Council Report and Policy Changes Proposed in Response to Public Input

Referral Report Now Live

The referral report Streamlining Rental around Local Shopping Areas - Amendments to the C-2, C-2B, C-2C, and C-2C1 Zones and Creation of New Rental Zones for Use in Future Rezoning Applications in Surrounding Low Density Areas Under the Secured Rental Policy is now posted on the City's website. Council will consider the report for referral on Tuesday, October 5th.

The report contains details of proposed changes that would help create more complete neighbourhoods that include a range of “missing middle” secure market and below-market rental housing, strengthen and grow local shopping streets and reduce carbon pollution by allowing more people to live close to shopping, transit and daily needs. As quick start actions of the Vancouver Plan, the proposed changes would make it faster and easier to build new secured rental housing in these areas, and could help deliver over 4,000 new rental units over the next 10 years.

Should Council refer the recommendations to a Public Hearing, a date is expected to be scheduled in early November. Please stay tuned for details and more information on how you can submit your comments or speak to Council directly at the Public Hearing.

A full engagement summary can be found in Appendix K of the report, including survey results and key themes from what we have heard from the public.

Key Changes Made in Response to Public Engagement

Several key changes to the proposed actions to streamline rental housing, as well as to related City policies, have been made in response to public feedback received during the engagement that has been undertaken over the last three years, including:

Simplifying and clarifying the locational criteria and map

  • Focusing eligibility on areas near existing shopping streets and public transit routes
  • Applying eligibility to the entire first block adjacent to an arterial, as opposed to a distance-based requirement

Mitigating impact on existing renters and rental housing

  • Extending the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan to C-2 Zones to protect more than 3,000 rental units and ensure there is no net loss of rental in these areas.
  • Removing RT-5, RT-7, RT-8 and RT-10 zones from eligibility for rezoning to protect areas with higher proportions of existing rental housing and character homes in Kitsilano and Kensington-Cedar Cottage.

Affordability of new rental housing

  • Enabling more diverse “missing middle” secured rental housing options in neighbourhoods across Vancouver that are affordable to a wide range of renter households, including those that cannot afford homeownership.
  • Enabling more new permanently secured below-market rental units by requiring they be included in all six-storey buildings in RS and RT areas under the SRP.

Creating more complete neighbourhoods and supporting local businesses

  • Allowing new mixed-use buildings in and near existing shopping nodes on sites that do no have existing businesses, which may reduce development pressure on sites with existing businesses.
  • Working on a Commercial Tenant Assistance Program through the Employment Lands and Economy Review.
  • Allowing a modest height increase to improve ground floor commercial spaces in new buildings.

Strengthening the public realm in and around local shopping areas

  • Enable wider sidewalks by requiring greater building setbacks.
  • Minimizing shadows on shopping streets through flexible setback requirements.

Climate Emergency and Green Buildings

  • Requiring all projects under the SRP to be near-zero emissions buildings, further aligning with Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan

Supplementary Materials – Architectural Testing

In 2020, the City contracted independent architectural firms to perform design analysis on the proposed amendments to the C-2 zones and new standard district schedules for use in future rezonings in low density (RS/RT) areas. Memos summarizing the results of this work that supplement the Council report can be found here.

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