UDI Logo

Municipal News- Richmond

January 1, 2000

September 19, 2023

Spires Road Policy – One Year Review 

At Planning Committee on September 6th, a report was received for information on the One-Year Review of the Spires Road Policy. The primary intention of policy was to significantly increase the number of rental housing units within the Spires Road area by increasing the residential density. The policy permits a mix of building forms (low, high, mid-rise), while facilitating mix of strata units, market rental units, and LEMR units. Since adoption, the City has received 6 inquiries and one rezoning application under the new policy. 

Even with the impacts of housing market changes, the City has received an application and is continuing to receive inquiries in the area in response to the new policy. City staff believe the new policy approach has the potential to be successful over time, and encourage the development of a significant number of rental units in area. There is potential to use a similar approach in other parts of City, which will be received through the ongoing OCP targeted update. It should be noted that the grandparenting period is now over and all new development applications would be subject to the new policy. 

Key lessons learned from implementation of policy over last year include: 

  • Though the policy permits strata units up to a maximum of 1.2 FAR, this form of housing has not been included as part of first application, with the applicant choosing to exclusively focus on market rental and LEMR units. As a result, from a land economics perspective, it may be more flexibility in mix of tenure and income than initially anticipated, potentially allowing for a broad mix of tenures across the neighbourhood; 
  • There is the challenge of being able to accommodate all of the permitted floor area for mid-rise housing typologies because of neighbourhood’s existing wide and shallow lot and block configuration, which presents challenges for this particular building form (including provision of private outdoor space, tree preservation, and accommodating family units), when compared to lower density housing forms; 
  • Wide and shallow lot and block configuration throughout area also presents challenges for the provision of on-site parking. On-site parking pressure will be reduced through the recently implemented Parking Requirements Reductions initiative, which introduced parking reductions to improve economic feasibility of rental housing developments for market rental units and/or LEMR units in a 100% rental building or a mixed-tenure strata development. 

More information can be found in the full report by City staff


2023 ZCSC and BC ESCE Requirements for New Buildings 

On September 18th a report was received by the General Purposes Committee on proposed Energy Step Code (ESC) and Zero Carbon Step Code (ZCSC) requirements for new buildings. 

Richmond pioneered the use of Step-level relaxations to encourage installation of, or connection to, a low carbon building energy system (LCES) as a means of reducing operational emissions in new buildings. With the introduction of the ZCSC in the BC Building Code, a municipally-defined LCES requirement is no longer necessary, as the ZCSC serves that purpose. The proposed Building Regulation Bylaw amendment for October 31st, 2023 continues to utilize Step-level relaxations to provide applicants with multiple options for ESC and ZCSC compliance. The expected timing of subsequent requirements in 2025 and 2027 are also included and noted as subject to future Council approval. Similarly, the proposed framework for implementing the ZCSC considers phased timing of these requirements, thereby allowing the development community sufficient time to cost-effectively transition to higher levels of performance by improving design and construction practices, and mitigating potential supply chain issues. 

Step-level relaxations will be available for both the ESC and ZCSC in 2023 and in 2025. However, once proposed new Bylaw requirements come into effect in 2027, relaxations would no longer be available, as all new buildings would need to achieve the top performance level for both ESC and ZCSC at building permit, pending future Council endorsement. 

More details on the proposals can be found in the full report by City staff


May 2, 2023

UPDATE: Circular City Strategy 

As noted in previous UDI newsletters, at Council on April 24th the City endorsed its Circular City Strategy. 

Next steps include: 

  • A material flow analysis study to identify relationships between resource flows, social activities, economic development, and environmental changes; 
  • An embodied carbon analysis to analyze embodied carbon in new buildings and retrofit activities in Richmond, to support the establishment of local targets in conjunction with regional partners. This analysis will be initially exploratory, focused on understanding potential policy or incentive implications; 
  • Showcases and pilot projects which will provide opportunities for collaboration across the value chain. These projects will document lessons learned and best practices for future projects that can be shared broadly, in an effort to support industry and regulation changes where possible; 
  • Continuous collaboration to foster partnerships, where the City will seek opportunities to establish regular meetings with key stakeholders to review progress on implementation of the Strategy, identify potential areas of improvement, and ensure that all stakeholders are aware of new developments and opportunities related to the circular economy. 

City staff will report back to Council every two years to outline progress towards achieving the goals and targets outlined in the Strategy. When new information comes forward related to aspects of the Strategy, such as GHG inventories, staff may update content in the Strategy document and inform Council via memorandum, making the Strategy a living plan. 

The full staff report and Circular City Strategy can be read here


April 4, 2023

Housing Affordability Engagement Session 

The City is currently conducting a targeted update of its Official Community Plan (OCP) on housing affordability. The City has hired a consultant to better understand the housing context in Richmond, as well as the needs, goals, challenges, and values of key housing stakeholders.  

On April 17th from 1:00pm-2:00pm, there will be a virtual engagement session for UDI members. This is an opportunity to provide insight on finance and economic considerations when providing and managing affordable housing, as well as possible ways to partner and collaborate with the City to develop context-responsive housing solutions that address the needs of residents.  

If you are interested in attending the session, please email Heather Park at hpark@udi.org


Electric Vehicle Requirements for Non-Residential 

On March 29th, the City hosted a hybrid engagement session to discuss proposed Electric Vehicle (EV) requirements for non-residential projects. 

Proposed requirements include: 

Regarding the proposed alternate compliance pathway under this policy, City staff will consider restricting the requirement for GM approval only for proposals that include DCFC chargers, based on feedback from the industry during the session. 

The City’s presentation slides can be viewed here. Discussion notes from the consultation session are also available for review here

If there are any questions or comments about the proposals, please reach out to Nicholas Heap (nheap@richmond.ca) and/or Norm Connolly (nconnolly@richmond.ca). 


