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How will the Interim Rezoning Policy affect Kitsilano?

Vancouver is a great place to live. And more and more people around the world are starting to agree. There is one little issue though. Vancouver is a city that’s dominated by single detached homes. So while more people are looking to buy into our real estate, Vancouver is struggling to match up with the demand.

Affordable Housing Interim Rezoning Policy

In 2012, the government introduced a new interim rezoning policy that may affect single-family homes along arterial roads. Put simply, single-family lots along arterial roads can be consolidated into mid-rise rental apartment buildings or townhouses.

The rental proposal will only work if the land is of moderate pricing.

“With no additional density value, the developer could offer a bit more than single family value to make the rental housing proposal work.”

Covalent Advisory Group

The interim policy has been specifically designed to provide more housing supply in Vancouver by means of incentives for developers via waiving development fees or more generous FSR, thereby increasing density. There is hope that it will make it easier for everyone looking for a place to live. All of the units from the building will be rental.

Amendments to the Policy

On June 20, 2018, City Council removed the maximum cap of 20 rezoning applications.

The policy does have a spacing requirement between projects. This means that no more than two projects can be considered within 10 blocks along an arterial street.

Areas that will be affected

Source: Map by City of Vancouver

There are two types of areas that will be affected:

The first locations of interest are sites facing an arterial street that are along Translink’s Frequent Transit Network and also within walking distance of local shopping areas. It should take the renters no more than 5 minutes to get to their shopping destinations. These buildings will be mid-rise and not exceed a maximum of 6 storeys.

The second locations type are sites that are approximately 100 metres from an arterial street. These buildings will be made up of 3 ½ storey house/duplexes/townhouses, or four storey apartments.

What the new interim policy means for Kitsilano

With this new policy, Kitsilano may see a surge of new faces moving into the neighbourhood. It seems that the city is working very hard to increase affordable homes for everyone.

The interim policy seems to be directly related to the planning process regarding the Broadway Corridor. There is a lot up for debate, including height, density and the amount of strata versus rental property is allowed. The Broadway Plan is expected to take 2 years to complete.

The density that is expected is undetermined, but the planning for the transit is in place to help with any transportation issues.

Other concerns that have been expressed regarding the interim policy is about height. In 2016, the City Hall Watch wrote, “The staff proposal shows many streets where permitted building heights would be increased to 3.5 storeys and/or up to 6 storeys. These areas, especially for 6 storeys, encroach into RS, RT and RM zones, putting heritage, character and older affordable rentals and owner-occupied units at risk of demolition.”

As far as we understand, the height of the buildings may differ from area to area.

These changes could be a great thing for Kitsilano. With the Millenium expansion, getting around the city will definitely shave off some time from our busy lifestyles. We are also definitely looking forward to more affordable housing in place occupied by new members of the community with steady income in meaningful employment. Kitsilano may see an increase in young, vibrant life; more single working professionals, newly-weds, and young families will contribute to the uniqueness of the neighbourhood. No matter what happens, we look forward to seeing how Kitsilano will shape and grow in the near future.

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