Dan Fumano: ‘A huge step forward’ or not enough? Vancouver approves citywide multiplex plan
Vancouver city council unanimously approved a proposal Thursday to allow what staff call “multiplexes” throughout most of the city’s lowest-density neighbourhoods.
But some described the zoning changes as too little too late. By city staff’s own estimation, these multiplexes are unlikely to produce many rental homes, a type of housing in especially short supply in Vancouver.
The council vote came late Thursday following an eight-hour public hearing, the culmination of several years of Vancouver city staff and politicians discussing how to add so-called “missing middle” housing to residential neighbourhoods. Council approved a series of zoning and bylaw amendments that will enable up to six strata units per lot, depending on size, or as many as eight secured rental homes.
Rendering from the City of Vancouver showing a crosssection of multiplex housing.Although the plan allows for rental apartments, builders and city planners agree that, as it’s currently designed, it’s unlikely to produce many. They say that’s because rental projects just wouldn’t be financially viable as presented in this proposal — even after the federal government’s announcement Thursday about removing GST on new rental-housing construction.