Municipal News- Richmond
April 7, 2020
Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Report to Planning Committee
On Tuesday, April 7, a staff report will be presented to Richmond’s Planning Committee, which recommends applying Rental Tenure Zoning to 60 existing rental properties in the city.
Over the past year, staff have conducted consultation on the proposal, including an online public survey and two stakeholder workshops. UDI participated in one of the workshops and wrote a letter outlining our concerns about the proposal, including the potential impact of downzoning these properties. UDI was also part of the Partners for Rental Housing group that launched the Rental Tenure Zoning Report: Making Rental a Reality in late 2019.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact Cassandra McColman.
Step Code Bulletins
The City of Richmond has released two new Building Department bulletins on the recent changes to the Energy Step Code requirements in the City. All Part 3 builders and Part 9 Townhouse and Apartment builders are now required to meet ESC Step 3 standards. For more information please review the bulletins linked below.
April 1, 2020
See here for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates from the City of Richmond
March 30th Richmond extends Flat Rate Utility Bill due date to June 30th, 2020 https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/utility-bill-extension.htm
March 27th Richmond’s COVID 19 response aligns with provincial emergency Orders announced yesterday https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/rmdcovid19responsealignsprovincialorders2020Mar27.htm
March 25th City of Richmond calls Special Council Meeting for March 30th https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/speccclmtgformar302020Mar25.htm
March 20th Richmond City Council encourages community members to remain home, stream Council meetings online instead https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/stream-council-meeting.htm
March 19th City of Richmond declares an emergency https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/declares-emergency.htm
March 19 City of Richmond calls Special Council Meeting https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/SpecialCouncilMeeting.htm
March 16th City of Richmond’s response to COVID-19 https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/COVID19response.htm
September 30, 2019
Building Permit completion bulletin
The City of Richmond has released a bulletin outlining the components of a complete building permit submission for the Energy Step Code (ESC). It has been published online at Richmond.ca, and is designed to help builders submit complete applications in advance of the ESC requirement changes that come into effect on December 31, 2019.
August 19, 2019
Potential Expansion of Richmond District Energy System
The City of Richmond is currently planning to expand its district energy utility, Lulu Island Energy Company, through the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). The new district energy project will expand the city’s current district energy systems from 330,000 square metres to more than 4.7 million square metres, subsequent to the approval of Richmond City Council.
The signing of this MOU represents the first time the CIB has partnered on a BC-based project. This partnership will also involve work with Corix Utilities, which is currently working with Lulu Island Energy Company to develop the Richmond Oval District Energy System.
July 8, 2019
UPDATED: Public Art Policy
As previously mentioned, at the request of Council, Richmond staff were reviewing potential changes to the Public Art Approval Policy. Staff’s report and recommendations were presented at the July 2 General Purposes Meeting and were referred back for further analysis. Council requested further information around the following aspects of the policy:
- Local art plans;
- Suggestions in terms of vision and theme for art in the city such as heritage, history, culture and harmony;
- Opportunities for young and emerging artists; and
- Earlier reference to Council regarding public art on private property.
June 10, 2019
UPDATED: Rental Tenure Zoning Consultation
On May 28 the City of Richmond held a consultation meeting with UDI members regarding the proposed implementation of rental tenure zoning. UDI raised concerns about the continued viability of rental projects in the city if new and onerous requirements are implemented. Members also voiced opposition to the arbitrary downzoning of 60 existing rental sites across the city, which was also proposed in the staff report presented to Council in April. Staff will continue to conduct stakeholder and public engagement until June 16, and an online survey has been posted to Let’s Talk Richmond. If you have any questions regarding the proposed changes or have comments that you would like UDI to raise through the consultation, please contact Cassandra McColman at 604.661.3032.
May 27, 2019
Rental Tenure Zoning Public Engagement
The City has begun public consultation on its proposed rental tenure zoning. This is resulting from a report and motion that was referred back to staff in April. This motion proposed the implementation of rental-tenure zoning on 60 sites across Richmond, and exploration of broader application going forward. Members of UDI’s Richmond Liaison Committee and Rental Housing Committee will be participating in a consultation session later this week. Subsequent sessions will also be held with other stakeholders in the coming weeks and a public open house on Thursday, June 6 (4-8pm) at Richmond City Hall.
The City has posted a survey that can be completed online to provide feedback on the proposed changes. We invite all UDI members to participate using the link to Let’s Talk Richmond. The survey will be available online until June 16, 2019.
If you have any questions regarding the proposed changes or have comments that you would like UDI to raise through the consultation process, please contact Cassandra McColman at 604.661.3032.
May 13, 2019
Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP)” renewal process
On Monday, March 25, 2019, City staff presented a report to Council entitled “Accelerating Local Action On Climate Change: Community Energy & Emissions Plan (CEEP) Renewal.”
The report, in part, noted the following key findings of the recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C:
- it is still possible to limit climate change to 1.5°C of global average warming relative to pre-industrial conditions;
- there are significantly less impacts with 1.5°C than 2°C of climate change
- on a global basis, human-caused GHG emissions need to decline by 45% relative to 2010 emissions levels by 2030, and have to reach net zero by about 2050.
The report also noted that Richmond’s Community Energy and Emissions Plan was adopted five years ago, and that there have been significant developments in terms of new, more affordable clean energy technology, and new policy tools available to local government (e.g. the Energy Step Code).
The Council report can be found here: https://www.richmond.ca/agendafiles/Open_Council_3-25-2019.pdf
In response, Council directed that staff carry out a public engagement program “to gain feedback from residents and stakeholders regarding the recommended revised greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target and revised climate action strategies and measures consistent with and in response to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.”
