Agenda Index City of Vancouver



Date: July 13, 1998

Author/Local: RWhitlock/7814

LU&D No. 97038

CC File No. 5308

TO: Standing Committee on Planning and Environment

FROM: Director of Central Area Planning, on behalf of Land Use and Development

SUBJECT:CD-1 Rezoning: 2705-35 West 10th Avenue (at Stephens Street)


A.THAT the application by Brook Development Planning Inc. to rezone 2705-35 West 10th Avenue (Lots 8, 9, 10 and 11, Block 21, D.L. 192, Plan 1003) from RS-1A One-family Dwelling District to CD-1 Comprehensive Development District, to permit 35 dwelling units, of which 18 would be guaranteed for rental, be REFUSED.


B.THAT the application by Brook Development Planning Inc., to rezone 2705-35 West 10th Avenue (Lots 8, 9, 10 and 11, Block 21, D.L. 192, Plan 1003) from RS-1A One-family Dwelling District to CD-1 Comprehensive Development District, to permit 35 dwelling units, of which 18 would be guaranteed for rental, be referred to a Public Hearing, together with:

(i)plans received November 19, 1997;

(ii)draft CD-1 By-law provisions, generally as contained in Appendix A;

(iii)conditions of approval contained in Appendix B; and

(iv)a recommendation by the Director of Central Area Planning on behalf of Land Use and Development to reduce the floor space ratio (FSR) to 1.25 and the maximum height to 10.7 m (35 ft.);

AND THAT the Director of Legal Services be instructed to prepare the necessary CD-1 By-law for consideration at Public Hearing.


The General Manager of Community Services RECOMMENDS approval of A and submits B for the CONSIDERATION.


Rezoning Policy: Before and During CityPlan Neighbourhood Visioning, adopted by City Council January 18, 1996, including:

Policy 4: "Applications will be considered for:

·540·(b). . . projects involving social or affordable housing (i.e., non-profit, Bill 57 housing agreement, SNRFs), or Neighbourhood Housing Demonstration Projects (see also item 6)"; . . . and·540

Policy 6: "Rezonings for Neighbourhood Housing Demonstration Projects, whether publicly or privately initiated, will be considered on condition that:

·540·the application demonstrate a new housing form in the neighbourhood, improved affordability, and a degree of neighbourhood support; and·540

·540·any increase in land value, beyond the normal profit allowed by the City’s standard bonusing process, be converted into improved affordability."·540

On May 8, 1989, Council approved the following community development objectives as the basis of the City's social housing policy:

·540·Maintain and expand housing opportunities in Vancouver for low and moderate income households, with priority being given to Downtown lodging house residents, elderly people on fixed and limited incomes, the physically and mentally disabled, and single-parent families with children.·540

·540·Encourage the distribution of acceptable housing forms and affordable shelter costs equally among all residential neighbourhoods of Vancouver.·540

On June 6, 1995, Council approved CityPlan Directions Addressing Housing Costs which included: ". . . using incentives to encourage the private sector to provide lower-cost housing, or require a percentage of new units to be more affordable; and maintaining a stock of rental housing".


This report assesses an application to rezone four parcels on the northwest corner of West 10th Avenue and Stephens Street from RS-1A to CD-1 to permit development at 1.54 FSR, containing 35 dwelling units, of which 18 would be guaranteed market rental for the life of the building through a Bill 57 Housing Agreement with the City.

Community residents and groups in the area have expressed strong opposition to the proposed rezoning because of the precedent they believe would be established for properties all along the north side of West 10th Avenue.


Staff evaluated the proposed rezoning against Policies 4 and 6 of the "Rezoning Policy -Before and During CityPlan Neighbourhood Visioning". As no criteria are set out for evaluating applications which are submitted under Policy 4, normal rezoning criteria was used for assessment, such as site uniqueness, size, and non-conforming use. Staff concluded that there is insufficient grounds to support the application. As a Bill 57 proposal at 1.54 FSR, approval of this application could represent a serious precedent for many properties on the north side of West 10th Avenue.

If approved, under Policy 6, Neighbourhood Housing Demonstration Projects (NHDP), the project would not act as a precedent for further rezonings both before and during Visioning, and it would provide guaranteed rental units. However, it is not seen as a new housing form in the neighbourhood as a similar project exists on a CD-1-zoned site at 2309 West 10th Avenue at Vine Street, and response to Planning notification letters indicated mostly strong opposition from residents close to the site. Two of the required criteria for NHD projects are therefore not met.

