POLICY REPORT
                                URBAN STRUCTURE

                                           Date: March 19, 1997
                                           Dept. File No. HW
                                           C.C. File: 5301-1

   TO:       Vancouver City Council

   FROM:     Director of Community Planning

   SUBJECT:  Updated Strathcona Policies including Policy to Support
             Rezonings of Remaining Small Industrial Sites in Kiwassa from
             I-2 and M-1 to RT-3


        THAT Council adopt the revised Strathcona Policies contained in
        Appendix A, including policy 1.1 which supports owner-initiated
        rezonings to RT-3 of the small industrial sites within the area
        bounded generally by the BNR tracks, Union Street, Vernon Drive and
   the lane north of Pender Street.


        The General Manager of Community Services RECOMMENDS approval of
        the foregoing.


   Strathcona Local Area Planning Initiatives

   Council on June 25, 1992, adopted the Strathcona Land Use Policies
   including the following policy for the RT-3 area of Kiwassa between the
   BNR tracks and Vernon Drive north of Union Street:

   Reinforce the existing residential character of Kiwassa by requesting
   the Director of Planning to report back on rezoning industrial-zoned
   sites to RT-3, after further consultation with the owners. 

   Industrial Lands Strategy

   Council on March 14, 1995, adopted the Industrial Lands Strategy which
   supported retaining most of the City's existing industrial land base for
   industry and service businesses.  The Strategy also identified areas
   that could be "let-go" for other uses, including
   the industrially-zoned parcels in Kiwassa, west of Vernon Drive, and
   north of Union Street.  (Note: Included in the land to be retained for
   industry was the industrial area of Kiwassa east of Vernon Drive.)

   Council on June 25, 1996, resolved:

   To create a new I-2 District Schedule and to rezone the majority of M-1
   zoned lands and a portion of M-2 zoned lands in the City to I-2.  (Note: 
   Most of the small industrial sites within the Kiwassa RT-3 area were
   included in the M-1 sites rezoned to I-2.)

   Housing Opportunities Strategy

   Council on April 9, 1991, resolved:

   To identify new housing opportunities in the city by planning for
   housing on surplus industrial lands.


   The purpose of this report is to request Council adoption of updated
   Strathcona Policies, reflecting recent Council decisions, and to
   recommend inclusion of a policy to support owner-initiated rezonings to
   RT-3 for several small industrial sites in the Kiwassa RT-3 residential
   area.  The report reviews the background, the planning rationale, and
   the public notification that has occurred.


   In 1992, after a three-year planning process, Council adopted the
   Strathcona Local Area Planning Initiatives.  These policies directed
   staff to do additional work in the following areas:

     amend the existing RT-3 zoning and approve design guidelines to
      reinforce existing character in the RT-3 areas of Strathcona.  This
      work was completed in 1993.
     report back on land use options in the Vernon to Clark Drive area. 
      This work was completed as part of the Industrial Lands Strategy and
      I-2 industrial zoning has been approved.
     report back on land use alternatives in the area north of Hastings
      from Heatley to Raymur.  This work was completed and Council endorsed
      retaining the current M-2 industrial zoning.
     report back on rezoning the M-2 industrial area north of Hastings
      between Raymur and Clark to light industrial uses.  The Industrial
      Lands Strategy supports retaining the M-2 zoning.
     clarify the existing policy on industrial rezonings in Strathcona. 
      The Industrial Lands Strategy is now approved Council policy.
     report back on rezoning the industrially-zoned portion of the
      Hastings Street corridor. This work has been held in abeyance pending
      the completion of the East Downtown Housing Plan. The original policy
      direction is therefore retained in the revised policies.

     report back on rezoning the industrially-zoned sites in the Kiwassa
      RT-3 area to RT-3.  This work is summarized in this report.


   1.   Kiwassa RT-3 Area

   (a)  Sites Description

   The Kiwassa RT-3 area is located in Strathcona just south of Hastings
   Street viaduct between the BNR tracks and Vernon Drive as shown in
   Figure 1 below. There are ten small industrially-zoned sites (shaded in
   Figure 1) within this primarily residential area.  Most of these sites
   are currently in active industrial and service uses such as food
   manufacturing, clothes wholesaling and service company offices and
   warehouses.  Two sites are currently vacant.  One formerly industrial
   site, on the north-west corner of Keefer Street and Vernon Drive, was
   recently rezoned to RT-3 to permit construction of three residential

   While there are existing viable industries in the area, several have
   recently relocated out of the area. Because of the existing residential
   and adjacent school and park, these sites are a good opportunity to
   strengthen the residential character of the area in keeping with
   Council's Strathcona policies.  (Much of the area surrounding the
   Kiwassa neighbourhood is to remain industrial under Council's Industrial
   Lands Strategy.)

   Figure 1.  Kiwassa RT-3 Area
   (b)  Rezoning Approach 

   Staff have examined the desirability of a City-initiated rezoning of all
   the industrial sites to RT-3 now, or a Council policy supporting
   owner-initiated rezonings to RT-3 on a site-by-site basis.  Staff has
   concluded that a Council policy supporting rezonings is preferable to a
   City-initiated rezoning which would make the active industrial uses
   non-conforming.  This would put the current uses in an uncertain legal
   position and require owners to seek Board of Variance approval to
   expand, or rebuild if the building was destroyed by fire.  Given the
   restrictions of being made non-conforming, most owners of active
   businesses would wish to remain industrial until they are ready to
   redevelop.  While retaining the current zoning and supporting
   residential rezonings entails some risk of industrial redevelopment of
   some of these sites, staff believe the risk is minimal for two reasons. 
   First, most existing buildings are near their practical maximum size for
   their sites already, and secondly, market activity in the area suggests
   that residential redevelopment is favoured over industrial

   It should also be noted that Development Cost Levies (DCLs) cannot be
   collected in this area.  This is because RT-3 buildings contain less
   than the required minimum 4 units, and under the Vancouver Charter are
   not subject to DCLs.

   (c)  Public Input

   Staff sent a total of 230 notifications to affected landowners, 
   surrounding owners and residents in the RT-3 area, as well as the
   industrial area to the east up to Clark Drive.  A newsletter was 
   enclosed, with information on the proposed RT-3 rezoning policy as well
   as an update on other planning issues in the area.  There were only
   three responses to these notifications.  These respondents requested
   clarification of the RT-3 District's intent and were supportive of the
   proposed policy.

   Staff also notified the Strathcona Residents Association, the Strathcona
   Community Centre Association, the Strathcona Property Owners and the
   Raycam Co-operative Centre Association of this proposal.  No responses
   were received from any of these groups.

   2.   Strathcona Policies Update

   Many of the original Strathcona Policies, adopted on June 25, 1992,
   called for further staff review and decisions of Council as outlined in
   the Background section of this report. Except for the Hastings Street
   corridor review, the other major work is now complete.  Staff recommend
   that the Strathcona Policies be updated to reflect the current situation
   and incorporate the proposed Kiwassa RT-3 policy.  The complete updated
   policies are contained in Appendix A.


   Except to note a few additional housing opportunities, there are no
   major social or environmental implications to the proposed rezoning
   policy.  There are no implications with respect to the Vancouver
   Children's Policy or Statement of Children's Entitlements.


   Council has a policy of reinforcing the residential nature of the
   Kiwassa neighbourhood.  To achieve this objective, staff recommend
   adoption of a policy supporting owner-initiated rezonings to RT-3 for
   those industrially-zoned sites shown as shaded in Figure 1.  At the same
   time, staff recommend the remaining Strathcona Policies be updated to
   reflect Council's recent decisions on the future of industrial land in

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