March 21, 2023

UPDATE: 2022 DCC Review 

As noted in previous newsletters, on March 6th, Council gave First, Second, and Third Reading to the 2022 DCC updates. The proposed rates that have now gone to the Inspector of Municipalities for review are: 


City staff estimate that it could be two or three months before the rates are brought back to Council for final adoption. In response to feedback from the development industry on proposed updates regarding affordable housing options and policies, studies are currently underway to determine and review the feasibility and financial impact of a DCC waiver or reduction for qualifying affordable housing developments. City staff will report findings and recommendations to Council upon completion of the review in separate report during 2023. 

The full staff report can be read here


March 7, 2023

Electric Vehicle Charging Requirements for Non-Residential 

On March 8th from 3:00pm-4:00pm, the City will be hosting a virtual session on Webex to discuss draft options for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and infrastructure requirements for new non-residential developments. Discussion during this session will inform recommendations to Council in the spring regarding Zoning Bylaw requirements. 

Proposed requirements include the following:   

  • Full EV charging is defined as wired and energized circuits with outlets located at parking stalls, as well as operating EV chargers wired into these circuits. This requirement would be considered for accessibility and car-share parking spaces.   
  • EV charging-ready service infrastructure means energized circuits with outlets located at parking stalls, but does not include EV chargers that can be wired into these circuits. EV charging-ready requirements are being considered for a percentage of parking spaces used for employee, customer, and/or fleet parking purposes. 

To register for this session, please email Nicholas Heap at nheap@richmond.ca. 


February 7, 2023

Permit Optimization Process 

On January 24th, Planning Committee received a report for information on the City’s ongoing work on its Permit Optimization Process (POP). It provided an update on current and ongoing initiatives within the Planning and Development division to optimize the Development and Building application process. Key objectives of the POP program include: 

  • Optimizing the permitting process from end-to-end, including application intake, review, approval and permit issuance; 
  • Developing a public-facing online service portal to enable streamlined digital application submission, review of notifications, and exchanges and permit issuance with end-to-end visibility of the process and status of applications for stakeholders; 
  • Ensuring consistency across various departmental reviews; and 
  • Developing performance and reporting metrics related to building and development procedures. 

City staff are currently conducting a review of existing established processes and adopted technology, as well as assessing internal user feedback to identify factors that contribute to overall permitting and application processing times. Changes resulting from this POP work will be implemented through a phased approach, with the first phase focused on supporting guided online application submission, enabling credit card payment, and issuance of “over the counter” Trades Permits. Phase 1 will leverage existing software platforms and technology (AMANDA and E-Plan), and scale them to the Development and Building Permit application process, while Phase 2 will be based on the foundation of Phase 1, and work to apply changes to more permit and application types. 

In addition to the POP, the City has undertaken/has underway actions to support application review process. These include: 

  • Concurrent review of Rezoning, Development Permit and Building Permit applications; 
  • Priority review of affordable housing and rental housing projects; 
  • Digital submission and review of Servicing Agreement applications and single-family Building Permit applications; 
  • Preliminary Building Permit application screening to identify those that may be issued straight away, avoiding unnecessary queuing;  
  • Implementing simplified plan review for retail tenant improvements within major malls; 
  • Fast Track option for simple Rezoning and Development Permit applications;  
  • Information sharing and improving the quality of submissions;  
  • Pre-application meetings with applicants and developers; and 
  • Continued participation in the Province’s Development Approvals Process Review. 


December 13, 2022

UPDATE: 2023 Fees and Charges 

As noted in previous newsletters, at Council on November 28th, changes to the City’s 2023 Utility Budgets and Rates and District Energy Utility Rates were adopted.  


UPDATE: Circular City Strategy Survey 

As noted in previous newsletters, the City is seeking feedback on its proposed Circular City Strategy. This strategy will lead the City towards achieving 100% circularity by 2050. Priorities include responsible consumption, waste reduction, and sustainable material flow. The full Strategy can be reviewed here

If you have feedback on the Strategy’s 6 directions and 84 actions, please complete this survey, which is open until January 8, 2023. If you’d only like to provide feedback on Direction 5: Adaptive Built Environment (pg. 32 of the Strategy), you do not need to complete the entire survey, and can skip ahead. Direction 5 covers: 

  • Assessing material usage in the built environments; 
  • Promoting salvage and secondary-use materials; 
  • Developing sectoral capacity and skills; 
  • Promoting use of new materials and developing research and pilot projects; and 
  • Promoting circular standards for construction. 


November 29, 2022

UPDATE: 2022 DCC Review 

As noted in previous newsletters, the City is conducting a review of its Development Cost Charges program. The last major update was in 2017. As a result of climate change, sea level rise, and population growth the largest increase in investment is in the City’s drainage works, followed by transportation, and park development as the result of rising land values. 

Please refer to the draft rates below: 

There will be one year of in-stream protection for projects that submit complete applications with fees paid prior to the adoption of the new bylaw. Final building permits/subdivision must be granted within one year of bylaw adoption; or re-zoning and Development Permit applications must result in building permit issuance within one year of bylaw adoption. City staff have not provided a firm timeline, but currently estimate bylaw adoption sometime in Q2 2023. 

Presently, the City is doing analysis on the potential for DCC waivers and reductions for not-for-profit housing, supportive living housing, for-profit affordable rental, development designed for reduced environmental impact, and subdivision of smaller lots with low greenhouse gas emissions. 

For more information, please review presentation slides, and an updated project list from the City. There will also be a virtual presentation to stakeholders on November 30th at noon (to pre-register contact dcc@richmond.ca).  

If you have any comments on the review, please email Heather Park at hpark@udi.org by end of day December 9th.  


