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:
We're summarizing the feedback we received at our open houses and online survey in November and December 2016. As well, we're considering all options and implications before we develop recommendations.
We'll present our analysis to Council around late-March 2017 and receive further direction.
If Council decides to pursue any zoning changes, we'll prepare specific amendments and ask for public feedback before holding a public hearing.
Tanis Knowles Yarnell
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.
Proposed options for new single-family home construction
In many older neighbourhoods, current zoning allows new houses to be almost twice as big as older character homes in the area.
The options we're exploring aim to help new homes fit in better with neighbourhood scale and make the incentives for retaining a character home more attractive.
We're closely examining the implications of reducing floor area in new single-family homes. No decisions have been made yet.
Allowing higher-density housing in single-family areas (like a duplex or triplex) isn't part of our review, but may be part of the City's future work.
We commissioned a study by independent consultants to look at the possible effect on property values if Council adopts options such as reducing the allowable size of new homes. 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:
Request a character assessment for a house built before 1940 before you begin renovations or apply for development permits.