Amendments to the zoning and development bylaw for C-2 commercial districts in Vancouver will allow developers and property owners to build taller, denser developments in an effort to increase the city’s inadequate rental housing supply.
Currently, the zoning and development bylaw only allows for four-storey buildings with commercial space on street level and residential space—typically condominiums—on the upper floors. Through the additional two storeys zoned as “rental-only housing”, developers will have the incentive to build something other than condominiums, which traditionally have offered a quicker return on investment.
Other requirements put forth in the ammendment include that 35 per cent of the new units must be sized for larger families, and that the buildings must fulfill enhanced green building requirements, such as the Passive House design standard.
The amended C-2 zoning districts will apply to areas outside of recently approved community plan areas, including the Cambie Corridor, Marpole, Grandview-Woodland, and the Central Broadway Corridor. Previously, projects of this nature would have had to pursue a rezoning application; these amendments will enable developers to go straight to the development permit process, potentially shaving off between one and two years from the application and review timeline.
Although the City of Vancouver does not anticipate a significant increase in new rental housing built within C-2 zoning, there will likely be a shift from some of the anticipated condominium developments to rental.