Staff tell Council they’re ready for show time (a public hearing) on ‘Regulation Redesign’ (Simplifying Height Regulations and *Miscellaneous* Amendments). But is this ready yet?

Photo: Photo from page 61/101 of the June 8 staff report makes the point clear. Vancouver has *A LOT* of regulations! If City Council gives the report a green light on June 8, 2021, the contents are basically a done deal. But Council and the public need more time, more analysis, more discussion. 

(To be updated, more to be added)  

Regulation Redesign – Simplifying Height Regulations and Miscellaneous Amendments (101 pages, PDF) – https://council.vancouver.ca/20210608/documents/rr1.pdf

With “Regulation Redesign: simplifying rules for city building,” the City is trying to identify when zoning and building rules and regulations are unnecessarily confusing, in conflict with one another, or needing modification or possibly elimination. The city wants to simplify and clarify its land use regulations and policies to improve ease of use and reduce permit processing times. It also wants to modernize its wide array of applicable documents since many were first drafted decades ago. Subsequent revisions and modifications have just added to the confusion. The city expects the outcomes of this “Regulation Redesign” to be an updated zoning and development bylaw with a more user-friendly format, along with more consistent regulations and greater clarity on the purpose of various land use documents. (Quoting from Michael Geller, Vancouver is Awesome, March 2020)

In this report for June 8, City of Vancouver staff are saying their proposed regulation changes are ready for a final decision at a public hearing. The recommendations have about 30 subsections, but the real punchline is this recommendation: “That the application be referred to a Public Hearing.” We know from repeated observations over more than the past decade that when a referral report gets sent to a public hearing, virtually nothing changes after that; it becomes a done deal. Flexibility on the contents basically stops cold at that point. 

The report has 101 pages including appendices, is very technical in nature, and was made public less than a week before Council is expected to OK it and refer it onward to a public hearing.

City Council needs to seriously examine and debate this report. Recommended reading – (The numbers show who’s in charge at (Toronto) city hall. How about Vancouver?)

From what we are hearing, it is not ready for show time.

For background reading, see this Shape Your City page – https://shapeyourcity.ca/regredesign-height

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods has written to Council (link). Excerpts:

CVN is concerned about so many different unrelated issues being combined under one report as an omnibus.  Changes to height regulations are complex and would have impacts on the form of development so should be in a report on its own. Please send this report back to staff to prepare a separate report for the changes to height regulations so that it goes into more detail as to how the changes will affect the size of buildings in various zones. Further, please give more explanation in the report recommendations for RM8 zones regarding infill. Please do not combine unrelated items into one report that would change the form of development. Each item that proposes changes to form or use need separate reports and more explanation on what these changes mean, with consultation of affected neighbourhoods.

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RELATED

City of Vancouver wants input into cutting red tape in its building permit procedures – ‘Regulation Redesign’ aims to simplify rules for city building (Michael Geller, Vancouver Is Awesome, 9-Mar-2020) – https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/courier-archive/opinion/city-of-vancouver-wants-input-into-cutting-red-tape-in-its-building-permit-procedures-3118493

 

 

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