Oakridge Centre Rezoned
Council approved the rezoning and redevelopment plan for Oakridge.
The plan is to transform a car-oriented shopping centre into a mixed-use development with more than 2,900 dwelling units, community facilities, a park, office uses, a high street and a renewed shopping mall. When completed in 2024, the 25-acre Oakridge will be the city’s only municipal town centre outside downtown, and was described as a “new downtown for south Vancouver.” The tallest of its towers at 44 storeys will be the city’s highest outside of downtown.
Oakridge , which was first developed in the late 1950s, was Vancouver’s first car-oriented shopping centre and the first site with a comprehensive development (CD-1) zoning bylaw.
- Oakridge rezoning proposal: Staff presentation to Council
- Oakridge rezoning approval: Media report
- City of Vancouver: Oakridge Centre web page
Downtown Eastside New Local Area Plan
Council approved a new Local Area Plan for the Downtown Eastside following a Local Area Planning Process.
As one of the Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods and the historic heart of the city, the Downtown Eastside has struggled with many challenges, including drug use, crime, homelessness, mental-health issues, unemployment, housing issues and the loss of businesses. Providing a vision, policies, and strategies for the DTES, the plan aims at improving the lives of low-income residents and making it more livable, safe and supportive place to live for all diverse residents.
Based on Vancouver’s Healthy City Strategy, the plan is meant as a step towards creating a healthy neighbourhood, healthy people and healthy environment, with a focus on social housing and affordable housing. One of its highlights is a priority on affordable rental housing in its central neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside Oppenheimer District.
The Downtown Eastside includes areas such as Chinatown, Gastown, Strathcona , the Burrard Inlet waterfront and parts of downtown. The plan was developed in in partnership with neighbourhood groups.
- City of Vancouver: Downtown Eastside Plan web page
Low-rise Laneway Housing Program for the West End
City council approves bylaw amendments for residentially zoned areas (RM-5, RM-5A, RM-5B, and RM-5C) in the West End to allow for low-rise infill housing behind existing buildings in the lanes. This was seen as a way to revitalize the lanes while providing family-oriented affordable housing. The first two laneway infill projects, both “mini-apartment’ rental housing buildings, were approved by the Development Permit Board in November 2014.
The West End’s lanes, measuring 10 metres (33 feet), are the widest in the city. The West End plan saw an opportunity to repurpose some of that under-utilized space, much of which includes surface parking lots, for affordable housing.
Council approved the West End community plan in 2013.
- West End Laneway Infill Proposals: West End Neighbours web page
- West End Laneway Housing Impacts and Issues: PriceTags web page
- City of Vancouver: West End Community Plan
Three First Nations Acquire A Portion of Jericho Lands
The federal government on October 1, 2014 sold a former military base in a residential neighbourhood to a partnership formed by three local First Nations and a federal real estate agency. The 52-acre site is located in the tony neighbourhood of West Point Grey, between UBC and downtown Vancouver.
The Jericho lands was sold for $237-million to a company formed by the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, called MST Partnership, and the federal agency called Canada Lands Company. The three first nations, who have overlapping land-claims in Vancouver, first came together to negotiate with the federal and provincial governments on issues related to the 2010 Olympics, hosted in Vancouver.
The Jericho lands are one of the last remaining large sites within city boundaries available for redevelopment.
Following the sale of the federal lands, in April 2016, the BC government sold a 28-acre adjacent site to the MST Partnership. The two parcels together form a 90-acre site bound by West 4th Avenue, Highbury Street, West 8th Avenue and Discovery Street. DND operations on the Jericho lands were to be relocated in the spring of 2018. The 110-housing units on the property were to be maintained until 2020.
In July, 2018, at the request of the MST/ CLC partnership, City Council approved a two-year process to create a policy statement that would advance Reconciliation and establish policies on several issues including land use, housing, density, public benefits, height and phases of development. In December, 2018, the MST Partnership bought out CLC’s interest in the West Vancouver property at 4195 Marine Drive for $10.6-million.
In 2018, Council adopted a policy statement for development of the former RCMP site on Heather Street that was the first planning statement approved by Council to incorporate indigenous values in planning and design. Under the approved plans, the development is to include 2,000 residential units, a cultural centre, daycare centre, park and an elementary school site for the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie Britannique (the province’s French language school board) under a long-term lease agreement.
The City launched the community engagement program on Jan. 30, 2019. The Jericho lands were part of a package of three properties that the federal government sold to MST and CLC in 2014. Ottawa also sold the 21-acre site of the former RCMP headquarters in B.C. on Heather Street and a five-acre parcel in West Vancouver that had been held by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
- City of Vancouver. Jericho Lands Planning Program City of Vancouver website. https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/jericho-lands.aspx. Retrieved Dec. 15, 2019.
- City of Vancouver. Jericho Lands Policy Planning Program. July 24, 2018. Staff report. https://council.vancouver.ca/20180724/documents/a2.pdf. Retrieved Dec. 15, 2019.
- Canada Lands Company. Inspire Jericho. Website for Jericho planning and development. https://inspirejericho.ca/inspire-jericho. Retrieved Dec 15, 2019.
- Chronology of Planning and Development. Milestones of 2018. http://chronology.vancouverplanning.ca/emerging-milestones/emerging-milestones-2018/indigenous-values-incorporated-in-planning-and-design-of-heather-lands/. Retrieved Dec. 15, 2019.
- MST Development Corporation. Website updates http://mstdevelopment.ca/updates. Retrieved Dec. 15, 2019.
Healthy City Strategy Adopted by Council
Phase 1 of A Healthy City for All: Healthy City Strategy 2014-2025 was approved by Council on October 29, 2014. The strategy is guided by a vision of A Healthy City for All: a city where together we are creating and continually improving the conditions that enable all of us to enjoy the highest level of health and well-being possible. Phase 2, including the Action Plan was adopted by Council on July 8, 2015.
Planning health into our urban environment can do much to increase health and well-being for all citizens. Urban planning and governance not only influences the air we breathe and the water we drink, but also our ability to get around, where and in what type of housing we live, what food we can most easily access, what kinds of jobs are available and how long it takes us to get to them, how much and what kind of green space we can play and rest in, and how safe, connected and included we feel in our neighbourhoods.
The Healthy City Strategy is comprised of 13 long-term goals for the well-being of the City and its people, including ambitious targets to reach by 2025. The first Healthy City Strategy Action Plan adds 19 actions to implement by 2018.
- City of Vancouver: A Healthy City for All: Healthy City Strategy 2014-2025.
- City of Vancouver. Healthy City Action Plan Phase 2 Action Plan Report to Council & Staff Presentation.
- City of Vancouver. Healthy City Background.