Municipal News- Vancouver
April 6, 2021
50% Off Passive House Course at BCIT
The City of Vancouver supports a deeply discounted Passive House tradespersons course at BCIT for trades/builders/sub-contractors/energy advisors/architects/engineers etc, that work in the city of Vancouver. It’s a great opportunity to get intensive and hands-on Passive House training for half the regular cost. The next course session is taking place April 20-June 22, 2021.
Course participants will: learn hands-on approaches to high performance buildings; earn BC Housing Group A CPD credits; and be eligible to write the exam to earn the Certified Passive House Tradesperson designation.
Check out https://www.bcit.ca/construction/passivediscovery/ and https://www.bcit.ca/study/courses/cesa1501 for more information.
March 23, 2021
Broadway Plan: Industry Update
Further to the consultation plan noted previously, the City of Vancouver held a meeting with builders active in the Broadway Plan area on March 12, 2021, see the slides here. Staff provided an update on several key elements that will form part of the new Plan, including:
- Places, such as designated villages, residential areas, centres, and industrial/employment areas;
- Affordable housing
- Community well-being including childcare facilities and social amenities;
- Jobs and economy;
- Transportation and street design; and
- A One Water approach through the Rain City Strategy, blue-green systems, and rainwater management systems.
A Survey is running until March 31st, if you are active in the Plan area, please take a few moments to complete the survey here.
March 9, 2021
RHS ODP Extension to C-2 Zones Public Hearing March 11, 2021
As previously mentioned, the City of Vancouver is considering extending the Rental Housing Stock ODP to C-2 Zones. A report will be going to public hearing next Thursday, March 11 at 6pm.
The report that Staff has developed lays out many serious issues with the proposed extension and we are very concerned with the negative impact that it will have on builders and landowners.
If you would like to sign up to speak or submit comments online, please use the links below:
Send Comments Online: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/contact-council-public-hearing.aspx.
If you would like to follow the meeting online there are a few options linked below:
Broadway Plan: Emerging Directions Engagement
The Broadway Plan’s Phase 2 Emerging Directions Virtual Open House is now live on the City’s website.
Open house materials detail proposed directions for land uses, housing, jobs, parks, public spaces and connections and amenities. The overall focus will be on how neighbourhoods will grow and manage change through a neighbourhood-based planning approach that recognizes the distinct communities, places, issues, and opportunities in Mount Pleasant, Fairview and Kitsilano.
How you can participate
- Get the highlights in the interactive StoryMaps
The Broadway Plan’s StoryMaps are an interactive web-based tool that combines maps, pictures, videos, and text to show you the highlights of the Broadway Plan’s Emerging Directions. To learn more visit our website.
- Read the full details in the online information boards
A set of files in PDF format, similar to the information boards you’d find at the COV’s in-person open houses, is also available on the City’s website to provide you the details about the important contextual information and emerging directions for all three neighbourhoods and area-wide policies.
- Share your feedback
What do you think about the emerging directions for Mount Pleasant, Fairview, or Kitsilano? What do you think of the area-wide policies?
- Tell the City in the survey by March 31. Take the survey.
- Have a question? Sign up for our “office hours” to speak to a Broadway Plan team member. Sign up here.
- Have a question about the Emerging Directions? Leave us a question on the “Questions” tabs on the Broadway Plan ShapeYourCity website
Sign-up for our workshops
The City of Vancouver is holding a series of virtual workshops, which focus on the highlights of the Emerging Directions, covering the neighbourhoods of the Broadway Plan and area-wide policy. To sign up, visit:
- Mount Pleasant (March 9): sign up here
- Fairview (March 10): sign up here
- Kitsilano (March 11): sign up here
- Broadway General (March 16): sign up here
Shape Your City Online Engagement: Proposed amendments to simplify height regulations
Regulation Redesign is working on simplifying and clarifying land use regulations to make them easier to understand. We’re proposing new definitions in Section 2 for “height” and “decorative roof”, and updating the definition for “base surface”. We’re also proposing amendments to Section 10.18 to modernize language and update terms, to provide more flexibility for rooftop amenity spaces and access, and to clarify decorative roof regulations.
Learn more about the proposed amendments to simplify and clarify height regulations and to share your feedback at Shape Your City. Comment form closes March 31, 2021.
