906-982 W 18th Ave and 907-969 W 19th Ave (Balfour Block) rezoning application (resubmission)

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

We would like your feedback on the resubmitted rezoning application of the Balfour Block at 906-982 W 18th Ave and 907-969 W 19th Ave. The proposal is to allow for the development of a 6-storey rental building; a 6-storey condo building with a rooftop amenity and a childcare space on the ground floor; seven 3- to 4-storey townhome buildings. The zoning would change from RT-2 (Residential) to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. The proposal includes:

  • 208 total units consisting of 58 townhouses; 51 market strata residential units; and 99 secured rental units (with 25% of the proposed residential floor area at below-market rates)
  • A floor area of 19,076 sq. m (205,333 sq. ft.)
  • A floor space ratio (FSR) of 1.89
  • Building heights ranging from 11.5 m (37.6 ft.) to 25 m (82.5 ft.)
  • 255 vehicle parking spaces and 502 bicycle spaces

The application is being considered under the Cambie Corridor Plan and the Rezoning Policy for Large Sustainable Developments.

This is an updated rezoning application for this site. A previous application had been submitted in January, 2021. The resubmitted application includes reductions in residential units, proposed floor area, and proposed density, as well as changes to the form of development and site layout including the addition of a corner park at 19th Ave and Laurel St.

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.



Online Public Hearing: Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at 6:00 pm

These Public Hearings are to be convened by electronic means, with in-person attendance also available. You may participate in the Public Hearing either by speaking by phone or in person, or by submitting written comments that will be distributed to the Mayor and Councillors.

Send your comments online

Request to speak by phone

Or give feedback via mail to:

City of Vancouver, City Clerk’s Office

453 West 12th Avenue, Third Floor

Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4

Requests to speak open at 8:30 am on Friday, June 24, 2022 until 5:00 pm on the day of the Public Hearing. All spoken and written comments will be publicly accessible on the City of Vancouver’s website with your full name attached.

Copies of the draft by-laws will be made available for in-person viewing from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays at the City Clerk’s Office on the 3rd Floor of City Hall from Friday, June 24, 2022, and for viewing on the meeting agenda page on the same Friday starting at 1:00 pm. Minutes of the Public Hearing will also be available at this location approximately two business days after the meeting.

We would like your feedback on the resubmitted rezoning application of the Balfour Block at 906-982 W 18th Ave and 907-969 W 19th Ave. The proposal is to allow for the development of a 6-storey rental building; a 6-storey condo building with a rooftop amenity and a childcare space on the ground floor; seven 3- to 4-storey townhome buildings. The zoning would change from RT-2 (Residential) to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. The proposal includes:

  • 208 total units consisting of 58 townhouses; 51 market strata residential units; and 99 secured rental units (with 25% of the proposed residential floor area at below-market rates)
  • A floor area of 19,076 sq. m (205,333 sq. ft.)
  • A floor space ratio (FSR) of 1.89
  • Building heights ranging from 11.5 m (37.6 ft.) to 25 m (82.5 ft.)
  • 255 vehicle parking spaces and 502 bicycle spaces

The application is being considered under the Cambie Corridor Plan and the Rezoning Policy for Large Sustainable Developments.

This is an updated rezoning application for this site. A previous application had been submitted in January, 2021. The resubmitted application includes reductions in residential units, proposed floor area, and proposed density, as well as changes to the form of development and site layout including the addition of a corner park at 19th Ave and Laurel St.

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.



Online Public Hearing: Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at 6:00 pm

These Public Hearings are to be convened by electronic means, with in-person attendance also available. You may participate in the Public Hearing either by speaking by phone or in person, or by submitting written comments that will be distributed to the Mayor and Councillors.

Send your comments online

Request to speak by phone

Or give feedback via mail to:

City of Vancouver, City Clerk’s Office

453 West 12th Avenue, Third Floor

Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4

Requests to speak open at 8:30 am on Friday, June 24, 2022 until 5:00 pm on the day of the Public Hearing. All spoken and written comments will be publicly accessible on the City of Vancouver’s website with your full name attached.

Copies of the draft by-laws will be made available for in-person viewing from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays at the City Clerk’s Office on the 3rd Floor of City Hall from Friday, June 24, 2022, and for viewing on the meeting agenda page on the same Friday starting at 1:00 pm. Minutes of the Public Hearing will also be available at this location approximately two business days after the meeting.

​The virtual open house has concluded. Please use the “Send your comments" tab or contact the Planner directly for any further feedback. Thank you for participating.

Q&A is available from September 20 to October 10, 2021.

