The night before the council hearing discussing the character home zoning review and changes to duplex zoning we decided to spend some time understanding for who we keep 67% of residential land zoned as “single family” (RS), and another 2% as quasi single family in First Shaugnessey (FSD) and 9% as “duplex” (RT). Keeping things simple, let’s just look at RS. Who Can Afford To Buy? That’s a pretty easy question to answer.
Over the backdrop of Vancouver’s rising real estate values the exhibition of the “Vienna Model” at the Museum of Vancouver has triggered lots of discussions about what Vancouver could learn from cities like Wien. There are many angles to approach this, one of them that has received a lot of attention is the much larger proportion of government owned subsidized housing in Wien compared to Vancouver. In this post we want to focus on a different angle: land use.
With reporting on the new census numbers gaining traction, and now Mayor Robertson picking up on single family neighbourhoods losing population we thought it is time to crunch some numbers. Why does it need number crunching? All the reporting so far is based on looking at CT (Census Tract) aggregates, like e.g. in the map shown and linked to the right. But there is actually no single CT in the City of Vancouver that only contains RS zoning.
A little over a year ago we ran some analysis on teardowns of single family homes in the City of Vancouver. We used the City of Vancouver open data to understand why some single family homes got torn down and other’s don’t. Relying entirely on open data, there were some important questions that could not be answered. So together with Joe Dahmen at UBC’s School Of Architecture And Landscape Architecture we came back to the question and folded in transaction data from BC Assessment to add some more details and rigor.
RT is Vancouver’s zoning for duplexes. Over time, various areas have been zoned to allow duplexes. Examples are Kits Point, much of Point Grey Road reaching up to Broadway, much of Granview-Woodlands, parts of Mount Pleasant and many other areas. Recently I have had some interesting conversations on Twitter regarding RM-6 and over BBQ dinner about RT-7. Then the Granview-Woodland plan passed by council, and it contains a curious provision of reducing the outright FSR for the RT-zoned properties from 0.