22nd Street Station Area Bold Vision

March 4 2024: The reGENERATE winners are now announced, and can be viewed at newwestcity.ca/regenerate. Thank you to everyone who participated and voted, and congratulations to the winners! Visit beheardnewwest.ca/22ndst for next steps on the creation of a vision for a climate-friendly neighbourhood around the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station.

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. 

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 a climate friendly neighbourhood – where the way people live makes a real difference for climate action.

Early expressions of interest from several First Nations communities have created an opportunity to explore closer collaboration in this planning process. As such, reconciliation will be a fundamental project focus along with climate resilience. Opportunities to advance reconciliation, by building understanding of the First Nations context of these lands, and advancing the interests of Nations, will be explored through the visioning process.

The Bold Vision will also respond to community aspirations, as well as goals such as housing options and affordability, safe movement of people, and diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Regular project updates about the development of a vision, and opportunities for engagement, can be found here.

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

  • Visit the project page on Be Heard New West for opportunities to participate in and stay up to date on the process. Visit the reGENERATE Ideas Challenge page to learn more about the Challenge and how to participate.

    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!

    If you have any question about the Bold Vision project, please contact: 

  • For residents of the station area, uncertainty around future land entitlements and neighbourhood transition process can be concerning. Owners have expressed anxiety about reinvesting in their home or selling their property, and renters have expressed worry about how long their rental tenancies may last. It is challenging to estimate when neighbourhood change will occur, and at what pace. The information below is intended to provide as much clarity as possible about the how neighbourhood transition could look. 
    • City sets the land use framework, through a public process with the community: The City does not control when development will start or how much uptake there will be. That said, the planning framework needs to be in place before the City can support rezoning applications. It is anticipated that the visioning and implementation steps to integrate that vision into the Official Community Plan will take one to three years. 
    • Public sector projects and partnerships: Depending on the final vision, some of the neighbourhood change in the 22nd Street station area may rely on partnerships and/or public sector-led changes. For example, some changes may require partnerships with TransLink, BC Hydro, Metro Vancouver, or other organizations. The timelines for these projects would have to be explored once the vision is set.  
    • Development industry determines market readiness and financial viability: Developers conduct analysis to ensure each project is viable before proceeding. This viability is influenced by the market demand for the housing or commercial retail unit type that is being created, the amount paid for land, financing, construction and permitting costs, infrastructure costs, amenity payments or provision of amenities in kind, and anticipated selling prices. 
    • Land is assembled: For many housing and mixed-use forms, development would need to be preceded by lot assembly, for a large enough site to be created (e.g. for buildings with underground parking or large footprints). Some landowners may not be interested in selling, which would influence which areas are developed first and which later, if at all.  
    • Development approval process: Developers or landowners then need to apply for permissions from the City and to be able to proceed with projects. Depending on the types of approvals required in this area, City review could include ensuring compliance with regulations, policies, guidelines and codes. Some applications are also subject to community consultation and/or a decision of Council. Rezoning and Development Permit timelines vary and depend on a number of factors including the scale of the project, complexity and the need for revisions to the proposal. For clarity, the City is not able to support rezoning applications in advance of the Bold Vision being determined.
      A note to renters: landlords may choose to continue to rent properties until demolition permits are sought, or they may look to have properties vacated earlier. More information on tenant resources and rights can be found here.
    • Construction begins: Once approvals and permits (including Building Permits) are in place, construction can begin. Construction timelines depend on the scale of the project.

    The steps outlined above may not proceed in a linear fashion. For example, some land assembly may occur quickly but properties may then not proceed to development for quite some time. Some projects may be built well before others. Since there is an existing community in the area around 22nd Street Station and there are a number of landowners, change is likely to occur in a gradual way.
     
    For specific questions about the planning and development process, contact the Planning Division at or 604-527-4532.
     
  • 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.

    top

    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

    top
     

    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.

    top
     

    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. If you are a company that is interested in leading this work please stay tuned for the expression of interest, which will be posted here.

    top


    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.

    top
     

    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.

    top

    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).

    top

    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.

    top

    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.

    top

  • Take a look through the material to see what has been accomplished to date.

    Bold vision Council report

    January 22, 2024, Council Report: 22nd Street Station Area Bold Vision: Ideas Gathering

    September 11, 2023, Council Report: 22nd St Station Area Visioning Update

    June 12, 2023, Council Report: 22nd Street Station Area Bold Vision Relaunch

    December 13, 2021, Council Report: 22nd Street Station Area Bold Vision Work Plan

    master Plan Process

    Following the adoption of the OCP, work began on a Master Plan process. When Council made the City’s climate emergency declaration, they 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.
     
    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.
     
    Click here to view a proposed land use designation map.
     
    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 identified the need to establish priorities for community amenities and infrastructure in and around Connaught Heights, and to determine how growth can be leveraged to help pay for those priorities.
     
    The City will prepare a Financing Growth Strategy that 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.
     

    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.