546 W 13th Ave rezoning application

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This application was approved by Council at Public Hearing on July 13th, 2021.


We would like your feedback on a rezoning application at 546 W 13th Ave. The proposal is to allow for the development of a 13-storey residential building. The zoning would change from RM-3 (Residential) to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. This proposal includes:

  • 135 social housing units
  • A floor space ratio (FSR) of 6.0
  • A gross floor area of 8,664 sq. m (93,263 sq. ft.)
  • A building height of 40.7 m (133.5 ft.)
  • 47 vehicle parking spaces and 250 bicycle parking spaces

The application is being considered under the Affordable Housing Policies.

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 546 W 13th Ave. The proposal is to allow for the development of a 13-storey residential building. The zoning would change from RM-3 (Residential) to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. This proposal includes:

  • 135 social housing units
  • A floor space ratio (FSR) of 6.0
  • A gross floor area of 8,664 sq. m (93,263 sq. ft.)
  • A building height of 40.7 m (133.5 ft.)
  • 47 vehicle parking spaces and 250 bicycle parking spaces

The application is being considered under the Affordable Housing Policies.

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.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Q&A is available from February 22 to March 14, 2021.

 Q&A replaces in-person open houses, which are on hold due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

 We post all questions as-is and reply here within two business days. To find out when we reply to your questions, sign in or register.

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    Any possibility of roof top vegetable gardens and or space for bees?

    MSH asked 7 months ago

    Urban agriculture opportunities and utilization of rooftops for green roof installations are encouraged. The applicant has been made aware of this observation noted in the questions and staff will encourage the use of the rooftop for such purposes. Cost could be a mitigating factor in this project.

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    For social housing specifically, maintenance cost and ease are pretty critical to keep rents reasonable. This design seems to have unnecessary complexity and curvatures that look like they would be extremely expensive to maintain. The custom metal banding was already mentioned as that will need to be regularly rust protected and doesn't look easily accessible. Are there opportunities to review the design with long term maintenance in mind? I ask because it does look nice in the rendering but keeping it looking nice might be a challenge long term.

    JEC asked 7 months ago

    The complexity, and as a consequence maintenance costs, is something the applicant is reviewing. Staff are aware that often for social housing projects it is a challenge to achieve a balance between funding, operational costs, and design objectives. Staff will be reviewing this issue and will also be reviewing the project with the urban design panel who has advice in this regard.

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    Why is this rezoning allowing that height? It will obliterate all direct sunlight into the existing buildings across the street. At 525 West 13th Avenue, it will cut block out ALL direct sunlight, entirely. This throws our communal outdoor recreation space into permanent shadow. This rezoning makes zero sense on this street.

    Easton asked 7 months ago

    The RM-3 zoning which is applicable to the properties in the area allows buildings up to 120 feet tall, although typically on larger sites. The height is not unusual for the area. The area has a number of towers which are of similar height built outright under the RM-3 zoning. However, the density is indeed more than what would normally be permitted under the zoning for the proposal at 546 W 13th because it is for social housing. If additional shadow analysis is of value, staff can ask the applicant to provide it

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    The report indicated that the preliminary embodied emissions calculations would be submitted by December 15, 2020. I don't see them on the site. Where can I find these? Thank you.

    j pierce asked 7 months ago

    The Preliminary Embodied Emissions report is provided within the Sustainable Design Strategy, page eight of the pdf document.

    For Path B – Low emissions projects, the City requires preliminary embodied emissions calculation at the rezoning application stage. There are exceptional cases for some documentation to be deferred to Development Permit application if 1) applications are going through a streamlined rezoning process (for example: Cambie Corridor Phase 3) and 2) phases of a large, phased rezoning. During the rezoning application stage, the embodied emissions calculations will be a preliminary document with reporting of key inputs and descriptions of specific measures that will be explored during design. If there are any significant changes since Rezoning application, the applicant must submit updated Sustainable Design strategy during development permit application. More information on submission requirements can be found on pg. 17 to 19 of the following  bulletin: 

     https://bylaws.vancouver.ca/Bulletin/bulletin-green-buildings-policy-for-rezoning.pdf

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    This building will lie in the catchment area for Edith Cavell school, which is already full and requires a lottery for entry. As there will be some families in the building, what school place provision will there be for those children? There is insufficient school capacity in central Vancouver and a school in Olympic Village is still not in the works.

    ACT1980 asked 8 months ago

    Currently the expansion of Edith Cavell School is anticipated to be completed 2021 – 2022 which will assist in relieving enrolment pressure in the area. For information on the long range planning of VSB facilities and related updates, as well as information on capacity, please see the following:

    https://www.vsb.bc.ca/District/Planning_and_Facilities/Long_Range_Facilities_Plan/Pages/Default.aspx

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    Is only 13 storeys all that the applicant is interested in building? This seems quite short for social housing considering a 13-storey apartment was built across the street over half a century ago.

    RecommendedAnonymousUserName asked 8 months ago

    The proposed 13 storey height is limited by established City view cones which pass over the site and nearby. Currently, projecting into the view cones is not supported. The view cone issue is being assessed as part of the Broadway Plan which may be completed later this year.

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    Do any of the surrounding owners and tenants have any say in stopping this project from going through? A vote system? etc...Or will this project just be bullied through weather we like it or not? This will be about what...two years of solid noise and disruption to existing surrounding tenants?

    Jason Craig asked 8 months ago

    The project requires approval by City Council at a public hearing, which to date has not been scheduled. At the public hearing members of the public can address Council expressing their support, opposition, or concerns to Council. After all speakers have been heard, Council can debate the issue and then make a vote to approve or not approve the project or to approve it with amendments. Members of the public can also write to Mayor and Council regarding a public hearing item. More information on the public hearing process can be found here.

    All new construction brings impacts to surrounding properties, as was the case when the existing buildings in the area were constructed over time. The City has by-laws related to noise and site maintenance which must be adhered to during the construction process

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    I am concerned about the size of the building and how close it will sit to the the adjacent condo. How many metres from the property line, at the south and west side, will the building sit?

    Maryan asked 8 months ago

    The drawings indicate the following building setbacks:

    • North side: 3.05m
    • West side: 6.69m
    • East side: 3.46m
    • South side: 5.77m

    More information can be found on the Application document section located on the right side of the project page.

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    What stops the landlord from changing the 135 social housing units to regular rental units down the road? Please explain in detail ie: bonds in place or 5 mill fine etc.

    Rob Walter asked 8 months ago

    A Housing Agreement and/ or 219 Covenant would be put in place to disallow the stratification of the units and to require the units to be operated as social housing units as defined by the Zoning and Development By-law including the non-profit aspect. These agreements, with the City, are to be completed and registered on title  prior to the enactment (legalization) of the rezoning by-law.

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    Are there any plans to manage the increased vehicular traffic between Cambie and Heather and Ash between 12th and 14th? There is already additional traffic because of the recent partial closing of Heather.

    Rolf E. asked 8 months ago

    A traffic study was not submitted and was not required at application stage. Engineering staff will evaluate the traffic and parking impacts as part of the review of the application and may have conditions or requirements in this regard. The parking provided is intended to comply with the Parking By-law Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan provisions.