INCENTIVES PROGRAM

Incentives

A zoning amendment bylaw was adopted by Council on June 19, 2018. The bylaw created a new Single Detached Dwelling District, specific to Queen’s Park, called “RS-4”. Through this new zone, all protected properties now have:

  1. a Floor Space Ratio (FSR) of 0.7; and
  2. the ability to transfer unused density from the principal house to a laneway or carriage house, up to a maximum size of 958 square feet.
     

The remaining zoning regulations for both the principal house and the laneway or carriage house (such as height, setbacks, and site coverage) would stay the same.

Properties within the Heritage Conservation Area which are: 1) already excluded because they are commercial, institutional, or multi-family; OR 2) zoned Single Detached Dwelling Districts (Heritage) (RS-6), were not rezoned as part of this bylaw.

The new zone does not result in any changes in the existing regulations for non-protected properties. However, the approach of rezoning all properties (rather than just the protected ones) allows flexibility for properties to change protection categories within the Heritage Conservation Area policy.

The other incentives identified for short term implementation did not require any zoning changes and are already in place. These incentives include: 

  1. Allowing minor relaxations for laneway and carriage house guidelines (similar to those already in place for accessible units and energy efficient design).
  2. Building Code relaxations, at the request of the owner (note: life and safety requirements will not be relaxed).

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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.

Background

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 were researched by the City. The results of this research was presented to Council in March and to the community in April. The reports summarizing the findings are included below under "Incentives Program Process."

A framework for the implementation of incentives was supported by Council in May. The City is now moving forward with implementation.

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

May 28, 2018: Report to Council – Proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw for incentives identified to be implemented in the short term.