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

We post all questions as-is and aim to respond within two business days.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The traffic assessment document included in the current proposal (The Balfour Block Rezoning Transportation Assessment & Management Study) is designed to address concerns about the impact of the proposal on neighbourhood traffic. But the Transportation Assessment does not appear to include some basic facts: • Laurel St. and 18th Ave. are narrower than 19th Ave., • as a result, two oncoming cars cannot pass each other on 18th Ave. or on Laurel St. without one car pulling into an open parking space, • finding on-street parking is currently a challenge on these streets, particularly on the weekend, • available on-street parking places will become increasingly difficult to find if this proposal is approved, and yet • the flow of traffic on two of the four streets surrounding the proposed Wesgroup complex depends on the availability of empty parking spaces. Given the link between on-street parking utilization and traffic flow on the two narrow streets in question, it seems important to consider: • current usage and availability of on-street parking, • the impact of the proposal on availability of on-street parking and its effect on future traffic flow, • given the close proximity to Douglas Park, data on existing and projected on-street parking and traffic flow during peak usage on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon (linked to sports activities at Douglas Park, among other things). Does the Transportation Assessment or other documents address these issues? Are the width of the streets and on-street parking utilization considered relevant to assessing traffic flow?

    dunstable asked 9 months ago

    As part of the rezoning process, Engineering staff review the Transportation Assessment and Management Study. The study assesses the potential impact of new development on the existing road network, as well as future traffic conditions. Impacts are assessed based on new transportation trips and their likely path of travel. If a significant number of trips are anticipated to impact a particular corridor or intersection as it operates today, then the development may be required to deliver improvements adjacent their site. On narrower local streets with unrestricted parking on both sides, it is expected and acceptable that vehicles may occasionally need to allow one another to pass. This provides a form of traffic calming which mitigates shortcutting on local roadways.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Additional greenspace is appreciated but situating it on the southeast corner of the site does not make sense for a couple reasons. 1) Two large greenspaces already exist next to the intersection of 19th Ave and Laurel St. Heather Park is located one block east and Douglas Park is located one block south. The current proposal represents a further concentration of greenspace instead of seeking to have a more equitable distribution in the neighbourhood. 2) As currently envisioned, the greenspace will be adjacent to side streets that carry a higher than average amount of vehicular traffic. The traffic light at 19th & Oak generates traffic along 19th Avenue. Laurel St is busy because there is a traffic light at King Edward and it forms the eastern border of Emily Carr School. The plans for the Balfour Block project should be modified such that the greenspace is moved from the southeast corner of the site to the northwest corner. This would result in a more balanced and fair distribution of greenspace in the area. It would also provide a safer and quieter location as it would be buffered against the traffic of 19th Ave by the parking lot of the Schara Tzedeck Synagogue. The business of Laurel St along the north-south flank would be replaced by the laneway behind the Synangogue that sees very little traffic. This would produce a safer and quieter greenspace for young children and a greenspace that was more easily accessible to residents that live closer to and along Oak St. Please explain why the project designers feel the greenspace should add to further neighbourhood concentration and be situated at a busy local intersection?

    SidW asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your comments and question related to the proposed corner greenspace. The applicant team indicates that the greenspace is proposed for the southeast corner due to it having the best solar access (see shadow diagrams here). Additionally, the Cambie Corridor Plan identified greenspace at the southeast corner of the site in the Conceptual Site Diagram (pg. 161 of the Plan). Staff note that the Plan envisioned this location at southeast corner as it receives ample daylight during the day, which is ideal for open space. Also, locating the open space at the southeast corner opens up the public realm within the neighbourhood and provides a massing relief and transition to the single-family houses around.

    Your concerns related to the provision of greenspace and its location will be included in the rezoning application review and summary feedback provided in the Council report if the project proceeds for Council consideration. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    As a resident on W. 18th, I’m frustrated that the shadow study images seem deliberately to disguise the extent of the shadowing. The drawings are not to scale; W 18th Ave is drawn as extremely large and the median, the sidewalks, and the fronts lawns of the house are missing or minimized. As a result, the shadow study images obscure how significant seasonal shadows effects are. (This is not an isolated example. In the video, the streets surrounding the site appear much wider than they are and have no parked cars on them, leaving the misleading impression that the flow of traffic is not impeded by on-street parking. You would never know from the video or from the The Balfour Block Rezoning Transportation Assessment & Management Study that Laurel St. and 18th Ave. are essentially single-lane traffic due to on-street parking.) Is it not the responsibility of the city to ensure that the data and graphics of development proposals are accurate before posting them for public consultation?

