Heritage and character buildings are valued by many Vancouver residents, and are an important component of defining neighbourhood identity and character.
In recent years, we've heard growing public concern over the loss of character homes in the city.
We started the Character Home Zoning Review in response to these concerns as part of the Heritage Action Plan, a comprehensive program approved by Council in 2013 to review and improve how we support heritage conservation in Vancouver.
At this stage, we've put ideas forward for testing and your feedback. We have not made any specific proposals or recommendations yet.
What's a character home?
A character home:
On March 7, 2017 we provided an update to Council including highlights from recent public consultation, consultant studies and analysis by staff, as well as ideas being explored.
Some of these emerging directions include providing incentives to retain character homes, and pursuing character retention through city-wide initiatives, such as the Housing Reset. Work is currently underway through this separate initiative to review how we can accommodate greater diversity in housing types across of the city, including the single-family zones. Some ideas not being pursued include reducing the allowable floor area for new homes, or the compulsory retention of a character homes.
A full report with staff recommendations will be presented to Council in the spring.
We’re looking at ways to:
Proposed incentives to retain character homes
The new units could be for family use, rented, or strata-titled, providing more housing and types of housing.
We commissioned a study by independent consultants to look at the possible effect on property values. The study found that land values may decrease by 5 to 10%, but it's unlikely that values would drop below 2015 values.
Land values for single-family homes in Vancouver have increased significantly in recent years (nearly 200% in the last decade) since they are in limited supply.
Our report on the Character Home Zoning Review to City Council will carefully consider the:
November and December 2016 open house information displays:
December 2015 stakeholder workshop:
Request a character assessment for a house built before 1940 before you begin renovations or apply for development permits.
Tanis Knowles Yarnell