Emerging Milestones 2013

Norquay Village Rezoned

Description: City Council approved new residential zoning for the Norquay Village area, providing for greater density in new housing forms.

Significance: The plan is seen as a template for growth in other single-family areas, with an apartment transition area as a physical buffer between the higher densities and mid-rise buildings on Kingsway to the residential neighbourhoods. Housing is expected to be oriented to families in three- to four-storey buildings.

Background: The rezoning follows the 2010 Norquay Village area plan, which sees Kingsway as a local high street, with community facilities and new residential zones.

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Little Mountain Adjacent Area Rezoning Policy

Description: City Council approved the rezoning policy for the four-square block site bounded by 33rd, Main, 35th and half a block west of Quebec Street for increased residential density, focusing on innovative, ground-oriented housing types aimed at families.

Significance: The area is what would be the northwest quadrant of the L-shaped Little Mountain site. It was seen as providing a transition in scale between Little Mountain and surrounding single-family areas. It was also one of the first areas to have its own fixed-rate community amenity contribution targets, which the city said was calibrated to encourage a variety of housing forms and amenities for the area.

Background: The area had been primarily made up of single-family houses, with a few duplexes and low-rise apartment buildings.

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New Vancouver-only Building Bylaw Introduced

Description: City Council approves in principle a new Vancouver-only building bylaw that adopts the 2012 B.C. Building Code and is aimed at increasing accessibility, safety and energy efficiency of buildings as well as improving administrative processes. The bylaw took effect at the beginning of 2015.

Significance: Vancouver is unique among BC municipalities in that it can adopt its own building bylaw, allowing the city to respond quickly to local issues that have an impact on building safety. The building bylaw includes new water and energy-efficiency requirements and enhanced accessibility provisions.

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Green Enterprise Hub for False Creek Flats

Description: Council approved the leases of city-owned properties at 449/455 Industrial Avenue in the False Creek Flats as part of a proposed Green Enterprise Zone.

Significance: The goal was to transform the False Creek Flats from a traditional industrial zone to an “engine of sustainable and innovative economic development for the City of Vancouver.” Its four major themes were circular economy, smart logistics, spaces to grow and solutions-based regulating.

The zone was meant to showcase the city’s best green innovation, feature green buildings and infrastructure, support sustainability-related industries, and attract new green capital. Services, wholesale, art and recreation, and manufacturing will remain the top business categories in this hub.

The area was expected to have capacity for more than 500 businesses and 8,000 jobs, making up 15 per cent of Vancouver’s industrial land base. Its first initiative was the Green Recycling Hub in partnership with United We Can.

The City also planned to use this area as the centrepiece of its Greenest Place to Work in the World campaign.
Background: The False Creek Flats Green Enterprise Initiative was to work directly with businesses and involved a core partnership of the Vancouver Economic Commission with non-profit organizations such as the Strathcona Business Improvement Association, the Light House Sustainable Building Centre and One Earth, as well as some other private (non-profit and for-profit) and public organizations are collaborating to transform the Flats into a sustainable and competitive business hub.

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New Site for Vancouver Art Gallery Designated

Description: Council designates two acres of the City-owned Larwill Park site for a new Vancouver Art Gallery.

Significance: Council’s endorsement of a plan to use its parking lot at 688 Cambie Street, at Georgia, for a new facility for the Vancouver Art Gallery began serious planning and fundraising for the project, which was meant to double the gallery’s size. Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron was chosen to design the building — and its wood-clad concept met a mixed response when it was unveiled in 2015. The new gallery was expected to cost $350 million and less than half of that had been raised by the end of 2015.

Background: The gallery has been housed in the old Vancouver courthouse since the mid-1980s, but was seen to lack large gallery spaces and did not have enough room to display much of the VAG permanent collection. The Larwill Park scheme involved closing a portion of Cambie to integrate the gallery with the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and selling 1.2 acres on the south part of the site for private development

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