Our Community, Our City
We try to review all development permit applications for our neighbourhood, with a view to ensuring that by-laws are enforced and that designs, including site plans, elevations, set-backs, and any non-conforming uses are consistent with WKRA goals, including especially community livability.
Full details of all development permit applications, including site plans and elevations, are available on the City of Vancouver Development Application site at http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/
Council’s Proposed Rental Housing Policy will Transform Much of West Kitsilano
Proposed Zoning Changes have had NO Neighbourhood Process for Input
On November 26th, City planners presented an omnibus type report to City Council on a numerous policies related to rental housing in Vancouver. Most of their recommendations were approved with minor amendments. Several, if adopted, will have a large and transformative impact on the West Kitsilano neighbourhood.
Market Rental Transition Zones for Four Storey Apartment Rezonings
In a split vote, 8 to 3 (Councillors Bligh, Hardwick, and Swanson opposed) Council approved a recommendation to have planners further develop an ‘off-the-shelf’ four- storey market rental apartment zone that would be applied right across the city to areas that meet the policy for rental apartment rezoning. Blue areas drawn on their City map show large parts of West Kitsilano as being available for rezonings.
Rezonings from RT7 and RT8, our current zoning, to four-storey market rental apartment buildings would be considered for areas within 150 metres (492 feet) of arterials that are also within 400 metres of parks or schools.
There was no neighbourhood-based planning process to discuss and consider this change.
The map that accompanied the report shows that both sides of most of West Third, West Fifth, and West Eighth Avenues as well as MacDonald St. would be part of this ‘transition zone’. This map was for illustration only and an analysis of the actual policy indicates that areas along north/south streets such as Stephens and Bayswater would also likely be affected, as well as streets such as West Sixth and West Seventh in the blocks close to MacDonald St.
We are one of the few RT areas in the City and the only character zoned area being considered for this policy!
The affected streets include more than 5% of the city’s heritage registered properties. While the small number of “heritage designated” properties will still be protected as they are now, there is no special consideration being given for other properties on the heritage register or for character houses that are not on the register.
Many houses in the affected areas contain rental units. We are conducting a housing survey to also estimate how many existing rental units will be put at risk.
If this policy is approved for West Kitsilano, it will be a fundamental change. Land assembly will begin; property values will likely decline from current levels to be lot value only; and owners will likely stop renovations and maintenance. Four-storey apartments will lead to over-shadowing of adjacent properties.
We appreciate that planners have responded to the many questions we have asked about this proposed policy and we hope to meet with them soon.
This is not a final decision. Planners are to report back to City Council with more detailed zoning in March or April.
Illustrations created by the City planners show what the results of these rezonings might look like:
(From Page 49 of the Staff Presentation)
For more information see: