Date: April 8, 1997
   Dept. File No.  AG
   C.C. File No.: 113

   TO:       Standing Committee of Planning and Environment

   FROM:     Director of Land Use and Development

   SUBJECT:  Proposed Amendment to Subdivision By-law No. 5208 - Site
             Reclassification at 1708 East 56th Avenue


        THAT Council approve the application  to reclassify the property at
        1708 East 56th Avenue from Category  B  to Category  A  of Schedule
        A, Table 1, of Subdivision By-law No. 5208.


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


   Council Policy regarding amendments to the subdivision categories in the
   RS-1, RS-1S, RS-3, RS-3A,  RS-5, and RS-6 Zoning Districts  is reflected
   in the  Manager s Report as approved by Council on October 28, 1987.  As
   well as establishing seven parcel size categories for subdivision in the
   RS-1  District, the report provided  for possible future  changes in the
   categories  in cases where property owners seek to classify their parcel
   category either up or down, to facilitate or prevent subdivision.


   This report addresses a proposal to reclassify the property at 1708 East
   56th Avenue (Lot 1, Block 4, Fraserview, Plan 8393) from Category  B  to
   Category   A   for the  purpose of  subdivision  in accordance  with the
   minimum  parcel size requirements of Schedule A, Table 1, of Subdivision
   By-law No. 5208.

   On  January 19,  1988,  Council enacted  an amended  Schedule  A to  the
   Subdivision  By-law by  introducing seven  categories of  minimum parcel
   width   and  area  to  govern  the  subdivision  of  lands  zoned  RS-1.
   Subsequently, lands zoned RS-1S,  RS-3, RS-3A, RS-5, and RS-6  have been
   included as well. All lands in these six zoning districts are classified
   on a block-by-block basis, as shown  on 279 sectional maps, which are on
   file with the City Clerk and which form part of Schedule A.

   As shown in  Appendix A, the subject parcel is  contained within a block
   which is classified as Category  B .  This category prescribes a minimum
   width of 12.192 m (40.00 ft.) and a minimum area of 334.451 m2 (3,600.00
   sq.   ft.)  for  each  parcel  created  by  sub-division.    The  blocks
   immediately to the north, east, and south of the subject parcel are also
   classified  as Category  B .  The block  to the southwest of the subject
   parcel is classified as  Category  A , which prescribes a  minimum width
   of 9.144  m (30.00 ft.) and a  minimum area of 278.709  m2 (3,000.00 sq.

   The   subject  parcel  maintains  a  width  of  approximately  19.200  m
   (63.00 ft.)  and an area of approximately 723.800 m2 (7,791.00 sq. ft.).
   Under  Category  B ,  the subject  parcel cannot  be subdivided,  either
   individually,  or  in  conjunction  with  the  adjacent parcel,  as  the
   resulting parcels  would not meet the minimum  parcel width requirement,
   although they would exceed the area requirement for Category  B .

   The  property  owners  have  submitted  this  reclassification  proposal
   because the parcel is one of the largest remaining in the blockface, and
   there  are  no opportunities  to combine  with  the adjoining  parcel to
   resubdivide,  in  accordance with  Category  B ,  in  order to  meet the
   minimum parcel width requirement. 

   If this reclassification is approved, the owners of Lot 1 could apply to
   subdivide into two parcels, each having a width of approximately 9.600 m
   (31.50 ft.) and an area of approximately 361.900 m2 (3,896.00 sq. ft.).


   Twenty-two property  owners, excluding  the applicant, were  notified in
   writing  of this  reclassification request.   Thirteen  owners responded
   with the following results:

        Oppose reclassification:            10
        Support reclassification:            3
        No Response:                         9

   Although  ten property  owners opposed  the reclassification,  only four
   offered  reasons for  their  opposition.   These  owners felt  that  the
   reclassification and resulting subdivision potential would detrimentally
   affect  the value  of  the surrounding  properties,  as well  as  create
   traffic and  parking problems.  Several  of these owners also  felt that
   the subdivided parcels would be too small to support adequate homes.

   The  owners in support of  the reclassification did  not offer comments.
   The location of the respondents is illustrated in Appendix A.