Council also adopted the following resolution: “That the City of Richmond declares and confirms a climate emergency”
CEEP Renewal stakeholder consultation process:
City of Richmond staff shall be carrying out an extensive public and stakeholder engagement process during the spring, summer and fall of 2019 in order to develop options for new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction measures commensurate with limiting global average warming to 1.5°C.
Staff plan to present a draft of the revised CEEP to Council by the end of 2019, and present the finalized CEEP to Council by the end of March 2020.
From June to October of 2019, staff shall be meeting with key stakeholder groups and/or their representatives. Staff intend to achieve at least two touch points with each key stakeholder group, soliciting input at the beginning of the process, and reporting back to stakeholders on provisional directions and/or the draft plan in September and October.
UDI members are also invited to take part in the following multi-stakeholder events on the renewed CEEP:
- June 17: CEEP Ideas Fair, Richmond City Hall
- October 1: CEEP Strategic Directions workshop
- January 2020: Draft CEEP Open House
CEEP Renewal public consultation process:
Staff will be encouraging public participation in the CEEP process at a range of events and festivals over the summer, including:
- Public Works Open House, May 11
- LIEC Open House, date TBA
- Small Steps / Giant Leaps Pecha Kucha event at the Gateway Theatre, July 20
- Maritime Festival, July 27-28
- Farm Festival, August 10
- Richmond World Festival, August 30-31
Staff will also be engaging with residents through the use of on-line surveys and requests for comments, and by posting CEEP materials on the City’s Energy Save Richmond website.
April 16, 2019
Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Report
As noted in the April 1 Newsletter, City of Richmond staff went to Planning Committee with a Report on Market Rental Housing Policy and Approaches for Residential Rental Tenure Zoning. The Report includes recommendations on a number of issues, including:
- Increasing incentives for market rental supply;
- Identify areas in need of more market rental housing;
- A 1-to-1 replacement ratio for rental, including encouragement to add more Low-End Market Rental units and the requirement for form retention;
- Incorporating co-op housing through City-owned land;
- Options for Rental Tenure Zoning – including its application to a number of rental buildings in Richmond;
- Options for other incentives (e.g. DCC waivers and property tax reductions or exemptions for market rental housing); and
- The mandatory addition of market rental units totally 10% of building FAR to existing high-density zones.
Staff had recommended that the Committee and Council give the proposed Bylaw in the Report First Reading, and then proceed with industry, stakeholder and public consultation. The Committee instead decided to refer the Report to staff for the consultation before proceeding with First Reading. UDI will continue to update its members regarding the proposed policy as it proceeds through the consultation process.
Public Art Policy
At the March 27 Richmond Liaison Committee meeting, staff provided an update on a number of amendments Council is seeking to the Public Art Program in the City, including:
- Increasing the flexibility of how funds from the Program can be expended;
- The eligibility of artists under the program; and
- Council approving public art installations on development sites under the Policy.
UDI provided a letter to staff regarding the proposed changes. UDI supported the increased flexibility in how the funds were spent because they would still be used for public art (e.g. art galleries). However, we raised concerns about limiting which artists developers can use for their art installations and Council approving the art installations.
Annual Development Cost Charge (DCC) rate adjustment
As noted in the last newsletter, Richmond is doing an annual inflationary adjustment to its DCC program of 2.9% that will come into effect May 14, 2019. Please see the letter from Richmond on the DCC rate adjustment from April 3, 2019.
April 1, 2019
Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Report
City of Richmond staff will be presenting a report to the Planning Committee on April 2, describing their recommendations on a number of rental housing policies, including Residential Rental Tenure Zoning. On September 4, 2018 Council directed staff to report back on the following items:
- Increasing incentives for market rental supply
- Identify areas in need of more market rental housing
- A 1-to-1 replacement ratio for rental, including encouragement to add more LEMR units and the requirement for form retention.
- Incorporating co-op housing through City-owned land
- Options for Rental Tenure Zoning
- Options for other incentives (eg. DCC waivers and property tax reductions or exemptions for market rental housing)
This report provides recommendations on the above items and recommends that First Reading be given to a bylaw amendment to rezone 60 existing rental properties to rental-only use. This rezoning will go through a Public Hearing Process and is expected to be implemented by Q3 2019.
The report also recommends the mandatory addition of market rental units totally 10% of building FAR to existing high density zones. This could be effective even in areas that are pre-zoned (eg. City Centre). Subsequent to recommendations by Coriolis Consulting, staff are providing options on possible density bonusing incentives for the provision of market rental units.
At a recent Richmond Liaison Committee meeting, staff acknowledged that consultation with industry had not been undertaken for this report. The report itself does recommend consultation with UDI along with other rental and non-profit groups in the city later this spring.
Richmond Flood Strategy 2019
The City of Richmond is in the process of completing the Flood Protection Management Strategy 2019 (FPMS 2019) – an update to the City of Richmond’s 2008-2031 Flood Protection Strategy. This directional document outlines prospective ideas for flood protection at a high level. If you would like to provide feedback on the Strategy, you can visit LetsTalkRichmond.ca and complete a feedback form, before the April 14th deadline.
- Please note that the LetsTalkRichmond.ca website also has additional information regarding the Flood Protection Management Strategy 2019.
If there are any questions regarding the report contents, please contact Chris Chan, Project Manager at 604-204-8516 or email@example.com.
Annual DCC rate adjustment
A DCC increase of approximately 2.9% is expected to take effect on May 14, 2019. This is to adjust DCC levels for annual CPI increases and standard DCC grandfathering provisions will apply.
UDI is supportive of annual CPI increases for DCCs to mitigate the take effect.