Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW AS A TENANT LIVING IN A TRANSIT ORIENTED AREA?

At this time, most redevelopment applications require a rezoning process that needs Council's approval. This allows the City to ensure tenants are properly notified, compensated, and assisted in finding new housing affected by redevelopment. A transit oriented designation does not mean (re)development is automatically allowed or that the site is pre-zoned for construction. The City recognizes that existing purpose-built rental housing plays an important role in the community.

IS MY PROPERTY ELIGIBLE FOR REDEVELOPMENT TO PROVINCIALLY SET DENSITIES AND HEIGHTS?

To be eligible to make a rezoning application for these heights and densities, a property must be located within a designated transit oriented area and already be zoned for residential uses (housing). There are many other factors which might impact a property's ability to fully develop to those heights and densities such as natural hazard regulations or heritage protection. 

To determine a site's redevelopment potential, contact the  and review the Interim Development Review Framework.

IF MY PROPERTY IS WITHIN A TRANSIT ORIENTED AREA, DOES IT NEED A REZONING TO REDEVELOP?

Yes. Most properties or consolidations of properties within a transit oriented area will need to be rezoned in order to meet the heights and densities set out by the Province. The new legislation does not override municipal zoning. The City will generally support rezoning applications that are either in-line with the current Official Community Plan (OCP) or are entirely made up of rental residential units, as secured by a legal agreement.

A property's zoning and OCP designation can be confirmed online here. This guide provides further details about developing a property in a transit oriented area. 

CAN A PROPERTY BE DEVELOPED TO A LOWER DENSITY OR HEIGHT THAN SET BY THE PROVINCE?

Yes, a property can be redeveloped based on its existing zoning without Council approval. The property's zoning does not have to match the Provincial heights and densities for that to happen. An owner or developer may also apply to rezone a property in order to allow a building that is less than the Provincial heights and densities. For example, a 6-storey building may be built where the maximum allowed is an 8-storey building.

IS CONSOLIDATION OR ASSEMBLY OF LOTS REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE THE PROVINCIAL DENSITIES AND HEIGHTS?

Generally, larger developments require more space. Consolidation (land assembly) is not strictly required, but is often practical as it can  improve construction feasibility and result in a better design. 

Rezoning applications that create "remainder lots" (single or awkward lots left behind) may not be supported by staff in the application's Council approval process. This is because it will typically lower the ability of the remainder lots to provide much needed housing. When this situation occurs, development applicants are asked to show how the remainder lots they create could be reasonably developed on their own, to similar levels as the proposed by the current development. 

CAN LANES, STREETS, OR OTHER PUBLIC PROPERTY BE PURCHASED AS PART OF A REDEVELOPMENT IN A TRANSIT ORIENTED AREAS?

Generally, the City doesn’t sell road-like land, as it is used for many purposes including underground or overhead servicing (water and electricity), operations like garbage pick-up, transit or bike lanes, emergency services (fire, police, ambulance) access, and tree canopy and small greenspaces.

MY PROPERTY IS ON THE SAME BLOCK AS PROPERTIES THAT ARE IN THE TRANSIT ORIENTED AREA, IS THERE A WAY TO ACHIEVE THE SAME DENSITIES AND HEIGHTS ON MY SITE?

Properties must be within the designated transit oriented areas, as of December 2023, to be eligible for Provincial heights and densities. In 2025, the City will be updating our Official Community Plan (OCP) to reflect the transit oriented areas. The future of these types of edge properties will be considered as part of that process. Until then, refer to the OCP for development opportunities on sites that are not within a transit oriented area.

What is the impact on my property value and taxes?

Property taxes are calculated based on the assessment value of a property (data provided by BC Assessment). Tax rates are set every year by City Council in terms of general municipal taxes, local improvement taxes, parcel taxes and Business Improvement Area levies. Details on the Province’s new housing legislation were released in the fall of 2023 fall. As such, the timing of the announcements came too late in the year for BC Assessment to reflect an impact on their 2024 assessments. For the following years, BC Assessment will base its analysis on market evidence.

Visit the City's Property Taxes and Utilities webpage for current tax rates and payment information.

Have protected heritage properties in transit oriented areas been impacted?

No, existing heritage protection is not removed by this new legislation. The City will continue to encourage growth that balances the preservation of historic buildings or character features, and seek to preserve or protect them through development applications when appropriate.  For more information on the City's heritage programs, click here.

How do I learn more about the impacts to my property?

If you would like to learn more, you can review the resources provided below or contact the  for assistance.