Vancouver axes parking minimums for projects in West End, Broadway Plan zone

Click to play video: 'Vancouver axes parking minimums for some developments'
Vancouver axes parking minimums for some developments
Starting in January, the City of Vancouver will no longer require new housing projects in the Broadway Plan zone and the West End to have a minimum number of parking spaces. – Nov 15, 2023

Vancouver city council has approved yet another tool aimed at bringing more housing online.

Starting next year, developments in the city’s West End and the Broadway Plan area will no longer have to include a minimum number of parking spots.

Councillors unanimously approved the change at a meeting Wednesday.

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“It definitely is going to enable some projects to come forward that quite honestly wouldn’t have been able to otherwise,” Vancouver Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung said.

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“We’re seeing an environment of increasing and escalating costs, and hearing that rental projects have simply been put on hold because they are too difficult and too expensive to build, so we expect it will bring more projects forward — it will also make getting those approvals faster and we know that time is money.”

Vancouver has historically required developments to include a set number of parking spaces per unit, with the intention of preventing vehicles from spilling out into neighbouring streets.

In 2019, the city dropped that requirement for the downtown core, with the exception of the West End.

The city said the West End and Broadway Plan areas were now selected to have minimums removed because both are dense, with most daily needs accessible by walking, bike or transit.

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Dropping the minimums could also reduce the cost and time of builds because of reduced underground construction, and that fewer requirements will also speed up the application process for new projects.

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Developers building in the areas without parking minimums will now be required to submit a transportation demand management plan with their permit application.

Buildings will also still be required to include both accessible and visitor parking spaces, along with parking for bicycles.

City staff will report back in 2024 with the next phase of eliminating parking minimums and a framework to improve how street parking is regulated.

— with files from Troy Charles

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