City of North Vancouver Seeks to Confirm Density Charge Policy

The City of North Vancouver council will be considering a policy report outlining a formalized density bonus and community benefits policy that was expected after the adoption of the new Official Community Plan back in April.

If endorsed by Council, the new policy will apply to all rezoning applications that seek an increase in bonusable density within the OCP guidelines. The bonus system breaks down into two categories:

  1. Category ‘A’ Bonus. An increase in density up to the OCP Schedule ‘A’ density, or effectively the baseline density for rezoning or sites that are already pre-zoned. The amenity contribution is $20.00 per SF of increased gross floor area above existing zoning.
  2. Category ‘B’ Bonus. An increase in density that exceeds the OCP Schedule ‘A’ density, up to a maximum bonus amount set out in the OCP. This type of bonus would only be for rezoning of higher density. Within the Category ‘B’, there are four paths to providing the requisite benefits, as follows:
    1. Amenity Contributions (CACs) – $140 per SF of increased density in the Lonsdale area; $110 per SF outside this area. City reserves right to negotiate a different rate in unique circumstances.
    2. Secured Rental Housing – Bonuses will be permitted for properties where the new project is secured as 100% market rental; however, mixed rental and condo development will now not be permitted on existing rental apartment sites.
    3. Employment Generating Use – Bonuses for commercial uses above 1.0 FSR will not be charged a contribution.
    4. Heritage Conservation – Bonuses may be offered outside of this policy in unique circumstances.

For those not familiar, here is a depiction of the above Bonus categories:

CNV_OCP Density

Two Tower Project Planned for Metrotown Site

As reported on this site, a prime piece of real estate was sold in Metrotown a couple of weeks ago, and now a proposal for the site by Belford Properties is seeking City of Burnaby Council approval to move to public hearing. The site is currently zoned RM-3 and improved with two walk-up apartment buildings. The proposal is to rezone the site for high-density development utilizing the RM-5s designation. Details include:

  • Two highrise towers (41-storeys on Beresford and 26-storeys to the South)
  • Low-rise townhouse, retail, childcare and strata office components
  • 479 residential units
  • Total density of 6.36 FAR (5.0 FAR residential, 1.36 FAR commercial/institutional)
  • 731 parking stalls

6380-6420 Silver

Market Recap: Rezoning of Two Major Downtown Sites

As was reported in the media late last week, two major rezoning inquiries are going before the City of Vancouver’s Standing Committee on City Finance and Services on Wednesday; one was expected and one was a bit of a surprise within the industry. The inquiry stage simply confirms Council’s approval to proceed to a formal rezoning application stage.

Sinclair Centre

  • 1.54 acre site
  • Proposal to increase the density and height for commercial uses
  • 1,100,000 SF of office space for Federal Gov’t (up from existing 390,000 SF)
  • A density of 17.0 – 20.0 FSR
  • Max height of 350 ft due to view cones (29 storeys)
  • Existing CD-1 zoning proposed to be amended

Sinclair Centre

Excerpt from the Policy Report explaining the heritage aspect:

The Sinclair Centre is comprised of four heritage buildings all listed on the City’s Heritage
  • the former Main Post Office (built in 1910) — Municipally Designated and Federally Recognized Heritage Building, listed as an ‘A’
  • the R.V. Winch Building (built in 1911) — Municipally Designated and Federally Recognized Heritage Building , listed as an ‘A
  • the Customs Examining Warehouse (built in 1913) — Vancouver Heritage Register, listed as an ‘A,’ and Federally Recognized Heritage Building , listed as an ‘A,
  • the Federal Building/Post Office Extension (built in 1936) — listed as a ‘B’ (but not designated).
  • In 1986 the four buildings were restored by the Federal Government. While the buildings were seismically upgraded, they would not meet today’s standards and some portions of the buildings received very modest upgrades

Post Office Site

  • 2.98 acre site acquired by bcIMC in 2013 for $159 Million
  • Rezoning to allow reuse and retention of the existing building, with new residential and commercial uses
  • Existing Post Office building would contain retail, office, hotel, residential lobbies
    and the blank granite walls would be modified to provide for pedestrian-oriented at-grade retail
  • New building above would contain office, hotel, and rental/condo housing
  • View cones limit building heights between 225 feet and 285 feet

