New Westminster —On Monday, May 6th, City staff presented New Westminster City Council with Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 8123, 2019. This bylaw continues the effect of Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 8078, 2019, adopted on January 28, 2019, which made the City of New Westminster the first municipality in the province to apply to existing rental housing stock a new rental residential tenure zoning authority. This authority was enacted by the Province in July 2018 to enable protection of the rental tenures in existing apartment buildings.
The new zoning bylaw amendments will more clearly achieve the intent of Bylaw No. 8078 and, through further notification procedures and a further public hearing, provide an opportunity to address incorrect information that was circulated by the City regarding the authority to restrict the sale of stratified residential units. No additional properties are the subject of this bylaw.
“City Council and I are strongly committed to preserving our rental housing stock, and to making the policy and zoning changes needed to do that,” said Mayor Jonathan X Cote. “By considering the new bylaw, we’re ensuring that New Westminster is being fully transparent in communicating the effects of rental zoning”.
Currently, Bylaw No. 8078 is being challenged by Petition in B.C. Supreme Court, and the erroneous information about the marketing of individual strata lots is one of the grounds for the challenge. The City has filed a response to the Petition, which concedes the inaccuracy of this information. The proposed further zoning bylaw amendment process provides an opportunity for the City to redo the notification and public hearing procedures, including properly-worded public hearing notices. The rental residential tenure restrictions enacted by the original bylaw continue to apply, and units cannot be occupied by the owner.
“Rental Residential Tenure Zoning is the right tool for protecting the rental tenure of stratified rental buildings,” said Emilie K. Adin, Director of Development Services. “It is being utilized as part of a suite of policies and tools that we’re exploring within the City’s authority and financial capacity to address the need for building and retaining the stock of affordable rental housing, and in particular addressing the impacts and prevalence of renovictions.”
A Public Hearing for Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 8123, 2019 is scheduled for Monday, May 27, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, New Westminster City Hall, 511 Royal Avenue. Learn more at www.newwestcity.ca.