2086-2098 W 7th Ave and 2091 W 8th Ave rezoning application

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We would like your feedback on a rezoning application at 2086-2098 W 7th Ave and 2091 W 8th Ave. The proposal is to allow for the development of a 13-storey residential building. The zoning would change from RM-4 (Residential) District to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. This proposal includes:

  • 140 social housing units
  • A floor space ratio (FSR) of 4.42
  • A net floor area of 7,948 sq. m (85,551 sq. ft.)
  • A building height of 50 m (164 ft.)
  • 6 vehicle parking spaces and 154 bicycle parking spaces

The application is being considered under the Affordable Housing Policies.


Announcements

May 3, 2022

The original rezoning application, received in October 2021, proposed that all 140 social housing units with supports be rented at the shelter component of income assistance.

Following staff review of the proposal, as well as of comments and feedback received during the rezoning application's Virtual Open House and comment period, the number of units has been reduced to 129 units, and the affordability mix was adjusted to: approximately 50% at the shelter component of income assistance (currently $375/month) and 50% at rents-geared-to-income (RGI) for households earning up to 50% of BC Housing's Housing Income Limits (HILs) (currently max $719/month).

January 20, 2022

Shadow studies comparing the proposed 13-storey rezoning application with a 6-storey building that could be built under the site’s existing RM-4 (Residential) District zoning, from September to June, are now available online, here: [LINK]

December 6, 2021

The minutes from the Nov. 10 Urban Design Panel meeting on this item are now available online, here: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/urban-design-panel.aspx.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why is the UDP meeting on Nov. 10th not streamed live on the internet?

Due to the high level of interest in the November 10 UDP meeting, a video live stream will be made publicly available, as best that current technology will allow, as we transition to in-person only meetings. The live stream can be accessed at: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/urban-design-panel.aspx, or in person from the 1st floor media gallery at City Hall.

The Urban Design Panel provides expert advice to staff and Council and is not a forum for direct public input. The public may observe meetings in progress but may not address the panel. Minutes of the meeting are available online two weeks after the meeting.

Members of the public who wish to comment on this application may do so at any time using the comment form below, or by participating in the virtual open house using the “Ask a Question” tab below.

Q: Why are you considering this site ahead of a decision on the Broadway Plan?

A: This site at Arbutus and 8th is being considered ahead of the Broadway Plan being approved because social and supportive housing is allowed to go ahead under the current Interim Rezoning Policy (IRP). In recognition of the continuing need for non-market housing in Vancouver for people experiencing homelessness and low-income households, the Broadway IRP allows consideration of rezoning applications for projects involving 100% social and supportive housing. You can find out more about the Broadway Plan proposal, including building heights and uses, and public consultation activities at this website: https://shapeyourcity.ca/broadway-plan.


In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), an extended online question and answer (Q&A) period was held in place of an in-person open house for this project.




Referred to Public Hearing

On May 17, 2022 City Council referred this application to a Public Hearing.

Give feedback to City Council:

Send your comments online

or via mail to:

City of Vancouver, City Clerk’s Office

453 West 12th Avenue, Third Floor

Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4

Or request to speak, starting approximately one week before the meeting.

Your comments and name will be published in the meeting record.

We would like your feedback on a rezoning application at 2086-2098 W 7th Ave and 2091 W 8th Ave. The proposal is to allow for the development of a 13-storey residential building. The zoning would change from RM-4 (Residential) District to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. This proposal includes:

  • 140 social housing units
  • A floor space ratio (FSR) of 4.42
  • A net floor area of 7,948 sq. m (85,551 sq. ft.)
  • A building height of 50 m (164 ft.)
  • 6 vehicle parking spaces and 154 bicycle parking spaces

The application is being considered under the Affordable Housing Policies.


Announcements

May 3, 2022

The original rezoning application, received in October 2021, proposed that all 140 social housing units with supports be rented at the shelter component of income assistance.

Following staff review of the proposal, as well as of comments and feedback received during the rezoning application's Virtual Open House and comment period, the number of units has been reduced to 129 units, and the affordability mix was adjusted to: approximately 50% at the shelter component of income assistance (currently $375/month) and 50% at rents-geared-to-income (RGI) for households earning up to 50% of BC Housing's Housing Income Limits (HILs) (currently max $719/month).

