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Vancouver multiplexes: density bonus fees announced
Looks like it'll just be 50-foot lots on the west side
Adding Missing Middle Housing + Simplifying Regulations. Staff presentation, June 2023.
Last month Vancouver city staff published an update to the multiplex proposal, setting out what the density bonus fees would be (based on a report from a consultancy, Coriolis). The floor space limit is still 1.0 FSR, which is quite restrictive: an average of 1000 square feet per unit for a four-plex on a 33-foot lot, or for a six-plex on a 50-foot lot.
The proposed density bonus payment for a 33-foot lot is nominal ($3 x 0.3 x 4000 = $3600) and the presentation says that there isn’t much profit - basically, with this floor space limit, it’s not economically viable to build a four-plex on a 33-foot lot. That’s disappointing.
For a 50-foot lot, the density bonus payment on the west side would be $65 x 0.3 x 6000 = $117,000, with a lower rate of $90,000 east of Oak Street. There’s hardly any 50-foot lots east of Main Street.
For a rental building, there’s no density bonus fee required. The secure rental housing is the public benefit. The owner can live in one of the apartments. On a large lot, the building can have up to eight apartments.
Some things to watch out for:
Will 1.2 FSR (1200 square feet per apartment) be allowed for Passivhaus construction?
If it turns out that economic conditions have shifted (higher interest rates pushing down price per square foot and construction costs going up) so that no projects are economically viable, the city could respond by lowering the density bonus fees, without having to wait for four years. How quickly will they do this?
Will it be legal to build the kind of eight-unit rental building on a 50-foot lot suggested by Michael Geller (see #8)?
Vancouver ponders plans to expand multiplex development. Kerry Gold, the Globe and Mail. The skeptical view.
Number of applications received by Victoria for missing middle housing so far: zero. With current restrictions, projects are not economically viable. Previous post on Victoria’s missing middle policy, approved in January.