November 29, 2022

Circular City Strategy Engagement 

City staff are developing a Circular City Strategy to help the city transition to a circular economy. In October, Council endorsed the Strategy for public consultation, as a framework to establish a strategic approach to the transition to a circular economy in Richmond. 

On December 6th from 2:30pm-3:30pm there will be a UDI-only engagement session where members will be able to provide feedback on the directions and actions outlined in the draft Strategy. 

The full draft Circular City Strategy can be reviewed here. If you are interested in attending, please email Heather Park at hpark@udi.org


2023 Utility Rates 

At Council on November 14th, the 2023 Utility Budgets and Rates received First, Second, and Third Reading. Key drivers for the rate changes are Metro Vancouver’s costs increases, accelerating the Flood Protection Program, aging infrastructure replacement, and solid waste and recycling agreements and pilot initiatives. As outlined in the staff report, Option 3 for Water (page 9), Sewer (page 16), and Drainage and Diking (page 28) was approved, while Option 2 was approved for Solid Waste and Recycling (page 30). 


2023 District Energy Utility Rates 

At Council on November 14th, the 2023 District Energy Utility Rates received First, Second, and Third Reading. This includes a 6.5% increase for the Alexandra District Energy Utility’s (ADEU) commercial area (Area A), Oval Village District Energy Utility and City Centre District Energy Utility 2023 service rates, as well as a 1% increase for ADEU 2023 residential service rates. 

More details on the rates can be found in the staff report


October 4, 2022

Increased Development Notification Radius and Early Notification Process 

At Council on September 26th, Council gave First Reading to a Zoning Bylaw amendment to increase the notification area for Public Hearing from 50 metres to 100 metres from a proposed development. First, Second, and Third Reading were also given to associated bylaws noted in the staff report, in order to address fee requirements for Public Hearing notifications and early notification fees. The proposed Council policy titled “Early Public Notification – Development Applications” provides additional early opportunities for public input on various applications, with an effective date corresponding with the date of Adoption of associated bylaw changes. The policy will only be applicable to new applications received after the effective date. 

For more information, please read the full report here


August 9, 2022

UPDATE: Energy Step Code Requirements 

As noted in previous newsletters, on July 25th Council adopted changes to the Building Regulation Bylaw, to reflect updated Energy Step Code (ESC) requirements. The updates apply to existing BC ESC and GHG Intensity (GHGI) requirements for Part 9 residential buildings and Part 3 residential, hotel, commercial and office buildings. The changes can be referenced in the tables in the Building Regulation Bylaw

In-stream protections were provided if a Development Permit (DP) was issued prior to July 1st, 2022, allowing the proponent to apply for a Building Permit in compliance with prior energy efficiency requirements. The new requirements will now apply to all DPs submitted. 


Technical and Economic Considerations for Rooftop Solar Energy Systems for New Buildings 

At Council on July 25th, City staff were directed to proceed with engaging local builders and developers in Fall 2022 regarding Technical and Economic Considerations for Rooftop Solar Energy Systems for New Buildings. This will include identifying regulatory and incentive pathways to advance building electrification and on-site low carbon energy systems, as well as rooftop solar photovoltaic systems, for new residential, commercial office and industrial buildings. 

The full staff report, which presents key findings from technical and economic analysis of rooftop solar photovoltaic energy systems can be read here


July 26, 2022

2022 Development Cost Charges Update 

At Council on July 11th, a staff report was brought forward on the 2022 Development Cost Charges (DCCs) Program Update for endorsement of preliminary programs and rates, as the basis for further public consultation in establishing the updated DCC Rates Bylaw. The last major update was in 2017. A Motion was carried to refer the report back to City staff for more work, to investigate the viability of DCCs on dwellings being re-built. 

For information, below of are some key highlights from the staff report: 

  • Estimated average increase of 50% in DCC rates for different development types reflective of cost pressures faced by City in delivering infrastructure requirements to support growth; 
  • Further studies are currently underway in reviewing feasibility and financial impact of DCC waiver or reduction for qualifying affordable housing developments. Staff will report findings and recommendations back to Council upon completion of review work in separate report, expected by end of year 2022; 
  • Grandfathering provisions: If a rezoning application, a development permit application, or a building permit application has been submitted in satisfactory form and accepted by City (but not yet determined, rejected or withdrawn) and all application fees have been paid prior to the date the updated bylaw changes are adopted, and then the building permit for the development is issued within 12 months of the date the bylaw is effective for those DCCs collected at building permit; 
  • Effective date of updated bylaw will be on adoption date of bylaw. 

Preliminary proposed rates can be found below: 

The full report can be referenced here for interest. 


June 28, 2022

Spires Road Area Proposed Rental Tenure & Density Increases 

At Planning Committee on June 21st, First Reading was given to an amendment to the City Centre Area Plan regarding a new proposed approach to increase the provision of rental housing in the Spires Road Area above the Low End Market Rental (LEMR) program and Official Community Plan’s (OCP) Market Rental Housing Policy. The proposed Spires Road Area Market Rental Policy would: 

  • Introduce a minimum 2.0 Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for the Spires Road area provided that: 
  • The maximum residential strata is 1.2 FAR subject to the provisions of the City’s Affordable Housing Strategy and Market Rental Housing Policy; and 
  • The minimum rental housing secured is 0.8 FAR with the condition that at least 50% is secured for LEMR housing and the remainder is market rental housing, unless specified by Council to have a different mix of market rental and affordable rental geared towards specific income limits; and 
  • Permit densities up to a maximum of 3.0 FAR provided that the density beyond 2.0 FAR is comprised of at least 50% LEMR housing with the remainder as market rental housing, unless specified by Council to have a different mix of market rental and affordable rental geared towards specific income limits. 

