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Municipal News- District of North Vancouver

January 1, 2000

June 29, 2021

Residential Tenant Relocation Assistance Policy (RTRAP) Approved

The District has revised and approved its Residential Tenant Relocation Assistance Policy (RTRAP), which was last updated in 2018. The new framework is based on the work of the District’s Rental, Social, and Affordable Housing Task Force and a review of tenant relocation policies in other jurisdictions.

The RTRAP now applies “… to all rezoning applications that require the demolition of any building or combination of buildings containing five or more rental dwelling units occupied by renters …”. This includes single family homes, strata units operating as rental units, and purpose built rental units. It does not apply to “… tenants who move into an existing vacant rental dwelling unit after submission of a Detailed Planning Application …,” although these renters need to be notified of this.

The policy now includes requirements for proponents at the Preliminary Planning Application Stage as well as the Detailed Planning Application Stage and after Rezoning approval. In terms of financial assistance, proponents have to offer tenants:

  • The equivalent of four months’ rent (either by cash or free rent or a combination of both as the tenant prefers) to each tenant household;
  • A residency bonus in the form of an additional $35 per month for each month the tenant has resided in the building; and
  • Assistance with moving expenses …”.

The maximum rent for the replacement units should “… be no more than the greater of 10% above the tenant’s current rent or 10% above the most recently published CMHC median rent level, by number of bedrooms, for Metro Vancouver …”. There is also a first right of refusal. If rental units are built, tenants are allowed to return at the same rent or “… 20% below the market rent set for the units, whichever is higher.” For strata units, tenants are to be offered the units “… with a 5% purchase price discount.” The District has also increased the time remaining tenants can stay in a building after a Demolition Permit has been issued to six months.

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

 

June 15, 2021

Updated Energy Step Code (ESC) Requirements

As noted in previous newsletters, the District of North Vancouver is updating its Energy Step Code requirements which will be coming into effect on July 1 – as noted below:

The District has written to UDI to update the industry on the implementation of the policy. They want to monitor the effectiveness of the new regulations. As such, for Part 3 projects there will be an energy benchmarking administrative requirement and for Part 9 buildings there will be a labelling requirement. The details are included in the letter to UDI. The requirements are similar to those in Richmond, Surrey and Port Moody.

The letter also includes information on CleanBC incentives for Part 9 homes for up to $15,000 in rebates. Staff also note that there are Part 3 incentives as well. More information on the ESC requirements are available on the District’s website, along with information on their Community Energy and Emissions Plan. Questions can be directed to building@dnv.org.


 

May 18, 2021

Official Community Plan (OCP) Review

The District of North Vancouver is conducting a targeted review of the 2011 OCP. They have released a number of White Papers, including:

There are several Potential Actions in the White Papers, including:

  • Reviewing parking requirements;
  • Pre-zoning land for housing;
  • Allowing more row homes and townhouses;
  • Mandating more family friendly units;
  • Developing new density bonusing and/or inclusionary zoning requirements;
  • Creating “… a development evaluation checklist or scorecard to guide decision-making on proposed developments;”
  • Advancing “… low carbon, compact, and ‘complete’ town and village centres …;”
  • Approving “… developments in the Town Centres and …,” leveraging them “… to provide sustainable transportation infrastructure and transportation demand management;”
  • Protecting tenants and purpose-built rental buildings through municipal bylaws, including strengthening their Residential Tenant Relocation Assistance Policy, developing rental replacement policies (including utilizing the Residential Rental Tenure Zoning power) and updating the Standards and Maintenance By-law;
  • Reviewing the Community Amenity Contribution Policy “… to ensure the District is capturing maximum value;”
  • Working with developers to improve the sidewalk network;
  • Conducting an Employment Lands Strategy Study to review how industrial lands are and should be used and the types of uses along retail strips;
  • Conducting a Commercial Study that would encompass office, retail and service commercial to “Determine if current planned residential densities and development patterns are sufficient to support local-serving commercial uses in the Town Centres and along commercial corridors,” and to “ Review and update land use regulations to encourage/require new multi-family developments to include work-share space in addition to or in lieu of traditional amenities …;”
  • Reviewing incentives for preferred forms of development;
  • Conducting a review of the District’s development review process; and
  • Establishing a Building Retrofit Program.

The District did review whether or not to develop a District Energy system to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, but it found this approach is not “… viable or feasible …”.

Please also see an August 2020 Stakeholder Workshops Summary Report, and a January 2021 Social Equity Lens Paper. If you have any questions or concerns, please email communityplanning@dnv.org, or contact Cassandra McColman at UDI.


 

April 20, 2021

Draft Revised Residential Tenant Relocation Assistance Policy

The District is revising its Residential Tenant Relocation Assistance Policy (RTRAP), which was last updated in 2018. The new proposed framework is based on the work of the District’s Rental, Social, and Affordable Housing Task Force and a review of tenant relocation policies in other jurisdictions.

