Density bonuses affect many millions of dollars for Vancouver and have a major impact on the shape of our city. This rezoning application at 1569 West 6th should represent the City of Vancouver’s best practices for transparency and disclosure of density bonuses and transfers to developers. Why? Because of a motion in July 2010 (see below) on this topic committing City staff to do so. So how does this application stand up? Also, note that on this website, going forward, we’ll try to tabulate and compile the best available information about major density bonuses and transfers–at least to fill in any gaps that the City is leaving in the disclosure of this critical information.
On July 8, 2010, Council approved this motion by Clr Suzanne Anton. This rezoning at 1569 West 6th is a good opportunity to review how it’s working out. Read the fine print of the staff report from the Planning Department. Is the public getting enough information now to know what it is getting and what it’s paying for it? Text of the approved motion is below. Download in PDF Accounting for Density Motion, approved, 8-July-2010, penv5.
TEXT OF MOTION
Accounting for Density
Item No. 5
Planning & Environment Committee
July 8, 2010
MOVED BY: Councillor Suzanne Anton
SECONDED BY: Councillor Ellen Woodsworth
1. The City approves a number of development applications every year which result in additional density, and those approvals result in a variety of public benefits, including heritage retention, public spaces, childcare, and more recently, under the STIR program, rental housing;
2. The calculation of the value of density is complex and not always easily understood by the general public;
3. Density transactions do not form part of the City’s financial statements or annual reporting;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
A. THAT staff reports involving the approval of additional density be written to provide sufficient detail so as to enhance the transparency of density transactions while respecting proprietary information and private sector confidentiality.
B. THAT staff be directed to report back annually on the additional density approved each year, showing the financial implications to the city and the public benefits achieved.
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