A quick note following up on a discussion earlier today, where the question came up on how to compare single family with condo (or rental apartment) density. This point comes up a lot and becomes increasingly important as Vancouver densifies. In Vancouver, some single family homes are heavily suited. Legally a single family lot can have the main unit, a secondary suite and a laneway house. Roughly a half of single family homes have a suite, and a couple percent have laneway houses.
When we (Denis and Jens) got together for coffee the other day, Denis showed off some maps of renter density in the frequent transit network that he was working on. The idea immediately clicked and we decided to work this out together. Motivated by the issue of renter demoviction caused by the 2017 Metrotown Plan, we set out to quantify how one could plan for displacement on a regional level, instead of treating it as an unwelcome consequence of development at the lot level.
Last year we took a detailed look at Single Family teardowns in Vancouver, that is houses in RS or “Single Family” zoning that got torn down. We focused exclusively on those homes in RS zoning because these have to be replaced by another, often bigger, Single Family home. Using historical data we build a probabilistic model to predict future teardowns in Vancouver. If you haven’t taken the time yet to read through the data story, you probably should do that right now.
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.
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.