In-stream protection from the Spires Road Area Market Rental Policy would be provided if an application achieves First Reading within one year of the amendment bylaw being adopted, and final adoption and issuance of a Development Permit within one year following the associated Public Hearing. For applications that are unable to receive final adoption within one year following public hearing, a report would be brought forward for consideration by Council. The report would provide the following options: 

  • Allow additional time for the project to be completed based on circumstances that have affected the timeline for a project that has been actively working to advance and achieve final adoption of the rezoning bylaw and issuance of the Development Permit; or 
  • Rescind third reading of the rezoning bylaw and require the project to be redesigned to include the required market rental housing. 

Additionally, Council passed a Motion directing staff to investigate the option of identifying areas for rental tenure zoning for 100% rental, and analyze the impact of this. A Public Hearing notice will now be forwarded to all owners and residents of properties affected by the proposed amendments. 

The full report can be read here


June 14, 2022

ESC and GHG Requirements for New Buildings 

On June 6th, a report went to the General Purposes Committee on the 2022 BC Energy Step Code (ESC) and GHG Requirements for New Buildings, and received First Reading.  

Proposed amendments include updates to existing BC ESC and GHG Intensity (GHGI) requirements for Part 9 residential buildings and Part 3 residential, hotel, commercial and office buildings. These proposed changes can be referenced in the tables below: 



There are also proposed amendments regarding design approaches that improve the energy performance of buildings. City staff compared current form and character guidelines with high-performance building standards such as Passive House, and Net Zero Energy Ready. Potential conflicts between high-performance building standards and the City’s guidelines have led staff to recommend amending the guidelines to better support development proponents as the City transitions to higher levels of the ESC.  

There will be instream protections in place for development applications. If a Development Permit (DP) is issued prior to July 1, 2022 the proponent may apply for a Building Permit (BP) in compliance with energy efficiency requirements applicable prior to the adoption of proposed changes. If a DP application has been submitted to the City, and is considered and endorsed by the Development Permit Panel prior to July 1, 2023, with a complete BP application acceptable to City prior to July 1, 2023, the proponent may apply for a BP in compliance with energy efficiency requirements applicable prior to the adoption of proposed changes. 

The full report can be referenced here


May 31, 2022

Mandatory Market Rental Housing Policy 

As noted in previous newsletters, the Proposed Mandatory Market Rental Housing Policy and Rental Housing Parking Changes went to Council on May 24th and received First Reading. UDI wrote a letter to Planning Committee in May 2021 with feedback on the impact of these proposals on the delivery of affordable housing. 

For more details, please reference the proposed recommendations from the report. City staff will be asked to report back to Council with key findings related to implementation after program provisions have been in place for two years, with Council review of the policy annually. 


May 17, 2022

Proposed MMR Housing Policy & Rental Housing Parking Changes 

On May 17th, a report is going to Planning Committee outlining City staff’s Referral Response to Proposed Mandatory Market Rental Housing Policy and Proposed Rental Housing Parking Changes. As noted in previous UDI Newsletters, this work follows up on referral motions passed at Council on October 12, 2021: 

  • Resolutions 3 and 6, as well as the provisions of Resolution 7 as it relates to market rentals be referred back to staff to study and report back on the proportional approach to securing market rental units, exploring the inclusion of a higher construction threshold, and including an analysis of the number of market rental units that would be required (Resolutions 3, 6, and 7 relate to recommendations to introduce a mandatory market rental requirement in new development); 
  • A new Recommendation 10 be inserted to direct staff to review the required parking ratios for 100% market rental buildings and report back. 

Attachment 1 of the report summarizes the proposed OCP and Zoning Bylaw amendments in full. The full report can be viewed here. These include: 

  • Securing a minimum of 15% of residential floor area as market rental housing units in apartment developments with more than 60 units, which would increase the rental component to 30% for projects inside of the City Centre Area Plan (CCAP), and to 25% for projects outside of the CCAP; 
  • Including smaller developments in rental housing initiatives by including options to: 
  • Accept a cash-in-lieu contribution to balance a developer’s rental housing contribution between developments of various type and size; or 
  • Permit an associated density bonus, provided it is used exclusively to construct market rental units in townhouse and small apartment developments; 
  • Amending standard multi-family zones that permit apartment development to secure construction of market rental units in strata developments; 
  • Clarifying parking reductions for rental housing beyond those included in the Zoning Bylaw. 

Staff are also recommending provisions for instream applications. Instream rezoning applications may be exempt from mandatory provision of market rental housing provided the project achieves first reading within one year of the proposed amendment bylaws being adopted, and final adoption of the rezoning bylaw within one year of the associated Public Hearing. Recognizing the degree of variability in the housing development industry, staff are also recommending that implementation of a mandatory market rental policy is monitored, and staff report back to Council regarding key findings after the proposed provisions are in place for two years. 


April 5, 2022

School Site Acquisition Charge Approval 

The Eligible School Sites Proposal (ESSP) was submitted to the Ministry of Education, and approved on March 15th. City Council also accepted the 2021 ESSP resolution, pursuant to the Local Government Act. On March 30th, the ESSP went to the Board of Education for the Richmond School District for adoption. The increased charges for the School Site Acquisition Charges will come into effect on May 30th. Any applications received prior to this date will be classified as in-stream, and have 12 months to get subdivision approval/building permit issuance to qualify for the old rates. The new rates can be referenced below: 

Additional details can be found in the presentation slides provided by the Richmond School District. 


Bill 26 Direction from Council 

In November 2021, the Province gave assent to Bill 26, which removed the default requirement for local governments to hold Public Hearings on most zoning bylaws. Following consideration of Bill 26 in early 2022, Council adopted the resolution to direct staff to proceed with holding Public Hearings on all Zoning Bylaw Amendments, including those that are consistent with the Official Community Plan, and bring forward all appropriate amendments to City Bylaws and City Policies to give effect to this direction. This includes forgoing the potential to delegate authority to staff for variances.   

