Vancouver industrial lands opened up for more art studios

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      Vancouver city council has approved changes to municipal zoning bylaws in an effort to help artists find affordable space to do their work.

      Low-impact “work-only” art studios are now allowed in all 12 industrial districts in the city. That category of studio can be used for dance, writing, painting, digital media, and similar creative work.

      The new changes also aim to make it easier for artists to establish larger group studio spaces by removing a 500-square-metre restriction on the size of “work-only” studios.

      “These new opportunities in industrial districts will strengthen our creative community and support artists by providing an unprecedented increase in the availability and affordability of much-needed artist space in neighbourhoods all across Vancouver,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement.

      Low-impact studios were previously allowed in only four industrial districts in the city. Meanwhile, high-impact studios—which involve activities like welding, sound amplification, or the use of hazardous materials—are already permitted in all industrial areas.

      City council unanimously approved the changes during a meeting on February 5.