Municipal News- Burnaby
February 23, 2021
Transportation Plan – Phase 2 Consultation Summary and Peer Review
At the Planning and Development Committee on February 23, Planning staff will present a report on the consultation from Phase 2 of the City’s Transportation Plan. Phase 2 consultation sought feedback from both the public and stakeholders (internal and external) on the proposed Targets, Big Moves, Policies and Networks for the new Plan. The preliminary consultation feedback, which was presented in October 2020, was generally positive regarding the draft proposals. This new report provides a comprehensive summary of all feedback received through Phase 2 consultations along with a peer review of the proposal content by Urban Systems.
The next steps will be to bring forward a complete draft Plan that incorporates the responses to feedback received from Phase 2, for a final round of consultation and consideration and progress into Phase 3 of the Transportation Plan this year.
January 26, 2021
Housing Needs Report
In the Spring of 2019, the Province mandated that local governments complete housing needs reports by April 2022. Burnaby has finalized its Housing Needs Report (see Section 4.3 starting on page 28) and it is going to Council on January 26, 2021. It “… provides key insights into housing needs in the community, and projects the number and type of units which will be needed to meet housing demand over the next 5 to 10 years.” The information from the Report will assist the City in its upcoming Official Community Plan update and the 10-year HOME: Burnaby’s Housing + Homelessness Strategy. UDI’s Burnaby Liaison Committee participated in the consultations for the Housing Needs Report – including a review of a preliminary draft of the Report late last year.
The Report includes several dozen data points, and the key findings include:
- 20% of the households in the City are in core housing need, and this includes 9,780 renters and 6,870 owners;
- 8% of households are in extreme core housing need;
- Over 1,800 people in the City are on the BC Housing waitlist and this has grown by 50% over the last five years; and
- Burnaby will grow by over 27,000 people over the next decade, and “… will need approximately 15,000 units over that time period” (please see the breakdown in the table below).
Staff identify several key areas of local need in the Report, including:
- Affordable Housing;
- Non-market Housing;
- Rental Housing
- Special Needs Housing
- Seniors’ Housing;
- Family Housing;
- Shelters and Housing for People at Risk of Homelessness; and
- Housing for indigenous households, refugees and women/children fleeing violence.
Several obstacles to providing housing (especially affordable housing) are identified in the Housing Needs Report from surveys and meetings with stakeholders. This includes the high cost of land and construction, but also issues under the purview of the City such as “… excessive design guidelines and requirements for affordable housing projects (e.g. LEED Gold or Step Code 4).” In addition, stakeholders were concerned that “There are onerous municipal zoning and permitting processes.”
Recommended Actions include:
- “Increase the supply of affordable rental, non-market rental housing, and co-operative housing across unit sizes;”
- “Increase the supply of accessible housing and require all new housing to be visitable and wheelchair accessible on the ground floor;”
- “Reduce costly design requirements for rental and non-market housing;” and
- “Increase income diversity in buildings and neighbourhoods.”
UDI will keep members informed of the progress of the HOME: Burnaby’s Housing + Homelessness Strategy as it is developed. It will be discussed at future meetings of the Burnaby Liaison Committee and the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing (which includes representatives from UDI).
December 1, 2020
Bainbridge Lochdale Urban Village Plans
On November 10, the UDI/Burnaby Liaison Committee held a special meeting on two Area Plans that the City is developing over the next year – the Bainbridge and Lochdale Urban Village Plans – both of which are in Northeast Burnaby. Bainbridge would be served by the Sperling SkyTrain Station, and Lochdale is “… primarily located along Hastings Street between Hammarskjold Drive and Duthie Avenue.” According to staff, “… Urban Villages fall in between a Town Centre and a local convenience centre. They typically offer more amenities and retail spaces than a local convenience centre, with less density and action compared to a major Town Centre …”.
