CVN letter to Council: Simplified & Expanded Zoning & Development Regulations for Passive House Projects (21-Jan-2020))

The following letter went to Vancouver City Council.

January 21, 2020

City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

RE: Referral Report 2. Simplified and Expanded Zoning and Development Regulations for Passive House Projects

Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20200121/documents/rr2.pdf
Council Meeting Agenda Jan. 21, 2020: https://council.vancouver.ca/20200121/regu20200121ag.htm

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) requests that this report not be referred to public hearing as it has had no public consultation and would affect all residential RS, RT and RA zones across the city.

While we support the objectives of making new construction more energy efficient, this proposal seeks to allow significant increased FSR for new construction that undermines the character and heritage house incentives in RT and RS zones. The report proposes single-family houses would be eligible for a flat exclusion of 16% and duplexes eligible for an exclusion of 18%. This goes well beyond what is required to make up for extra wall thicknesses and creates a large bonus density that undermines retention incentives.

A change of this scope should have had public consultation with consideration of impacts on other city objectives of reducing demolitions of character houses prior to bringing a report for referral forward to council.

We therefore request that this report be referred instead back to staff for a more fulsome review of how these proposed incentives for passive house would impact other incentives for character house retention and consult with the public before bringing proposals to council for consideration.

Sincerely,
Larry Benge, Dorothy Barkeley
Co-Chairs