Vancouver City Council moves The Heights District Plan closer to implementation

The second City Council public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Mon., Aug. 2

VANCOUVER – Following a public hearing, members of the Vancouver City Council recently voted to approve three ordinances that will allow the city’s transformative redevelopment plans for The Heights District in central Vancouver to move forward. 

Following a public hearing, members of the Vancouver City Council recently voted to approve three ordinances that will allow the city’s transformative redevelopment plans for The Heights District in central Vancouver to move forward. Photo courtesy Vancouver Community and Economic Development Department
Following a public hearing, members of the Vancouver City Council recently voted to approve three ordinances that will allow the city’s transformative redevelopment plans for The Heights District in central Vancouver to move forward. Photo courtesy Vancouver Community and Economic Development Department

The first ordinance creates a new Heights Mixed-Use (HX) zoning district and adopts urban design guidelines. It also amends the Vancouver Comprehensive Plan to allow for the implementation of The Heights District Plan’s policies and goals. 

The new HX zone is intended to promote a flexible mix of residential, retail and employment land uses and a walkable land use pattern within The Heights District, allowing people to live and work within walking distance of each other. It regulates aspects such as maximum building heights, vehicle and bicycle parking requirements, and the types of uses permitted within the plan area.  The HX zone also includes a set of associated urban design guidelines that address requirements for things like building design and architectural features, the design of public infrastructure like roads and parks, and sustainable development practices. 

The second ordinance establishes mitigation measures and conditions for approval of development projects located within The Heights District Plan area and streamlines the review and approval of projects that meet the conditions. 

The third ordinance lifts a temporary moratorium on development within The Heights District Plan area that had been in place since the city first began working on the plan in 2017. 

“We are excited to continue to move forward this transformative project,” said Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “The Heights District Plan reflects key equity objectives for our community and fosters neighborhood livability by adding services and open space near new and existing housing.”

The second City Council public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Mon., Aug. 2. This hearing can be attended in person or remotely and public comments are welcome. Instructions about how to provide comments are included in the agenda for each city council meeting, which are made available the Wednesday prior to each meeting at www.cityofvancouver.us/CityCouncilAgendas.

The Heights District Plan is a top priority effort of the city to develop a mixed-use project that embraces equity objectives of inclusive housing, connectivity and travel options, sustainability, and provides for future opportunities in economic development.

Vancouver City Council adopted The Height District Plan in August 2020. This marked the culmination of more than two and half years of public engagement and participation in the planning process and resulted in a community vision for how The Heights District will develop over the next 20 years.

The Heights District is a 205-acre area generally located between East Mill Plain Boulevard to the north, MacArthur Boulevard to the south and west and Andresen Road to the east. It includes several city-owned properties, including the former Tower Mall shopping center, a water facility, fire station and Park Hill Cemetery, plus three public schools and commercial and residential areas.

More details about the new HX zone, its associated development standards and the design guidelines are available online at www.beheardvancouver.org/heights-district-plan.

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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