City of Vancouver South Cambie Zoning Decision Could Impact 43,000

(April 20, 2015 )

Vancouver City Hall is at it again. Vancouver's assistant director of planning for Vancouver South has suggested including Oak and Ontario streets within phase three of the Cambie Corridor scope of work. What do you think?

In a presentation to city council today, Susan Haid said there are opportunities to "knit" the Louis Brier Home and Hospital at 1055 West 41st, the King Edward Mall site, and the Langara Family YMCA site into the planning process.

She also defined the Cambie corridor as encompassing Ontario Street on the east, Oak Street on the west, and moving south from West 16th Avenue to the Fraser River.

The population of this area is 43,000—approximately the same as the City of North Vancouver. In the northern part of the corridor, she said, the median family income is $69,000 and it declines to $52,000 in the southern section.

In addition, Haid pointed out that the corridor is "very family-oriented" with nearly 30 percent of households having children under the age of 19. Most households are single-family with 57 percent being owners and 43 percent being renters.

In 2009, council approved a three-phase process for dealing with the corridor, which was transformed by the opening of the Canada Line that year.

In the first phase, which was approved in 2010, council approved planning principles and an interim rezoning policy around rapid-transit stations.

The second phase was endorsed in 2011 and outlined planning for arterials and an interim public-benefits strategy.

"Phase three is intended to focus on the transition areas off of the arterials," Haid explained.

Since 2011, there have been 33 rezoning applications in the Cambie corridor, and 26 have been approved covering 1.8 million square feet.

Haid said that this has led to a "commitment to deliver 6,600 units", with more than half offering two or more bedrooms.

She added that these rezonings will ultimately provide $256 million in community-amenity contributions and public art, including 143 child-care spaces.

Meanwhile, the general manager of planning and development, Brian Jackson, told council that the Marpole community planning process has influenced the thinking around this phase.

"We learned not all single-family neighbourhoods want to change," Jackson said.

As a result, staff is looking at making a transition to single-family areas by ensuring there is far more ground-oriented family housing in the corridor.

Haid said that the city intends on employing an "adaptive planning process" that will take a "localized approach" by meeting small groups of residents.

Staff has also recommended that council approve a rezoning policy to set conditions for changing land uses and enabling heritage revitalization as the third phase of planning proceeds. Tomorrow, the public will have an opportunity to speak to the staff recommendations at a committee meeting at Vancouver City Hall.

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