22nd Street Station Area Bold Vision

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE

The OCP Implementation Projects, including the 22nd Street Station Bold Vision work, remain important projects for the Mayor and Council. Due to evolving circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 virus, the work plan for this project may change. We are working hard to minimize impacts to this work, and appreciate your understanding as we manage this challenging situation.
 
If you have any questions about this project, please contact the Planning Division at .
 
For more information about the City's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.newwestcity.ca/services/public-safety/covid-19.
 
The City will send any updates on the 22nd Street Station Bold Vision work through the newsletter. You can sign up under How to Get Involved, below. Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time.

The area around the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station is identified in the Official Community Plan (OCP) as an area intended to accommodate higher-density development, with good access to transit and amenities.

Bold Vision

In response to New Westminster City Council’s declaration of the climate emergency, a new approach has been endorsed for planning for the area surrounding the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station: to create a Bold Vision for a Climate Friendly Future. This vision will show how the area can transform into the region’s first climate friendly neighbourhood – a neighbourhood where the way people live makes a real difference for climate action.

The Bold Vision will respond to the climate emergency, specifically, the Seven Bold Steps, and Council’s Strategic Plan, creating an innovative approach to imagining the neighbourhood. Examples of ideas that could be explored include creation of: a car-free neighbourhood; a zero-emissions vehicle neighbourhood; a renewable energy neighbourhood; or other ideas that come forward through the process.

A key activity for developing the new vision will be an Ideas Competition to collect a wide range of ideas from industry experts and the New Westminster Community for creating a climate friendly neighbourhood. The best of the submitted ideas will be incorporated into the Bold Vision. Strategies will be developed to implement the ideas. This will ensure the Bold Vision will result in real, viable, and positive change in the neighbourhood and make a strong statement about how our community is responding to the climate emergency.

What's Next

The process to create the Bold Vision will include four mains steps:

  1. Ideas Competition that will collect a variety of creative ideas from members across the community and leading global experts in climate resilience and community planning
     
  2. Evaluation and Shortlisting of Ideas that will include both expert analysis and community input
     
  3. Draft Bold Vision that will take the top ideas and turn them into a cohesive and implementable plan for the neighbourhood
     
  4. Adoption of the Bold Vision by City Council.
     

The next step is for the City to retain a consulting team. This team will be charged with further defining and carrying out the process to generate a neighbourhood Bold Vision.  This will include community consultation to ensure that our community members have a chance to help shape the future of the 22nd Station area and make our community climate awesome!

The Bold Vision process is expected to be completed in early 2022. Once the Bold Vision is adopted by Council, an implementation process will be launched, based on the next steps identified by the consultants. This process would also include the creation of development permit guidelines, and the adoption of updated land use designations in the Official Community Plan.

New applications for rezoning for development projects will not be recommended to Council until this work is complete. Development under existing zoning entitlements continues to be permitted.

  • The community can get involved in creating the Bold Vision in a number of ways. First, you can participate my submitting ideas into the Ideas Competition later this year. Later, you can be involved in selecting the best ideas to move forward. You can also have your say on the City’s draft Bold Vision statement when it is created in 2021.

    When you sign up for our mailing list, you’ll receive information about the Bold Vision, Ideas Competition plus updates and future opportunities to be involved. Click here to sign up!

    To discuss any of the material with a member of our staff, please contact the Planning Division. 

    Email:
    Phone: 604-527-4532

    You can also sign up for Citypage Online, follow the City on Twitter or ‘like’ the City on Facebook. These are great ways to stay connected to hear about upcoming events!

  • A land use concept for the 22nd Street Station Area was created during the Official Community Plan (OCP) review, that was adopted in October 2017. The neighbourhood is envisioned as a high density, mixed-use node, with shops and commercial services on Seventh Avenue, east of the station. Higher density residential development would locate near the SkyTrain station, while low rise residential buildings and infill townhouses would “step down” into the surrounding neighbourhood of Connaught Heights.

    Following the adoption of the OCP, work began on a Master Plan process. Following the climate emergency declaration, City Council saw that there was an opportunity to add a new climate action perspective to this work. The work to-date on the Master Plan is outlined below.

    Backgrounder

    This Backgrounder provides an overview of the area and will serve as a resource moving forward with the Bold Vision.

    Click here to view the Backgrounder for the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station Area

    Detailed Transportation Study

    In response to feedback received during the OCP update and development of the city’s Master Transportation Plan (MTP), the Connaught Heights Traffic Calming Plan was created in 2018 for the neighbourhood, where the 22nd Street Station is located. The purpose of the plan is to enhance safety and liveability of the Connaught Heights neighbourhood.

    The City also retained a consultant to provide a comprehensive assessment of existing conditions in the 22nd Street Station Area. A Baseline Report Summary was produced which provides an overview of the main issues and opportunities and the information provided in the baseline report will be considered as we work through the Bold Vision process.

