Richmond council is systematically getting rid of an old zoning tool – called “land use contracts” - that make it hard to adapt to changing needs and tastes.
Six land-use contract (LUC) properties will be part of a public hearing on Dec. 14.
All LUCs have to be rezoned by June 2022, according to provincial orders.
Land-use contracts were registered on land titles in the 1970s, and their removal is procedurally complicated.
Furthermore, the LUCs didn’t evolve over time while housing needs have changed, according to the city.
For example, some properties had a minimum house size limit – but not maximum house size limit – so builders were constructing tall buildings that didn’t suit the surrounding neighbourhood.
In 2016, council got rid of 93 land-use contracts that were on single-family homes.
The six LUCs that council is now dealing with, however, are multi-family and commercial properties and the zoning being created to replace the LUC largely mirrors the current form.
If these six are rezoned, there will be a further 15 LUCs across the city that need to be rezoned. These are also a combination of commercial and multi-family properties.
The LUCs automatically lapse in 2024, so the zoning is needed to be in place for when they are no longer valid.
According to the city, some new homes built under LUCs are considered “out of character” with the surroundings or what’s allowed under residential zoning regulations.
LUCs were brought in under a provincial mandate in the early 1970s.