Most Vancouver residents open to densifying single-family neighbourhoods: survey

Jul 3 2019, 6:35 am

The solid majority of residents within the City of Vancouver support what can be considered as new ‘gentle density’ in traditional single-family neighbourhoods, according to a recent Research Co. poll.

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The survey found that 71% of Vancouverites think the municipal government should allow the construction of duplexes, fourplexes, townhouses, and three-to-four storey apartment buildings in areas where only single-family homes are currently permitted.

At the same time, 74% believe the city needs to continue its practice of preserving heritage buildings, even if this means new rental housing cannot be built. Moreover, the same proportion of respondents also said they are in favour of building more temporary modular housing for the homeless.

When it comes to their potential opposition on development, the survey found that 28% of city residents are not opposed to any type of building in their immediate area.

For those who expressed opposition, 9% are against new single-family homes, 8% are against townhouses and fourplexes, and 6% are against duplexes.

The taller the building, the higher the opposition, generally; 19% do not want to see six-storey rental buildings in their area, 18% are against six-storey market ownership buildings, 14% are against four-storey rental buildings, and 12% are against four-storey condo buildings.

Both 20-storey rental towers and 20-storey condo buildings saw opposition levels of 38%, and 31% expressed opposition to living near new temporary modular buildings.

“Opposition to having condos and rental buildings in the neighbourhood is directly related to size,” said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., in a statement “There is definitely more resistance from residents in all areas of the city when it comes to pursuing larger projects.”

Overall, 63% of respondents said they want to see a citywide plan that emphasizes future growth and allows more people to afford and live in all parts of Vancouver.

The City of Vancouver is set to launch a new citywide planning process this fall, with city staff expected to provide city council with a proposed strategy and timeline for the process later this summer.

The creation of  new citywide plan — the first in nearly a century since Harland Bartholomew’s plan — is intended to guide future development decisions, with context to the city as a whole.

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Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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