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City council looking at denser housing in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy neighbourhood

Click to play video: 'Housing legislation could lead to more density in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy neighbourhood'
Housing legislation could lead to more density in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy neighbourhood
B.C.’s new housing legislation could mean the affluent Shaughnessy neighbourhood could have to densify – Apr 18, 2024

B.C.’s new housing legislation could mean the affluent Shaughnessy neighbourhood will have to densify.

Newly proposed policy and zoning changes could make the sparsely dense area much more compact.

Bill 44, adopted by the Provincial Legislature in November 2023, will allow for increased maximum densities to create new “small-scale, multi-unit housing.”

The bill is forcing cities to allow up to four units on a standard residential lot.

A City of Vancouver staff report said most of the city already complies with the new rules, but the zoning for nearly 600 lots in the first Shaughnessy district, as well as more than 1,100 lots in Kitsilano, will have to be updated.

It is not the first time the Vancouver City Council has looked at increasing density in Shaughnessy.

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Back in November 2023, in a vote of 7-3, the motion to increase housing density in the Vancouver neighbourhood was defeated.

The motion, which was brought forward by Coun. Christine Boyle looked to change bylaws and policies that limit construction in Shaughnessy — one of the least housing-dense neighbourhoods in the city. The motion also was proposing to bring more retail businesses and services to the area.

The only three councillors to vote for the motion were Boyle and the two Green Party councillors, Pete Fry and Adriane Carr. Boyle argued densifying Shaughnessy could help address the city’s housing crisis.

A new city staff report is being conducted and is expected to be presented to the city council in June.

UBC associate professor Tom Davidoff told Global News he thinks the province could force the city to adapt to Bill 44, if city council does not move ahead with zoning changes.

“It’s not a lot of people and it’s a lot of land area,” he said.

“It’s really unconscionable that it hasn’t happened yet. The province has the ability to force things on the city if they don’t improve their regulation behavior and get more homes built.

“It’s really outrageous to have such prime land devoted to a product that nobody can afford.”

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Click to play video: 'Three housing motions before Vancouver City Council'
Three housing motions before Vancouver City Council

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