2325-2377 W 49th Ave rezoning application

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We would like your feedback on a rezoning application at 2325-2377 W 49th Ave. The zoning would change from RS-5 (Residential) district to RR-2B (Residential Rental) district.

The RR-2B district allows for:

  • a 5-storey apartment building where all units are secured as market rental; and
  • a floor space ratio (FSR) up to 2.4.
  • a maximum building height of 16.8 m (55 ft.)

The application is being considered under the Secured Rental Policy (Section 2.4 Rezonings in Low-Density Transition Areas).

If approved, this site's zoning will change to RR-2B. Any development on the site would have to conform to these zoning regulations and design guidelines. This approach differs from a site-specific Comprehensive Development (CD) District rezoning. It allows for a simplified rezoning process and provides greater clarity and consistency on the types of new secured rental buildings that may be built in eligible low-density areas.

The specific form of development (building design) will be reviewed through a future Development Permit process. Application drawings will be available for viewing and comment at that time.


Rezoning Policy Background

On December 14, 2021, Council approved amendments to the Secured Rental Policy (SRP) to allow simplified rezonings in low-density areas near shopping, public transportation and other amenities. This policy is intended to help:

  • Increase housing choice for renter households
  • Streamline processes and clarifying policy requirements
  • Diversify rental housing options
  • Respond to the City’s Climate Emergency
  • Help enhance local shopping areas
  • Improving livability of rental housing

Learn more about:

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.

We would like your feedback on a rezoning application at 2325-2377 W 49th Ave. The zoning would change from RS-5 (Residential) district to RR-2B (Residential Rental) district.

The RR-2B district allows for:

  • a 5-storey apartment building where all units are secured as market rental; and
  • a floor space ratio (FSR) up to 2.4.
  • a maximum building height of 16.8 m (55 ft.)

The application is being considered under the Secured Rental Policy (Section 2.4 Rezonings in Low-Density Transition Areas).

If approved, this site's zoning will change to RR-2B. Any development on the site would have to conform to these zoning regulations and design guidelines. This approach differs from a site-specific Comprehensive Development (CD) District rezoning. It allows for a simplified rezoning process and provides greater clarity and consistency on the types of new secured rental buildings that may be built in eligible low-density areas.

The specific form of development (building design) will be reviewed through a future Development Permit process. Application drawings will be available for viewing and comment at that time.


Rezoning Policy Background

On December 14, 2021, Council approved amendments to the Secured Rental Policy (SRP) to allow simplified rezonings in low-density areas near shopping, public transportation and other amenities. This policy is intended to help:

  • Increase housing choice for renter households
  • Streamline processes and clarifying policy requirements
  • Diversify rental housing options
  • Respond to the City’s Climate Emergency
  • Help enhance local shopping areas
  • Improving livability of rental housing

Learn more about:

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.

​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 May 24 to June 13, 2022. 

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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    Interested in better understanding the process for consulting the residents who are directly impacted by the City's designation of streets as "arterial". We've spoken with hundreds of neighbours around West 49th (between Arbutus & Larch), and not one person was contacted by the City during the process. How can the City undertake these significant designations (which have massive impacts on surrounding residents) without contacting the residents directly, especially during COVID when many residents were not otherwise out and about (i.e., not at community centres, libraries, etc.)? Why not send a notice to residents - like when a nearby rezoning application has been made? It would never have otherwise occurred to residents around this stretch of West 49th that it could be a destination for 4-6-storey apartment buildings.

    SL asked 20 days ago

    As noted in a previous response, the classification of 49th Ave as an arterial roadway predates the amended Secured Rental Policy and is based on a variety of transportation related criteria. 

    49th Avenue, including the section where this proposal is located, has been treated as an eligible arterial for the purposes of City rental incentive policies since 2012 (previously through the Affordable Housing Choices Interim Rezoning Policy).

