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Municipal News- Burnaby

January 1, 2000

October 29, 2019

Changes to Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy
 On September 17th, the Planning and Development Committee discussed the letter that UDI submitted regarding the Rental Use Zoning Policy and Initial Implementation Framework. Subsequently, the committee brought forward a motion to explore changes to the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy as it pertains to the affordable rental housing component and vacancy control. The motion states:

THAT staff amend the conditions of the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy to require that the equivalent of 20% of the proposed units under RM, or RMs Districts be provided as affordable rental housing at or below Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation market averages and that additional RMr Density for rental uses not be subject to vacancy control. CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY -4- 2.A)

The Committee advised that clarification regarding the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy is required in reference to the 20% rental housing component. The proposed amendment is intended to stipulate that the 20% rental component must be provided as affordable rental housing at or below Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) market averages. Staff advised that the proposed amendment to the Stream 2 component of the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy is to clarify that the units not be subject to vacancy control.

The proposed amendment would require that the 20% inclusionary component must be 100% affordable, at or below CMHC market average rents.

This motion was referred to staff for report back. UDI discussed this topic at a recent Burnaby Liaison Committee meeting and as such, has struck a small subcommittee to coordinate a letter submission to outline alternatives to vacancy control. If there are any suggestions or challenges, please get in touch with Marissa Chan-Kent.


August 6, 2019 

Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing Report

On July 29, the final report of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing was adopted by Council alongside the City Manager’s council report. See here for reports. The final report included 18 policy directions and 10 Quick Starts that were previously released with the interim report.  Staff will begin to work on the policy recommendations in the context of a Housing Strategy, new Official Community Plan and look to integrate with the current work underway with the Transit Plan.


Rental-Tenure Zoning Policy Update

UDI recently met with city staff to seek clarity on the implementation and interpretation of the Rental Tenure Zoning Policy that was adopted by Council on May 27, 2019. The city will be issuing a bulletin imminently to provide further information on the application and timing of the policies. 


July 8, 2019

UPDATED: Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Policy

Further to the June 24 update, the Proposed Zoning Bylaw Text Amendment – Affordability Offset Density report went to Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 25 and was passed.  UDI continues to communicate with city staff on outstanding inquiries regarding the Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Policy. UDI hopes to schedule a meeting with city staff to address questions from the development community before the end of July.


June 24, 2019 

UPDATED: Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Policy

As noted below, the City of Burnaby has established a new rental policy that addresses rental replacement, inclusionary zoning and allows rental in commercial zones. While UDI appreciates and supports Council’s efforts to protect displaced tenants and increase the number of rental and affordable housing units throughout the City of Burnaby, many builders are finding it difficult to move forward with their projects due to some of the provisions in the new Policy (e.g. the vacancy control of units). UDI wrote a letter to Council regarding our members’ concerns about the Policy and recommendations to improve it. In addition, a builder representative of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing will be presenting industry concerns to members of Council on June 25.


New Energy Step Code Requirements for Part 9 Buildings

At the Council meeting on June 24, there is a proposed Building Bylaw Amendment to incorporate ESC requirements into the building code for Part 9 residential buildings. If the bylaw is given final approval, as of September 1, 2019, Step 1 of the Energy Step Code will be required for all residential Part 9 Building Permit applications for new construction. Additional proposed administrative requirements include an extra mid-stage air tightness (blower door) test, building energy labeling, and a requirement to engage an energy advisor or registered professional. After approximately one year, Step 3 of Energy Step Code is proposed to be required, pending reporting back to Council based on findings and feedback of Step 1 implementation. The full staff report is available here. 


May 27, 2019

Community Housing Task Force releases Interim Report

Formed in January 2019, The Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing is an initiative to explore strategies to improve housing affordability. Among the Task Force members, UDI and the development industry occupy four positions. As a part of the Task Force mandate, they have released an interim report for information to council. Included in the report are 10 recommended “Quick Starts” that were created in response to the issues raised by residents during the public consultation process and in collaboration with the Task Force. The Recommended Quick Starts cover rental and ownership housing, a range of housing forms, the roles of the private and non-profit sector, and the needs of people in various ages of a typical housing lifecycle.


Framework proposed for Rental Tenure Zoning

Since last summer, projects have been frozen in Burnaby as the City develops policies to protect and enhance rental units in the City. On May 27, Council will be considering a Report from staff with several proposals to address these issues, which will allow projects to proceed. The Report includes four proposed policies:

  1. Rental Replacement;
  2. Inclusionary Rental;
  3. Allowing Rental housing within Commercial Districts; and
  4. Protection of Existing Rental Sites.

Under the Rental Replacement policy, units lost to redevelopment would have to be replaced at a ratio of 1:1 or 20% of the proposed units (which ever is higher). Affected tenants would be given first right of refusal, and rent levels must be similar to the rents lost to redevelopment. Staff are also proposing density offsets to address the costs associated with the policy.

Under the Inclusionary rental housing policy, developers will be required to provide 20% of the units they build in projects as rental housing. Again, there would be some density offsets – especially if the units provided are affordable (20% below the CMHC market average). 

The City is also rezoning purpose built rental buildings to prevent them from being redeveloped under the prevailing zoning to non-rental buildings. However, proponents would still be able to seek rezonings, but would have to follow the Rental Replacement Policy.

The Burnaby Liaison Committee will be meeting on May 29 to discuss the four proposed policies. In addition, UDI sits on the Mayors Task Force on Community Housing, which is also meeting on May 29. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Marissa Chan-Kent at 604.661.3033.


April 16, 2019 

Energy Step Code Consultation for Part 9 Buildings

The City of Burnaby is consulting on a proposed approach for Energy Step Code for Part 9 Buildings. Please provide comments on the proposed approached, as summarized in the attachment on their website here: www.burnaby.ca/greenbuildings

Please also complete the online questionnaire and consider attending their information session – details as below.

   Council Report: Proposed Approach for Part 9 Buildings

  One-page summary of Part 9 proposed approach and timeline

Attend the in-person information session:

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
7:30-9:30 AM, with a hot breakfast served at 7:00 AM
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Room 103, 6450 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby

The session is free but space is limited; please register by April 24 at www.burnaby.ca/ess-rsvp

If you have questions – please contact ecoplanning@burnaby.ca.


February 5, 2019

Mayor’s Housing Task Force

On January 28, City Council approved of the members to participate in the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing. UDI’s CEO and select members were approved to participate in the Task Force, alongside housing advocates, local unions, co-operative housing organizations and other builders. This Task Force will seek to advance Burnaby’s response widespread affordability issues by providing advice and information to Council on innovative policies, directions, and specific initiatives within City’s jurisdiction, to increase the supply and diversity of affordable housing. The Task Force will begin meeting mid-February 2019 and will convene bi-weekly until July 2019. They will deliver an interim report at three months and a final report to Council at the end of the six months. See here for the Task Force’s terms of reference.



January 8, 2019

Groundwater Investigation Update

City staff plan to bring this presentation on groundwater investigations to Council for final endorsement in March 2019. The purposes of the requirements outlined in this presentation are to protect groundwater as a potential potable resource and to limit the impact on downstream infrastructure. These requirements will be requested early in the development application process to ensure enough time for proponents to catch appropriate seasons for measurement and testing. Please contact James Lota or Simone Rousseau if you have an application in process and need to discuss the guidelines as stipulated in the presentation.



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