As part of the implementation of the Heritage Conservation Area, Council directed staff to explore zoning incentives for those properties which would be protected by the policy.
To start, three potential incentives were being considered (Increasing Floor Space Ratio, exempting basement floor space and exempting attics from floor space).
The community and other stakeholders were consulted in December regarding the proposed incentive options. Based on the feedback received, the scope of the incentives program has been expanded to include a wider range of zoning incentives (including the incentives being considered by the City of Vancouver) as well as other categories of incentives (such as process-based incentives or financial-based incentives).
A range of incentives are now being research by the City. The results of this research will be presented to Council in March and the community in April. Sign up for the mailing list (below) to receive updates on the process.
Implementation of Short Term Incentives
At their May 14, 2018 meeting Council endorsed a framework for implementing the incentives for protected properties.
We will now begin implementing the incentives identified for the short term, including:
- Increasing the floor space ratio (FSR) by 0.2 (for a maximum of 0.7). This new floor space could be used for an above ground addition, basement, or attic conversion.
- More achievable laneway and carriage house density, which will give more people the opportunity to build the maximum size of laneway house permitted (958 square feet).
- Minor relaxations for laneway and carriage house guidelines (similar to those already in place for accessible units and energy efficient design).
- Building Code relaxations, at the request of the owner (note: life and safety requirements will not be relaxed).
These incentives will be made available for all protected properties in the Queen’s Park Heritage Conservation Area.
The next step will be to present the Zoning Bylaw amendment to Council for their consideration. A public hearing would be held at which community members would have the opportunity to share their feedback in person at the meeting or in writing. Once the meeting date has been set, the public hearing will be advertised with postcards, in CityPage and through this mailing list. It is anticipated that the public hearing will be held this spring.
Feedback on the short term incentives, as well as the rest of the incentives outlined below, can be sent to the Mayor and Council at any time. Email or send a letter addressed to:
Mayor and Council, City of New Westminster
511 Royal Avenue
New Westminster, B.C. V3L 1H9
More Incentives Coming Soon
Council also supported moving forward with additional incentives over the medium term. Staff expect to report back to Council about these in the winter of 2018/2019. Additional incentives include:
- Developing a policy to support additions to buildings that do not conform with the Zoning Bylaw.
- Allowing multiple unit conversions with up to three rental units in a building on large properties that are already over the permitted density. No laneway house would be permitted on these properties.
- Developing additional features for the Heritage Conservation Area’s design guidelines, such as suggested renovation options, and further examples of approvable changes.
- Exploring ways to speed up related permit processes.
- Developing a system to provide additional services to support owners when they apply to renovate.
- Refining the Evaluation Checklist for demolition permit applications or applications to remove protection from a property.
Council also considered allowing the stratification of laneway and carriage houses. Council’s support was mixed, so staff will continue to explore different approaches for this incentive and will report back to Council.
Some of the other incentives presented during community consultation are not being implemented for protected properties, but will instead continue to be used as incentives for Heritage Revitalization Agreements. These include: larger laneway or carriage houses, stratification of the principal dwelling, and small lot subdivision.
Incentives Program Progress
June 13, 2017: Council adopts the Queen’s Park Heritage Conservation Area
July 2017: Working Group Zoning Incentive Recommendations
October 16, 2017: Council adopts the QPHCA Implementation Work Plan, which includes zoning incentives for protected properties
December 4, 2017: Report to Council regarding incentive options and consultation plan
December 5, 2017: Committee Consultation – Community Heritage Commission
December 6, 2017: Committee Consultation – Advisory Planning Commission
December 2017: Consultation Round One – Zoning Incentive Open Houses and Survey
January 17 and 19, 2018: Realtor Consultation
January 29, 2018: Report to Council regarding results of December public consultation and next steps
February 7, 2018: Panel Discussion - Learning from Other Perspectives. Panel Discussion Summary Report and boards presented at the Open House prior to the start of the panel.
March 5, 2018: Report to Council regarding implementation work program update and proposed direction
March 12 2018: Report to Council on incentive options research findings and Discussion Paper
March 27, 2018: Committee Consultation – Advisory Planning Commission
April 4, 2018: Committee Consultation – Community Heritage Commission
April 2018: Consultation Round Two – Open House Boards
April 16, 2018: Report to Council on Economic Analysis
May 7, 2018: Report to Council on consultation findings and recommended incentives
May 15, 2018: Advisory Planning Commission Consideration of Proposed Short Term Incentives. Agenda package, on table materials, and staff presentation.