Municipal News- City of New Westminster
January 25, 2022
2022 Development Cost Charges Update
The City of New Westminster is currently in the process of updating its Development Cost Charges (DCC) Bylaw. The City last conducted a major update to its DCC bylaw in 2009, with a minor update in 2015.
If you were not able to attend the industry session on January 19th, the presentation slides and session handout are available for your interest. The draft rates as of January 17th can be found here on page 3.
DCC rates will be in force immediately after the updated Development Cost Charge Bylaw is adopted by Council. The City anticipates adoption of the DCC bylaw in summer 2022. In-stream protection applies to both building permit and subdivision applications received prior to the adoption of the DCC bylaw.
UDI will be providing written feedback to the City on the proposed rates. If you have any comments or feedback, please email Heather Park at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 2nd at 4pm.
November 2, 2021
DCC Bylaw Major Update
On October 25 the City provided a presentation on timelines for the forthcoming DCC review. The last major update was in 2009, with a minor update in 2015. Since 2015, the City has come out with the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Engineering Master Servicing Plans.
The background review and data assessment is complete, and staff are now conducting analysis and evaluation of options for draft rates and determining how to best implement changes. The City will review internally, and then hold formal stakeholder engagement. The proposed bylaw will then be taken to Council for adoption.
The timeline for this work involves an internal review of the draft program in November, with stakeholder engagement mid-December. The City anticipates adoption of the new bylaw in Summer 2022.
The City proposed engagement with UDI and its members through provision of rates during stakeholder engagement mid-December, with ability to submit written comments to the City until the end of January.
Zoning Bylaw Amendments for Sustainable Transportation
On October 25th the City provided a presentation on timelines for next steps for Zoning Bylaw Amendments for Sustainable Transportation. Stage 2 Part A on bicycle parking and bicycle parking facility design standards went to Council and was given First and Second reading. The current work being done is on Stage 2 Part B, which covers parking in lieu, and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) options. This work is scheduled to be completed in late Fall 2021/early Winter 2022. Stage 3 will then cover right sizing parking, and a review of off-street parking requirements in Spring 2022.
The key objective of this amendment work is to support mode shift as it relates to the Climate Emergency Bold Step, as well as to facilitate sustainable transport mode use by requiring and incentivizing TDM, while disincentivizing car ownership.
Staff are aiming to avoid building more parking than is needed, while managing the risk of not shifting parking demand from on-site to on-street which would result in neighbourhood impacts. The City is moving from “negotiating” for TDM to a process that provides more transparency. Rezoning and Development Variance Permit applications are currently how TDM is obtained through a negotiated process.
The City thanked UDI for its letter with feedback on Stage 2 Phase A.
October 19, 2021
On September 23rd the City held a workshop to engage building industry stakeholders in the development of its eMobility Strategy. The presentation slides provide an overview of the Strategy objectives, and actions considered related to e-micromobility, EV support options, EV charging, and utility management. Taking feedback from the previous workshop held in July, a new set of draft recommendations were developed (slide 17 of the presentation). Recommendations include improving access to charging in new and existing buildings, as well as investing in public charging.
If you have any questions, please contact Heather Park at email@example.com.
September 21, 2021
Electric Mobility Engagement
The City of New Westminster is currently developing a strategy to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility (e.g., electric vehicles, e-bikes, e-scooters, etc.) in alignment with its Bold Steps on climate action.
Given an interest in mobility and/or the City of New Westminster, the City is inviting members to participate in a workshop to inform the actions the City can take to support electric transportation in the community. This second and final workshop is an important opportunity to review the work to date and refine the Strategy recommendations.
There are a number of potential actions drafted in the Strategy that the City would value the liaison committee’s feedback on, such as:
- Requiring commercial and institutional EV-Ready new construction (% of stalls)
- Introducing residential EV-Ready retrofit requirements
- Incentivizing and/or requiring e-bike parking in new/retrofitted buildings
A 2-hour online workshop will be held on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021, at 10 am PT. During this workshop, the City will discuss the results from Strategy research, modeling, and stakeholder engagement. They will also seek your feedback on the draft list of City actions to ensure the Strategy recommendations align with local needs and interests.