January 20, 2022

Shadow studies comparing the proposed 13-storey rezoning application with a 6-storey building that could be built under the site’s existing RM-4 (Residential) District zoning, from September to June, are now available online, here: [LINK]

December 6, 2021

The minutes from the Nov. 10 Urban Design Panel meeting on this item are now available online, here: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/urban-design-panel.aspx.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why is the UDP meeting on Nov. 10th not streamed live on the internet?

Due to the high level of interest in the November 10 UDP meeting, a video live stream will be made publicly available, as best that current technology will allow, as we transition to in-person only meetings. The live stream can be accessed at: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/urban-design-panel.aspx, or in person from the 1st floor media gallery at City Hall.

The Urban Design Panel provides expert advice to staff and Council and is not a forum for direct public input. The public may observe meetings in progress but may not address the panel. Minutes of the meeting are available online two weeks after the meeting.

Members of the public who wish to comment on this application may do so at any time using the comment form below, or by participating in the virtual open house using the “Ask a Question” tab below.

Q: Why are you considering this site ahead of a decision on the Broadway Plan?

A: This site at Arbutus and 8th is being considered ahead of the Broadway Plan being approved because social and supportive housing is allowed to go ahead under the current Interim Rezoning Policy (IRP). In recognition of the continuing need for non-market housing in Vancouver for people experiencing homelessness and low-income households, the Broadway IRP allows consideration of rezoning applications for projects involving 100% social and supportive housing. You can find out more about the Broadway Plan proposal, including building heights and uses, and public consultation activities at this website: https://shapeyourcity.ca/broadway-plan.


In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), an extended online question and answer (Q&A) period was held in place of an in-person open house for this project.




Referred to Public Hearing

On May 17, 2022 City Council referred this application to a Public Hearing.

Give feedback to City Council:

Send your comments online

or via mail to:

City of Vancouver, City Clerk’s Office

453 West 12th Avenue, Third Floor

Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4

Or request to speak, starting approximately one week before the meeting.

Your comments and name will be published in the meeting record.

​The virtual open house and Q&A has concluded. Thank you for participating.

The opportunity to ask questions through the Q&A is available from November 1 to 21, 2021. 

We post all questions as-is and aim to respond within two business days. Some questions may require coordination with internal departments and additional time may be needed to post a response.

Please note that the comment form will remain open after the virtual open house time period. The Rezoning Planner can also be contacted directly for any further feedback or questions.

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    The City is in a “partnership” with BC Housing to build this project. How can the public be reassured that the City is acting with impartiality (ie respecting the opinions from the public without biases)?

    KCC asked 7 months ago

    When the City contributes land to the development of social, supportive housing the City (“Council”) have two roles to play: one as the land owner and another as land use regulator. When this site is considered for rezoning following a Public Hearing, members of Council act with an open mind as a land use regulator. It is important to understand that the rezoning process is a land use decision, in which the applicant is seeking Council approval to alter the height and density of the land pursuant to a zoning by-law. Should this project and the applicable zoning be approved by Council following a public hearing, then Council would act as the land owner when considering leasing the site to BC Housing.

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    Do mental health and addiction advocates agree that the community is best served by grouping this many people together? It would seem that a better environment would be to have many smaller projects so that there is potential for people to integrate with the neighbourhood. I am also still very confused about the anticipated tenant mix. Are all people needing a home single? What about a mom with a child? Will 100% of the units be social. I get suspicious by the cited "minimum 30% social". If the developer "can't" rent to the stated demographic, can they then rent them out at maximum prices? So we get sucked into wanting to support folks and then end up with a huge, ugly building that's just another high priced rental building?

    Rosalie asked 7 months ago

    The proposed building is designed for individuals experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness and we know from data that this is primarily single adults. The studio apartments are designed to be for an individual and not multiple people. People experiencing or at risk of homelessness are not all the same – they can be young people, seniors, mothers, people with disabilities, and anyone who has experienced trauma, poverty, or has struggled with the high cost of housing. Should this application be approved, the City would lease the site to the Province and ensure that the entire property is registered as social housing on title through a legal agreement.

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    There have been questions about the proximity of supportive housing developments to schools, and you've responded with a 500 m answer. Simple math tells us that is 20 times greater in distance than this development to the nearest school. Just to compare, the distance between the proposed development and Lord Tennyson (which is at Maple and 10th) is 600m. Again, what is the closest current support development in Vancouver to the nearest school please? Or provide us with the location of the nearest example and we can look it up on Google Maps.

    Kurt asked 6 months ago

    As proximity to schools is not a limitation or requirement of  strata, rental, social or supportive housing applications, the City doesn’t track or maintain the data you are asking about. Information on all of the City’s non-market inventory (social, supportive, and co-ops) can be found here: https://app.vancouver.ca/NonMarketHousing_NET/default.aspx, and the locations of public schools are available on the VSB’s website ttps://www.vsb.bc.ca/School/directory/Pages/default.aspx, should a member of the public wish to explore this question.

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    Has there been any consideration in this rezoning application for the feedback received around May of this year through the neighbourhood consultation session conducted by BC Housing, and if so can you please point those considerations to us?

    Kurt asked 6 months ago

    As part of the regulatory review, staff are assessing how public feedback received prior to, and during the application stage has been considered by the applicant team in their proposal. At Public Hearing, staff will present Council with a report that includes a summary of public feedback and how the proposal has responded to it.

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    1 - Why is this development so large and dense in this particular area? Please list the reasons. There are no private buildings of this size. 2 - Please present the police plan for the area. 3 - How does the city plan to deal with needle accidental poisoning in a playground area near a school?

    HB asked 6 months ago

    This site is being considered for a potential 13-storey building for a number of reasons, all of which would enable BC Housing and the City to help as many people as possible into safe, warm new homes and optimize the potential development of the site. The site is currently vacant and is close to public transit on Broadway - including the future SkyTrain station at Broadway and Arbutus - which would allow residents to connect with services and amenities.

    It is important to locate affordable rental buildings near transit-oriented nodes like the future Arbutus SkyTrain station to support more equitable access to education, services, amenities and employment opportunities. 

    There is a planning exercise underway at this time for the Broadway Plan. You can find out more about the Broadway Plan proposal, including building heights and uses, and public consultation activities at this website: https://shapeyourcity.ca/broadway-plan.

    The City is responding to an increased need for the removal of litter and debris such as needles across the city. MPA would be responsible for keeping the area immediately around their building free of any debris, including any needles.   After opening, a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) would also be established to bring together staff from project partners like BC Housing, City and the operator and community members such as neighbours, businesses, local VPD, residents associations, strata reps, reps from local schools. The purpose of the CAC is to facilitate information sharing, discuss opportunities and collaborate to resolve issues related to the building and build and maintain positive relationships.

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    A number of people have stated this proposal is 3-4 times the height of residential buildings in this neighbourhood and isn't reflective of the existing architecture. However, the rationale for this height and design is that we need to house as many at risk people as possible. If that is the rationale, why apply to rezone in this location when there is city land on major corridors that would allow for 13+ stories. Surely that would go further to achieving the goal.

    JG asked 6 months ago

    All City-owned sites across the City were considered for social housing. Proximity to transit, amenities and services were important factors in site selection, as well as distributing housing across the city. Rezonings are considered in order to optimize the development potential in consideration of the current and future contexts (e.g. rapid transit station) around sites.

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    Please refer to the City of Vancouver Mission and Values Statement: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/mission-and-values.aspx Create a great city of communities that cares about our people, our environment, and our opportunities to live, work, and prosper. Value #6 Learning We are a learning workplace that grows through our experiences. BC Housing has a policy of no criminal background checks, even when right beside an elementary school. This facility is meant to house those with severe mental health and addictions issues. Please refer to the following CBC article and contemplate what the City of Vancouver learned about this tragic case in Abbotsford: B.C. man guilty of killing Abbotsford teen sentenced to life without parole for 16 years Gabriel Klein was given a life sentence for 2nd-degree murder of Letisha Reimer in 2016 https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/gabriel-klein-parole-eligibility-1.6092881 "Gabriel Klein has been sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 16 years for the second-degree murder of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer in 2016. In sentencing Wednesday morning, B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes also sentenced Klein to seven years for the aggravated assault of Reimer's friend, referred to as "EI" throughout the case, to be served concurrently. Klein was diagnosed with schizophrenia in the months after he stabbed the girls several times but was rejected for a defence of not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder. In delivering her sentence, Holmes said Klein's moral culpability is high and not only affected his victims, and their family and friends, but also destroyed the school community's sense of security. "The victim impact statements, and there are many, make clear that she was valued as a very special person, joyful, filled with laughter, poised and confident, kind-hearted and caring, generous as a volunteer, devoted to her family, a wonderful soul with a beautiful smile, fun to be with, willing to be goofy and in an unbearable irony, full of life,'' Holmes said. "The effects of losing her are many, wide and profound.''" ***Given that there is no expectation for future residents to be medically compliant with their mental health treatment and no expectation to refrain from illicit stimulant drugs that can induce psychosis, what learning has City staff had about the unpredictable and potentially dangerous behavior such individuals can inflict on others? What level of ethical and legal responsibility is the City willing to take for a possible violent incident occurring at the nearby school, bus loop or subway station?

