Ten applications at rezoning stage under city's 'moderate income' rental initiative

20 applications allowed under pilot program

The City of Vancouver has hit the halfway mark on rezoning applications submitted under its Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPP).

Ten of 20 rezoning applications allowed under the pilot program have been filed, the latest for 445 Kingsway and 2935 St. George Street, which sits across from Mount Saint Joseph Hospital.

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Acton Ostry Architects submitted the proposal for that site. It envisions a mixed-use development with two 14-storey buildings.

The plan is for 215 secured rental units, with 20 per cent of the residential floor area reserved for moderate income households earning between $30,000 and $80,000, which is a requirement of the pilot program. Commercial space would be at grade level.

The City of Vancouver announced the MIRHPP in April of 2018 to create more affordable rental housing for Vancouver workers. Only 20 applications are allowed through the program and it’s fully subscribed. The 10 that have reached the rezoning application stage include:

  1. 2830 Grandview Highway
  2. 3600 East Hastings St.
  3. 3680 East Hastings St.
  4. 1805 Larch St.
  5. 1956-1990 Stainsbury Ave.
  6. 2603-2655 Renfrew St.
  7. 2543-2583 Renfrew St.
  8. 1296 West Broadway (2538 Birch St.)
  9. 1111-1123 Kingsway
  10. 445 Kingsway & 2935 St. George St.

The remaining 10 proposals are working their way through the pre-application process. The City of Vancouver expects more applications will be filed in coming months, but it’s unlikely all of them will be submitted before the end of the year. Timing depends, in part, on applicants’ decisions to move forward with the rezoning process.

After the city announced the program, it received more than 50 MIRHPP applications and selected 20 to move forward. Six of those 20 applications — 30 per cent — withdrew.

There is no guarantee there will end up being 20 completed projects, although the city still has a waitlist.

The 10 proposals at the rezoning application stage account for approximately 1,162 total rental units, with approximately 235 of those as moderate income rental units. Final unit numbers will be confirmed at rezoning approval.

The city anticipates the first MIRHPP project rezoning reports will go to council for referral to public hearing this fall.

Some proposals have proved controversial, including buildings envisioned for 3600 East Hastings, 3680 East Hastings and 2538 Birch St.

The rezoning application for 445 Kingsway and 2935 St. George St., meanwhile, includes a summary of reaction from a pre-application open house that was held in May. About 3,500 invitations to the open house were distributed but only 35 people attended the event, with 22 comment forms filled out. Of those 22 forms, 16 voiced support for the project, two voiced concerns and four comments were neutral.

The next open house about the rezoning application for 445 Kingsway and 2935 St. George St runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at Glad Tidings Church Sept 19. City staff and the applicant team will be at the event.

IMAGES of proposal for 445 Kingsway and 2935 St. George St.

Rendering Acton Ostry Architects
Aerial view looking westward from Robson Park. Rendering Acton Ostry Architects

 

Rendering Acton Ostry Architects
Street level view at Kingsway and St. George Street. Rendering Acton Ostry Architects

 

Rendering Acton Ostry Architects
Ground level view looking southward at St. George. Rendering Acton Ostry Architects

 

Rendering Acton Ostry Architects
Aerial view looking southwest at Robson Park. Rendering Acton Ostry Architects

 

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noconnor@vancourier.com

@naoibh

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