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    Please explain why the stretch of West 49th Ave from Arbutus to Larch St was designated as "arterial" in the new Secured Rental Policy. It is quiet neighbourhood of single family residences with one lane road each way. While a bus runs on the street, it is a very different type of street than the others designated as arterial (e.g., Granville, Main, 41st), especially West of Yew. It does not have the main thoroughfare feel of the other arterial roads. There are single family homes in every direction, poor infrastructure to accommodate the level of density being proposed, narrow roads, etc. In looking at the SRP eligibility map of arterial roads, the designation of this stretch as "arterial" seems like a mistake.

    SL asked 20 days ago

    Thank you for your question. We have reached out to our colleagues in the policy and transportation groups and will have a reply for you soon.

    June 20, 2022 update: 

    The classification of 49th Avenue as an arterial roadway predates the amended Secured Rental Policy and has been established through a variety of transportation related criteria. On arterial roadways, people-movement is the primary consideration, while driveway access for motor vehicles is typically limited or not permitted. Arterials also serve as major bus routes, are part of the TransLink Frequent Transit Network and may have bus priority measures. Arterial streets may be within both residential and/or non-residential areas. 

    The opportunity to consider up to 5-6 storeys under the Secured Rental Policy is informed by locational considerations (particularly proximity to transit, shopping and other amenities and services) as well as the type of street the site is located on and it’s relationship relative to that street and the rest of the block. 

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    Will commercial or retail uses be permitted for the property at 2325 - 2377 W. 49th? Would the City approve a townhouse development instead of a 5 story apartment building if the neighbors and developer preferred that form of densification?

    Norah Hall asked 20 days ago

    Commercial or retail uses would not be permitted within the proposed RR-2B zone. 

    With respect to townhouse development, please see the more detailed response provided to other visitors to this site who have had similar questions. In brief, rezoning proposals would need to meet the criteria of the Secured Rental Policy or the Arbutus/Kerrisdale/Shaughnessy Community Vision to be considered, including the provision of rental, seniors, or social housing. Economic testing was completed as part of the Secured Rental Policy analysis which illustrated that the additional density is necessary to enable secured rental projects to be viable development options.

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    The location of this parcel pushes the boundary of "approximately 400m distance to larger neighbourhood shopping area" (from SRP). If neighbourhood support could be established for an alternate, non-SRP plan, such as townhomes or row houses, would CoV be open to allowing this, while respecting the scale of surrounding properties?

    MJ asked 22 days ago

    The site’s existing RS-5 zoning allows for one-family dwellings, secondary suites, and laneway houses. For an alternate building form to be considered, a rezoning would be required. Council approved rezoning policies for this site includes the SRP and the Arbutus/Kerrisdale/Shaughnessy Community Vision. The Community Vision considers applications for rezoning that meet the criteria set out in Table 2.1 including heritage retention projects, social housing projects and seniors housing. Rezoning proposals would need to meet the criteria of the SRP or the Community Vision to be considered. Economic testing was completed as part of the SRP analysis which illustrated that the additional density is necessary to enable secured rental projects to be viable development options.

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    I just entered my comments. Will any large trees be preserved on the site? Will the plan take into any consideration the character of the existing neighborhood? Is there an opportunity to try a different type of development rather than a giant glass box? Montreal style tri-plexes ?

    GD asked 22 days ago

    An arborist report and information on tree retention conditions, together with architectural drawings, will be required at a future Development Permit stage if the rezoning application is approved by Council. At that time, staff will review the tree strategy in the context of site design. If the proposed removal of trees is too aggressive or not reasonable, staff may set conditions of development including revisions to the site plan or building footprint, and the retention or replacement of trees. Typically, retention of large trees growing in the middle of a site cannot be retained without affecting the viability of a development site. Large scale replacement trees are encouraged to be integrated into the landscape design.

    Under the proposed RR-2B zoning for this site, 100% rental developments can be considered up to a maximum floor space ratio of 2.4 and heights up to 5 storeys. The RR zones have been written in a way that allows some flexibility for building layout based on the individual site characteristics. While proposals of lesser heights and densities could be explored, financial feasibility testing was conducted as part of the work to develop the RR zones and associated updates to the Secured Rental Policy. That analysis demonstrates that even at the densities permitted, building secured rental housing is still often only marginally viable. Very high and increasing land and construction costs are major factors. Reducing the scale of the project (and therefore the number of new rental units that could be delivered) would impact viability and likely make it infeasible to proceed with construction. Details of the financial testing can be found in Appendix J of the Council Report, and under the Rental incentives review documents tab on our webpage here.