The staff report that went to Council on March 28th to give effect to the direction to maintain current meeting requirements can be referenced here


March 22, 2022

Zoning Bylaw Amendments 

On March 14th Council adopted changes to the Zoning Bylaw on Section 7 Parking and Loading. This will increase the implementation of transportation demand management (TDM) measures to encourage the use of alternative travel modes, and reduce the requirement for large size loading bays on residential sites. UDI was largely supportive of the proposed changes during consultation.  

Changes include: 

  • Increasing the reduction in minimum off-street parking requirements that can be allowed with implementation of TDM measures from a maximum of 10% to a maximum of 20%; 
  • Lowering the minimum parking rate to 0.8 spaces per unit for affordable housing in the City Centre, with both affordable housing units and market rental apartment housing units being eligible for further 20% parking reduction with TDM measures; 
  • Allowing the sharing of commercial/retail and residential visitor parking areas; 
  • Removing requirements for on-site large size truck loading spaces for residential developments. 

The full report that went to Council can be read here


2022 Proposed ESC and GHG Requirements 

The City hosted a session with UDI on March 8th to provide more information on 2022 Energy Step Code and GHG requirements for Part 3 and Part 9 projects. The presentation slides can be referenced here. Staff also included an update on the City’s Building Form and Character Study, related to the implications of higher energy performance on design. 

2022 Proposed ESC Requirements for Part 9 (July 2022): 

2022 Adopted and Proposed ESC and GHG Requirements for new Part 9 (July 2022): 

Adopted and proposed ESC and GHG requirements for new Part 3 residential concrete and residential wood frame, as well as office and retail can be found starting on slide 30. 

If you have any questions, please contact Nicholas Heap at nheap@richmond.ca, or Norm Connolly at nconnolly@richmond.ca.  


February 8, 2022

2022 Energy Step Code Requirements & Low-GHG Incentives Session 

City of Richmond staff invite UDI and its members to review and comment on draft recommendations for Energy Step Code requirements and incentives for achieving greenhouse gas reductions at a stakeholder engagement webinar from 10:30am-12:00pm on Tuesday, March 8th, 2022. If you are interested in attending, please email Heather Park at hpark@udi.org.  

The session will cover:  

  • Staff recommendations for new BC Energy Step Code requirements, which are proposed to enter into force in July 2022; 
  • Timetable for proposed increments to Step Code and greenhouse gas requirements out to 2027; 
  • Key findings from an assessment of how the energy efficiency requirements at the top levels of the Step Code interact with the City’s existing form and character guidelines as set out in the City’s OCP and Area Plans; and 
  • Draft outreach materials highlighting potential design and technology options for achieving high-performance design in a range of common Richmond building types. 

Presentation slides on the ESC and GHG requirements can be found here for more information. 

Please also watch this newsletter for an upcoming City of Richmond workshop on draft recommendations for implementation of standardized EV-ready charging infrastructure requirements for non-residential parking stalls in new developments. 

For more information on either workshop, please contact Nicholas Heap at nheap@richmond.ca.  


January 25, 2022

Lulu Urban Design Awards 

The City would like to announce its fifth Urban Design Award Program, known as the “Lulu Awards”. The Program is intended to recognize, celebrate and inspire excellence in urban design in the City of Richmond. The attached brochure covers eligibility, submission requirements, the judging process, the award categories and timing for the awards. For additional information, visit www.richmond.ca, or read the program notice letter. 

Submissions are due by February 28th, 2022. The awards will be presented to the winners at a City Council Meeting in October/November 2022. 


January 11, 2022

Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Report to Planning Committee  

On January 6th a report was presented to Richmond’s Planning Committee, which is recommending the application of Rental Tenure Zoning to 60 existing rental properties in the city. The full report can be read here on page 56.  

UDI has previously engaged with the Planning Committee, in addition to ongoing dialogue with staff through our liaison committee. UDI has also submitted two letters, in July 2019, and November 2020, outlining industry concerns about the proposal. These impacts include the downzoning of these properties, undermining confidence of investors, and reducing the ability of builder-owners to borrow against their properties. UDI has recently sent a note to the Planning Committee reiterating these concerns, and encouraging Planning Committee to reconsider the rezoning proposal, and instead support an incentive-based approach to delivering rental housing. 

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


November 30, 2021

Utility Rate Changes 

On November 22, Council adopted rate changes to five utilities-related bylaws. The full report on 2022 District Energy Utility (DEU) Rates can be found here on pg. 214. Council adopted the recommended 4.0% increase for Oval Village (OV) DEU and City Centre (CC) DEU, and 1.0% increase for Alexandra (A) DEU. For more detailed changes on the DEU rates, please see the tables below: 

Alexandra DEU bylaw 


Oval Village DEU bylaw 

City Centre DEU bylaw 


The Waterworks and Water Rates bylaw and Drainage, Dyke and Sanitary Sewer System bylaw both had increased rates adopted, as per the “2022 Utility Budgets and Rates” report here on pg. 249. Changes are effective January 1, 2022. Waterworks and Water Rates changes can be found on page 352 of the report, and Drainage, Dyke and Sanitary Sewer System changes can be found on page 361. 


November 2, 2021

Proposed 2022 Energy Step Code Requirements 

The City is proposing bylaw amendments to the 2022 Energy Step Code Requirements. Included below are the proposed 2022 ESC requirements for Part 3 and Part 9 buildings: 


More information can be found in the slides from a presentation given by the City. A UDI session with the City will be held on the content (date to be determined still). If you are interested in attending this session, please email Heather Park at hpark@udi.org to be added to the contact list for once a date and time are finalized.  


