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Council decides on the Broadway Plan in May
Broadway Plan passes, 7-4
The long-awaited Broadway Plan, laying out the plan for areas adjacent to the new Broadway Subway, is coming up for a council decision in May. The federal and provincial governments have contributed $2.8 billion in funding for the Broadway Subway, which is a lot of money, and the city agreed to densify the area. The basic idea is to add a lot of housing, including high-rises, in areas close to the new SkyTrain stations.
At the public consultations, the public feedback has been quite positive, but of course when it comes to the actual decision we can expect another big battle between people who want more housing and people who want less housing. (There's a surprising number of people who don't believe that Vancouver has a housing shortage, led by councillor and mayoral candidate Colleen Hardwick. She's definitely going to vote No.)
If you'd like to express your support for the plan (or your opposition!), there's a survey open until March 22. If you're just expressing your support (as opposed to giving specific comments), it's pretty fast to fill out - maybe five minutes.
Near the new SkyTrain stations: high-rises, including office space
In local shopping areas: 4-6 storey buildings
In multi-family residential areas that have apartment buildings already: towers must include 20% non-market rental housing, limit of two towers per residential block in some neighbourhoods
In low-density residential areas: add "gentle density" (multiplexes, townhouses, up to 6-storey rental apartments), with some towers on corner lots
The target is 24,000-30,000 more homes by 2050 (about a 50% increase), with 33,000-42,000 more jobs (also about a 50% increase).
In the map above, blue is the dense areas near SkyTrain stations, red is local shopping areas ("villages"), darker purple is multi-family residential, light purple is low-density residential, yellow is industrial. SkyTrain stations are shown as circles.
There's a lot of older, cheaper low-rise rental stock in the neighbourhood. When an older rental building gets replaced with a newer, taller building, that creates a lot more vacancies, but there's a risk that redevelopment will push existing renters out of the neighbourhood. The plan includes tenant protections:
"Right of first refusal" to return to a new rental unit
at 20% below market rents. [Correction: at 20% below city-wide average rents, which is more like 35-40% below market rents for a newer apartment. Based on 2021 data that would be $1200/month for a 1BR, compared to $2000/month for a newer 1BR at market rents.] That can be at the same location, or another building in the Broadway Plan area if the renter agrees.
Rent top-up while the renter is in interim housing, paid by the developer.
There's a "public benefits plan" which is basically that developers will pay for $1.2 billion in benefits over 10 years:
$300 million for water/sewer upgrades
$100 million for parks and community centres
$100 million for new childcare spaces (250-400 spaces)
$450 million for social housing (400-650 homes)
Full Broadway Plan presentation - 54 pages
Brian Palmquist. "The Broadway Plan is the urban planning carpet bombing of Kitsilano, Fairview, South Granville and Mount Pleasant. We only have a week to say 'Stop it!'"