Staff recommend that the application be refused.


CityPlan Rezoning Policy - Bill 57: Policy 4 of the "Rezoning Policy - Before and During CityPlan Neighbourhood Visioning", wherein applications "will be considered" for "projects involving social or affordable housing (i.e., non-profit, Bill 57 housing agreement, SNRFs), or Neighbourhood Housing Demonstration Projects" provides no criteria for assessment of rezoning proposals. Consequently, Planning staff have used normal criteria for assessing such applications:

1.Uniqueness of Site Size or Configuration: The four lots with frontages of just under 15.24 m (50 ft.) and depths of 34.14 m (112 ft.) are typical for Kitsilano and for the north side of 10th Avenue, east and west of this site. This criteria is not met.

2.Vacant or Non-conforming Uses: The four lots are all occupied by one-family dwellings typical in age and size to this part of Kitsilano; therefore, the application does not meet this criteria. Such was the case with 2309 West 10th Avenue (CD-1 enacted in 1995 on site formerly occupied by the Salvation Army meeting hall). One unique site that would meet this criteria is the north-west corner of West 10th Avenue at Trutch Street, presently vacant and used for commercial parking.

3.Zoning Anomaly: The site sits in a pocket of RS-1A - zoning comprised of only five blocks plus Kitsilano High School and Connaught Park. There are 25 other lots zoned RS-1A along the north side of West 10th Avenue in this zoning district. There is nothing anomalous about the zoning of the subject property.

In the context of the north side of West 10th avenue between Alma Street to the west, and Vine Street to the east, many properties share similar circumstances. The street was originally built with one- or two-family dwellings at low density, and all properties back on to the Broadway commercial district. Most of the original buildings remain. The zoning includes RS-5S (about 100 lots), RS-1A (29 lots), RT-8 (12 lots) and CD-1 (2 sites). The two CD-1 sites were previously anomalous situations, with one being vacant and the other containing a church hall.

Through the years, staff have received many enquiries from prospective applicants proposing to assemble sites along the north side of West 10th Avenue for rezoning to permit higher-intensity development. Their rationale is that the properties back onto the commercial district, and/or that the properties (west of Macdonald Street) are sandwiched between the commercial district and West 10th Avenue, an arterial street. Staff have consistently advised that unless there is something unusual about the site proposed for rezoning, the Planning Department would not support a rezoning along West 10th Avenue, without a neighbourhood zoning study, as the approval of one such rezoning would likely set off a chain of similar requests. This advice may not pertain to a proposal for a NHDP where only one project could be approved. There remains only one anomalous site for which staff might otherwise support rezoning, being the northwest corner of West 10th Avenue and Trutch Street that is used as a commercial parking lot.

Consequently, this application, if approved, raises the spectre of subsequent land assemblies and applications at apartment density under Bill 57. If the finances work for this proposal, they should work for many other properties along West 10th Avenue, given there is nothing unusual about the subject site. Staff maintain the position that such a change should not occur without a zoning study of the whole of West 10th Avenue corridor, or a community visioning exercise for Kitsilano (noting that parts of Kitsilano have recently been through a second local area planning program [1990-1994]).

CityPlan Rezoning Policy - NHDP: Staff assessed the application against criteria for NHDPs:

1.The project exhibits characteristics of many ground-oriented housing projects in Kitsilano and is modelled closely to another CD-1 housing project on the northwest corner of West 10th Avenue and Vine Street.

2.The provision of 18 rental units is deemed to be satisfactory by the Manager of the Housing Centre as meeting the criteria of housing affordability.

3.While the applicant had originally indicated some support in the area for the rezoning, response to Planning’s early notification indicated strong opposition from property owners closer to the site. Petitions and letters in support submitted by the applicant, except for five responses from owners in the mixed-use area across the lane, were generally located in other parts of Kitsilano.

Staff suggested to the applicant that the application be amended to more closely meet the NHDP criteria, including a new form of housing, such as row housing, and reduction of the density to perhaps garner more support in the immediate neighbourhood. The applicant felt that the provision of 18 rental units should make this application attractive to City Council and asked that the application proceed.


Whereas the Urban Design Panel is generally supportive of the proposed development at this location, Planning staff conclude that the site is not sufficiently unique to warrant consideration for rezoning, without either a zoning study or neighbourhood visioning exercise first taking place. Approval of apartment-type density here could set off a chain of similar land assemblies and requests. Staff further conclude that in order for this rezoning to meet the criteria for a NHDP, another housing form at a lower density would need to be proposed, and there would need to be a demonstration of a reasonable level of support from surrounding neighbours. Given that the applicant is not willing to pursue this direction, staff recommend the application be refused.