Shape Your City: shapeyourcity.ca/regredesign-height
February 23, 2021
Last week, the City launched its Broadway Plan’s Phase 2 Emerging Directions Virtual Open House, which will be running between February 16 and March 31. The Broadway Plan will be a 30-year plan for the areas adjacent to the Broadway extension of the Millennium Line – between 1st Avenue, 16th Avenue, Vine Street and Clark Street. There are several opportunities to participate, including:
- A survey that will be available until March 31;
- Virtual Workshops for several sub-areas of the Plan –
Staff also released detailed online information boards for the Emerging Directions, many of which will be of interest to UDI members, including:
- Potential Adjustments to the View Corridors;
- Provisions to ensure sunlight on streets continue as well as the protection of green leafy streets;
- Exploring Commercial rent controls;
- Exploring “… opportunities for additional height/density for renewal of aging social and rental buildings over the long term,” but “… prevent speculation by restricting new density to social, below-market and market rental;”
- Continuing “… to require no net loss of rental housing and,” exploring “… options to replicate existing affordability levels or, with subsidies, achieve greater levels of affordability;”
- Developing “Options for right of first refusal into new housing for local residents;”
- Potential pre-zoning for rental and social housing;
- Expanding “… groundwater and rainwater management requirements for new development,” and establishing Blue-Green systems to manage rainwater;
- Establishing childcare targets, exploring opportunities for childcare being incorporated in work spaces; and integrating childcare into larger sites;
- Mitigating the displacement of food businesses;
- Having zero operating emission buildings including having zero emissions areas, and having “… allowances for simplified low carbon building forms;”
- Developing “Design guidelines to integrate climate change and seismic goals,” as well as to ensure good indoor air quality, noise reductions, thermal comfort and to make buildings adaptable to changing climate conditions;
- Developing embodied carbon targets for new construction;
- Developing policies for deep energy retrofits;
- An exploration of expanding the City’s District Energy System;
- Requirements for Community Benefit Agreements for projects of many sizes;
- Supporting “… additional density for strata ownership housing only to enable new below-market housing or other community amenities such as childcare or non-profit space;” and
- “… Exploring innovative funding options and tools for Growth needs that do not rely on CACs typically provided with additional strata density.”
The draft Broadway Plan is expected to be ready for Council consideration at the end of this year, please see the timeline below. UDI will keep members informed as the Plan moves forward.
Women4Climate Mentorship Program
In 2019, Vancouver became the eighth city to launch a local C40 Women4Climate Mentorship Program. Now in 16 cities worldwide, the W4C Mentorship Program aims to empower the next generation of climate leaders to create a healthier, greener, more resilient, and economically prosperous urban future.
Each year, mentees are matched with political and business sector leaders, as well as leaders from international and community organizations. Over the 10-month mentorship period, mentees:
- Receive knowledge, experience, and support from their mentors
- Partake in monthly leadership training and networking opportunities
- Network with local and international women working on their own climate initiatives
Are you working on a climate initiative that is advancing low carbon buildings and materials, active transportation and transit , complete communities, EV infrastructure, or carbon sequestration? Does your climate initiative actively work to reduce the systemic inequities experienced by residents throughout the city while meeting the needs of communities disproportionately impacted by climate change? If you live or work in Vancouver, this program may be for you.
To join this international community of emerging women climate leaders, apply before March 7th.
For more information about the mentorship program and to apply, visit vancouver.ca/w4c
For more information about Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, visit vancouver.ca/climateemergency
February 10, 2021
False Creek South Public Engagement
Between now and February 28, 2021, Vancouver residents and stakeholders are invited to participate in the False Creek South Lands: Opportunities for the Future consultation process. This public engagement seeks input about how 80 acres of City-owned lands in False Creek South could potentially be used to help address the housing affordability, and contribute to achieving other City priorities such as accelerating action on climate change; increasing the focus on equity and social issues; and protecting and building the local economy.
How to participate
The City is seeking input about options for the future of City-owned lands in False Creek South, which will help shape Vancouver. This includes the role of market housing units. Here’s how you can get involved:
- Participate in the Talk Vancouver online survey
- Attend an online information session and Q&A or small group meeting (see below)
- Send an email to FalseCreekSouthLands@vancouver.ca.
Online Events Schedule
|Small Group Meeting (False Creek South residents and stakeholders)||Tuesday February 16||12-1 pm|
|Small Group Meeting (City-wide stakeholders)||Tuesday February 16||6-7 pm|
|Small Group Meeting (City-wide stakeholders)||Wednesday February 17||12-1 pm|
|Public information and Q&A session||Wednesday February 17||6-7 pm|
|Small Group Meeting (False Creek South residents and stakeholders)||Thursday February 18||6-7 pm|
|Public information and Q&A session||Thursday February 25||6-7 pm|
Please register for an online event by clicking the name of the event above. Interested individuals are encouraged to register in advance, as space is limited. The City will send a link to join the meeting when they confirm your registration. Please Visit ShapeYourCity.ca/FCSLands for more information.
Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan (ODP) Extension to C-2 Zones
As noted in previous newsletters, UDI has raised concerns to the City of Vancouver regarding proposals to extend the Rental Housing Stock ODP (with the one-to-one replacement of rental units) to the C-2 zones since a Council motion that was introduced in Spring 2019. Unfortunately, Council adopted the idea in November 2019 as part of the approval of the Secured Rental Policy, which was intended to provide builders incentives to build more purpose built rental (PBR) housing in the Vancouver. UDI has met with staff and written/spoken to Council throughout the process about the ramifications of extending the Rental Housing Stock ODP to the C-2 areas. Following the presentation of a referral report, these changes were referred to public hearing at the February 9th Regular Council Meeting. The Public Hearing date is expected to be in early March 2021.
In their Report, staff identify “… impacts and implementation challenges …,” if Rental Housing Stock ODP is extended to the C-2 Zones. This includes the potential loss of $400 million to $550 million dollars in combined value for the 380 properties affected by the proposed change with individual property losses ranging from 10% to 50%.
City staff met with financial institutions, and in the Report, they note several concerns lenders raised, including the potential of rental providers being forced to payout their financial institutions or face foreclosure due to the loss in value of C-2 properties with rental units. In addition, “… lenders also expressed concerns related to their perception that the proposed changes signal instability in the regulatory regime, which increases risk from an investment perspective. This may impact their future decisions to continue to invest in Vancouver.”
UDI will provide updates to our members as this issue progresses.
On February 3, the City of Vancouver Broadway Planning Team announced a Phase 2 – Emerging Directions Virtual Open House that will take place between February 16 and March 31 on the ShapeYourCity website. The website will include information on the emerging policy directions for the 30-year Broadway Plan, as well as opportunities for feedback and further participation.
Boundaries of the Broadway Plan in purple.
January 26, 2021
Employment Lands and Economy Review (ELER) Quick Start Actions
As noted previously, the City of Vancouver recently completed their Employment Lands and Economy Review Phase 2 in October 2020. One of the primary deliverables of the in-depth analysis and engagement work completed throughout the ELER were the Emerging Directions which summarized what staff have heard to date and are intended to help guide future planning and engagement in the Vancouver Plan process. Details on the Emerging directions can be found through the link below.
In addition, four quick start actions stemming from the Phase 2 Report were approved on January 21st, 2021:
- Mount Pleasant I-1 Amendment and New I-1C District Schedule
- Downtown-Eastside/Oppenheimer District Official Development Plan Text Amendment – Retail Continuity Policy Review for Flexibility of Ground Floor Uses
- Development By-law Amendments to Remove Barriers to New Work-Only Artist Studios in Industrial Areas
- Initial Zoning and Development By-law Amendments to Support Neighbourhood Grocery Stores
The report summarizing the recommendations for each action is available here.
As noted in previous newsletters, UDI has been working with the City on its Regulation Redesign project, which is “… a comprehensive review of … land use regulations and related policy documents,” to simplify and clarify them. One of the issues addressed through the project is amendments made for balconies and decks that were approved last summer by Council. Please see the update below from the City Vancouver on the changes and a link to a recent bulletin they released on the issue.
“The City of Vancouver’s new bulletin on Balconies, Decks, Entries, Porches and Verandahs, Patios, and Roof Decks is live! Thanks to your input over the past two years, Council approved amendments on June 25, 2020 to update and improve consistency of regulations by introducing new definitions for balconies, decks, entries, porches and verandahs, patios and roof decks and updating regulations for these elements to make them more consistent between zones.
The new bulletin is a comprehensive document that explains the administration of these newly defined building elements. This topic-specific bulletin is available on the Zoning and land use document library at Vancouver.ca/zoning-library.
It will be used by applicants and staff to ensure a common understanding of these administrative practices. We invite you to use the new bulletin.
The bulletin provides information on these building elements including:
- Inclusions/exclusions from floor area calculations (e.g. for areas under balconies and decks, and for landings)
- Projections into required yards (e.g. for landings, eaves)
- Where patios can be located on site and how raised patios are regulated
- How Roof Decks are categorized and administered
Click here to read the new Balconies, Decks, Entries, Porches and Verandahs, Patios, and Roof Decks bulletin.
For questions, please contact the Regulation Redesign Team: RegRedesign@vancouver.ca
January 12, 2021
As noted in previous newsletters, UDI is participating on an External Group that is advising City staff regarding the Regulation Redesign Project – an initiative “… to simplify the City’s land use regulations, policies, and online tools to improve and streamline permit processing.” It is one of many initiatives Vancouver is conducting to improve process times. It is linked to the Development Process Redesign Project. There are also improvements being considered and reviewed by the Engineering and Development, Buildings and Licensing departments.
The goals of the Regulation Redesign Project include:
- “Simplify and clarify land use regulations to make them easier to understand and implement;
- Modernize regulations and language and improve the format of land use documents to make them more user-friendly;
- Improve the consistency of land use regulations and policies;
- Improve communication abo