October 19, 2021

UPDATED: Proposed New Market Rental Policy and Increased LEMR Requirements  

On October 12th, the New Market Rental Policy and Increased LEMR Requirements went to Council.  

Regarding Recommendation 1 to increase the Low End Market Rental (LEMR) construction contribution for developments inside of the City Centre Area Plan from 10% to 15%, and Recommendation 2 to Update LEMR cash-in-lieu rates to reflect current construction costs and sale prices in Richmond, an amendment was proposed to phase in the amounts over two years. The motion was defeated. 

For Recommendation 3 and Recommendation 6 under introducing a mandatory market rental contribution, the motion to refer back to staff to explore the possibility of increasing the threshold and percentage of mandatory market rental units was carried.  

Regarding Recommendation 9 for incentives for rental housing, a motion was carried to refer back to staff to look at reducing or waiving DCCs for any 100% rental building. 

The recommendations with the above amendments were carried. 

The full report can be found here on page 336, and the discussion at Council can be viewed here

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


October 5, 2021

UPDATED: Proposed New Market Rental Policy and Increased LEMR Requirements 

 On October 5, City staff will be presenting an updated report to Planning Committee proposing a new market rental policy and increasing the LEMR contribution requirements. The report responds to Council’s previous feedback and request for additional information, but does not make any substantial changes to the recommendations. 
The Planning Committee report can be found here
UDI previously provided comments to Planning Committee on the proposals, and the changes were discussed at the Municipal Liaison Committee last month. 


Eligible School Sites Proposal/School Site Acquisition Charges 

Over the next 10 years (2021 to 2030), it is estimated that there will be approximately 16,740 new development units constructed in the School District that will be home to an estimated 1,668 school age children. As a result of this projected growth, one new school site is required in Lansdowne Village in the City Centre Area Plan. Based on the School District’s standards for a new school site, the Eligible School Sites Proposal (ESSP) identified a site with a land cost of approximately $75 million. 

School District staff have advised of a review and potential change to the School Site Acquisition Charge (SSAC) rate by the Board, which will impact the development community as SSAC funds are collected from new residential developments. The 2021-22 ESSP was accepted by the City of Richmond on September 27, with the provision that they undertake consultation with development industry stakeholders to review and implement potential changes to the School Site Acquisition Charges resulting from the Proposal. 

It will now go to the Ministry of Education for acceptance. Once this process is complete, the Board will be in a position to review the SSAC rates charged for new residential developments based on the requirements in the provincial legislation, including maximum charges per unit. The current SSAC rates determined by the Board and maximum rates established by the Province are contained in the chart below. School District staff have advised that the current values in the 2021-22 ESSP could result in an increase to the per unit SSAC rates subject to review and approval from the Board. The anticipated timing for the review and changes to the SSAC bylaw is in Ql/Q2 2022. 


June 29, 2021

UPDATED: Proposed New Market Rental Policy and Increased LEMR Requirements

On June 23, Staff brought a follow-up report to Richmond Planning Committee on the proposed new Market Rental Policy and Increased LEMR Requirements. After further questions of staff, Council voted to refer the report back to staff, with the direction for staff to hold an informational workshop with Council to further discuss the proposals. Council also approved a motion to provide grandfathering under the existing policy for applications currently in-stream, and allow them to proceed.


UPDATED: Office Policy Incentives

Further to the previous updates, UDI and NAIOP jointly submitted comments on the City of Richmond’s proposed changes to their office incentives. Staff anticipate going to Council this Summer or Fall with recommendations. 


May 18, 2021

UPDATED: Proposed New Market Rental Policy and Increased LEMR Requirements

At the Planning Committee meeting held on May 4th, the Committee decided to refer the proposal back to staff to add a new market rental policy and increase the Low-End Market Rental (LEMR) to 15% in City Centre. Councillors requested that staff provide additional clarity on some of the information provided, conduct additional consultation with stakeholders, determine the impacts of additional density offsets.

In the discussions, Staff also confirmed that if the proposed policies are adopted, the City will continue to negotiate with proponents to deliver additional rental housing, over and above the policy targets.

The report is expected to return to Planning Committee in June.


Office Policy Incentives

On May 12, City staff held a workshop on changes to Richmond’s office incentives. The City wants to encourage larger companies from the IT, creative, education and immigration services sectors to locate in the City Centre. The City is concerned that most of the new space being built is smaller (500 ft2 to 1,500 ft2) stratified spaces despite current density bonusing incentives for larger strata office spaces (20,000 ft2 or an entire floor). Staff argued that the firms Richmond is trying to attract want to locate where there are larger (flexible) lease space options.

Staff are proposing to adjust the incentive program, so it is focused on the construction of leased spaces within a five minute walk of SkyTrain stations. Outside the Village Centre Bonus (VCB) areas, they would negotiate density bonuses for leased spaces, and inside the VCBs, two options were proposed:

  • Change the VCB bonus, so it only applies when leased office space is built; and
  • Negotiate an additional density bonus (above the VCB) for leased space.

Please see here for the workshop slides. Workshop participants recommended that the City consider parking reductions and speeding up development approval times (e.g. pre-zoning) to encourage more leased office space.

The City has a survey that they are asking interested parties to complete by May 24. Staff anticipate going to Council this Summer or Fall with recommendations. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Peter Whitelaw at the City of Richmond (604.204.8639) or email Cassandra McColman.


May 4, 2021

Proposed New Market Rental Policy and Increased LEMR Requirements

As discussed at the last UDI-City of Richmond Liaison meeting last month, staff are bringing forward recommendations to Planning Committee on May 4th, to change the LEMR requirements for new projects and add a new market rental requirement. The report is linked below.