The draft RTRAP  would apply “… to rezoning applications that result in the demolition of any building or combination of buildings containing more than four dwelling units occupied by renters …”. This includes single-family homes and strata buildings with renters as well as purpose built rental units. It would not apply to “… tenants who move into an existing vacant rental dwelling unit after submission of a Detailed Planning Application …,” although these renters need to be notified of this.

The draft policy includes requirements for proponents at the Preliminary Planning Application Stage as well as the Detailed Planning Application Stage and after Rezoning approval. In terms of financial assistance, proponents will have to offer tenants:

  • The equivalent of four months’ rent (either by cash or free rent or a combination of both as the tenant prefers) to each tenant household;
  • A residency bonus in the form of an additional $35 per month for each month the tenant has resided in the building; and
  • Assistance with moving expenses …”.

The maximum rent for the replacement units should “… be no more than the greater of 10% above the tenant’s current rent or 10% above the most recently published CMHC median rent level, by number of bedrooms, for Metro Vancouver …”. There is also a first right of refusal component in the draft. If rental units are built, tenants would be allowed to return at the same rent or “… 20% below the market rent set for the units, whichever is higher.” For strata units, tenants would be offered the units “… with a 5% purchase price discount.” The District is also proposing to increase the time remaining tenants can stay in a building after a Demolition Permit has been issued to six months.

If you have any comments regarding the proposals, please contact Cassandra McColman at 604.661.3032 by April 26. If you would like to directly respond to the District, please do so by end of day on April 29 via email at planning@dnv.org.


 

March 9, 2021

Updated EV Charging Requirements

The District of North Vancouver is updating the District’s administrative policy on Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure for new developments. The update requirements are generally consistent with neighbouring municipalities in Metro Vancouver; including the City of North Vancouver and the District of West Vancouver. A summary of the updated requirements are listed below:

The District intends to approve these policy changes, as outlined in the report to Council dated February 22, 2021, as an interim step to completing a broader review of EV charging requirements for all land use types and consideration by Council of these requirements through proposed zoning bylaw amendments in 2021. Proposed bylaw amendments will consider emerging best practices and all input will be considered and provided to Council. Input can be considered for future updates to the administrative policy, as well as the longer term approach to EV charging in the District.

If you would like to provide your comments on the updated requirements, or would like further information, please contact the District via email at planning@dnv.org with the subject line ‘Updated EV Requirements’ by March 15, 2021.

Existing EV charging infrastructure requirements are available on the District’s website:

https://www.dnv.org/property-and-development/supporting-electric-vehicles


 

December 15, 2020

Energy Step Code Update

On December 7, District of North Vancouver Council gave final approval to an amendment to the municipality’s Construction Bylaw to increase the Energy Step Code requirements for new buildings. The changes will be: for Part 9 – Step 5 or Step 3 with Low Carbon Energy Systems and for Part 3 – Step 4 or Step 3 with Low Carbon Energy Systems. These changes will come into effect on July 1, 2021.


 

August 11, 2020

UPDATED: BC Energy Step Code

As noted in previous newsletters, the District of North Vancouver is reviewing its approach to the ESC to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. As recommended by UDI and other stakeholders, they are seeking to align their changes with the other North municipalities (i.e. West Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver).

Staff are proposing that the current ESC requirements be “… amended to provide a two-tier low carbon energy system option to incentivize reduction in GHG’s from new buildings while enabling builders to construct at a lower step of the Energy Step Code,” as noted in the table below:

Other local governments have adopted similar approaches to incent the construction of buildings with lower GHG emissions, and UDI has supported this ‘two-tiered’ or ‘step-down’ optional approach. Under staffs’ proposals, all Part 3 residential buildings would have to meet the higher ESC steps – not just those where a rezoning is required. The District is also increasing the requirements for new Part 3 commercial buildings and is considering mandating Step 1 for commercial buildings undergoing “significant renovations”. Finally, Public Sector buildings will also have ESC requirements.

The District is seeking comments from stakeholders by September 18, 2020, and UDI will be submitting a letter. If you have any questions or comments please provide them to Marissa Chan-Kent by September 14. She can also be reached at 604.661.3033. Please see the letter and full report here on the proposed ESC changes from the District of North Vancouver.


 

June 16, 2020

UPDATED: BC Energy Step Code

Further to the updates provided earlier this spring, and the letter that UDI wrote to the District of North Vancouver regarding proposed Energy Step Code changes, the District has confirmed that a revised Step Code approach will not likely occur in early 2021, rather that the initially proposed mid-2020.

Staff have indicated that they are exploring options including a “two-tier” or “step-down” approach, which has been implemented in other municipalities in the region. UDI will continue to participate in ongoing consultation with the North Shore municipalities as they align their approach to the BC Energy Step Code.


 

March 25, 2020 

See here for the latest updates on COVID-19 from the District of North Vancouver

March 13th Joint Statement on COVID-19 response planning across the North Shore https://www.dnv.org/news/joint-statement-covid-19-response-planning-across-north-shore


February 11, 2020

UPDATED: BC Energy Step Code

As previously mentioned, the District is considering changes to its Energy Step Code requirements for Part 3 and Part 9 buildings as part of its Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP). UDI submitted a letter as part of the consultation period.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Cassandra McColman at 604.661.3032.


