Over the past years several people have asked me questions about street frontage of city properties. When I needed similar data for a work project, and Scot Hein asked me a question about frontages of commercial properties for his Urbanarium debate, I decided to finally pull the numbers. The answer to that question is not as straight forward as it might seem, mostly because properties aren’t necessarily square. There are a couple of algorithm that can solve this problem, but in this case we can keep things reasonably simple as the City of Vancouver has property frontages listed on VanMap and make the data available on their Open Data Portal.
Density in Vancouver has been one of the recurring themese on this blog, and there are many different ways to come at it. We have looked at density in terms of land use to understand how much land is devoted to what purpose in Metro Vancouver and it’s municipalities. We have looked at density in terms of tax density to understand how property tax revenue depends on land use and zoning.
The property tax data for the City of Vancouver has been available for a while now, and with new assessment data becoming available soon everyone’s worried about what their property taxes will look like. The City just passed a 3.9% increase in their budget, so on average everyone will pay 3.9% more taxes than they did last year. The exact change in property taxes varies from property to property. There is a nice overview on how this works in general, for the City of Vancouver there is an added complication of land value averaging meant to soften sudden land value increases, that effectively serves to lower taxes for single family homeowners in a rising market.
Recently the question around the amount of space taken up (exclusively) by single detached houses has show up on my Twitter feed citing that SFH take up 70%, 66%, and 57%, 56% (timestamp 3:50). I personally have thrown in 34% as a contender. And, just for the fun of it, by the end of this post I will have thrown 33% and 28% and my favorite, 81%, into the mix.
Ever since I played with the LIDAR-generated building height data I thought that I should use that to map gross floor area (GFA) and floor space ratio (FSR). Gross floor area is the total floor area inside the building envelope. So for a three storey building, it is the area of the footprint times three. Floor space ratio is the GFA divided by the area of the parcel it sits on.