The recommended approach includes the following City-wide updates that would apply to new development:

  • Market Rental: replacing the voluntary incentives based approach to securing market rental housing units in mixed market rental and strata buildings with the following provisions:
    • Requiring at least 10% of the total residential floor area in a building that includes more than 60 apartment units to be secured as market rental housing. An associated 0.1 floor area ratio (FAR) density bonus will apply to the site.
    • For townhouse developments with 5 or more units, and apartment developments with 5 to 60 apartment units, cash-in-lieu may be accepted through a rezoning application, or the owner may secure and construct 10% of the total residential floor area in the building as market rental housing. An associated 0.1 FAR density bonus would apply to the site for built market rental, not cash-in-lieu.
  • Low End Market Rental (LEMR): Expanding the existing LEMR program to secure at least 15% of the total residential floor area in new developments inside of the City Centre Area Plan as affordable housing units. Maintaining the existing LEMR program outside of the City Centre Area Plan, which secures 10% of the total residential floor area in new developments as affordable housing units
  • Grandfathering: Rezoning applications submitted prior to the adoption of the new bylaws would have one year to be considered for 1st reading to be able to proceed under the existing policies. All applications received following the adoption of the policy would be subject to the new requirements.

UDI provided comments on the proposals and will provide additional updates following the presentation to Planning Committee.


April 20, 2021

2021 Annual Inflationary DCC Bylaw Increase

The City of Richmond is proposing an inflationary increase to DCCs for 2021. The increase will be 0.8% for the year, with standard grandfathering procedures in place. This type of increase is one of the measures previously recommended by UDI to mitigate large one-time increases when major DCC reviews take place.

The target date for bylaw adoption is May 10, 2021.

If you have specific comments please feel free to reach out directly to City staff at dcc@richmond.ca, or let me know if you have questions.


January 12, 2021

Industrial Land Intensification Initiative

Over the last year, Richmond City staff have been consulting with the building sector regarding the Industrial Land Intensification Initiative (ILII).  On Monday, January 11, staff brought the linked report to Council, proposing several changes to the existing zoning bylaws. These are outlined in the table below.

This report also discuses Industrial stratification, however it does not make any formal recommendations. Overall, the report reflects the discussions both at the UDI liaison committee and UDI-NAIOP subcommittee. For a detailed description of the proposed changes and the rationale please review the report here.

There will be opportunities to speak to this report, both at the Regular Council meeting this coming Monday, January 11th as well as a Public Hearing in February (the date has not yet been set).


December 15, 2020

UPDATED: Energy Step Code (ESC) Implementation for New Hotels and Part 9 Buildings

On December 7, The City of Richmond approved updates to its Building Regulation Bylaw to add Energy Step Code requirements for new Part 9 buildings and Hotels. The new requirements outlined in the table below will be effective for all building permits issued on or after December 15, 2020, with the following grandfathering provision for in-stream applications:

If an acceptable Development Permit application has been submitted to the City prior to adoption of Bylaw 10205, is considered and endorsed by the Development Permit Panel prior to December 15, 2021, and has a complete Building Permit application acceptable to the City submitted prior to December 15, 2021, the owner may apply for a Building Permit in compliance with energy efficiency requirements applicable prior to adoption of Bylaw 10205.


October 20, 2020

DCC Rates to remain unchanged

On October 13, the Richmond City Council voted to keep current DCC rates unchanged as outlined in Option 1 of the Development Cost Charges Imposition Bylaw Annual Inflationary Update (2020). This was the option recommended by staff to best, “support the recovery of the local economy from the unprecedented effect from the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.”

The report also noted that the next major DCC review is scheduled for 2022, 5 years after the previous review took place in 2017. Due to the maintenance of current DCC rates at this time, it may result in a larger increase resulting from the 2022 review.


October 6, 2020

Public Art Program Policy

On September 28, a staff report on proposed changes to the Public Art Policy was presented at the Regular Council meeting. The report responds to a referral from Council in November 2019, where Council directed staff to examine:

  • the harmonization of procedures for public art development on private and public property, which provides the terms of reference and concepts for Council consideration only at the initial application phase;
  • potential monetary thresholds and options for the allocation of voluntary developer public art contributions; and
  • whether preference can be given to local and emerging artists in public art projects.

Council reviewed new options for City approval of the Terms of Reference (TOR), outlining the objectives, suggested themes, budget, artist eligibility, artist selection method, selection panel composition, site location and timeline for delivery of the artwork. The following options were presented: 

Following the recommendations of the General Purposes Committee held on September 21, 2020, Council approved the preferred Policy Option 3 for the approval of the Terms of Reference for public art on private property and Policy 8703 – Public Art Program will be revised accordingly to allow Council to approve the Terms of Reference for public art projects commissioned through the Development Permit application process with a cumulative public art budget of over $250,000.

This new Public Art Program Policy will apply to private development applications submitted to the City after the date of Council’s adoption of the Policy (September 28, 2020). Any applications already granted first reading by Council or endorsed by the Development Permit Panel would proceed in accordance with the existing Policy. Any applications already submitted to the City received prior to adoption of the new Policy will be processed under the existing Policy. Any applications received after Policy adoption will be considered under the new Policy.


In addition, the report provided options for Council to establish a new Public Art and Arts Facilities Program Reserve Fund, to expand the allocation of public art funds to include public art facilities. As well as a revised process to give Council discretion to determine how voluntary developer contributions are allocated:

  • In cases where the developer prefers to direct the voluntary contributions to art on/near their site, there would now be a staff report from the Public Art Planner seeking Council’s approval prior to the proposed development being forwarded to Planning Committee or the Development Permit Panel.
  • The approved allocation would then be included in the Rezoning or Development Application Report to Council.

Please see the charts on the last two pages of the report (pp.23-24) illustrating the steps in the existing and proposed processes.

