Controversial Rezoning Application Shocks Vancouver West Communities

Controversial Rezoning Application Shocks Vancouver West Communities

  • Real Estate
  • rezoning application
  • Vancouver
October 27, 2020

The site under the spotlight is 3701-3743 West Broadway & Alma in Vancouver West. Westbank revised its 2015 proposal from a 6-storey 100% secured rental to a 14-storey tower with a height of 172.6 feet. A public hearing is scheduled for October 27, 2020. The outcome of this application will set a standard that will shape how Vancouver West is likely to be and the way developers should approach rezoning and development proposal.

Residents who were against the proposal has already started a petition on gathering over 3,600 votes. The question trickles down to why everyone is resisting the rezoning proposal to the point of gather public support to prevent the revised proposal from happening. The problem lies beyond just this proposal. If the City of Vancouver permitted this application, it will set a precedent for past and future rezoning/redevelopment to ignore guidelines and voices of the community.

The existing zoning is a commercial (C2) site with a maximum allowable height of 45 feet and up to 4-storeys. The first proposal (2015) is 6-storey building with a maximum height of 64ft, which is well within the acceptable range in the community. Until moderate income rental housing pilot program comes into play, which grants additional height and density up to 14 storeys at the intersection of 2 arterial. The new proposed building features 176.6 feet height, 14-storeys, and a bonus density of 5.27 FSR.

Everything was good on paper until we consider its place within the community. The site is surrounded by low-mid rise building no higher than 4-storeys. On the same block are single detached homes. Therefore, we have an enormous building protruding out of nowhere like Langara Gardens. There is serious shadow impact. The community also claims the proposal violates MIRHPP guidelines. It did not respect transition to surround area, and Broadway should not be considered as an arterial road.

Due to the reason stated, we understand why the community are furious over the revised plan and if it did get approved. It will send out a signal to past developer to revise their proposal and future developer to continue this kind of moves. In our perspective, Westbank would not put effort into proposing something so outrageous into their proposal without grounds. The application has already passed one community open resulting in a decrease in height and increase in residential unit count.

There are multiple C-2 sites on Alma that are due for redevelopment without a proper official community plan. Since the city of Vancouver announced Broadway/10th avenue in their frequent transit development plan in 2010, we have not heard of any major announcement from the government. Westbank’s proposal could accelerate the plan and put pressure on the government to come up with measures for the neighbourhood because spot rezoning is never ideal. The city of Vancouver is also pushing hard for affordable housing and the additional units from the 14-storeys building is attractive yet costly.

The revised proposal also unlocked a whole bag of questions including criticism on MIRHPP regarding its over subsidizing pilot program and the lack of regulatory process and assessment of applications. We believe COVID situation played a role in the debacle to prepare for the upcoming years of economic recovery. A side note, Westbank recently proposed additional density for its Phase 2 Oakridge development, and we are tempted to see what happens.

Yoyoe Lu

Founder and managing principal

Yoyoe is the founder and managing principal of Claridge. She was ranked one of Vancouver’s top real estate agents. Currently, Yoyoe is our strategic mind leading the team to success. Her affiliation with industry professionals put her ahead of our competitors. Yoyoe is also part of the Rotary Club of West Vancouver, Canadian Homebuilders Association, Urban Land Institute and Urban Development Institute.

Ashley Osborn

Development Site and Investment Specialist

Ashely is our lead land and investment advisor. He has been consistently featured in the annual top 100 real estate deals of British Columbia ranking. With over $15 billion worth of domestic and international real estate investments under his belt, Ashley is one of the top agents in the province. His 20 years of real estate and financial experience make him a master in negotiation and acquisition.

Patricia Wong Chong

Investment and Leasing Specialist

Patricia is our investment and retail leasing advisor. Her experience in brokerage and market research analysis has helped her comprise over $550 million in commercial real estate transactions. Patricia is responsible, detail-oriented, and professional. Her strong work ethic and positive attitude have led her to surpass all her competitors.

Schumann Li

Land Assembly & Residential Specialist

Schumann is a top-producing realtor in the Lower Mainland with more than 30 years’ experience. Over the years, Schumann hasn’t just garnered awards, but the trust of countless customers. Her clients continually refer to her outstanding professionalism, work ethic and poise.

Wendy Kaip

Sales Associate

Whether it’s decoding city policies, strategizing relocation plans, home sellers looking for a trustworthy advisor to unlock their property’s maximum potential- Wendy is here to help every step along the way.

Prior to real estate, Wendy spent over a decade in the mining industry with her attention to detail, keen negotiation skills, extensive network and strong reputation for getting the deal done, bringing endless value to her current real estate clients.

Whether you are thinking about selling to a developer, or have more questions about commercial real estate, Wendy invites you to connect, to see how she can utilize her expertise and team to help create value and maximize your real estate goals.

Simon Chan

Managing Broker

Simon is the managing broker of Claridge Real Estate Advisors Inc. His expertise has helped our agents resolve many difficulties. Not only is Simon knowledgeable with real estate legislation, but he is also very detail orientated. With Simon on our team, our agents are confident to conduct businesses and will always get the support they need to ensure they’re not walking on dirty water.

Frank Zhou


As the analyst of the company, my key job is to help brokers to find marketable clients and locate feasible development sites by collecting and analyzing up-to-date market transaction data and conducting target market and property-level research. Meanwhile, I am also in charge of maintaining the company’s property database to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness and continuously upgrading the level of knowledge by staying up to date with hot topics, and market trends, and incorporating findings into everyday work. Before joining the company, I worked for CR Group as a real estate investment manager, focusing on capital raising, equity and debt financing, acquisition and renovation. I hold 2 master’s degrees, one in Housing Management and the other in Economics.