 

January 28, 2020

UPDATED: BC Energy Step Code

On December 2, 2019, the District passed a Community Energy and Emissions Plan that included a path forward for the applying the ESC in the community. They would like to “Phase in the BC Energy Step Code to reach higher steps in the mid-2020s and phase out fossil fuel dependency by 2032,” in the building sector. This year, the District is considering the following changes to their ESC policy:

  • “Moving from Step 3 to Step 4 for Part 9 residential buildings;
  • Moving from Step 2 to Step 3 for Part 3 residential buildings (The District currently requires Step 3 only if a rezoning is required);
  • Moving from Step 1 to Step 2 for Part 3 commercial buildings (New construction);
  • Moving from no requirement to Step 1 for Part 3 commercial buildings (major renovations); and
  • Moving from no requirement to Step 1 for schools, libraries, colleges, recreation centres, hospitals, and care centres.”

UDI will be providing comments to the District regarding the proposals on February 7, 2020. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Cassandra McColman at 604.661.3032.


 

December 23, 2019

BC Energy Step Code

The District passed a Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP) on December 2, 2019. As part of the CEEP, they are seeking to increase the Energy Step Code (ESC) requirements in 2020. This includes mandating Step 4 for both Part 3 and Part 9 buildings (see table below):

The District is requesting comments from stakeholders and the public by January 22, 2020, and UDI will be responding because higher ESC steps are being proposed without incentives. If you have any comments or questions, please contact Marissa Chan-Kent at 604.661.3033.


 

September 30, 2019

Advisory Design Panel Opportunity

The District of North Vancouver is reaching out to UDI Members in search of a new Development Community Representative for the Advisory Design Panel (ADP) for the 2020-2021 term.

The ADP reviews development applications and public projects against urban design objectives. The Panel advises Council and staff on the design of projects, including site layout, exterior design of proposed buildings, choice of building materials, and landscape design. Comprehensive feedback is provided on each proposal to help ensure new buildings fit the local context, and support the community.

In the past the District of North Vancouver has used the following requirements for selection:

  • Representative of the Development Community
  • Resident of the North Shore
  • Is not a member of Council or an employee of DNV

Note: A representative of the local development community and may include an employee of a development company, a developer, or a project manager.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please apply directly to the District of North Vancouver by Wednesday October 2nd at: https://app.dnv.org/CommitteeForm/Default.aspx


 

April 1, 2019

North Vancouver District Council Cancels Another Affordable Housing Project

North Vancouver District Council has reportedly cancelled another non-profit housing project which would have provided much needed rental housing for people on disability or income assistance, low-income seniors and youth. At the suggestion of the previous Council, Hollyburn Family Services had applied for provincial funding of the project, which the non-profit spent about a year and a half working on according to Hollyburn Family Service’s Executive Director, Nanette Taylor. “I’m very disappointed in the new district council.” Taylor said. “We’ll probably look at a different municipality.”


 

March 4, 2019

Upcoming Council workshops

On March 4, 2019 the District of North Vancouver will hold a Council workshop to discuss key issues, including the Official Community Plan (OCP). In a presentation to Council, District Staff will present option for a review of the current OCP, originally adopted in 2011. The agenda and presentation can be viewed here.

A second workshop will be held on March 5, 2019 to discuss development contributions (DCCs and CACs), and revenue generated by these fees. The agenda is also posted on the District of North Vancouver’s website.


 

February 18, 2019

Updated: Upcoming Council Workshops

Due to poor weather conditions, the District of North Vancouver has rescheduled a Council Workshop, on the Official Community Plan. This will now be combined with the Community Engagement Steps workshop on February 20.


February 5, 2019

Upcoming Council Workshops

The District of North Vancouver will be holding three open Council Workshops in February on topics related to development. If any of the following topics interest you we would encourage you to attend:

February 4 – Transportation Infrastructure

February 11 – Defining Terms (of Affordable Housing)

February 20 – Community Engagement Steps


 

January 21, 2019

Pace of Development Workshop

On January 14, the District of North Vancouver held a Pace of Development workshop to discuss ongoing projects in the District. City staff made a presentation to Council and there were discussions on the direction that Council would like to take going forward.


 

December 10, 2018

Rejected Project Applications

Earlier this month UDI and the GVHBA submitted a joint letter to the District of North Vancouver Mayor and Council, urging them to reconsider two rejected project applications. The rejection of these much-needed housing projects raised concerns over the municipality’s willingness to partner with home builders to deliver the added housing options that our communities desperately need.


 

October 15, 2018

Community Energy & Emissions Plan Survey

The District is in the process of developing a Community Energy & Emissions Plan (CEEP), and they have released a survey and are seeking responses by October 19. The survey covers a number of issues, including:

  • Electric Vehicles;
  • The Energy Step Code;
  • Recycling;
  • Road Pricing;
  • Improvements for transit users, cyclists, and pedestrians; and
  • Compact Communities/Transit Oriented Development.

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