Interim Rezoning Policy for Kitsilano and West Point Grey (WPG) and how they apply to a major current proposal at Broadway and Alma

Here is a comment from CityHallWatch relating to developments for Kitsilano and West Point Grey (WPG), for the record. This is relevant for an application to rezone a site at the corner of West Broadway and Alma, going before a reconvened rezoning Public Hearing on October 28, 2020, starting 3 pm. It is for a 172 foot tower proposed at 3701-3743 West Broadway (related link here).

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Below are links to the Interim Rezoning Policy for Kitsilano and West Point Grey that was passed by Vancouver City Council in April 2019 covering all of Kitsilano and WPG.

Note that the stated intention of the Interim Rezoning Policy is based on typical planning language:

“Generally rezonings will not be supported by staff and recommended to Council in the Broadway area west of Vine until the city-wide plan and/or future area planning is completed, in order to not pre-empt or divert the planning process with rezonings which set new directions or preclude options that could emerge during the process.

While there are some exceptions, including for 100% secured rentals and projects that had an active rezoning application, the intent of the Interim Rezoning Policy should be considered as to whether or not this would set a precedent for future planning that could “divert the planning process with rezonings which set new directions or preclude options that could emerge during the process.

The proposed 14 storey tower at 3701-3743 West Broadway (and Alma) is clearly not consistent with the intent of the Interim Rezoning Policy for Kitsilano and WPG.

Increasing Uncertainty Regarding Transit System

Some points to consider:

  • COVID-19 has put the viability of the transit system in jeopardy by reducing demand, by accelerating the move towards working and schooling from home, by changing housing demand to lower height ground-oriented forms of buildings, and by increasing financial stress from lower transit usage.
  • There is increasing uncertainty about the concept of a subway being extended to UBC. All considered, it is looking much less likely now.
  • If an extension of the subway is eventually approved at some time in the future, it is uncertain where stations would be located, whether at Alma St. or on the Jericho Lands, or elsewhere.

Therefore it is entirely premature for staff to be recommending and for City Council to be approving precedents of a large scale like the current application for Alma & Broadway. This one was initially considered based on assumptions that no longer apply. Approval of this proposal would create significant development expectations and land speculation for Kitsilano and WPG. That would then risk the loss of existing affordable housing while creating expensive new density, without the transit to support it.

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REFERENCES


Interim Rezoning Policy for Kits & WPG as approved April 23, 2019
Minutes: https://council.vancouver.ca/20190423/documents/regu20190423min.pdf

FINAL MOTON AS APPROVED

A. THAT Council approve a revised form of Council’s Emergency Interim Rezoning Policy for Broadway Corridor to UBC motion from March 6, 2019, attached as Appendix A.1 of the Memorandum dated April 23, 2019, entitled “Staff Advice on “Emergency Interim Rezoning Policy for Broadway Corridor to UBC” Motion”.

B. THAT Council approve the two consequential policies: Policy on Consideration of Rezoning Applications and Heritage Revitalization Agreements in the Broadway area west of Vine and Development Contribution Expectations in Areas Undergoing Community Planning, attached as Appendices B and C of the Administrative Report dated April 16, 2019, entitled “Staff Advice on “Emergency Interim Rezoning Policy for Broadway Corridor to UBC” Motion”.

C. THAT if opportunities arise for Affordable Home Ownership, through the program proposed by BC Housing and/or Vancouver achieves a change to the Vancouver Charter allowing the Affordable Home Ownership Pilot Program to move forward, that the Director of Planning bring forward necessary amendments to the proposed interim rezoning policy.


April 23, 2019 Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20190423/regu20190423ag.htm

Report:
Staff Advice on “Emergency Interim Rezoning Policy for Broadway Corridor to UBC” Motion
Here: https://council.vancouver.ca/20190423/documents/a1.pdf

APPENDIX A.1 PAGE 1 OF 1
Draft Motion for Council’s consideration:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

A. THAT Council direct staff to identify the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano (west of Vine Street) and West Point Grey for interim rezoning policies and speculation mitigation for the upcoming city-wide plan and local area planning initiatives, except for the MST-owned land area as identified in the concurrent Jericho Lands Policy Planning Program.

B. THAT Council direct staff to explore the use of rental only zoning in the Broadway Plan area through the Broadway Planning Process, and in the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano and West Point Grey, through the City-wide plan process or other robust, collaborative and equitable planning processes to enhance the protection of renters and limit speculation in response to transit infrastructure investment.