    JD asked 6 months ago

    Mental illness can affect anyone - in Canada, some 6.7 million people are living with a mental illness (camha.ca). The safety of all city residents – including those living in supportive housing and the nearby neighbourhoods – is a priority for the City and we will continue working with our partners to address the health and safety of all residents.

    Your perspective and feedback has been noted and will be summarized for Council in the rezoning report.

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    Why are you not answering the questions citizens are asking and simply giving the same two or three generic cut and paste responses? Someone asked “is the city discussing with VPD about having police officers around the school during school hours? How will the city mitigate the inevitable side effects of euphoria and the risk of increased violent behaviour that users inevitably develop with drug use?? “ Your response simply insinuated the person asking the question ( a very knowledgeable community physician) was simply stereotyping the homeless. This is not simply a stereotype” Research reveals that approximately two-thirds of homeless people cite alcohol and/or other drugs as a major, and at times primary, reason for becoming homeless.4,8-9In fact, many homeless people develop problems with alcohol and other drugs before losing their homes.” Also, homeless have a much higher rate of criminal convictions, over 60% according to sfu. “ Nearly 60 percent of people experiencing both homelessness and serious mental illness in Metro Vancouver have had a criminal conviction, according to a new study from Simon Fraser University.” Please answer this very valid question re the discussions or lack of in this case, with the police?

    Gmo asked 6 months ago

    The City has had conversations with the VPD about this proposed project. Increased police presence during school hours has not been proposed or discussed with or by the VPD for this site, or other existing  purpose-built supportive social housing sites in Vancouver near to schools. There are hundreds of supportive housing units operating for over a decade in Vancouver with support of community. The operators of supportive housing  work with VPD building liaisons to promote community safety for all community members.  

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    The city keeps arguing that social housing does not affect crime rates in the neighborhood it is located in. This is not true. Academic and policy research on the question has convincingly shown that social housing does not affect crime rates ONLY IF the scale of social housing is small (typically less than 50 units). Larger social and supportive housing projects DO LEAD to an increase in crime rates in the neighborhood. (please see references below FYI). The proposed development will contain 140 units, which is 3 times the threshold. How is the city planning to address the increase in crime rates that will accompany this development, especially given the close proximity to an elementary school? http://www.mhponline.org/files/AffordableHousingImpact-CommunitiesandHouseholds.pdf https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227502381_The_Impact_Of_Supportive_Housing_On_Neighborhood_Crime_Rates

    VictoriaHnat asked 6 months ago

    Disclaimer: The City of Vancouver is not responsible for, and does not endorse, any websites or links posted within the question above.

    BC Housing has also explored impacts on neighbourhoods with supportive housing which are both current and BC focused. You can visit https://www.bchousing.org/publications/Community-Benefits-Supportive-Housing.pdf  and https://www.bchousing.org/publications/Property-Values-Case-Study-Overview-Report.pdf to understand more about community benefits of supportive housing in BC.

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    Despite accounting for only 2.5 per cent of the population, Indigenous people make up one-third of all those experiencing homelessness due to the ongoing impacts of colonization and systemic racism. How does this project fit in with the City's Reconciliation Framework? Has the city done engagement with host nations and Indigenous organizations in the area to ensure the project aligns with their needs?

    Clara P asked 6 months ago

    The City continues to prioritize working with our partners to create much-needed homes at affordable rents for Indigenous individuals and families. The City and Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations and Urban Indigenous partners have agreed-upon systems for engagement and consultation. The City has done and will continue to consult with our Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh and Urban Indigenous partners on Vancouver’s housing strategy, including supportive housing.

Page last updated: 18 May 2022, 01:23 PM