Should Council wish to consider referring the application to public hearing, staff recommend the density be reduced to 1.25 FSR, the same as the CD-1 at West 10th Avenue and Vine Street, and the height be reduced to 10.7 m (35 ft.), the same as under RS-1A.



Use •Multiple dwellings

•Parking for adjacent commercial development

Density •Maximum floor space ratio of 1.54 FSR, based on calculation provisions of the RM-4 District Schedule.

Height•A maximum of 12.2 m ( 40 ft.) or 3 storeys

Setback•The westerly building shall maintain a setback of 6.8 m (22.4 ft.) from the front property line, and a setback of 1.5 m (5 ft.) from the west property line.

•The easterly building shall maintain a setback of 1.5 m (5 ft.) from the easterly property line.

Parking•Per Parking By-law, with a minimum requirement of one space per 70 m² (753 sq. ft.)

Acoustics •Per RM-4N District Schedule.


(a)THAT the proposed form of development be approved by Council in principle, generally as prepared by James Hancock Architects Inc., and stamped "Received City Planning Department, November 19, 1997", provided that the Director of Planning may allow minor alterations to this form of development when approving the detailed scheme of development as outlined in (b) below.

(b)THAT, prior to approval by Council of the form of development, the applicant shall obtain approval of a development application by the Director of Planning, who shall have particular regard to the following:

(i)design changes related to the reduction in FSR to 1.25 and the height to 10.7 m (35 ft.);

(ii)design changes to retain trees #1 and #4 on Lot 4, pursuant to the report from Durante Kreuk, dated May 1, 1998;

(iii)plans to show a clear separation between commercial and residential parking;

(iv)accommodation of access and addressing as outlined by Fire Services; and

(v)design development to take into consideration the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environment Design (CPTED) having particular regard for:

•reducing opportunities for theft in the underground parking;

[Note to Applicant: Theft from auto is prevalent in the Vancouver area. Open exit stairs have shown to provide easy access to underground parking areas when they are visually accessible to non-residents. These exit stairs should be secured at street level. Open exit stairs from resident parking can be located in the semi-private open space where they can be watched by residents.]

•improving security and visibility in the underground parking in accordance with section 4.12 of the Parking By-law with consideration to painting the walls and ceiling of the parking garage white;

•clarification of access to underground parking for visitors;

[Note to Applicant: Electronic communication to residential units will be necessary as visitor parking appears to be located within the residential parking. Although visitor parking is not specifically designated, gate locations indicate it is secure. This placement is considered positive.]

•residential break and enter:

- ‘Exit’ stairs from the visitor underground parking should be routed to the exterior of the complex rather than to the courtyard;

- the townhouse on the west side of the development is at a high risk for break and enter. Opportunities can be reduced by deleting areas of concealment outside of doors, windows and patios and encouraging some surveillance from neighbours;

•improve defensibility and reduce opportunities for break and enter and nuisance on residential yards on the lane;

[Note to Applicant: Consideration should be given to increasing the setback of the town homes facing the lane and clearly defining them with low gates and fences. Lane units are most susceptible to break and enter and additional security should be considered. Having kitchen sinks face the windows improves surveillance and is considered positive.]

•clarification of height and type of gates at courtyard entrances;

[Note to Applicant: Townhouses with entrances at the courtyard must be equipped with electronic communication to the secured courtyard gates.]

•clarification of type and height of fence on the north and west sides of the development, as well as descriptions of the gates at the west side of the property; and

(c)THAT, prior to enactment of the CD-1 By-law, the registered owner shall:

(i)consolidate lots 8, 9, 10 and 11, Block 21 , D.L. 192, Plan 1003;

(ii)make arrangements for all electrical services to be undergrounded from the closest existing suitable service point;

(iii)execute a legal agreement satisfactory to the Director of Legal Services providing that owners will not discriminate against families with children in the sale of their property; and

(iv)execute a Housing Agreement and any other agreements necessary, to the satisfaction of the Director of Legal Services and the Manager of the Housing Centre, securing the appropriate number of residential units (to be determined in accordance with the approved FSR) as rental.


Site, Surrounding Zoning and Development: This 0.20 ha (0.49 ac.) site is comprised of four parcels on the north/west corner of West 10th Avenue and Stephens Street. The site has a frontage of 59.6 m (195.6 ft.) and a depth of 35.2 m (115.4 ft.). The site is presently occupied by four existing buildings, each approved and utilized as one-family dwelling.

