City of Vancouver staff propose sweeping changes to curb speculation in large area around Broadway subway

Posted by Michael La Prairie on Friday, June 22nd, 2018 at 11:04am.

City of Vancouver staff propose sweeping changes to curb speculation in large area around Broadway subway

Call it Mayor Gregor Robertson's speculation tax. 

Senior staff have proposed aggressive measures to curb land speculation over a large area around around the proposed Millennium Line Broadway Extension—including development contributions designed to fatten city coffers. 

The Broadway subway will be built from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus and it will include six stations.

While a new planning process is underway, Vancouver city staff have recommended that no new rezoning applications be considered in the “Broadway Study Area”, unless they’re for 100 percent social and supportive housing, or community care facilities or group residents.

In a report going to the Wednesday (June 20) policy and strategic priorities committee, this Broadway Study Area is defined as a large swath of land. It extends from Clark Drive in East Vancouver to Vine Street in Kitsilano, and from 16th Avenue to 1st Avenue.

Rezoning applictions that have already been submitted, such as for the redevelopment of the Denny's restaurant in the 1200 block of West Broadway, will proceed under the existing rules.

Staff have also recommended that council approve the “Development Contribution Expectations in Areas Undergoing Community Planning policy”. This is designed to limit land speculation in the area.

This approach would reverse the typical process of setting community amenity contributions through negotiations.

According to the staff report, this will provide clarity for developers who hope to build above what’s permitted under the existing zoning.

Staff have recommended contributions to the city of $330 per square foot for additional market strata residential in areas east of Main Street. The recommendation is for $425 per square foot west of Main Street that’s beyond existing zoning.


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