    Financing Growth Strategy

    The City has also begun work on determining priorities for community amenities and infrastructure in and around Connaught Heights, and investigating how growth can be leveraged to help pay for those priorities.

    The City has retained Coriolis Consulting to help prepare a Financing Growth Strategy, which is underway. The Strategy will explore the potential revenue generated from new development, an approach to collecting funds or in-kind contributions, and an assessment of amenity and infrastructure needs.

  • If you own property in the 22nd Street Station Area, you may be approached by a developer, real estate agent, or other prospective buyer expressing interest in your property. The City does not provide advice about private real estate transactions, but residents are encouraged to become informed about the value of their property and its future development potential before making a decision related to land sales.

    For specific questions about your property, contact the Planning Division at or 604-527-4532.

    Real Estate Speculation

    Note that the Bold Vision and implementation plan will not create any new development rights (entitlements) for the 22nd Street Station Area. Development rights are determined by the Zoning Bylaw. If the type of development permitted in the Zoning Bylaw is different from that envisioned in the implementation plan, an applicant may apply for a rezoning in order to change the entitlements (e.g. land use, density) for the property.

    A rezoning entails a formal public process and the final decision is made by Council. Council is under no obligation to approve a rezoning, even if it is consistent with the vision or master plan for the area. Applicants should also be aware of the development costs associated with rezoning, such as development cost charges, community amenity contributions, and the construction of new or upgraded services. The City of New Westminster cautions against speculation based on anticipated rezoning or development decisions.

  • We have put together a list of frequent questions. We will continue to add to this list as more questions arise.


     

    CAN MY PROPERTY BE REDEVELOPED while the Bold Vision is being created?

    Yes. Landowners can apply to develop their property according to current zoning regulations at any time.

    The Bold Vision process is intended to inform the future development of the area from a variety of perspectives, including land use, urban design, transportation, parks and open space, and servicing. To make sure that development projects are consistent with the Bold Vision for the area, the City will work to implement the vision, including the creations of development permit guidelines, and the adoption of land use designations through an OCP amendment, prior to any rezoning applications being considered within this area.

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    WHAT CAN I do with my property after the Bold Vision is finalized?

    Landowners will be able to apply to build the same things they are allowed to build today, according to their existing zoning. There is no obligation for landowners to change their existing land use. For many people their current land use, such as a single detached house, is right for them and will continue to be part of the neighbourhood.

    After the Bold Vision is finalized, the City will work to implement the vision, including the creation of development permit guidelines, and the adoption of land use designations through an OCP amendment. This implementation stage will need to be completed prior to any rezoning applications being considered within this area. Before properties can be redeveloped with new land uses envisioned, zoning of the property would need to be changed (through a rezoning process). The proposed redevelopment would need to be consistent with the new land use designations and meet development permit guidelines for Council to consider supporting the application.

    Regardless of whether a landowner is thinking of selling their property, changing its land use or keeping the current land use, landowners can make an appointment to discuss their options with City staff by emailing

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    WILL the Bold Vision of subsequent work change my property value?

    The market value of a property reflects what is possible to do under existing zoning entitlements, i.e. the highest and best use of the land consistent with the Zoning Bylaw. The Bold Vision, or subsequent work will not change the zoning entitlements in the 22nd Street Station Area.

    It is risky to determine the value of a property based on potential redevelopments different from those in the Zoning Bylaw, as Council is under no obligation to approve a rezoning, even if it is consistent with the plans for the area. There are also significant amenity and transportation improvements required in this neighbourhood, so the amenity contributions expected from redevelopment will be high.

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    Who will lead the Bold Vision process? 

    The City will retain a consulting team to lead the Ideas Competition and the creation of the Bold Vision. The consultant team will be selected by the City over the spring and summer of 2020, in order to launch the process in the fall. If you work are a company that is leading this work please review the expression of interest, which will be posted here.

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    HOW AND WHEN WILL DEVELOPMENT HAPPEN?

    Gradually over time. Redevelopment only happens when several elements combine to make a feasible project. First, the Bold Vision process must be completed and the Official Community Plan must be amended to allow the envisioned redevelopment. Second, a developer must be interested in proposing a project in the area, which means they feel confident that their proposal fits with City policy, that the project would be financially viable, and that there is sufficient market demand for the built units. Third, redevelopment requires lot assembly, which means current landowners must be willing to sell their properties to a developer to allow for consolidation. Finally, redevelopment requires rezoning and a Development Permit, which are subject to community consultation and Council approval.

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    HOW DOES REDEVELOPMENT HELP PAY FOR COMMUNITY AMENITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE?

    The City uses a combination of tools to ensure that development helps pay for the capital costs (i.e. the new or upgraded streets, sewers, affordable housing, parks and other services) generated by population growth.

