Why is the City reviewing this area now, with two recent community plans (Marpole Community Plan and Cambie Corridor Plan) already in place?
The Housing Vancouver Strategy has the goal of ensuring that housing in the city can support a growing, diverse, and vibrant population today and into the future. The widening gap between incomes and housing costs has significantly impacted the ability of existing and new residents to afford to live in Vancouver. The rising cost of ownership in recent years has driven a shift towards renting among new households. At the same time, rising rents are putting serious pressure on people earning low and moderate incomes. One significant challenge is the shortage of purpose-built rental, social and co-op housing to meet the needs of existing and new residents, in part due to the very low levels of new construction in recent decades. Increasing the supply of purpose-built market rental housing and non-profit social and co-op housing is a priority for the city. The Marpole Community Plan designates numerous sites in Marine Landing for social housing, some of which may have capacity to accommodate additional affordable housing in close proximity to rapid transit.
Vancouver also has a limited supply of industrial land, with half of all jobs located on 10% of the city’s land base. As the population continues to grow, our economy will need to keep pace. Intensive employment sites in Marine Landing also provide opportunity for intensification within walking distance to rapid transit. New policies for job space specific to this area are being explored through the Employment Lands and Economy Review, which will help inform the next update to the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy.
Are the entire Marpole and Cambie Plans being updated?
No. The review of public realm, transportation, utilities and public benefits considerations will be limited to sites designated for social housing under the Marpole Community Plan and intensive employment sites under both the Marpole Community Plan and Cambie Corridor Plan. The review will inform future rezoning enquiries and applications in this area.
Why are heights beyond those approved in the Marpole Plan being considered for social housing sites?
Additional heights and densities are often required to support the creation of new non-profit social and co-op housing, and purpose-built market rental housing to meet the objectives of the Marpole Community Plan and the Housing Vancouver Strategy. Additional density can also facilitate the renewal of existing social and co-op housing sites in the area and support new rental housing with units affordable to moderate income households. Opportunities for new rental, social and co-op housing are supported by proximity to high-quality rapid transit and a range of existing services in walkable community hubs such as Marine Landing.
How will the City ensure that there are sufficient amenities like parks and childcare to support new residents and workers?
The Marine Landing policy review will build on the vision, principles and policies in the Marpole Community Plan and the Cambie Corridor Public Realm Plan to identify any additional opportunities to create a more livable, healthy and resilient neighbourhood. This will include opportunities on both public and private property, and include considerations such as plazas and open spaces, green infrastructure, and walking and cycling improvements. Other amenities, such as childcare, will be explored on a site-specific basis through a formal rezoning process as sites come forward for redevelopment, and through the Vancouver Plan.
What other housing initiatives are underway in Marpole?
The City is considering changes to streamline the development process for new non-profit housing in select apartment areas across the city, including some neighborhoods in Marpole. These changes are intended to help existing non-profit societies and co-ops renew existing buildings and build more social and co-op housing over time, to ensure the city has enough safe, secure, and affordable homes today and into the future.
These zoning changes for non-profit housing are being considered in RM-3A, RM-4, and RM-4N zoning districts throughout the city, including some of the apartment areas in Marpole along 70th Avenue and south down to SW Marine Drive. Typically, these areas consist of three storey condominium and rental apartment buildings. These zoning amendments would allow non-profit social and co-op housing up to six storeys. This approach would be consistent with existing City policies and community plans, which prioritize the delivery of social and co-op housing for low and moderate income households.
How does this work relate to Vancouver Plan?
Launched in 2019, Vancouver Plan, is an initiative to create a city-wide plan to guide strategic priorities to 2050 and beyond. It will address how the City grows and develops, as well as economic, social, environmental and cultural policies for the city.
There is already a strong foundation for a city-wide plan with many existing Council-adopted policies and community plans which included extensive public and stakeholder involvement. These policies and plans will serve as foundational pieces of work to frame the City-wide Plan conversation and inform policy development and prioritization, while also ensuring alignment of existing community plans (e.g. Marpole) with the identified values and directions of the new City-wide Plan. Additionally, there are some concurrent policy programs underway that are foundational to the City-wide Plan, which include the Employment Lands and Economy Review (ELER).
Recognizing the broad scope of the City-wide Plan process, it is important to advance work on key City objectives such increasing housing affordability and intensifying job space through the on-going implementation of existing approved community plans such as the Marpole Community Plan and Cambie Corridor Plan. The Marine Landing Review aims to respond to concurrent policy programs which are helping shape the Vancouver Plan process.
Will there be more opportunities to provide my input?
Yes. Staff are currently completing technical reviews. Draft guidelines on built form and public realm directions will be available for public feedback in coming months, with opportunities to provide feedback prior to Council consideration in 2021.