    dunstable asked 9 months ago

    Additional details related to the surrounding public realm as depicted in the submitted shadow study were requested and the shadow study has been updated and is available here. Regarding the accuracy of submission materials the applicant team indicates the materials are accurate and note that “the referenced rendering is intended to show an aerial perspective of the site and while it accurately reflects the project proposal, it isn’t intended to be a 100% photorealistic. Information related to the width of the right-of-ways is provided throughout the application booklet (for example, please see sheets A1.00; A1.01; L-1.00; L1.10; etc.). Further information and descriptions of these right-of-ways is also provided in section ‘1.3 Road Network’ of the Balfour Block Rezoning Transportation Assessment & Management Study dated August 2021”. Staff review of the application is ongoing including the transportation aspects.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why is the City not holding Wesgroup accountable for replacing the existing rental units as the plan states? The site includes 26 3-bedroom units and 8 2-bedroom units. Given this, one can assume that the intent would be to replace the type that are onsite, not replace with 1-bedrooms and studios.

    HighQualityRental4Families asked 9 months ago

    The City is currently reviewing the rental aspect of the project to ensure that the proposed rental unit mix meets all of the Cambie Corridor Plan Unique Site policies related to the Balfour Block and the Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy.  

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Currently 34 families live on the Balfour site in fairly capacious three-bedroom apartments with individual garages. Wesgroup’s proposal offers only 25 below-market rentals, which will be significantly smaller in total square feet. I am correct that this proposal reduces the supply of affordable, spacious housing for families? If so, what net gain in affordable housing for families does the city typically require for a proposal such as this one?

    dunstable asked 9 months ago

     The Balfour Block Unique Sites Policies (Section 6.3 of the Cambie Corridor Plan) require that all eligible tenancies be offered Right of First Refusal to return to the new development at their rental rates at time of displacement (plus allowable annual RTA escalation). The size of these units is currently under review.  This requirement is in addition to the below-market rental requirements to target 25% of the net new rental floor area as below-market housing.   

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    It is my understanding that the Cambie Corridor plan originally foresaw development of structures as high as 6 storeys along 25th Avenue but following strong opposition from local residents the City has since limited heights along 25th within the Corridor to 4 storeys. Can you confirm this and explain why, if true, the City agreed to a 4 storey limit? This would seem to have implications for the Balfour lands.

    WorriedonWillow asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Under the Cambie Corridor Plan, along King Edward Avenue within the Cambie Village sub-area (see Section 4.1), rezoning applications can be considered for higher heights/densities at the King Edward Canada Line Station (6 to 8 storeys).  Further along King Edward Ave, within approximately two blocks east or west of the Canada Line station, residential developments can be considered up to 4 storeys, or up to 6 storeys in close proximity to Cambie Street. Further west along King Edward, townhomes can be considered. 

    Regarding the evolution of the Plan – under Phase 2 of the Cambie Corridor Plan, 4-storey buildings could be considered on King Edward Ave between Heather and Columbia Streets, with some higher heights/densities around the SkyTrain Station. Through the planning process for Phase 3 (the current Cambie Corridor Plan approved in 2018), those 4-storey heights remain on the same blocks. As the Plan evolved over the phases, areas of change were expanded east and west to Ontario and Laurel Streets respectively to allow redevelopment of future townhouses on these additional blocks, which included more targeted consultation with neighbours in these sub-areas. The intent was to create a gradual transition in heights away from the King Edward Canada Line Station to adjacent single-family homes which are not anticipated for change under the Plan. 

    Your concerns related to building height will be included in the rezoning application review and summary feedback provided in the Council report if the project proceeds for Council consideration. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    With all the good questions and the "politically correct" answers given here, who does the buck stop with? Please provide me with their name, position and contact information so that I can contact them. Who is putting their wet ink signature on this proposed deal, the person who gives the go ahead to the developer, the one responsible, liable, the one who is in charge?

    m2 asked 9 months ago

    All rezoning applications are subject to full review including an evaluation against Council-approved plans, policies, and guidelines. The review also considers input from the public, advisory committees, and other City departments. Staff write a report for City Council that analyzes an application, summarizes the feedback received, and recommends to refer an application to a public hearing and whether to approve or refuse an application. The report to Council may set legal conditions and design requirements for approval. City Council decides on all rezoning applications. 

    As such, there are multiple departments with staff and review groups. Questions for rezoning are managed through the rezoning planner, who then ensures that other staff and departments are brought in as needed. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    My question is can city planners or council ask Wesgroup to submit graphics that are to scale to the public for to review? The graphics are very misleading and it is almost a propaganda (looks great but isn't!). Here are all the reasons why: both 18th and 19th look like huge streets which they are not, the cars and street width are completely out of scale, there are no trees no every will be between the apt block on the corner of 18th and Oak and the back lane (the apartment block is flush to the back lane), the neighbourhood houses look huge relative to the development giving the impression that this is a very small development which it is not, it is very big compared to the surrounding houses, it appears (to anyone who doesn't know this block)that the parking lot is with the development (which it is not, it belongs to the synagog) it also looks larger on the graphics than it actually is. For the neighbourhood and council to effectively evaluate this development the graphics should be accurate. To evaluate this people need the facts both in numbers and graphics. Because this is very misleading to the public, can city planners or council ask Wesgroup to submit graphics to scale for the public to review?

