Vancouver to vote on interim zoning for Broadway Corridor to UBC

By Natalia Cuevas-Huaico / March 6, 2018

Councilor Fry proposes support for social housing along the corridor.
(Translink)

Vancouver city council will be voting on a motion regarding the rental-only zoning policy around the Arbutus to UBC SkyTrain corridor today.

The proposed motion states the city will be creating a rental-only zoning area for about 800 metres on either side of the proposed subway line.

It was submitted in efforts to curb housing speculation and protect renters and affordability around the area.

Transit oriented development:

Vancouver city councillor, Pete Fry, says the motion is in effect to address the fact that council has endorsed skytrain technology to get out to UBC.

He says the UBC Broadway corridor will model the Canada-line Cambie corridor in the sense that the transit oriented development will outrun condominiums that will also output business space.

He says this specific transit oriented development caters to the needs of the demographic in the city, unlike the development up around the Oakridge centre that focuses their buyers on oversea markets.

Fry goes on to add that the motion in effect keeps the sector from being attracted to people who might want to speculate on the land around the UBC Broadway corridor area.

The proposed UBC Corridor measures approximately 13km from east to west, and a little over one kilometre from north to south. (City of Vancouver)

“We want to make sure we are building development for people who live and work in our city.”

Pete FryVancouver City Councilor

He says that if the motion is passed, it will give the city some breathing room to start community city wide planning.

The planning process is robust and allows community members to have input in how the city is shaped.

Fry says another key component of the motion is the rental only zonning aspect.

He goes on to add that the province has given the city the power to lay aside certain areas solely for rental housing in hopes to defer international ownership and keep housing affordable.

Resident group concerns:

A Vancouver housing advocate for the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods, Larry Benge, is speaking up about the proposed UBC Broadway corridor motion.

He says they don’t want the area designed as a transit corridor because then Metro Vancouver’s priorities may override the city’s.

He says if the motion passes, it will keep the surrounding areas around the corridor out of the city planing process.

Benge stresses that the area should be defined as the Kitsilano, West Point Grey areas, which the transit corridor will travel through, not the UBC Broadway corridor.

Another concern Benge brings forth is that he does not want Vancouver to become one homogenous city where 16 story high-rises become the norm.

He says he is worried about how the new developments will fit in with the surrounding neighbourhoods’ and take away from Vancouver’s history.

He says one of the most attractive and charming characters about Vancouver is that each neighborhood has it’s own unique look and feel.

“It’s very likely the proposed UBC Broadway corridor will not help the Vancouver housing crisis.”

Larry Benge Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods