City of Vancouver ponders future of False Creek South with an eye on more density

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      One of the most densely-packed neighbourhoods in Vancouver will have more residents in the decades to come.

      The City of Vancouver is looking at putting more developments in False Creek South, currently home to about 5,800 people.

      Situated north of West 6th Avenue between the Cambie and Burrard Bridges, False Creek South is also one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in the city.

      It’s a waterfront community of mostly low-rise residential buildings in garden settings. About 16 percent of the 55-hectare enclave is dedicated to park and green spaces.

      False Creek South is also an inclusive community, with a mix of a third each for non-market rentals, co-ops, and condos.

      The City of Vancouver owns most of the lands in False Creek South.

      As the majority landlord in the area, the city is moving to engage residents in a discussion about the future of False Creek South.

      A report included in the agenda Wednesday (July 13) of council identifies principles to be used in the consultation process proposed to start in the fall.

      These include exploring “affordable housing options for False Creek South residents to remain in the neighbourhood”.

      As a principle, the city also intends to maintain ownership of the lands, while at the same time, look at “achieving a reasonable rate of return” for these properties.

      According to the staff report, the city owns 80 percent of the lands in False Creek South.

      About 60 percent of the residential units in the neighbourhood are on city properties leased to non-profit and for-profit housing operators, and strata leaseholders.

      Most of the leases are expiring in 20 years, between 2036 and 2046.

      “The City will explore development opportunities, as well as timing for such opportunities, with a view toward developing a more diverse range of housing, including a mix of affordable housing and tenure types, as well as other public amenities,” according to the False Creek South engagement principles drafted by staff.

      The city plans to work with RePlan, a subcommittee of the False Creek South Neighbourhood Association, in coming up with a vision for the community.

      On its website, the neighbourhood association notes that False Creek South hosts a “significant stock of housing that is affordable, especially in the Vancouver context where many moderate income families can no longer afford to live”.

      The group also points out that density in the neighbourhood is more than twice the city’s average.