Burnaby staff are now completing the first phase (Goals + Land Use Framework) of the two Urban Village Plans. UDI provided a letter to the City, recommending that the boundaries of the Plans be expanded; parking reductions; and new townhouse zones for the Urban Villages. UDI also noted that there may be policy conflicts between Burnaby’s green building and urban design objectives for the areas. Phase 2 (Policy Directions) for both Plans will start in Winter 2021. Staff are hoping that final drafts of the Plans can be presented to Council in mid-2021. UDI will keep members updated as the Urban Village Plans move forward next year. Please see below several key documents for the Bainbridge and Lochdale Urban Villages:
- Bainbridge Urban Village Community Plan – Phase 1 Consultation Discussion Guide;
- Bainbridge Urban Village Community Plan – July 27, 2020 Council Report;
- Lochdale Urban Village Community Plan – Phase 1 Consultation Discussion Guide;
- Lochdale Urban Village Community Plan – July 27, 2020 Council Report; and
- The PowerPoint slides from the November 10 staff presentation to UDI.
November 3, 2020
Lochdale and Bainbridge Urban Village Community Plan Consultations
The City of Burnaby is launching the first public consultation phases for a new Lochdale Urban Village Community Plan and Bainbridge Urban Village Community Plan. See here for the Lochdale and Bainbridge consultation request letters. Please contact Marissa Chan-Kent as soon as possible if you would like to participate in these consultations, and if so, please specify. An update on the meeting dates will be provided in future newsletters.
September 22, 2020
Transportation Plan – Phase 2 Consultation
UDI recently met with city staff to receive an update and provide feedback on the City’s Phase 2 of their Transportation Plan. See here for the presentation that was provided. This Phase (Building the Proposals) will decide the Big Moves, set targets (Vision Zero, Mode Split and Zero Emissions) and establish the policies and networks needed to shape the city over the next 30 years. The Burnaby Transportation Plan is a quick start action identified in Burnaby’s Climate Action Framework, which moves the City closer to achieving accelerated mode shift. Transitioning to carbon neutrality by 2050 will require action across all sectors in Burnaby — learn more about the plan to deliver on the city’s climate commitment by visiting Burnaby Climate Action page. See here for further information on the Burnaby Transportation Plan. Phase 3 is slated to begin in 2021 and will include actions and implementation strategies.
To participate in the Phase 2 consultation – please fill out the survey here.
September 8, 2020
UPDATED: HOME: Burnaby’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy Stakeholder Session
As mentioned in previous newsletters, the City of Burnaby will be holding an online focus group consultation session for the HOME: Burnaby’s Homelessness and Housing Strategy on Tuesday, September 22 from 9:00 am – 11:30 am. This work includes an in-depth housing needs report and the development of goals and strategies to guide the City in addressing housing gaps in the community. It builds on the engagement completed as part of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing in 2019. See here for more information about this project.
As part of this process, staff are engaging a wide range of housing stakeholders to better understand housing needs in the community and barriers to addressing housing challenges. The online focus group consultations are part of a series of workshops to inform Burnaby’s HOME initiative. Other sessions will engage service providers, homelessness stakeholders, non-profit housing providers, community associations, Indigenous housing stakeholders, institutions and employers, and other local organizations.
Please RSVP to here by Tuesday, September 15, 2020. If you are unable to attend the session, but would still like to be involved, please get in touch here and staff will find an alternative way to collect your input.
August 11, 2020
HOME: Burnaby’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy Survey & Stakeholder Session
Burnaby has recently launched HOME: Burnaby’s Homelessness and Housing Strategy. This work includes an in-depth housing needs report and the development of goals and strategies to guide the City in addressing housing gaps in the community. It builds on the engagement completed as part of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing in 2019. See here for more information about this project.
As part of this process, staff are engaging a wide range of housing stakeholders to better understand housing needs in the community and barriers to addressing housing challenges. They have asked UDI’s members to complete this survey on housing needs on behalf of your organization. Alongside completion of the survey, staff are planning to hold online focus groups in September. We will provide additional details once the session has been scheduled. As well, please complete the housing needs survey by August 23.