Proposed Development

The proposal consists of 35 dwelling units, of which 18 would be guaranteed for market rental purposes for the life of the buildings. Parking for 52 cars is provided underground with access from the lane. Forty-four spaces will serve the residential development, while eight parking spaces will be provided under agreement with the building at 2732-36 West Broadway.

The development consists of 4 buildings around a small central courtyard. The total floor area is 3 058.7 m² (32,925 sq. ft.), with a resultant FSR of 1.54. The most easterly and westerly buildings have a maximum height of 12.1 m (40 ft.), while the centre buildings have a height of 10.7 m (35 ft.).


Public Input: A rezoning notification sign and an early notification letter was sent to registered property owners in the area. Responses were received in regard to both this rezoning application and another inquiry at West 10th Avenue and Trutch Street, involving a vacant site which has been used for parking for an adjoining commercial use on West Broadway.

The applicant presented 48 letters in support of the application. The majority of these are individually written but drawn from similar text (a number of phrases are repeated throughout). Examples of common phrases are as follows:

•I am writing to express my support;

•believe this area of Kitsilano is in need of townhouses, in particular, rental townhouses;

•Having viewed the design proposal for 2705/35 West 10th Avenue;

•this site offers a good opportunity to provide a transition between the commercial buildings and the single family homes to the south; and

•the design of the proposal is appealing and it fits in well with our neighbourhood.

Except for five letters from residents immediately across the lane to the north, the remaining letters were sent from addresses throughout Kitsilano, rather than close to the site.

Letters of opposition are generally from addresses close to the two sites. Concerns are generally as follows:

•rezoning should not occur in advance of CityPlan visioning for the area;

•affordable rental accommodation will be eliminated;

•Kitsilano already has its fair share of density, further rezoning should be held until development in the Arbutus Industrial Area is finished; and

•the proposed development will add to traffic and parking problems already existing in the area.

The Upper Kitsilano Residents Association has also taken positions strongly opposed to both the current rezoning application and the proposal at West 10th Avenue and Trutch Street. Their comments are as follows:

•Kitsilano has taken more than its share of higher density, particularly through the new developments at the old Carlings beer site (Molson’s);

•spot zoning is not necessary, especially not until the CityPlan visioning process is completed.

•both developments would provide precedents that would encourage other builders totear down houses along West 10th Avenue.

Staff note that Kitsilano will likely be a low priority for CityPlan visioning as a local area planning program was undertaken between 1990 and 1994.

Comments of the City Engineer: The City Engineer has no objection to the proposed rezoning, provided that the applicant complies with conditions as shown in Appendix B.

Comments of the Managers of Real Estate Services and the Housing Centre: "The 1.54 FSR proposed by the Applicant generates a quid pro quo public benefit of about $830,000 which equates to approximately 15 rental-covenanted units for the life of the building. The applicant is offering 18 two-bedroom rental-covenanted units which would be rented at market rates. Under the 1.25 FSR proposed for consideration by the Director of Planning, the public benefit drops to about $335,000 which equates to approximately 6 rental-covenanted units.

CMHC advises that in Kitsilano, the market area in which this rezoning is being sought, the vacancy rate for two-bedroom apartments in October, 1997, the latest month for which data is available, was 0.2 percent. This means that for every 1,000 units, only 2 are available for rent. CMHC also advises that the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Kitsilano in 1997 was $1,090 per month.

The Manager of the Housing Centre supports the provision of rental units as an appropriate public benefit. A Housing Agreement will be required to secure the rental units."

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED): Design consideration to incorporate CPTED principles are outlined in Appendix B.

Health Department: The City’s acoustical criteria shall form part of the zoning by-law, and an acoustical consultant’s report shall be required which assesses noise impacts on the site and recommends noise mitigating measures.

Fire: There are going to be townhouses and principle entrances that do not face a street. The clause in VBBL attempts to deal with it by allowing the rowhousing to be set back 30 m (98.5 ft.) from the street as long as the front entrances are within 45 m (147.6 ft.). The rear building is slightly over 30 m (98.5 ft.) if measured from the curb.

This should not affect the rezoning, but the applicant should be informed so that they can make adjustments for the development permit.

Permits and Licenses: A site profile is not required.

Urban Design Panel Comment: The Urban Design Panel reviewed this proposal on January 28, 1998 and supports the proposed use, density and form of development.


