Controversial Rezoning Approved Next to Future Arbutus Broadway Line Station

8th and Arbutus

After 6 contentious meetings over the span of a month, the highly controversial rezoning for a supportive housing/social housing project at 8th Avenue and Arbutus Street was approved 8 to 3. The decision to approve the project was made despite huge opposition from both local area residents and the families of students of St. Augustine Elementary School, located directly across the street.

In total, there were approximately 300 people who spoke publicly at the hearing and 2,100 written notes from the public. Public feedback was overwhelmingly in opposition, with 1,500 against versus 500 in support.

The project will achieve the following criteria:

• 140 social housing units
• A floor space ratio (FSR) of 4.42
• A net floor area of 7,948 sq. m (85,551 sq. ft.)
• A building height of 50 m (164 ft.)
• 6 vehicle parking spaces and 154 bicycle parking spaces

While not directly related to the Broadway Plan, the approval of the project demonstrates that this Mayor and Council are highly supportive of non-market housing and are willing to take political risk to achieve some of their goals, a positive sign that they will bend over backwards to support projects that deliver significant non-market/below-market units.

Full rezoning application below: