HAVAN   News
June 6, 2020
GRU #360
Government Relations Update #360
Mark Sakai, Director of Government Relations &
Jay Chadha, Government Relations Research Associate
Twitter: @Mark_HAVAN
Here’s an interesting blog post from CityLab on why Minneapolis was the spark that lit the fire of the anti-racism protests across the U.S. As you might guess, the subject of racism is a hot button for me, given that my parents and grandparents were taken from their homes in 1942, interned in East Lillooet and Greenwood, and not allowed to return to their homes on the coast until 1949. In my youth, I was lucky enough to grow up in a diverse and tolerant place (Steveston), where Japanese-Canadians were almost a majority. As I worked my way through various career positions, I attempted to increase diversity in areas where I thought it was lacking. In my final speech as President of the BC Museums Association in 2010, I challenged the delegates at our annual conference to make the association more representative of the people whose stories we tell in our museums. More recently, at the BC Real Estate Association, I have spoken about the low racial diversity on the Board.
It saddens me to see our neighbours to the south literally torn apart by this subject, and I know we still have much to do in Canada. I hope that people will take time to reflect on how they view racism in society, and ask themselves if they are doing all they can to eliminate it, with the aim of improving life in Canada for everyone. 
COVID-19

  • Despite having to do most of their sales through virtual meetings because of COVID, the Sentinel project in West Vancouver sold 54 out of the 66 units they released in May. 
  • From Vancouver Sun - One-two punch: COVID-19 compounds B.C. condo insurance crisis.
  • Here's a piece from the Financial Post on 'Why office real estate landlords aren't panicking just yet'. 

METRO WEST
For Your Information

  • We received this email on June 3 from the Mayor’s Office providing an update on recent progress made regarding planning and development work in Vancouver, as the city identifies the construction and development sectors as key to their economic recovery. The topics addressed in the email include: Voluntary Rezoning Enquiries; Virtual Hearings and More Public Hearing Dates; Regulation Redesign and Streamlining Application Processes; Tall Timber Buildings Allowed. On that note, the proposed regulatory amendments from this council report titled ‘Regulation Redesign - Amendments to Zoning & Development and Parking By-laws’ will be presented by the Regulation Redesign staff at Vancouver’s Public Hearing on 25 June. 
  • We also received this email from the City of Vancouver regarding their proposed rate adjustments for DCLs, CACs and DCCs. The revised rates are set to come into effect on September 30 and Council will be considering the updates at their meetings on July 21 and 22. 
  • At Vancouver’s Council meeting of 9 June, this memo with three new potential Public Hearing dates for July is on the agenda. Again, this is part of the aforementioned steps the city is taking to support the development industry. 
  • A report on VBBL amendments regarding Legionella Prevention is on the agenda for Vancouver’s Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meeting of 10 June. 
NORTHEAST SECTOR
For Your Information

  • On the agenda for Maple Ridge’s Council Workshop of 9 June is a report on the city’s draft Ground-Oriented Residential Infill Development Permit Guidelines (pg. 7). 
  • Amendments to the Fire and Emergency Services Bylaw for Outdoor Gas Appliances are up for first three readings and adoption at Port Coquitlam’s Council meeting of 9 June. 
  • Some tension on Council at Port Coquitlam, where Cllr. Laura Dupont has been censured and removed from several external committees due to an alleged disclosure of confidential information from a Closed Council Meeting. 
SOUTH OF FRASER
For Your Information

  • Education Minister Rob Fleming made an announcement on new Surrey school projects.
NORTH SHORE
For Your Information

  • On the agenda for West Vancouver’s Special Council meeting of 8 June is a report on ‘Sustainable Buildings Policy Harmonization’ (Item 11.1). The policy is comprised of the following topics: Passive House Expedited Processing; BC Energy Step Code; Active Transportation Facilities. Also, there is a report with an ‘Update on Economic Development Plan Implementation and Local Economic Recovery’ (Item 6). 
  • We received an email from North Vancouver District telling us that they will be delaying the implementation of the Step Code 4 requirement for all new Part 9 Residential buildings, until likely early 2021. They had originally been considering an implementation date of mid-2020.

REGIONAL, PROVINCIAL, NATIONAL
For Your Information

  • Metro Vancouver is updating the Regional Growth Strategy. Metro 2050 is seeking some public feedback via this on-line survey. You have until 28 August to complete it. 
  • Here are the May statistics reports from FVREB and REBGV
  • On the agenda for Metro Vancouver’s Regional Planning Committee meeting of 12 June are the following reports: Update on TransLink’s Land Value Capture Study and Opportunities for Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing (pg. 126); Metro 2050 Q2 2020 Status Update (pg. 287); Developing a Shared Resiliency Framework for Metro 2050 and Transport 2050 (pg. 293); Climate 2050 and Clean Air Plan Discussion Papers (pg. 304). 
  • Here’s a story from the Georgia Straight about a recent BC Supreme Court ruling that enforces the BC Architect Act statute that requires all buildings over 470 square metres to be designed by an architect in order to receive a building permit from a local government. The article refers to Section 60 (h) of the Act, and may have implications for the approval of larger residences. You can read the full judgement here
  • A temporary ban on evictions by commercial landlords who refuse rent assistance was announced by Minister Carole James on June 1. 
  • Here is a piece in BIV on the environmental development permit troubles that many B.C developers have been facing. 
  • RBC Economics’ report titled ‘Home buyers and sellers returned to the market in May’ looks at the significant month over month sales increases witnessed in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. 
RENOVATIONS
For Your Information
HOUSING AFFORDABILITY
For Your Information
EVERYTHING ELSE
For Your Information

  • Here's an intriguing read from City Journal titled ‘Chartering a Future for Hong Kong’. It is important to note that Hong Kong is home to approximately 300,000 Canadians.
  • This piece from Forbes takes a look at the growing importance of local SEO for Real Estate Agents.
  • Here’s a good profile of Dr. Bonnie Henry from the N.Y. Times. 
  • A new UBCO campus is set to be built in downtown Kelowna.
  • From Price Tags - Post Pandemic Trends - The Return of the Corner Store. 
HAVAN, through its Director of Government Relations, works with Metro Vancouver local governments on important public policy issues, including pending and existing regulations which impact the home building industry. Non-partisan policy analysis and strategic consultation is provided in a collaborative approach in order to efficiently deliver to market the required supply of homes to support Metro Vancouver's 21 municipalities. Working with HAVAN members and industry stakeholders, to build and maintain positive relations with municipal, regional and provincial governments, HAVAN is the respected voice of Metro Vancouver's residential construction industry.
Contact us: info@havan.ca | 778-565-4288 |  www.havan.ca