   The original subdivision pattern established by the registration of Plan
   No. 8393 in 1952, created blocks consisting of primarily larger parcels,
   in the area bordered by  Argyle Street east to Victoria Drive,  and from
   East 55th Avenue south to East 61st Avenue.  Block 4, which contains the
   subject  site, remains  unchanged,  as there  have been  no subdivisions
   subsequent to Plan 8393.


   This  reclassification   application   proposes   to   allow   for   the
   consideration of parcels  no less than 9.144 m (30.00  ft.) in width and
   278.709 m2 (3,000.00 sq. ft.) in area. 

   If  Lot 1  were only  0.305 m  (1.00 ft.)  wider, it  would  qualify for
   consideration for  subdivision under  Section 9.1(a) of  the Subdivision
   By-law, which provides the Approving Officer the discretion to approve a
   subdivision  which creates  parcels having  a lesser  width or  a lesser
   area, than  the minimum prescribed in  Schedule A.  In  order to qualify
   for  this consideration, the parcel must be  on record in the Land Title
   Office prior to January 19, 1988,  and the parcels created must not have
   less  than 80% of  the minimum  width or area  prescribed in  Table 1 of
   Schedule A.

   Although  the seven  parcel size  categories were  meant to  reflect the
   predominant subdivision pattern of an area on a block-by-block basis, it
   was  recognized that  there  would be  anomalies.   Section  9.1(a)  was
   established to enable subdivision consideration for parcels that:

   -    are  unusually large  relative  to the  prevailing  pattern in  the
        blockface, yet not large enough to permit subdivision in accordance
        with the Table 1 standards;
   -    do not have  an opportunity to combine  with an adjacent parcel  to
        meet minimum standards; and
   -    if approved,  would  not  set a  significant  precedent  for  other
        parcels in the vicinity.

   It  should  be noted  that  based  on  past  and current  practice,  the
   Approving Officer  would likely have  supported a proposal  to subdivide
   Lot 1 into two parcels, if those parcels created met the 80% criteria of
   Section  9.1(a).  In the immediate vicinity, there are two parcels which
   do meet those criteria (Lot 33  of Block 1 - 1711 East 56th  Avenue, and
   Lot 5 of Block  1 - 1738  East 55th Avenue),  which therefore have  that
   subdivision  potential. These parcels are highlighted with an  *  on the
   Appendix A map. 

   As  reflected in  the table attached  as Appendix B,  the average parcel
   area in Block  4 is approximately 564.700 m2 (6,079.00  sq. ft.).  Lot 1
   currently  has an area of  approximately 723.800 m2  (7,791.00 sq. ft.),
   which is  almost 22% larger than  the average parcel area  in the block.
   The  five adjacent  parcels to the  east of Lot  1 each have  a width of
   approximately 13.700 m (45.00 ft.).  In comparison to these parcels, Lot
   1, with a  width of approximately  19.200 m (63.00  ft.), is almost  29%
   larger in width.   If the owners are successful  in their application to
   reclassify their property and are subsequently allowed  to subdivide Lot
   1 into two parcels, those parcels would be approximately  36% smaller in
   area than the current average parcel width in Block 4.

   In  addressing  concerns  from neighbouring  property  owners  regarding
   property values, Real Estate Services reviewed other recent subdivisions
   of similar properties in the  Fraserview area.  From sales data,  it was
   determined  that if Lot 1 were subdivided  into two parcels, it would be
   doubtful  that a decrease in  land values of  the surrounding properties
   would  ensue.    Instead,  the  subdivision  would likely  place  upward
   pressure  on the  value of  the surrounding  homes, despite  the smaller
   parcel sizes resulting from the subdivision.


   Category  B  was selected for this block to reflect the existing pattern
   of predominately  larger parcels  and to prevent  subsequent subdivision
   into small parcels,  except in  cases which qualify  for Section  9.1(a)
   consideration.  However, given that this property is only 0.305  m (1.00
   ft.) short of  qualifying for  subdivision under Section  9.1(a) of  the
   Subdivision By-law, without  reclassification, it would seem  reasonable
   to support this reclassification request.

   Therefore,  despite the objections of some  of the neighbouring property
   owners,  the  Director   of  Land  Use  and  Development   supports  the
   reclassification of Lot 1 from Category  B  to Category  A . 

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