This proposed change regarding Allocations of Voluntary Developer Public Art Contributions, was referred back to staff, with the request for, “information related to funds received historically for each component of the public art fund and alternatives to raise funding for arts and related facilities.”

Note that staff have previously presented to the UDI liaison committee on the strategy and UDI submitted a letter last year identifying our concerns with the addition of new steps with added costs to the approvals process. If you have any questions or comments regarding this policy, please contact Cassandra McColman.


August 25, 2020

UPDATED: Energy Step Code (ESC) Implementation for New Hotels 

As noted previously, the City of Richmond is updating its BC Energy Step Code Policy to include requirements for new hotels (and motels). UDI attended two virtual consultation sessions with staff and submitted a letter outlining our support for a two-step model, as well as some of our concerns with Richmond’s overall approach to Energy Step Code targets.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Cassandra McColman. For more information on the ESC, please see the BC Energy Step Code Council website and the City of Richmond page on the Code.


July 28, 2020

Energy Step Code (ESC) Implementation for New Hotels

As noted in previous newsletters, the City of Richmond is updating its BC Energy Step Code Policy to include requirements for new hotels (and motels). City staff held webinars on June 24 and July 22 on draft recommendations that will be presented to Council in September 2020 for potential adoption.  (please see the slides here). The City will be adopting Step Code metrics for hotels as set out  by the Province in the December 2019 BC Building Code, which are:

Staff will be recommending to Council that beginning in October new hotels will be required to achieve Step Code 3, or Step 2 with a Low Carbon Energy System (LCES). Staff have also signaled that in January 2025, new hotels will be required to achieve Step 4 levels of energy efficiency, or Step 3 with a LCES.

Within Richmond City Centre there will be slightly different requirements (please see the map below). Within the pink “Future District Energy Utility (DEU)” area, hotel developers will be mandated to either:

  • Connect to a DEU system [Step 2 + LCES]; or
  • Provide a DEU‐ready onsite centralized low carbon energy plant, owned/operated by the Lulu Island Energy Company [Step 2 + LCES]; or
  • [For pre‐zoned developments only] be DEU‐ready [Step 3 OR Step 2 + LCES], but this would be at the discretion of City Council.

Staff also said that “To be grandfathered under prior energy requirements, new developments requiring a Development Permit (DP) must:

  • Submit a DP application to the City prior to the new ESC requirements coming into force and effect; AND
  • Receive endorsement from the DP Panel within six months of the new ESC requirements coming into force and effect; AND
  • Submit a ‘complete Building Permit application,’ fully consistent with the development endorsed by the DP Panel, within six months of the new ESC requirements coming into force and effect.”

A report regarding these recommendations will be going to Council in September. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Cassandra McColman at 604.661.3032. For more information on the ESC, please see the BC Energy Step Code Council website and the City of Richmond page on the Code.


June 16, 2020

UDI members invited to June 24th webinar workshop on Energy Step Code requirements for new hotel developments in City of Richmond

Staff at the City of Richmond would like to meet with UDI members to discuss proposed BC Energy Step Code requirements for new hotel development.

Date: Wednesday afternoon, June 24, 2020

Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Given the current COVID-19 restrictions, this will be a Webex event.  During this session, an online polling tool will also be used to gather live feedback from participants on the City’s proposed Step Code framework.

The agenda for the workshop will include the following:

  • Overview of Energy Step Code and the direction of Provincial and National codes on energy efficiency.
  • City of Richmond climate action targets to 2030 and 2050, and current Energy Step Code requirements for new buildings (other Group C occupancies).
  • Review proposed Step Code framework for hotels:
    • Minimum Step Code requirements and two-option path in meeting these requirements
    • Timing of when they would come into effect and in-stream provisions
    • Schedule of higher Step Code requirements to 2025
    • Recap of live polling results

City of Richmond staff will make the workshop presentation materials and feedback questions available following this workshop, and will accept written / email submissions until end of day on Tuesday, June 30th.

To register for this event, please contact Nicholas Heap at: nheap@richmond.ca


April 23, 2020 

April 21 Penalty date for Richmond Property Tax Payment extended to September 30. https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/tax-extension.htm

April 20th City of Richmond launches support centre for businesses affected by COVID-19 https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/businesssupport20apr2020.htm

April 15 City of Richmond to reduce property taxes and delay tax deadline to September https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/rmdreducetaxesanddelaydeadline2020Apr15.htm

April 7th City of Richmond cancels Standing Committee Meetings until end of May 2020 https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/cancel-meetings.htm

April 2nd Enhanced Enforcement measures to Support Provincial Health Orders https://www.richmond.ca/newsevents/city/bc-health-orders.htm


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:

  1. Increasing incentives for market rental supply
  2. Identify areas in need of more market rental housing
  3. A 1-to-1 replacement ratio for rental, including encouragement to add more LEMR units and the requirement for form retention.
  4. Incorporating co-op housing through City-owned land
  5. Options for Rental Tenure Zoning
  6. 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.

You can read the full report here. If you have questions or concerns please contact Cassandra McColman at 604.661.3032 directly.


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 cchan2@richmond.ca.


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.

Featured Events

UDI Webinar: Office Landscape in Metro Vancouver: Adapting to New Realities

September 27 @ 9:30 am

It is clear that the economic and social disruptions caused by the COVID19 pandemic has led to major shifts in...

Read More

U40 Virtual Lunch & Learn: Balancing Act – Addressing Policy Priorities in a Challenged Economic Environment

October 11 @ 12:00 pm

Join the Urban Development Institute (UDI) and the Planning Institute of B.C. (PIBC) as part of our partnered event series,...

Read More

UDI All Star Jam for a Cause

October 12 @ 6:00 pm

Come and see industry leaders performing for a good cause! UDI is excited to welcome you to this extraordinary event...

Read More
View All