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Sunday, July 21, 2024

City council to vote on rental-only zoning along proposed SkyTrain extension to UBC

Rezoning applications along the route would be frozen, unless they are for 100 per cent social housing, below market rental, student housing or care facilities

Vancouver city council will vote on an emergency interim zoning policy today that could halt applications to build new strata condominiums along the future SkyTrain corridor to UBC.

The city states in a report to council that “the potential for land speculation in the Arbutus to UBC (SkyTrain) Extension planning area poses a dangerous risk to the housing security of tens of thousands of renting Vancouverites,” and requires an emergency interim zoning policy.

The Broadway Planning Program, which is examining land use along the six-kilometre Millennium SkyTrain extension route from Clark Drive to Arbutus Street, is already underway. Rezoning applications along the route have been frozen, unless they are for 100 per cent social and supportive housing, below market rental housing, student housing or community care facilities.

Councillor Pete Fry wants to do the same for the portion of the route from Arbutus Street to the UBC campus, to help prevent real estate speculation.

His motion also calls for council to explore the use of rental-only zoning in the Broadway Plan area, and the future SkyTrain route from Arbutus to UBC.

The new interim zoning policy would impact properties located within 800 metres of the proposed SkyTrain route, except for the Jericho Lands, where strata condominiums would be permitted. A separate planning process for the Jericho Lands kicked off last Saturday.

The City of Vancouver says there are approximately 30,000 older affordable rental apartments along the Broadway corridor from Clark to Vine, and even more units along the corridor from Vine to UBC, and they need to be protected.

The city says “transit-oriented development leads the speculative real estate market in most major North American metropolitan areas, especially and including Vancouver.”

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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