June 30, 2020
Transportation Plan Phase 2 Consultation
The City of Burnaby is updating its Transportation Plan and is currently in Phase 2: Building the Proposals stage. Staff have created draft targets, established Big Moves, Policies and Networks that were previously adopted by Council in February 2020 as a basis for stakeholder and public engagement. The city is seeking UDI’s input for Phase 2 and 3 of the Plan. The Burnaby liaison committee will be striking a subcommittee to engage with the city. See here for the letter outlining the Phase 2 engagement plan.
May 1, 2020
See here for City of Burnaby updates on COVID 19
April 9th the City of Burnaby welcomes your thoughts on the 2019 Annual Municipal Report https://www.burnaby.ca/About-Burnaby/News-and-Media/Newsroom/We-welcome-your-thoughts-on-the-2019-Annual-Municipal-Report_s2_p7332.html
March 23rd Metro Mayors ask Province to provide urgent COVID-19 fiscal support to cities, relief for renters and landlords https://www.burnaby.ca/About-Burnaby/News-and-Media/Newsroom/Metro-Mayors-ask-Province-to-provide-urgent-COVID-19-fiscal-support-to-cities–relief-for-renters-and-landlords_s2_p7283.html
March 20th Limited Public Access to Burnaby City Hall Beginning Monday, March 23 https://www.burnaby.ca/About-Burnaby/News-and-Media/Newsroom/Limited-Public-Access-to-Burnaby-City-Hall-Beginning-Monday–March-23_s2_p7281.html
March 13th City of Burnaby actions on COVID-19 guided by Health Authorities https://www.burnaby.ca/About-Burnaby/News-and-Media/Newsroom/City-of-Burnaby-actions-on-COVID-19-guided-by-Health-Authorities_s2_p7278.html
March 10, 2020
UPDATED: Rental Use Zoning Policy and Revised Tenant Assistance Policy (TAP)
Burnaby’s updated Rental Use Zoning Policy was approved by the Planning and Development Committee on February 25th, and was presented to Council on March 9th. UDI President & CEO, Anne McMullin, communicated UDI members’ concerns with the revised policy directly to Mayor Hurley and Council, including that the incentives proposed in the finalized policy do not go far enough to encourage the construction of affordable rental units beyond the 20% inclusionary requirement. These changes may even discourage builders from constructing additional market rental housing in their projects. Further concerns were raised at the UDI Liaison Committee meeting with City of Burnaby Staff on March 3rd.
The final policy can be viewed here.
The Tenant Assistant Policy was also presented to Burnaby Council on March 9th. UDI previously submitted a letter to Staff regarding this policy.
Density Bonus Value Negotiations
Following a meeting with City Staff in January, UDI submitted a letter providing recommendations regarding the density bonus value negotiation process. UDI also recommended that a bulletin be produced by the City to clarify various stages of the negotiation process and how they intersect with the rest of the development review steps. At the Liaison Committee meeting on March 3rd, Staff indicated that they are open to producing a bulletin and are currently exploring options.
January 28, 2020
UPDATED: Revised Tenant Assistance Policy (TAP)
On December 2, City Council approved in principle the City’s Tenant Assistance Policy (TAP). See here for the report. Although this report stemmed from the recommendations from the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing, a task force which UDI and select builders participated in, the policy deviated significantly from the original recommendations and much clarity is required on the implementation of the policy. Following a committee liaison meeting on December 11 where this policy was first brought forward for discussion with UDI, we wrote a letter outlining our concern with the TAP and how it departed from the Mayor’s Task Force recommendations. UDI also included a list of technical questions for city staff regarding the implementation of the TAP. The city plans to continuing consulting with UDI to receive input on the policy. A report summarizing the results and recommendation to adopt the revised policy will then be presented to council. If you have any questions, contact Marissa Chan-Kent.
