Emerging Milestones 2014

Oakridge Centre Rezoned

Description: Council approved the rezoning and redevelopment plan for Oakridge.

Significance: 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.

Background: 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.

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Downtown Eastside New Local Area Plan

Description: Council approved a new Local Area Plan for the Downtown Eastside following a Local Area Planning Process.

Significance: 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.

Background: 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.

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Low-rise Laneway Housing Program for the West End

Description: 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.

Significance: 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.

Background: Council approved the West End community plan in 2013.

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Jericho Federal Lands Sold for Development

Description: The federal government sells its 52-acre Jericho lands parcel to the Canada Lands Company and three local First Nations.

Significance: The $237 million sale was a joint venture between Canada Lands and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations with partnership being split 50-50, with the bands holding their half jointly. The site sits on a large parcel of expensive property in Point Grey and is expected to be developed relatively densely.

Background: The Jericho lands, formerly a military base, were part of a package of three properties that the federal government sold to Canada Lands and the three First Nations. The other sites were the 21-acre Heather Street lands at 33rd and Cambie, a former RCMP site, and a five-acre parcel in West Vancouver that had been held by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

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Healthy City Strategy Adopted by Council

Description: 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.

Significance:  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.

Background:  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.

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