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Thursday, June 20, 2024

DP filed for controversial Kitsilano rental building; streamlining rental policy goes to council today

A development permit has been filed for a six-storey rental apartment at the corner of West 4th Avenue and Balaclava in Kitsilano.

The development, designed by Ekistics Architecture, will include 35 units, 20 per cent of which will be offered under the city’s Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPP), with rents matching the affordability needs of households earning between $30,000 and $80,000 per year.

Kitsilano rental building renderings: W. 4th and Balaclava

Kitsilano rental building - view from the laneway
View from the lane of upcoming Kitsilano rental building. Credit: Ekistics Architecture
Kitsilano rental building - Main Entrance
Main Entrance. Credit: Ekistics Architecture
Kitsilano rental building - View from the corner of 4th Avenue and Balaclava Street
View from the corner of West 4th Avenue and Balaclava Street. Credit: Ekistics Architecture

The rezoning application hearing for the rental building was a marathon, lasting 11 hours over four days, with dozens of speakers concerned about the height of the building, as well as the fit with the neighbourhood. The lengthy process drew criticism from housing advocates and the development community over the spot rezoning process.

Streamlining rental policy goes to council today

A policy change that would encourage more projects like the Kitsilano building goes before council today.

The Streamlining Rental Public Hearing reconvenes at 3 p.m. after several days of public hearings in November. The policy would allow for new, six-storey rental buildings (like the Kitsilano rental building), outside of areas subject to recent and ongoing community planning programs.

Under the proposed policy, all six-storey projects would be required to include a minimum 20 per cent of permanently secured below-market rental units. There would be no limit on the total number of projects or spacing requirements that would apply within eligible areas.

Location criteria would focus eligibility on and near arterial roads in locations near local shopping areas, as well as sites near public transit and other daily needs. The city’s Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings would continue to apply, with all projects required to have zero-emissions space heating and hot water systems.

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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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