Please register here by Wednesday, September 22nd to confirm your interest. Registration will remain open, but your RSVP will help with workshop planning.
If you are not able to participate, you can:
- Provide your feedback on the City’s public engagement platform at https://www.beheardnewwest.ca/electric-mobility-strategy. The City invites you to share this page and survey with your network. Please note that the engagement opportunities at this link will conclude on Sunday, September 19th.
- Provide your feedback via email or telephone (Benjamin John, Corporate Energy & Emissions Specialist, 604-636-3543, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Let the City know if someone else (in your organization or in an another organization) could be a good fit to attend in your place.
If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to City staff (Benjamin John).
New Westminster Design Panel UDI Representative
UDI is seeking applications for a representative to sit on the New Westminster Design Panel. The Panel reviews the design of all development projects (except single detached and duplex homes).
The position would start in February 2021 for a two-year term with the potential of re-nomination for a subsequent term. Design Panel meetings are scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of each month and the Terms of Reference are available here.
If you are interested in applying for this position, please contact Cassandra McColman for further details by Friday, November 20.
June 2, 2020
Interim Development Review Process
At the May 27 liaison committee meeting, city staff provided this presentation regarding the interim development review process that the council endorsed on April 27, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This process was created to ensure that development applications can move forward for review and public engagement, while maintaining safe physical distancing measures. See here for a memo to UDI regarding the process. Please contact Marissa Chan-Kent for further questions regarding this changed process.
May 19, 2020
Zoning Bylaw Amendments
As discussed at the February 12, 2020 New Westminster UDI Liaison meeting, the city has released the proposed Stage 1 zoning bylaw amendments that primarily encompass accessible parking and design standards, and off-street loading requirements. Though Stage 1 included a best-practice review of bike parking, no changes are proposed to the bike parking space and design standards requirements at this time. These will be further reviewed in a subsequent zoning bylaw review stage addressing sustainable transportation objectives. At this time a Council meeting date for consideration of first and second readings of the bylaw has not been determined, though staff are targeting June 2020.
May 5, 2020
Interim Development Process
On May 1, city staff will be proceeding with a 3-month pilot program for the processing of applications which address Council strategic priorities and/or are anticipated to generate relatively low interest at public consultation events and meetings, and which do not require an amendment to the Official Community Plan. At the conclusion of the pilot program, staff would then extend the interim development review process to all remaining applications. For the interim development review process, steps in the City’s standard development review process will be modified as outlined in this release.
May 19, 2020
See here for City of New West Coronavirus Updates
See here for Business Resources During COVID
See here for Community Resources Updates
May 14 City of New Westminster introduces new measures to support industry during the COVID-19 pandemic through digital building permit application software, development of an interim development review process, and surveying of industry needs
April 9th New City Hall hours effective Tuesday, April 14th https://www.newwestcity.ca/2020/04/09/new-city-hall-hours-effective-tuesday-april-14-2020.php
April 8th New Westminster Electric Utility to provide additional customer relief for electric customers affected by COVID-19 https://www.newwestcity.ca/city_hall/media/press_releases/site_post/2884.php
Community Resources https://www.newwestcity.ca/services/public-safety/covid-19/community-resources
March 30th The City of New Westminster expands Rent Bank Program to support renters during COVID-19 pandemic https://www.newwestcity.ca/city_hall/media/press_releases/site_post/2877.php
December 23, 2019
New Inclusionary Zoning Policy Approved
On December 9, City Council approved of the Draft Inclusionary Housing Policy brought forward by staff. See report here. UDI met with city staff in February and April 2019 to provide insight on the policy and submitted a letter summarizing comments and a financial analysis on RM-6 development sites. The letter highlights the need for incentives to improve the viability of building below-market and non-market units in new development. The report that was approved largely reflects UDI’s feedback.