Introduction: The Rezoning Planner, Rob Whitlock, presented this application for rezoning. He briefly reviewed the proposal which is for 35 ground-oriented units, 18 of which will be guaranteed rental. Proposed height is 40 ft., and 52 underground parking spaces will be provided. Following a brief description of the zoning context, Eric Fiss, Development Planner, reviewed the design, highlighting the areas in which the advice of the Panel is sought, namely the character of the proposed development, density, livability and general landscape issues. Proposed density is 1.54 FSR.

Applicant's Opening Comments: Chuck Brook referenced other recently approved projects that can be compared to this application. He described the application, noting the trade-off for the increased density is the 18 townhouses which will be for market rental in perpetuity. James Hancock, Architect, briefly reviewed the architectural response, stressing the attempt that has been made for a design that fits this Kitsilano neighbourhood.

Panel's Comments: After reviewing the model and posted drawings, the Panel commented as follows:

•The Panel unanimously supported this application. This kind of densification and this form of housing were strongly supported. It is very appropriate for this particular site. The provision of guaranteed rental units was commended and considered to be worth the density being sought. The proposed architectural character is very appropriate for Kitsilano.

•The Panel supported the proposed height and agreed with the applicant’s rationale with respect to consideration of site topography.

•Generally, the unit layout is such that major rooms achieve a good aspect. The exceptions are a couple of units on the lane which have master bedrooms at grade, and some units in building A adjacent the side of building B which might be helped by bays or projections. Livability of the units backing onto the commercial lane will need to be carefully considered as the project progresses.

•One Panel member suggested the units on Stephens Street should be either raised somewhat or lowered. At present, they are neither sunken nor at grade, which is a kind of grading awkwardness that could get compounded over time as the neighbourhood redevelops.

·540·There were no concerns about the loss of the existing trees on the site; preserving one is acceptable.·540

•Given that half the project will comprise rental units with some shorter term residents, the applicant was urged to ensure the outdoor space is carefully designed for long termsuccess in terms of choice of landscape materials and the degree of maintenance required.

•There were some comments that the project is a little "tight", which may ultimately mean a sl ight reduction in density, but overall the Panel was very supportive."

Public Benefit:


Nearby access to transit and commercial services may reduce dependence on use of automobiles.


There are no major positive or negative social implications to this proposal. There are no implications with respect to the Vancouver Children's Policy or Statement of Children's Entitlement(s).


The applicant has been provided with a copy of this report and has provided the following comments:

"This proposal is positive in several respects:

·540·Title searches of all properties fronting West 10th Avenue between Larch Street and Carnarvon Street indicate that this is the only assembly of single family lots. All other properties are individually owned and would be very difficult to assemble. ·540

·540·The creation of ground-oriented townhouses in Kitsilano would be a needed addition to the existing entry-level housing stock.·540

·540·The proposal includes a significant component of market rental townhousing, suitable for families, in an area of the City where the vacancy rate for two-bedroom apartments is a mere 0.2 %.·540

·540·48 letters of support have been received. It is not unusual for residents living closest to the proposed development to be strongly opposed - in fact this is commonplace. The proposal is intended to provide housing opportunities for residents of Vancouver - both those currently residing in Kitsilano, and those who may not otherwise find housing in the Kitsilano area.·540

Even though the Urban Design Panel enthusiastically supported the application, we are prepared to reduce the FSR to 1.25, and the maximum height to 35 feet, if Council believes that this is necessary in order to forward the application to Public Hearing. This reduction in density will mean a proportionate reduction in the number of rental townhouses."




Street Address

2705-35 West 10th Avenue

Legal Description

Lots 8,9,10 and 11, Block 21, DL 192, Plan 1003


Brook Development Planning Inc.


James Hancock Architects Inc.

Property Owner







1 983 m² (21,345 sq. ft.)


1 983 m² (21,345 sq. ft.)






(if different than proposed)





One-family Dwellings, MCD

Multiple dwellings


Possible one-family dwelling with suite, per lot


Reduced in ratio

to FSR decrease







Lesser of 10.7 m or

2½ storeys

12.2 m

10.7 m


Minimum of one space

Minimum of one space

for each 70 m² of

gross floor area



7.3 m

Typical 4.7 m; Min. 2.4 m

Westerly bldg.

at 6.8 m



10% but not more

than 1.5 m

Typical 3 m; Min. 1 m

Westerly bldg.

at 1.5 m



10.7 m, reduced with lane

0.6 m

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