December 9, 2019
Revised Tenant Assistance Policy (TAP)
On December 2, City Council approved in principle a revised Tenant Assistance Policy. Staff were directed to begin public and stakeholder consultations on the revised Policy. However, it is now in place for any applications that proceed to Council while the consultation process occurs. The UDI Liaison Committee is meeting with Burnaby staff regarding the TAP on December 11, 2019.
The new Policy includes a number of new elements and it applies to:
- “Tenants resident at the time of rezoning application submittal;
- Tenants eligible under the existing policy, if the rezoning application has not had Second Reading;
- Tenants who received buy-outs prior to rezoning application submittal; and
- Primary tenants only, unless transferred by tenant to a sub-lessee, roommate, or other occupant not on the tenancy agreement.”
There are now three key parts of the compensation package:
- “Monetary compensation, either as a rent “top-up” on temporary accommodation [the tenant can to find the housing themselves or rely on the proponent] or, in exceptional cases, as a lump sum cash payment;
- Moving expenses [both for moving into and out of the temporary accommodation], either in-kind or as a cash payment; and
- Right of first refusal on a replacement unit, at the same rent as their current unit, adjusted for permitted allowable rent increases as per the RTA” [Residential Tenancy Act].
The TAP has broad application and limited instream protection. It applies to:
- “Purpose-built market rental buildings with >5 units;
- Rezoning applications for redevelopment or renovation; and
- Applications that have not received Second Reading as of effective date of the policy.”
Staff will also be developing an Implementation Guide which will include details on how to fulfill the requirements of the Policy for proponents, and a Tenant Assistance Policy brochure for tenants. UDI will update members throughout the consultation process of the TAP.
October 29, 2019
Changes to Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy
On September 17th, the Planning and Development Committee discussed the letter that UDI submitted regarding the Rental Use Zoning Policy and Initial Implementation Framework. Subsequently, the committee brought forward a motion to explore changes to the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy as it pertains to the affordable rental housing component and vacancy control. The motion states:
THAT staff amend the conditions of the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy to require that the equivalent of 20% of the proposed units under RM, or RMs Districts be provided as affordable rental housing at or below Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation market averages and that additional RMr Density for rental uses not be subject to vacancy control. CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY -4- 2.A)
The Committee advised that clarification regarding the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy is required in reference to the 20% rental housing component. The proposed amendment is intended to stipulate that the 20% rental component must be provided as affordable rental housing at or below Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) market averages. Staff advised that the proposed amendment to the Stream 2 component of the Rental Use Zoning Implementation Policy is to clarify that the units not be subject to vacancy control.
The proposed amendment would require that the 20% inclusionary component must be 100% affordable, at or below CMHC market average rents.
This motion was referred to staff for report back. UDI discussed this topic at a recent Burnaby Liaison Committee meeting and as such, has struck a small subcommittee to coordinate a letter submission to outline alternatives to vacancy control. If there are any suggestions or challenges, please get in touch with Marissa Chan-Kent.
August 6, 2019
Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing Report
On July 29, the final report of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing was adopted by Council alongside the City Manager’s council report. See here for reports. The final report included 18 policy directions and 10 Quick Starts that were previously released with the interim report. Staff will begin to work on the policy recommendations in the context of a Housing Strategy, new Official Community Plan and look to integrate with the current work underway with the Transit Plan.
Rental-Tenure Zoning Policy Update
UDI recently met with city staff to seek clarity on the implementation and interpretation of the Rental Tenure Zoning Policy that was adopted by Council on May 27, 2019. The city will be issuing a bulletin imminently to provide further information on the application and timing of the policies.
July 8, 2019
UPDATED: Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Policy
Further to the June 24 update, the Proposed Zoning Bylaw Text Amendment – Affordability Offset Density report went to Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 25 and was passed. UDI continues to communicate with city staff on outstanding inquiries regarding the Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Policy. UDI hopes to schedule a meeting with city staff to address questions from the development community before the end of July.