    During development of the Secured Rental Policy and the accompanying Residential Rental zones, staff analyzed impacts of development on adjacent properties. The resulting regulations contained within the RR zone by-laws and Guidelines reflect the outcomes of these analyses and include regulations for setbacks, shadow impacts, and the protection of privacy. 

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    The slope of Dunbar in this section of the street is steep. What will a 5 storey building look like? Tiered? How will a 5 storey building be integrated into the existing and established residential neighbourhood? Cambie street is an example of terrible planning, will this model be used? What is the impact for Alma Street? Highbury? Olympic? How will traffic be managed? Protection for the bike lane (already a challenge) users?

    tmlett asked 25 days ago

    In this streamlined process for rezonings to Residential Rental zones, architectural drawings are not provided until a future development permit application, if the rezoning is approved by Council. During this process, staff will conduct a detailed review of the proposed form of development, including the site plan, setbacks, and privacy impacts.

    During the development of the Secured Rental Policy and the accompanying Residential Rental zones, staff analyzed impacts on adjacent properties resulting from apartments of five and six storeys. The resulting regulations contained within the RR zone by-laws and Guidelines reflect the outcomes of these analyses. 

    The City’s Engineering staff is currently reviewing the application with respect to transportation impacts and, if identified, may include development conditions for off-site requirements (such as stop lights, improved lighting or laneway speed bumps) to improve transportation operations and safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists adjacent to the site.

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    Will the 100-140 proposed rental units have balconies and/or patios? How will the privacy of the surrounding single family homes be respected?

    MJ asked 24 days ago

    As per the Guidelines for RR districts private outdoor space should be provided through patios for ground floor units or balconies for upper units. The Guidelines also include a series of landscaping and setback requirements intended to protect privacy. Furthermore, architectural drawings would be provided as part development permit process, if the rezoning is approved by Council. During this process, staff will conduct a detailed review of the proposed form of development, including the site plan, setbacks, and privacy impacts.

    The exact number of units for this particular site will depend on the building form (apartments, townhouses, hybrid, etc.) and will be provided by the applicant at the development permit stage. However we do expect this to be below 100 units.

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    The scale of this project is not fitting in the neighbourhood. It will tower over houses adjacent and behind...and stand out on a primarily single homes. I am supportive of densification of west side but it has to fit into the existing neighbourhood.

    Ellen Wallace asked 23 days ago

    Thank you for submitting your comments.

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    Is this application subject to CACs, as per the Community Amenity Contributions Policy for Rezonings, which exempts "Rezoning for routine, lower density secured market rental that comply with the City’s rental Rezoning for routine, lower density secured market rental that comply with the City’s rental policies as shown in Table 1."

    Alfred asked 26 days ago

    As the applicant is proposing a 5-storey rental development, inline with the Secured Rental Policy and the Community Amenity Contributions Policy for Rezonings, this project would be exempt from CACs. The existing CAC exemptions include 100% rental housing projects up to five storeys in RS zones outside of community plan areas.

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    How were the locations of the SRP low density eligibility communicated to the affected neighbourhoods prior to approval? Was there opportunity for input from affected homeowners prior to Dec 2021?

    MJ asked about 1 month ago

    Between March 2020 and August 2021, City of Vancouver staff engaged residents through in-person and online virtual information sessions, surveys, and stakeholder engagement meetings.  This process included 6 in-person public information sessions, 10 stakeholder workshops, an online comment form, the Shape Your City project webpage, 2 online public information sessions, as well as public and development industry on-on-one sessions.

    While each individual homeowner was not contacted directly, residents were notified about these opportunities through the Housing Vancouver and Vancouver Plan email lists, poster advertising in each of the City’s community centres, libraries, and at City Hall, newspaper advertising in the Vancouver Courier, online through the City’s website and Shape Your City pages, and social media. 

    More information on the public feedback process during the development of the Secured Rental Policy is available here.

Page last updated: 14 Jun 2022, 04:56 PM