14 July 2018
GRU #265
Government Relations Update #265
Mark Sakai, Director of Government Relations

Twitter: @Mark_GVHBA

Given the beautiful weather we're having, I am at a loss to understand the thinking of people who still don't consider it sunny enough to drive around with their convertible tops down. When riding around yesterday, I swear that I saw more examples of tops up than down!

For Your Information

  • At Vancouver's Public Hearing of 18 July, the Text Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-Law and Building By-Law - Accessible Path of Travel Policy Review (Item 1); and the Text Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-Law - Laneway Home Regulations (Item 2) are on the agenda
  • Frances Bula writes in the G&M on Mayor Gregor Robertson's push to get Vancouver's RS zones densified, and suggests on her blog post,  that this will be the 'line in the sand' during the election campaign.
  • From Price Tags, here's a simple map  showing density/zoning/land use in Vancouver that pretty much explains the need for the Making Room proposal.
  • Also from Price Tags, this blog post  discusses why Chinatown is in for some big changes, regardless of the downzoning decision by Council.
  • From The Georgia Straight, here is the first significant statement on housing policy from Vision Vancouver mayoralty candidate Ian Campbell.  
  • Patrick Condon, COPE's mayoralty candidate, has announced his withdrawal  from the race, as he suffered a stroke on Tuesday, and is now recovering.
  • Things are heating up a bit  in the Burnaby mayoralty race, with the candidate exchanging accusations with the incumbent about that recent Labour Council endorsement.
  • At Richmond's General Purposes Committee meeting of 16 July, the City Centre District Energy Utility Bylaw is on the agenda (pages 7 - 53).  
  • At Richmond's Public Hearing of 16 July, the OCP and Zoning Bylaw Amendments to allow implementation of the Energy Step Code are on the agenda.  
  • At Richmond's Planning Committee meeting of 17 July, Proposed Amendments to the Zoning Bylaw - Accessible Parking Requirements is on the agenda. (pages 74 - 87).  

For Your Information

  • At Coquitlam's Council-in-Committee meeting of 16 July, this staff report on the Housing Choices Review - Round 1 Consultation Summary,  is on the agenda, as is this report on the Public and Municipal Fleet Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy.  
  • At Coquitlam's Regular Council meeting of 16 July, this report proposes first reading for Text Amendments to the Zoning Bylaw to add Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements. As well, this report recommends that Council accept the recommendations for 2018 Eligible School Sites from School District 43.  
  • At Maple Ridge's Council Workshop of 17 July, staff reports on the 'Density Bonus Program Allocations to Affordable Housing' (pages 10 - 17); the Neighbourhood Residential Infill Policy Change' (pages 18 - 27); and the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Options for New Development' (pages 34 - 43) are on the agenda.  
  • At Port Moody's Special Council meeting of 17 July, Cllr. Lahti has brought forward a report recommending a Council Code of Conduct Bylaw for first, second and third readings (pages 67 - 109 of the agenda).  
  • At Port Moody's Finance Committee meeting of 17 July, a report on the successful application to BC Hydro of funding for a consultant to assist the City in the implementation of the Energy Step Code is on the agenda (pages 5 -14).  On the same agenda, a staff report discusses funding for the "Residential Parking Permits for Multi-Family Residents in Close Proximity to Rapid Transit - Report 2" (pages 15 - 28).
For Your Information

  • At Surrey's Transportation and Infrastructure  Committee meeting of 16 July, there are reports/updates on: the Pattullo Bridge, the LRT Project, the Rapid Transit Vision, the Congestion Management Strategy, and a presentation on proposed changes to the City Centre Parking Policy. 
  • There may be more on-street parking  in Surrey, if the Provincial Government approves Council's recommendation that the parking prohibition distance from fire hydrants is reduced from 5m to 2.5m. 
  • Here is Langley City Councillor Nathan Pachal's report on TransLink's presentation on planning for the Fraser Highway B-Line, at last week's Council meeting.

For Your Information
  • At North Vancouver District's Council Workshop of 17 July, the Density Bonus Options for Incentivizing Market and Non-Market Rental Housing is on the agenda (pages 13 - 49);  as is the Community Amenity and Housing Update (pages 51 - 98). 
  • Here is CBC.ca reporter Justin McElroy's profile of the North Vancouver District mayoralty race.  

For Your Information
  • The political hot potato that won't go away: compensation and retirement packages for local elected officials, along with another call for provincial-level oversight.
  • In the G&M, here's a story taking a big-picture look  at the 1.5ยข additional gas tax as part of the TransLink Phase 2 funding package.
  • More talk from the Provincial Government about the review of the Auditor-General for Local Government,  and the possibility of the office being either shut down altogether, or incorporated into the Provincial Auditor-General's operations.
  • Here's an article  by Whistler builder and Energy Step Code Vice-Chair Bob Deeks on 'A Roadmap for Canada's Buildings Strategy', focusing on expanding the construction of high-performance buildings.

For Your Information


  • Here's an excellent piece  by Christopher Cheung in The Tyee, about getting more civility into the discussion about housing in our region.
  • Sales and prices in Metro Vancouver moving towards a buyers' market - from this article by Jen St. Denis in The Star Vancouver.
  • This report  from the BCREA Economics Department sees BC moving into a 'balanced real estate market' for the first time in over 3 years. Demand (sales) are down, supply (listings) are up, but prices have not declined (average sales price up 2.4% in BC, 2.7% in Greater Vancouver, and 8.7% in the Fraser Valley).


For Your Information
  • So, it has come to this: NIMBYism taken to its ultimate form. This Chemainus bare-land strata has banned the use of its roadways for any purpose aside from driving. So this means no bike riding, road hockey, chalk drawings, basketball, skateboarding, or "other sports and recreational activities". Hopefully, the national attention being drawn to this ridiculous bylaw will result in reconsideration by the strata council. 
  • Here's a blog post  from Jarrett Walker's Human Transit, where he discusses the folly of looking at transportation projects individually (like a bike lane), when transportation is a system of connected parts. 
  • It used to provide electricity for the BC Electric Interurban Tram, but now you can purchase this 13,000 sq. ft. 8-BR, 8-bath heritage building  in Abbotsford. 
  • A great new innovation in law enforcement - self-capturing criminals!  
  • This 'concept-motorcycle'  appears to defy the laws of physics.

Please feel free to distribute this email to others in your office, if you think that they would benefit from the information. If you are reading this as a forwarded message from a colleague, you can get your own version, delivered directly to your mailbox. Just let me know, and I will be more than happy to add you to my list. And don't forget, the most recent issue of GRU is always posted on the Government Relations Page of gvhba.org.

As always, comments are welcome. If there is an issue or a website that you would like me to follow, please contact me at 778-373-9784, or via mark@gvhba.org

Mark Sakai
Director of Government Relations