    First, a developer is obligated to provide (or upgrade) all the infrastructure within and immediately adjacent to the development site, as well as other services that the development triggers for an upgrade. This includes water, electrical, sidewalks, street lighting, etc. All infrastructure must be constructed to meet current City standards.

    Second, Development Cost Charges (DCCs) are levied on new development to fund City transportation, drainage, water and sanitary infrastructure, as well as parkland acquisition and development. The DCC rates are based on a detailed analysis of the infrastructure investment that will be required to support the expected growth. The City also collects DCCs on behalf of Metro Vancouver to pay for regional sanitary sewer and drainage works, and school site acquisition charges on behalf of New Westminster School District No. 40 to purchase new school sites or expand existing school facilities.

    Third, the City often secures additional amenities (or cash in lieu) to benefit the community where redevelopment occurs. A Financing Growth Strategy will be prepared as part of the master planning process, which will identify specifically what a developer must contribute towards additional amenities and infrastructure.

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    HOW DOES THE CITY MANAGE CONSTRUCTION IMPACTS?

    Construction is disruptive to the community. The City has a number of development requirements that help to mitigate the impacts of construction, including traffic management plans, Street Occupancy Permits, and the regulations of the Construction Noise Bylaw. Additional policies, procedures and bylaws are in place to control such construction issues as truck traffic, tree protection, erosion and sediment control, site lighting, and construction hoarding (i.e. temporary fencing).

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    HOW DOES THE CITY PROTECT RENTERS DISPLACED BY NEW DEVELOPMENT?

    The City of New Westminster is committed to minimizing the impacts of displacement for renters throughout the city. The City provides education, information and funding to help other organizations assist renters in need. This has included partnering with the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC) in 2016 and 2017 to host workshops about tenants’ rights, and distributing TRAC’s Tenant Survival Guides to inform tenants about their rights when facing an eviction. Additionally, the City helps connect renters with various housing organizations and provides funding to the New Westminster Rent Bank, which supports renters who may be in a temporary crisis and have difficulty paying for rent, security deposit and/or utilities.

    In addition, the Province has recently amended the Residential Tenancy Act to extend protection for renters, such as requiring a four-month notice to end tenancy for demolition, renovation or repairs to the dwelling unit, or for conversion of the unit to another use. Tenants also now have 30 days to dispute the notice with the Residential Tenancy Branch.

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    WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR DEVELOPERS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN BUILDING IN THE 22ND STREET STATION AREA?

    First, developers must wait until the Bold Vision is endorsed by Council and the subsequent work implementing the Vision is complete, including amending the Official Community Plan (OCP) land use designations and creating development permit guidelines. Only once this work is complete could a developer determine whether their project aligns with the City’s policies for future development in the area. Until that time, applications that require rezoning of any property in the area would be considered premature.

    Once the Bold Vision is endorsed by Council and the subsequent work complete, if a developer believes they have a project that meets the intent of the Bold Vision and other plans and policies, then they should schedule a Pre-Application Review (PAR). Formal Rezoning and Development Permit applications would be required to go through the standard development review process, which includes City staff review and consultation with the public, committees and other stakeholders before being presented to Council for consideration. Council will then consider the rezoning bylaw and Development Permit, a process that requires several bylaw readings, a public hearing and final consideration of whether to adopt the rezoning bylaw and issue the Development Permit.

    More information about the development application process and requirements may be found on the Making a Development Application webpage.

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  • Throughout the process, all of the event materials and reports to Council will be posted on this webpage. Take a look through the material to see what has been accomplished to date.

    2020 Bold Vision

    On February 24th, 2020, Council reaffirmed 22nd Street Station Area as a key project in achieving the City’s affordable housing and climate action strategy priorities.

     

    Background Material from the OCP Review Process

    Material from the OCP review process that relates to the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station area is included below. Click here for more detail on the process of creating the OCP and click here to see the all of the consultation material and past Council reports. Click here to view the OCP, adopted in October 2017.

    Your Plan for OUR CITY

    Open houses held in February 2017 presented the draft Official Community Plan for community review and feedback. 

     

    Our Future City

    The purpose of the events held in September and October 2016 was to present the draft vision, goals, policies, and Future Land Use Map. While feedback was received on each of these items the focus was on getting feedback on the draft Land Use Designation Map so that appropriate revisions could be made.

     

    Community Conversation on Housing

    Open houses, workshops and online survey were used to gather feedback between November 2015 and February 2016 to gather feedback on what housing fits and where housing goes.

     

    Neighbourhood Visioning Process

    The purpose of the Neighbourhood Visioning Process was to explore the questions with the community such as: what do you think your neighbourhood and the city should be like in the future? This was the first step toward creating the Land Use Designation Map.