Vancouver's Duplex re-zoning catches Vancouver by surprise: and is a real game changer!

Duplex Re-Zoning Catches Vancouver By Surprise

Vancouver's Duplex re-zoning catches Vancouver by surprise: and is a real game changer!

Duplexes Can Now Be Built in 99% of Vancouver’s Single-Family Areas!

Wow, that was quick and seemingly out-of-the-blue!!  Duplex re-zoning catches Vancouver by surprise: and is a real game changer! Following only two days of public hearings and heated debates, Vancouver City Council approved a new policy this evening that allows the construction of duplexes within 99% of all single-family areas in the city.

This was the current City Council’s final meeting, with City Councillors voting on the matter along party lines; Mayor Gregor Robertson, all Vision Vancouver councillors, and Yes Vancouver Councillor Hector Bremner voted in favour, while the three Non-Partisan Association Councillors and Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr voted against.

This form of development allows houses to be divided into two suites with separate entrances, adding to the existing maximum of three suites – a single-family house, secondary suite, and a laneway house. However, the permitted height and density has not changed.

About 67,000 single-family lots, accounting for 52% of the city of Vancouver’s land mass, are now eligible for duplexes.

Map of single-family areas in Vancouver where duplexes can be built. Click on the map for an enlarged version. (City of Vancouver)

This is one of the most significant policies of Robertson’s decade-long term as the Mayor of the city and a real” game changer!”

“The decision by Council to make it legal to build duplexes in single family neighbourhoods across Vancouver is one more step we’re taking to boost the right supply of housing for people who live and work in Vancouver,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, who emphasized this policy is a necessary step to help address housing affordability.

“This is not a silver bullet for Vancouver’s housing challenges, but we have to deal with the fact that more than half of the City’s land base is zoned exclusively for single family homes – homes that are out of reach for the overwhelming majority of residents. Over the past two years of consultation for the new Housing Vancouver strategy, we heard loud and clear that Vancouverites want more housing options in single family neighbourhoods.”

Duplexes are already permitted in neighbourhoods like Kitsilano, Strathcona, and Grandview Woodland, and the new policy expands this permitted development type to neighbourhoods such as Dunbar, Kerrisdale, and West Point Grey.

This is part of City Council’s Making Room program of increasing housing options in low-density neighbourhoods, particularly areas that are seeing a decline in population.

The next City Council will decide whether Making Room should be further expanded to potentially allow rowhouses, townhouses, and low-rise apartments in low-density neighbourhoods. City staff are expected to offer recommendations on these new density types by the summer of 2019.

Article Courtesy of Vancouver Daily Hive (published Sept 19th, 2018)


Northeast False Creek Plans Revealed

The City of Vancouver has released its conceptual plans for the redevelopment of Northeast False Creek, which entails the controversial demolition of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts and the construction of an 11-acre extension of Creekside Park.

The new park designed by James Corner, the internationally renowned landscape architectural whose firm is behind New York City’s Highline Park, involves merging the park spaces of Andy Livingstone Park and Creekside Park to create a newly designed waterfront park space in the inner harbour.

There will be programmable open spaces suitable for events and sports mixed in with a new skateboard park, a reconfiguration of the seawall around the water, the closure and conversion of Carrall Street through Andy Livingstone Park into new green space, the creation of gardens and wetlands, a water play plaza, and children’s playgrounds.

One of the defining elements of the new public space is Dunsmuir Elevated Park, an elevated green space with bike lanes and pedestrian walkways.

A new pedestrian bridge over Pacific Boulevard will also connect Andy Livingstone Park with the new park and green spaces by the water.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty

Proposed plan for the new park space in Northeast False Creek.

“The park will be unique and will have a singular identity unlike any other park in Vancouver,” reads the plan. “Spaces will be designed for flexible and multipurpose use that can easily change throughout the day, over the seasons and through the years.”

Altogether, the plan creates at least 13.75 acres of new park and open space in Northeast False Creek.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty

Vancouver City Council approved the plan in October 2015 to demolish the viaductsand reconfigure the area for new parks and public spaces, housing developments, and a new smaller east-west road that replaces Expo Boulevard, Pacific Boulevard, and the viaducts.

Pacific Boulevard near BC Place will become a two-directional street, and West Georgia Street will be extended to Pacific Boulevard between BC Place and Rogers Arena.

The entire plan was expected to cost $150 million at the time of approval but it has since increased to $200 million.

Housing developments, including a mix of market, rental, and affordable housing, could increase the neighbourhood’s population by as much as 15,000 residents. Major redevelopments are planned by Canadian Metropolitan Properties at the site of the Plaza of Nations, Concord Pacific at its remaining parcel of lands in the area, and near Main Street on the existing footprint of the viaducts.

City Council is expected to make a final decision on the viaducts removal and conceptual plan this fall.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty

Early conceptual rendering of the future of Northeast False Creek.

Dunsmuir Elevated Park

The Dunsmuir Elevated Park will begin at the existing western end of the Dunsmuir Viaduct next to Rogers Arena and end at Quebec Street. There will be bike lanes and pedestrian paths as well as seating and rest areas, viewpoints to False Creek and the mountains, awnings and canopies, public art, and nighttime lighting.

A pedestrian walkway will be created between the elevated park and SkyTrain’s Chinatown-Stadium Station to provide a direct connection to transit. Several vertical access points are planned between the elevated park and the ground level.

For the portion of the elevated park next to Rogers Arena, it will be designed as a programmable gathering space as a part of the area’s entertainment district.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty

Carrall Promenade

Carrall Street’s roadway will be permanently closed for a conversion into new green spaces with bike lanes and a pedestrian walkway extending from Keefer Street, through Andy Livingstone Park, under the SkyTrain elevated guideway, and to False Creek.

The areas adjacent to the SkyTrain elevated guideway will be enhanced.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty


A pavilion with a canopy in the new park provides flexible community event space as well as a food and beverage destination with tables and chairs.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty

Splash Plaza

A plaza space with fountains provides a water play area. When the fountains are turned off, it becomes a flexible space for play, public art, and events.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty

New skateboard park

A new skateboard park that replaces the existing facility under the viaducts will be bbuilt at the corner of Quebec Street and Pacific Boulevard. The facility will be under a canopy to provide weather protection and high visibility.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty


A new garden area will feature a mixture of seasonally-diverse meadow grasses, perennials, bulbs, and flowering shrubs.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty


The new park space will collect rain water and divert it to a new wetland area that purifies water and creates a diverse habitat display.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty


There will be a mix of spaces, multipurpose features, sports fields, fitness spaces, and landscape elements that encourage play for all ages.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty

Open fields

A large flexible open green space will be an area for both leisure and a venue for community events and festivals.

Mark J. Walker, RE/MAX Masters Realty

Article Courtesy of Vancouver Buzz (published Jun 5th, 2017)