June 24, 2019
UPDATED: Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Policy
As noted below, the City of Burnaby has established a new rental policy that addresses rental replacement, inclusionary zoning and allows rental in commercial zones. While UDI appreciates and supports Council’s efforts to protect displaced tenants and increase the number of rental and affordable housing units throughout the City of Burnaby, many builders are finding it difficult to move forward with their projects due to some of the provisions in the new Policy (e.g. the vacancy control of units). UDI wrote a letter to Council regarding our members’ concerns about the Policy and recommendations to improve it. In addition, a builder representative of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing will be presenting industry concerns to members of Council on June 25.
New Energy Step Code Requirements for Part 9 Buildings
At the Council meeting on June 24, there is a proposed Building Bylaw Amendment to incorporate ESC requirements into the building code for Part 9 residential buildings. If the bylaw is given final approval, as of September 1, 2019, Step 1 of the Energy Step Code will be required for all residential Part 9 Building Permit applications for new construction. Additional proposed administrative requirements include an extra mid-stage air tightness (blower door) test, building energy labeling, and a requirement to engage an energy advisor or registered professional. After approximately one year, Step 3 of Energy Step Code is proposed to be required, pending reporting back to Council based on findings and feedback of Step 1 implementation. The full staff report is available here.
May 27, 2019
Community Housing Task Force releases Interim Report
Formed in January 2019, The Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing is an initiative to explore strategies to improve housing affordability. Among the Task Force members, UDI and the development industry occupy four positions. As a part of the Task Force mandate, they have released an interim report for information to council. Included in the report are 10 recommended “Quick Starts” that were created in response to the issues raised by residents during the public consultation process and in collaboration with the Task Force. The Recommended Quick Starts cover rental and ownership housing, a range of housing forms, the roles of the private and non-profit sector, and the needs of people in various ages of a typical housing lifecycle.
Framework proposed for Rental Tenure Zoning
Since last summer, projects have been frozen in Burnaby as the City develops policies to protect and enhance rental units in the City. On May 27, Council will be considering a Report from staff with several proposals to address these issues, which will allow projects to proceed. The Report includes four proposed policies:
- Rental Replacement;
- Inclusionary Rental;
- Allowing Rental housing within Commercial Districts; and
- Protection of Existing Rental Sites.
Under the Rental Replacement policy, units lost to redevelopment would have to be replaced at a ratio of 1:1 or 20% of the proposed units (which ever is higher). Affected tenants would be given first right of refusal, and rent levels must be similar to the rents lost to redevelopment. Staff are also proposing density offsets to address the costs associated with the policy.
Under the Inclusionary rental housing policy, developers will be required to provide 20% of the units they build in projects as rental housing. Again, there would be some density offsets – especially if the units provided are affordable (20% below the CMHC market average).
The City is also rezoning purpose built rental buildings to prevent them from being redeveloped under the prevailing zoning to non-rental buildings. However, proponents would still be able to seek rezonings, but would have to follow the Rental Replacement Policy.
The Burnaby Liaison Committee will be meeting on May 29 to discuss the four proposed policies. In addition, UDI sits on the Mayors Task Force on Community Housing, which is also meeting on May 29. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Marissa Chan-Kent at 604.661.3033.
April 16, 2019
Energy Step Code Consultation for Part 9 Buildings
The City of Burnaby is consulting on a proposed approach for Energy Step Code for Part 9 Buildings. Please provide comments on the proposed approached, as summarized in the attachment on their website here: www.burnaby.ca/greenbuildings
Please also complete the online questionnaire and consider attending their information session – details as below.
Attend the in-person information session:
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
7:30-9:30 AM, with a hot breakfast served at 7:00 AM
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Room 103, 6450 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
The session is free but space is limited; please register by April 24 at www.burnaby.ca/ess-rsvp
If you have questions – please contact email@example.com.
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.