November 12, 2019
Development Permit Streamlining and OCP Amendments
City staff have requested feedback to the Council Report on Proposed Changes to the Development Permit Process and changes to the Official Community Plans. See letter to UDI here. UDI will be coordinating feedback and writing a letter in response. Please provide comments to Marissa Chan-Kent by Friday, November 15. If your company has particular experience in dealing with the Queensborough Official Community Plan, please specify.
Shared Entrances and Common Spaces Consultation
The City of New Westminster is holding a consultation session around shared entrances and common areas in mixed-tenure projects on November 21st from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm at New Westminster City Hall. See here for the agenda. To register to participate, contact Anur Mehdic.
October 29, 2019
Transportation Development Review – New Fee
On October 23rd, UDI met with the City of New Westminster to discuss the new transportation development fee review and process improvements. The city provided the following presentation. See here for the letter sent to UDI and the here for the Report to Mayor and Council. The two funding sources include the Transportation Development Fee review, which is collected at the time of application and Street Occupancy Permit Fees which are collected at the time of construction. The three new Transportation staff that will be hired include:
- Transportation Planning Engineer – responsible for application review, analysis, best practices, technical expertise and support
- Transportation Planner – responsible for policy analysis and review, coordination and support alignment with strategic priorities
- Transportation Technologist – responsible for primarily supporting post-approval/implementation period, plan checking and application reviews for smaller or less complex developments
The city is currently recruiting for the three new positions to address the current and forecast level of development application review. These fees will come into effect in January 2020.
May 27, 2019
UPDATED: Rental Only Zoning Amendments Scheduled for Public Hearing Tonight
UDI has written to New Westminster Mayor and Council ahead of their consideration of Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 8123, 2019 tonight. On January 28, 2019 New Westminster approved rental residential tenure zoning, which effectively downzoned six stratified buildings, to rental only tenure. Currently, Bylaw No. 8078 is being challenged by Petition in B.C. Supreme Court, and the City’s erroneous information about the marketing of individual strata lots is one of the grounds for the challenge. The City has filed a response to the Petition, which concedes the inaccuracy of this information. The new Zoning Bylaw Amendment No. 8123 is a further poor attempt to rectify a single element of a severely compromised process, and fails completely to address the fundamental issue of New Westminster’s arbitrary and inappropriate application of rental tenure zoning on existing strata buildings. UDI strongly recommends that council take this opportunity to reverse these policies and engage in truly meaningful discussion with the impacted property owners and broader public. UDI and its members are committed to providing diverse housing options for all British Columbians. It is UDI’s hope that city staff and council will recognize this issue and seek solutions to rebuild trust with the development community.
May 13, 2019
Rental Only Zoning Amendments Scheduled for Public Hearing
On Monday, May 6, 2019 New Westminster Council considered and approved amendments to their Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 8078, 2019, adopted on January 28, 2019 which introduced rental residential tenure zoning which downzoned six stratified buildings, to rental only tenure. “Currently, Bylaw No. 8078 is being challenged by Petition in B.C. Supreme Court, and the erroneous information about the marketing of individual strata lots is one of the grounds for the challenge. The City has filed a response to the Petition, which concedes the inaccuracy of this information. The proposed further zoning bylaw amendment process provides an opportunity for the City to redo the notification and public hearing procedures, including properly-worded public hearing notices.” The Public Hearing and consideration for Third Reading will occur on Monday, May 27. It is to UDI’s understanding that the approved amendments do not address the initial act of downzoning six stratified rental properties, rather the changes seek to redo the deeply flawed public hearing and notification process.
April 29, 2019
UPDATED: Draft Inclusionary Zoning Policy
The New Westminster committee met with New Westminster city staff on April 24 to discuss the draft inclusionary housing policy that city staff plan to bring forward to Council on June 24. See here for the presentation provided at the meeting. City staff indicated that the inclusionary rates are likely to be presented as outlined and as such, are looking for suggestions on what kind of incentives or financial levers exist that can be enhanced or created to offset the costs for the inclusionary rates. Incentives such as reducing parking requirements, CAC exemptions and additional density were discussed. UDI will be writing a letter with incentive recommendations that will be submitted to City Council by May 17. If you have feedback on possible incentives that could be applied to this policy, please get in touch with Marissa Chan-Kent.
