On Mandated Multiplexes, Vancouver Somehow Does Less than the Bare Minimum

Kits Point and Shaughnessy are both centrally located neighbourhoods that have extremely restrictive zoning. But when Vancouver legalized multiplexes last year, both these neighbourhoods were EXCLUDED. 

Now the Province is stepping in and making Vancouver legalize multiplexes in these areas. While we’re happy the Province is making the City do something, the bottom line is that multiplexes aren’t nearly good enough in these areas.

Look at Kits Point. It is minutes away from Downtown, and right beside it the Squamish Nation is building 6,000 homes on just 11 acres at Senakw. That shows what housing demand in that area actually is. While the Squamish Nation is busy building thousands of homes, the City has to be dragged against its will to legalize just 3 or 4 homes on a lot.

4750 Granville Street

A small apartment building under construction in (Second) Shaughnessy

The City’s report states that housing should be focused around frequent transit. We agree! There are few better opportunities than in Shaughnessy, just a 15-minute bus or bike ride to Downtown and even closer to Broadway. Not allowing apartments in Shaughnessy is every bit as wasteful as not allowing them around SkyTrain stations. The large lots in Shaughnessy are very conducive to building apartments, even while retaining large trees and hedges. Two small apartment buildings were approved in "Second" Shaughnessy before the area was removed from the City’s “transition areas” rental rezoning policy. Allowing mixed use will help the whole neighbourhood access shops and services without having to get in a car. Instead, the City is proposing to limit even multiplexes in Shaughnessy to about one third of the density allowed under the provincial guidelines (0.5 FSR vs 1.8 FSR).

The public hearing for these changes is this Thursday, June 13, starting at 6 pm. Frankly, we don’t think it matters whether you support or oppose these changes. But this is a good opportunity to tell Ken Sim and Council that they need to do more in these central neighbourhoods. Right now, there’s absolutely nothing planned for these neighbourhoods beyond multiplexes, and that just isn’t good enough. Tell Council to legalize apartments in Kits Point and Shaughnessy!

Side note: If you would like to speak in person, some of us may be meeting up at Rogue on Broadway before the hearing. Please email or message us to let us know if you would like to join!

  1. Click here to go to the comment form or register to speak here.. 
  2. There are two relevant agenda items: #4 (for Kits Point and some other RT zones) and #5 (for First Shaughnessy). You can submit comments for either or both of these.
  3. Feel free to select “support”, “oppose”, or “other” – quite frankly, we don’t think it really matters.
  4. Here are some suggested comments to get you started; edit them however you’d like!

Dear Mayor Sim and Council,

Despite the fact that Vancouver is suffering from a deep shortage of housing, it has taken provincial legislation to force the city to legalize multiplexes in areas like Shaughnessy and Kits Point. This is unacceptable: These are central neighbourhoods and multiplexes are clearly inadequate to address the city’s housing needs.

This does not follow the City’s own policies and stated priorities. The Climate Emergency Action Plan calls for complete neighbourhoods and this proposal will do nothing to help achieve that. The Housing Strategy calls for more rental; these changes will do nothing to achieve that.

Given the proximity of these neighbourhoods to Downtown and Broadway, not to mention frequent transit, it is obvious that apartments need to be legalized in these neighbourhoods. Just look at Senakw – that shows what housing demand is really like around these neighbourhoods.

Vancouver needs real housing action. This is a crisis and small multiplexes are a drop in the bucket of housing need. Legalize apartments in Kits Point and Shaughnessy.


[Your name]

For more info, check out the referral reports linked on the June 13th public hearing agenda.

P.S.: Don’t forget to RSVP for our social happy hour at St. Regis (Downtown) this Wednesday starting at 5:00.