C. THAT Council direct staff to extend the Broadway Plan Interim Rezoning Policy (Policy on Consideration of Rezoning Applications and Heritage Revitalization Agreements during the Broadway Planning Process) to the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano and West Point Grey, that generally rezonings will not be considered while the planning process is underway, with the following exceptions:

a. Where, at the time of adoption of this rezoning policy, there is an active rezoning application or where a recent application for rezoning advice has been received, and the applicant has received a written response stating that a rezoning application would be considered (within the past three years), the application will be considered;

b. Rezoning applications will be considered for projects involving 100% social and supportive housing, or community care facilities or group residence, or 100% below market rental housing, or 100% affordable student housing associated with educational institutions;

c. Rezoning applications which seek relief from any of the terms of this rezoning policy may be considered under exceptional circumstances once reported to Council for, at the discretion of the Director of Planning; and

d. Heritage Revitalization Agreement applications where a heritage or character building is at risk of demolition.

D. THAT Council amend the Development Cost Expectation (DCE) policy to include the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano (West of Vine Street) and West Point Grey.

E. THAT land use in the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano (west of Vine Street) and West Point Grey be planned through future collaborative neighbourhood-based and city-wide planning processes


APPENDIX B PAGE 1 OF 2

Interim Rezoning Policy on Consideration of Rezoning Applications and Heritage Revitalization Agreements for the Broadway area west of Vine

Generally rezonings will not be supported by staff and recommended to Council in the Broadway area west of Vine until the city-wide plan and/or future area planning is completed, in order to not pre-empt or divert the planning process with rezonings which set new directions or preclude options that could emerge during the process.

The policies below will govern any exceptions that allow consideration of applications for rezoning advice (enquiries), rezoning applications, and development applications with Heritage Revitalization Agreements, during the city-wide and/or future area planning processes. Once adopted, the policy will apply until such time as the city-wide and/or future area planning is approved by Council.

Policy 1: Where, at the time of adoption of this rezoning policy, there is an active rezoning application or where a recent application for rezoning advice has been received, and the applicant has received a written response stating that a rezoning application would be considered (within the past three years), the application will be considered.

Policy 2: Rezoning applications will be considered for projects involving social and supportive housing, community care facilities or group residences, secured market rental housing, secured below market rental housing, and affordable student housing associated with educational institutions.

Policy 3: Rezoning applications which seek relief from any of the terms of this rezoning policy may be considered under exceptional circumstances once reported to Council for direction, at the discretion of the Director of Planning.

Policy 4: Heritage Revitalization Agreement applications will be considered where a heritage or character building is at risk of demolition.

Policy 5: Rezoning applications will be considered in the cases of housekeeping amendments and minor text amendments to existing CD-1s which are not related to height or density increases (e.g. altering the mix of commercial uses in an existing building). This would include public consultation and a public hearing.


APPENDIX B PAGE 2 OF 2
Map of Broadway area west of Vine, excluding the Jericho lands planning program

 

The emphasis should be on the IRP requirement for a collaborative neighbourhood-based process, which the C2 rezoning isn’t.

But note that in the report states that Appendix B refers to rental only zoning that is specific to parts of Broadway and W. 10th in the C2 zones shown as hatched in the below map, not all the C2 zones.

From page 3 of the report:

The proposed Policy on Consideration of Rezoning Applications and Heritage Revitalization Agreements in the Broadway area west of Vine (Appendix B) will limit Council’s consideration of most rezoning applications until a comprehensive plan has been completed, except for applications that include moderate income and/or secured market rental housing options within the C-2, C-2C, and C-2C1 zoned sites fronting onto Broadway, generally between Larch Street and Alma Street, as well as where fronting onto West 10th Avenue generally between Alma Street and Tolmie Street (these areas are shown in Figure 2 below in the hatched areas referred to as “Focus Areas”). All rezoning applications that meet the conditions of the proposed interim rezoning policy would still require a full rezoning process that includes public consultation and Council’s consideration through a Public Hearing process.

Pages 4-5 states:

2. Explore the use of rental only zoning to enhance the protection of renters and limit speculation
In July 2018, the provincial government enacted legislation that amended the Local Government Act and the Vancouver Charter to provide local governments with a new authority to zone for residential rental tenure. The Broadway Planning program is underway and will explore rental-only zoning within its planning boundary (Clark Drive to Vine Street). Staff support exploring the opportunity for rental only zoning in the Broadway area west of Vine as part of the city-wide plan and/or future area planning is completed.

Appendix B outlines an Interim Rezoning Policy for the Broadway area west of Vine, that would allow rezoning applications to be considered for projects involving social and supportive housing, community care facilities or group residences, secured market rental, secured below market rental housing, and affordable student housing associated with educational institutions.

The report states that the Appendix B is related to the Focus Area on Broadway and 10th Ave. in the hatched area, not for all of the C2 zones.
Unfortunately, none of this detail from the report is shown in the map in Appendix B, but it is clearly implied.

 

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