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Old Posted Oct 11, 2010, 2:45 AM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Vancouver
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There used to be (i.e. following the opening of the Expo Line and in through the 1990s) a policy of the City not to rezone simply because of proximity to SkyTrain stations - I had seen it referenced in Council Minutes from the 1990s. That has only recently changed due to the Canada Line with precinct-wide rezonings. That's also the reason there are so many empty lots near Nanaimo Station - remember how old the Expo Line is - property prices were not sky-high when that line was built - so what else was preventing redevelopment? The City.

The City hasn't entertained the idea of up-zoning areas such as Broadway & Commercial until recently - and even then, that's on the Safeway site, not existing single family parcels. The Transit Village concept for the Broadway & Commercial precinct does not contemplate up-zoning single family housing on a precinct wide basis (which would allow developers to onsolidate lands without it being a case by case crap shoot as to whether rezoning would be allowed).

Found this article on transit-oriented development on a Google search:

A community-based process

Generally, the zoning in Vancouver has resulted from a planning process which has a long tradition of community involvement. Redevelopment is a sensitive issue anywhere in the world and particular efforts have been made by local authorities in Vancouver to consult with the mostly single-family housing areas to be affected by the changes.

For example, in the City of Vancouver, local area strategies were designed for residents and businesses located within a ten minute or 800m walk of stations. This was done through public meetings and the establishment of local advisory committees (City of Vancouver, 1987b).

The plans for intensifying development were pursued with the following specific aims and were supported by a series of specific strategies. The aims were to:

Provide new housing within station precincts without compromising the quality of life for existing residents;
Create sub-centers with diversity and character;
Encourage medium density residential development;
Encourage commercial, mixed use development;
Increase train patronage;
Reduce the impacts of rail generated traffic and parking problems (eg through enhancing the pedestrian environment);
Update facilities required to house future population increases such as parks and libraries;
(City of Vancouver, 1987a; City of Vancouver, 1987b; City of Vancouver, 1987c).

An important aspect of these local area strategies was that general, widespread redevelopment within the station precincts was not undertaken. Rather, development was concentrated on publicly owned vacant sites, land severely impacted by the rail system and under-utilised or derelict land (City of Vancouver, 1987a). Construction on only these land types helped to reduce community fears that the development was out of character for the local area and that re-development within the station precincts would compromise existing lifestyles.
Note the references for that article:.

City of Vancouver (1987a) Broadway Station area plan: Summary. City of Vancouver Planning Department, Vancouver.

City of Vancouver (1987b) Joyce Station area plan: Summary. City of Vancouver Planning Department, Vancouver.

City of Vancouver (1987c) Nanaimo/29th Avenue Station areas Plan: Summary. City of Vancouver Planning Department, Vancouver.
Here are two of them:

Broadway Station Area Plan Summary 1987

Nanaimo/29th Avenue Station Areas Plan Summary 1987


Broadway Station Area Plan

The preamble includes a tidbit about how CoV wanted to cut and cover (!!) under Commercial Drive ($14 million) but the Province didn't want to - talks broke down and the line ended up in the alley where it is today (and was never approved by the City of Vancouver along that segment).

The Plan also tells a story that should not be quickly forgotten. It is the story of a community's fight to overcome the physical reality of ALRT in its midst.

Nanaimo/29th Avenue Station Areas Plan

Under the heading "New Development Opportunities" this plan identifies the only sites tht would be allowed to up-zone to multi-family:

"Through discussion with the Nanaimo/29th Avenue Station Areas Planning Advisory Committee, it was agreed that wholesale redevelopment was not desirable but that residential development should be directed to sites meeting the following criteria:
- vacant city-owned sites
- sites severely impacted by ALRT
- sites zoned for uses other than residential
- sites either under-utilized or containing derelict properties.

... 21 sites were identified aong the ALRT alignment ...
... community input was received ...
Straw votes were held to determine resident support or opposition to redevelopment.
The sites recommended for rezoning and redevelopment in this chapter are the result of this process.
Maybe someone would like to compare the recommended sites with those that have actually been developed.
I think only sites 'G' (partially developed) and site 'P' have been developed. A satellite view on Google Maps shows many of the sites as vacant land and many still having single family homes.


I also found the following CD-1 Rezoning bylaws, which requires multi-family housing to be compatible with existing single family houses:



This is the large apartment complex next to Nanaimo Station:


Even the 2001 rezoning for the Broadway & Commercial area when the Millennium Line was built does not impose the precinct wide increases in density that are currently being proposed for the Canada Line precincts.
In 2001, the amended zoning bylaws provided for conditional zoning with height limits to be raised to a maximum of 18.4 metres but only immediately adjacent to the station.

Last edited by officedweller; Jun 28, 2016 at 8:35 PM.
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