Explained (Public Hearing July 13): Text Amendments to Zoning and Development By-law, RM-5, RM-5A, RM-5B, RM-5C and RM-5D Districts Schedules, etc.

West End Residential Neighbourhoods, Fig 1The Public Hearing at Vancouver City Hall starting 6 pm on Monday, July 13, 2015, includes three items affecting the West End. The title of the first would make anyone’s head spin:

TEXT AMENDMENT: Miscellaneous Text Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law, RM-5, RM-5A, RM-5B, RM-5C and RM-5D Districts Schedules, Downtown Official Development Plan, and various CD-1 By-laws

We asked an expert on zoning for an explanation, and she was unable to do so — links to some of the relevant documents did not even connect on the City website. So a citizen asked the City’s West End planning team for a brief explanation, in layperson’s terms, of the gist of these bylaw changes. “What are the most important points required for a person to understand what is being done here? What are the implications for the West End neighbourhood and residents? Further below is the reply, from Hale Jones-Cox, Planner, Downtown Division.

That answer seems to answer the questions without fully answering them. Sure, the City wants to include an updated map, but the underlying story might interest residents. The new RM-5D zoning on both sides of Davie Street goes from Jervis to Cardero, and includes the 19-storey Intracorp tower at 1177 Jervis (1171 Jervis) (which attracted attention for having separate doors for renters and owners, Public Hearing March 24). So we looked deeper. On the City’s Zoning & Development Bylaw 3575 page we can see RM-5D. which is one of the districts that permits greater densities than RM-5, and RM-5D in particular supports the development of social housing. Anyone interested, you are welcome to dig deeper.

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The amendments were administrative corrections to the guidelines that were missed at the time that the zoning changes associated with the West End Plan were enacted. These housekeeping fixes have no impact on policy for the West End.

When the zoning from the West End Plan was enacted in February 2014, the guidelines were amended to include the new RM-5D zone, i.e. the name of the guidelines was changed from “West End RM-5, RM-5A, 5M-5B and RM-5C Guidelines” to “West End RM-5, RM-5A, 5M-5B, RM-5C and RM-5D Guidelines”.

Unfortunately a similar update was missed in the first sentence of Section 1 Application and Intent which previously read:
“These guidelines are to be used with the West End RM-5, RM-5A, 5M-5B and RM-5C Districts Schedule…”

The recent text amendment corrected the first sentence to read:
“These guidelines are to be used with the West End RM-5, RM-5A, 5M-5B, RM-5C and RM-5D Districts Schedule…”

The second amendment was to replace a dated Figure 1…

West End Residential Neighbourhoods, Fig 1
…with an updated map that includes the RM-5D zone:West End Residential Neighbourhoods, updated with RM-5D zone 13-Jul-2015 PH
I hope that clears up the small changes made.

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