Little Mountain Housing rezoning on hold. City and Holborn at an impasse over delivery of amenities

Little Mountain Housing Site

A rezoning application for the Little Mountain Housing site was submitted to the City of Vancouver on February 13, 2014. The detailed design and site layout was done by IBI/HB Architects and submitted on behalf of Holborn Properties. However, no details have been published on the City’s website, as the planning department and Holborn are at an impasse. The City is considering the Little Mountain rezoning application to be incomplete. The Planning Department needs further details on how the proposed public benefits and amenities are to be delivered.

The City’s Rezoning Centre webpage shows the following information about the application: “155 East 37th Avenue (Little Mountain) – Application Incomplete”. It’s possible to view the full set of submitted drawings in person at 515 West 10th Avenue during business hours by making an appointment with one the planners assigned to this project.

The following specifications are included in the current rezoning application:

  • Density – Maximum 2.5 FSR (total gross floor space ratio), based on the gross parcel area of 61,846.14 m2 (665,705.67 sq. ft.), before subtracting areas to be dedicated to the City.
  • Height – Maximum 36.6 m (120 ft.) In addition, maximum number of storeys apply for each individual parcel.
  • Site coverage –  Minimum gross building coverage ratio 40%
  • UsesResidential uses plus supporting local retail / commercial uses, Neighbourhood House, and Daycare.
  • Residential Parking – Minimum 1 space per 100 m2 or 1.5 spaces per unit, whichever is less. Maximum 2 spaces per unit.
  • Visitor Parking – Minimum 0.075 spaces per unit. Maximum 0.15 spaces per unit.
  • All other Parking / Loading According to Parking By-law
  • Site area – 6.18 hectares (15.3 acres)
  • Floor area ranges per land use:
    • Market residential – 125,285 – 129,415 m2 (1,348,555 – 1,393,010 sq. ft.)
    • Non-market residential – 21,835 – 25,550 m2 (235,030 – 275,018 sq. ft.)
    • Retail/Commercial – 1,485 – 1,625 m2 (15,984 – 17,491 sq. ft.)
    • Neighbourhood House – 1,115 – 1,255 m2 (12,002 – 13,509 sq. ft.)
    • Daycare – 765 – 900 m2 (8,234 – 9,688 sq. ft.)
  • Total proposed floor area – 154,615 m2 (1,664,265 sq. ft.)

53 units of non-market housingA new 5-storey building with 53 units of non-market housing has been constructed on the site; residents will likely start moving into the building in September or October. Another 181 units of non-market housing still need to be constructed at Little Mountain. No other buildings are currently being built; all new buildings are being considered as part of the rezoning application. Five phases are being proposed in the rezoning, with completion dates of 2017, 2020, 2022, 2024 and 2025. The remaining non-market housing would be delivered near the beginning of the project schedule. The completion dates assume that the rezoning application goes through. This proposal is stalled as there is no clear plan on how the amenities will be delivered.

The Little Mountain Policy Statement was approved by Council on June 27, 2012.

Replacement non-market housing units may be significantly smaller than the ones that are being replaced in area; a total of 234 non-market units were determined (approximate Gross Floor Area of 230,000 square feet). The final price of the land sale from BC Housing to Holborn Properties is unknown. The land title records for the site shows the following market value for the land when it changed hands:

Sale / Transfer Market Value Date consideration
Holborn (from BC Housing) $87,200,000 06/13/2013 $10
BC Housing (from CMHC) $61,354,000 01/18/2007 $1
Difference $25,846,000

For further background details, see our previous posts:

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