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NORTH VAN DISTRICT & THE NEW PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION...Who's gonna win?




If you've been following along...not on Facebook because we don't get our news here anymore...but you may have noticed that the Province of BC has been super busy trying to make good on their promise to improve housing issues across the province.


There are a number of new bills being introduced by the Province but the one that's really got the people talking is Bill 44: The Housing Statutes (Residential Development) Amendment Act.


So, if you haven't heard already this bill is a big swing by the province with some good intentions. The purpose of this bill is to "set the minimum number of housing units allowed on each parcel of land in single-family zones wish higher density near bus stops to encourage public transit. "


Sounds pretty great but at a meeting held by the District of North Vancouver staff last night (April 11, 2024) more questions were asked than answered (which wasn't the fault of staff...to be clear)


Basically the province is saying: "we want you to add a bunch of houses where your single family home is. Since there is a lot of land on your lot you can add up to 4 units (6 in some cases) and create much needed housing for others."


Great plan...in theory.


At the meeting staff outlined the provincial legislation (which goes into effect on June 30, 2024) and then showed how they're going to get around having to comply with that. kinda.


Throughout the District of North Van there are areas that "could be" deemed "threatened" and "threatened" areas "could be" exempt from the legislation.


I should mention a few things here; the District (and all other municipalities across the province with more than 5000 in population) will be required to update their OCP (or ODP) by Dec. 31, 2025. The updates must included the new zoning for single family lots that do not qualify for a "threatened" exemption. Does that make sense?


Until the OCP is re-done I'm assuming that bill 44 overrides any existing district bylaws. (but i'm not 100% sure)


So, if you have a single family lot in Lynn Valley and you want to build 4 units on it you will be able to do so without public input or readings through council. In fact, if what you want to do complies with the current OCP (which I presume means the new one coming at the end of 2025) then have at it! Get out the bullzozer!


Now, if your home is in a threatened area then you may be exempt from being able to do these sorts of projects. But we really don't know if the province will accept these exemptions.


Also, what about insurance for people in the threatened areas? If they're deemed dangerous does that mean that insurance companies are going to get worried and try to up their premiums?


Oh wait! I forgot to mention that none of this new building will require the builder to manage parking. No parking is required. I suspect this is an attempt to get folks out of their cars but that doesn't really happen much in a city like North Van where everything is up a mountain!


Anyway, I have not gone to the city meeting because they're already on top of the density part of this. I suspect they won't have the same reaction as the District but we'll see.


If you'd like to know if your place is exempt let me know and I'll find out for you.


All I can really say is that this will be ongoing. We don't know what's going to happen yet.


What a time to be alive! :)


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