936 W 14th Avenue RM-4 Zoning & Heritage B


Blog by Arnold Shuchat | April 5th, 2014


What is the effect of a propery being on the Heritage Register in the City of Vancouver?  The true value lies buried in legalese in the zoning schedules and means nothing to most people.  The common misconception is that being on the Heritage Register means bureaucratic delays and alot of lost time and money. However, to the trained eye, there is "gold in them there hills"!

Here is the relevant extract from the RM-4 Zoning Schedule:  Bear in mind, that preserving Heritage Property and having a property on the list is a social policy and a "retention" policy!  Simply put, it adds up to bonus density if used properly!

If you own property on the Heritage list in the city, call to get some expertise on your side.  This type of property is a specialty and the difference in dollars that you might obtain on a sale is substantial if the property's potential value is misunderstood. I have a team of the most experienced city planners and development experts to ensure that you embark on the optimal and most expeditious approach to extracting value. 

As an example, a building in an RM-4 zone might be restricted to .75 Floor space ratio X the total lot size.  However, s.5.3 as highlited below may provide for a relaxation of the normal density to one of not more than 1.45 FSR which would allow you to build 193% more building. For this specific property it might yield the developer an additional 6000 square feet over and above the existing building.  If the deveoper did not wish to add on to this site, it could perhaps negotiate bonus density on another site of his for a similar benefit in exchange for agreeing to have the property become protected as Designated Heritage Property. 


5 Relaxation of Regulations

 

5.1 The Development Permit Board or the Director of Planning, as the case may be, may relax the

minimum site area requirements of section 4.1 with respect to any of the following

developments if the lot was on record in the Land Title Office for Vancouver prior to March 9,

1976 and has an area of not less than the minimum noted:

(a) multiple dwelling with a minimum lot area of 500 m²;

(b) rooming house, with a minimum lot area of 500 m²; and

(c) seniors supportive or assisted housing, with a minimum lot area of 500 m².

 

5.2 The Development Permit Board or the Director of Planning, as the case may be, may relax the

minimum site area requirements of this Schedule with respect to any of the following

developments where he considers the development site to consist of locked in lots and provided

he also considers the intent of this Schedule and all applicable policies and guidelines adopted

by Council:

(a) multiple dwelling;

(b) rooming house; and

(c) seniors supportive or assisted housing, with a minimum lot area of 500 m².

 

5.3 The Development Permit Board or the Director of Planning, as the case may be, may relax any

of the regulations of this Schedule for the following developments where he is satisfied that the

relaxation will serve to accomplish certain social and community goals, including where

possible the retention of existing buildings, having regard to the intent of this Schedule and all

applicable policies and guidelines adopted by Council.

(a) one-family dwelling, one-family dwelling with secondary suite, or two-family dwelling,

provided that the floor space ratio shall in no case exceed 1.00;

(b) infill or additions to existing buildings, provided that the floor space ratio shall in no case

exceed 1.45;

(c) multiple dwelling or seniors supportive or assisted housing, provided that:

(i) all required parking spaces shall be provided underground or within the outermost

walls of a building (but in no case with the floor of the parking area above the

highest point of the finished grade around the building), except in the case of lots

of 560 m² or less;

(ii) useable on-site open space shall be provided;

(iii) a minimum of 20 percent of total units within any building shall contain 2 or more

bedrooms, except in the case of buildings designed specifically for use as senior

citizens’ housing or other similar use;

(iv) in no case shall the site coverage exceed 65 percent;

(v) the maximum floor space ratio shall be 1.45.