349 W GeorgiaComment from the Policy Report on the heritage aspect:

Since 1958, the building was the City’s Central Post Office. Recently, the Post Office has relocated to a site near the airport. The building has heritage merit. It was identified in the “ Recent Landmarks–Post 40’s Inventory,” which was conducted in the early 90’s, as a Class ‘B’. Designed by a prominent architectural firm McCarter Nairne and Partners Architects, the design of the building subscribes to the general principles of the International Style of Modernism.

Rental Apartment Building Planned for South Vancouver

A rezoning application has been filed for a 12,500 SF C-1 zoned site at East 64th Avenue and Fraser Street for a 5-storey market rental building. The proposed rezoning would see the current C-1 zone go to CD-1 under the Rental 100 Secured Market Rental Housing Policy. The proposal is for a 5-storey mixed-use building that includes:

    • 37 secured market rental units;
    • commercial space at grade
    • a building height of 52 ft. ;
    • a density of 2.65 FSR; and
    • 28 underground parking spaces.

8209 Fraser 8209 Fraser_2

The site sits just one block from the Super 8 Motel, which is in preliminary planning for a rezoning and redevelopment, including multi-family housing.

Former North Van School Site to be Turned Back Into Single Family Lots

Anthem Properties have submitted a rezoning application for the Ridgeway School Annex site, a 62,285 SF site at East 5th and Ridgeway Avenue in the City of North Vancouver; a few blocks East of Lonsdale. Anthem acquired the site from the North Vancouver School District in 2013, subject to rezoning. Since the announcement of the sale, Anthem has been holding community consultation.

The site is an “L” shape and was originally nine single family lots before the development of the Ridgeway School in the 1950’s. The site is currently zoned P-1 Institutional, but the plan is to rezone to reflect the surrounding RS-1 single family area. The plan calls for nine single family homes, each with coach houses.

Ridgeway annex_1 Ridgeway annex_2 Ridgeway annex_3


Market Spotlight: City of Vancouver Rezoning Applications

Here is a brief overview of City of Vancouver rezoning applications going before City Council next week:

468 West 33rd Ave & 4956-4958 Cambie Street

468 West 33rdThis application was made by Kenstone Properties back in August 2014.

The proposal is for a 65-unit, 6-storey condo building at the Southeast corner of 33rd and Cambie. If approved by council it will go to public hearing next.

5648-5678 Victoria Drive

5678 VictoriaThis proposal, by Bhandal Homes, is for a 6-storey, 48-unit market rental apartment building with retail at grade. The site is currently zoned C-2, but the application for greater density (3.48 FSR) is being made under the Rental 100 policy.

It is seeking to go to public hearing.

3819 Boundary Road

3819 BoundaryThis is another market rental application being made under the Rental 100 program. The plan for this site, originally conceived in 2013, is to rezone from C-1 to allow a 4-storey building with 23 rental apartments. If approved it goes to public hearing.

Polygon Planning 321 Unit Development in Lynn Valley

Polygon Homes has applied to rezone the Mountain Court multifamily complex in North Vancouver for a new multi-phase strata and rental complex in four 5-storey buildings. Mountain Court is an aging apartment complex built in 1968 on a 4.13 acre site located just south of Lynn Valley Centre. This sits next to Polygon’s Canyon Springs project; currently under construction and expected to be completed in 2016.

The District of North Vancouver’s Official Community Plan allows a total density on this site of 2.5 FSR, and the more recent Lynn Valley Town Centre Flexible Planning Framework allows buildings up to 5-storeys.

The proposal includes:

  • Phase one:
    • a 75-unit market rental building (1:1 unit replacement, this is the CAC for the development)
    • a 68-unit strata building
  • Phase two:
    • two buildings totaling 178 units
  • A total of 321 units (76% two and three bedrooms)
  • A total of 372,072 SF
  • A density of 1.82 FSR

It is anticipated that this will be built out over a five year period.

Mountain Court_1 Mountain Court Mountain Court_2