    B. Honest asked 9 months ago

    The response below was provided by Wesgroup, the applicant for this rezoning application:

    The referenced rendering is intended to show an aerial perspective of the site (and to duplicate the perspective of the Cambie Corridor illustrative sketch). While it accurately reflects the project proposal, it isn’t intended to be a 100% photorealistic (for example, there are no sidewalks on the other side of 18th Ave and the houses are shown simply as white blocks). A more photrealistic rendering is provided on page 11 of the renderings available on ShapeYourCity.

    Information related to the width of the right-of-ways is provided throughout the application booklet (for example, please see sheets A1.00; A1.01; L-1.00; L1.10; etc.). 

    Further information and descriptions of these right-of-ways is also provided in section ‘1.3 Road Network’ of the Balfour Block Rezoning Transportation Assessment & Management Study dated August 2021.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How can the neighbourhood trust that Wesgroup plans are truly accurate and have been tailored to the neighbourhood and its feedback when the renderings are not even accurate? The current renderings depict W18th avenue as a 2 lane road when it is very much not the case. I assume homeowners and residents who live on the north side of W18th will continue to park their cars in front of their homes, meaning that at most, this block will have room for 1 lane of traffic, and the any cars that future Wesgroup residents may park on the south side of the block. In addition, there are several trees depicted that are not actually present on the west side of the property, beside the existing synagogue. There is much more activity and daily usage going on in that area than depicted. Also, there are several parking spots that are associated with the non-Wesgroup rental building on the corner of 18th and Laurel that will be replaced with the Wesgroup rental building. Where will these residents park? There is not enough street parking on Oak Street and on the south side of W18th ave near that building. Where are all of these cars supposed to go? If they are serious about making this a realistic place for many to live and exist, it should begin with realistic planning and accurate depictions of this area. Does Wesgroup understand this block at all? When can the community anticipate accurate renderings of the project to base feedback on?

    neighbourNic asked 9 months ago

    The response below was provided by Wesgroup, the applicant for this rezoning application:

    The referenced rendering is intended to show an aerial perspective of the site (and to duplicate the perspective of the Cambie Corridor illustrative sketch). While it accurately reflects the project proposal, it isn’t intended to be a 100% photorealistic (for example, there are no sidewalks on the other side of 18th Ave and the houses are shown simply as white blocks). A more photrealistic rendering is provided on page 11 of the renderings available on ShapeYourCity.

    Information related to the width of the right-of-ways is provided throughout the application booklet (for example, please see sheets A1.00; A1.01; L-1.00; L1.10; etc.). 

    Further information and descriptions of these right-of-ways is also provided in section ‘1.3 Road Network’ of the Balfour Block Rezoning Transportation Assessment & Management Study dated August 2021.

    Additionally, as a requirement of the Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Developments, the applicant was required to provide a Transportation Demand Management plan. The Transportation Demand Management for Developments in Vancouver bulletin provides further information. The Transportation Demand Management plan is a points-based system to encourage  measures aimed at maximizing the utility of sustainable transportation choices. This application will achieve thirty points under the TDM system. Additionally, this site is within 100m of a Translink Frequent Transit Network route.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I'm interested to learn more about the new park please. I think this is a fantastic addition to the project & something all the neighbours will use! Is the idea that this park will be maintained by the City? In order for it to be inviting for everyone I think it’s key that its looked after well. Is a playground going to be included as well? I can see this park becoming a great little hub for the families in the immediate area & a playground would aid in that a lot. Last question - will there be a covered area for rainy days? All in all, I think this is a great improvement on the previous concept & think adding in a corner park is the right way to go.

    Ag. asked 9 months ago

    The proposed park space at the corner of West 19th Avenue and Laurel Street (southeast corner of the site) is intended to be enjoyed by residents as well as the public. Wesgroup’s application materials note the intention for the park to be programmed as a family-oriented space for shared gatherings and play. The status of the park regarding ownership and maintenance is under review with the overall rezoning application. Based on the submission materials a covered area is not included; however, your comments will be considered in the review and summary feedback provided in the Council report if the project proceeds for Council consideration. If the application is ultimately approved by Council at a public hearing, a development permit submission would be required and details related to the park will be refined.

Page last updated: 17 Jun 2022, 09:30 AM