 150 plus people, and to ensure our regional offices/members could also watch, we offered the event for the first time on Facebook Live Video with great feedback

Another special thanks to our sponsors:
February Luncheon: Politics, Pundits, and Predictions
on the Provincial Election
Join three BC veteran political reporters:  Keith Baldrey of Global News, Mike Smyth of The Province, and Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun as they share their insights on the upcoming 2017 Provincial Election (May 9, 2017).
Moderated by Anne McMullin, President and CEO of the Urban Development Institute, the political panel will address: 
  • What priorities will the political parties focus on?  
  • Which issues will dominate the election campaign?
  • How will they tackle the continued housing challenges in BC?
  • ​Their thoughts on: BC’s economic performance, Federal government, the Trump factor, future job growth, transit and transportation
UDI in the Media
New Members

UDI welcomed these new members from across the province in early 2017.  

  • Community Energy Association of BC
  • Appraisal Institute of BC
  • Venture Kamloops
  • Building Books Solutions
  • Form Retail Advisors
  • Circa Ventures
  • Bell Tech Electric 
  • Checkwitch Poiron Architects Inc.
  • PortLiving Real Estate Corp.
  • Spark Communications
  • MGA (Michael Green Architecture)
  • Analogue Projects
  • PBX Engineering
  • Oriental Yuhong (CANADA) Developments
  • Imani Developments
  • M+ Architecture
UDI Editor at Large – David Allison  
Missed the 2017 Forecast Luncheon? Read the highlights written by David Allison, UDI’s Editor-at-Large.
Future of B.C. Real Estate Report 

Resonance Consultancy and UDI presented an exclusive B.C. buyer insight called the Future of B.C. Housing Report on Jan. 24th.

For those who weren’t able to attend this report unveiling event, you can view the speakers’ analysis on Periscope or download a free copy of the Housing in BC Report.

“The data shows that the region on the verge of a tectonic demographic shift.” —The Globe and Mail

“An insane 60-page-long report looking at housing in British Columbia.”  —Vancouver Is Awesome

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