March 4, 2019
Draft Inclusionary Housing Policy & Rental Replacement Policy & Rental Housing Revitalization
UDI met with the City of New Westminster on Tuesday, February 26 to receive the following presentation on their proposed Draft Inclusionary Housing Policy and Draft Rental Replacement Policy and Proposed Rental Housing Revitalization Initiative. The financial analysis considered for these policies, as conducted by Coriolis, can be found here. UDI raised concerns regarding the percentage of inclusionary housing that would be required under the associated options. UDI will be meeting again with the City of New Westminster on these policies. Please contact Marissa Chan-Kent if you are interested in participating.
The City has also launched a Housing Policy Survey as seen here. Survey deadline is Friday, March 22.
New Westminster staff respond to rental-only zoning
Rental-Only Zoning Response: After City Council’s decision to downzone six stratified rental properties to rental-only zoning, the city responded to UDI’s letter, reiterating their rationale for targeting those properties and providing assurance that the “rental tenure zoning authority will not be applied more broadly at this time.”
February 5, 2019
New Westminster Downzones Six Strata Buildings
#ICYMI, on January 28, the Mayor and Council of New Westminster passed final reading of the Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 8078, 2019 on Monday evening. This arbitrary and heavy-handed decision to downzone six strata properties, which have been successfully operated as rental accommodation for decades, will lead to fewer housing options in New West in the future. We believe council had good intentions – to protect the supply of rental homes – but this sudden, flawed decision will bring uncertainty and deter the building of new and maintenance of existing rental units in New Westminster. This decision sends a clear message that the New Westminster City Council is not interested in collaborative solutions and does not respect the voices of property owners and rental builders. Furthermore, it’s an important warning for property owners, as this rushed decision sets a dangerous precedent for other municipalities to devalue properties without due process or any consultation with home builders and property owners. While UDI contemplates next steps, we encourage members facing similar situations in other municipalities to contact us.
Business Regulations and Licensing (Rental Units) Amendment Bylaw No. 8085, 2019
Last night, New West Council voted unanimously to add new regulations restricting eviction of tenants in order to perform most renovations, and requiring additional considerations for tenants when eviction is permitted. The Staff Report can be found here.
January 21, 2019
Consultation Meeting on Inclusionary Housing Policy and Rental Replacement
The City of New Westminster staff recently presented City Council with a draft inclusionary housing policy. City staff also plan to present a rental replacement policy later in January to city council. UDI will be attending a consultation meeting with city staff on Tuesday, February 12 at New Westminster City Hall, located at 511 Royal Avenue from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm to discuss both of these policies. If you would like to attend this consultation meeting, please contact Marissa Chan-Kent.
Multi-Family Residential Rental Tenure Zoning
Council gave Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 8078, 2019 First and Second Reading on January 14, 2019 that, if passed, would downzone several strata rental properties in New Westminster. The City is using the new power given to local governments to zone for tenure in multi-family areas through Bill 23, the Local Government Statutes (Residential Rental Tenure Zoning) Amendment Act. Landowners did not receive notification of the Bylaw before it went to Council on January 14th, and the Public Hearing is on January 28, 2019.
UDI is very concerned that this new zoning power is being used to downzone properties, and with little notice being provided to landowners. We have met with New Westminster staff and written a letter to City Council. UDI will also be raising industry concerns about this issue with Provincial officials.
January 8, 2019
Electric Vehicle Charging (EVC)
As noted in previous newsletters, the City of New Westminster has been developing an EVC strategy for new developments. The City has updated its website regarding the new EVC requirements. Beginning on April 1, 2019 “… all new buildings that contain at least one residential unit will be required to install a Level 2 (208 to 240 volt) energized outlet to the residential parking spaces.” The City’s DP Guidelines have also been amended, and now include recommendations for the provision of EV charging infrastructure for visitor spaces in multi-unit developments, and “… that new commercial and institutional buildings with ten or more parking spaces should provide 10% of these spaces with access to an energized Level 2 outlet.”