Official Community Plan Housing Estimates

Accurate as of July 6, 2023

Adopted in 2018 after a two-year public engagement process, West Vancouver’s Official Community Plan (OCP) is – among other things – the District’s “official” growth management tool. It provides a policy framework to guide the development of an estimated ~5,000 net new homes over a 20+ year time horizon (2018 – 2041) in a way that supports the District’s social, economic, and environmental objectives.

As a member municipality of Metro Vancouver, the District’s OCP requires regional Board approval, which it received in 2018. For context, ~5,000 housing units would represent around 1% of all growth anticipated for the region by 2041. Importantly, the figure of ~5,000 net new units is an estimate, and growth in the District will ultimately be determined by area planning processes, the review of development applications, market forces, and Council decisions.

The following sections summarize the progress towards meeting the District’s housing estimates organized by the OCP’s housing policy sections, as these are the policies that guide Council’s decisions. Net new unit counts are based on the number of new residential units (enabled through a Council approval and with an issued development permit) minus the number of residential units that existed on the site prior to the approval.

For information about ongoing development proposals in various stages of the review process, i.e. not approved and subject to change, please see the dedicated Development Applications webpage.

The Official Community Plan and further information on the OCP’s review process are available here.

Regenerating our neighbourhoods with an estimated 300-400 new sensitive infill units

The OCP provides enabling policy to expand subdivision, coach house, and duplex opportunities. The primary implementing initiative to this end was the Neighbourhood Character Working Group. After their two-year citizen-led process, Council adopted zoning bylaw amendments to enable smaller houses on smaller lots and facilitate coach house development.

Coach house counts below are captured according to approved form and character development permits, including one-storey plus basement, two-storeys with or without a basement, or any coach house requiring a variance.

Further information on Coach Houses and associated form and character guidelines is available here.

Further information on the Neighbourhood Character Working Group’s two-year process is available here.

The following table summarizes approvals since the OCP’s adoption:

Subdivision Rezonings Approved         1 net new unit
Single Family Dwellings Approved       4 net new units
Coach Houses Approved                      10 net new units
Duplex Houses Approved                     7 net new units   
Total Approved                                      22 net new units
Estimate % Complete                            5.5 %

Expanding missing middle housing (e.g., triplex, townhouse, mixed-use) options with an estimated 300-350 new units

The OCP provides enabling policy for Council to consider rezonings for these housing types primarily along the Marine Drive transit corridor and in site-specific instances (e.g., adjacent to parks, schools, and existing multifamily).

The following table summarizes approvals since the OCP’s adoption:

Triplex Approved                 0 net new units
Townhouse Approved         0 net new units
Mixed–Use Approved         0 net new units  
Total Approved                    0 net new units
Estimate % Complete          0%

While not a net new rezoning application (because the development rights were in place prior to the 2018 OCP), a proposal at 2452-2497 Marine Drive did receive a development permit for form and character, consistent with OCP policy 2.1.5 (mixed-use development on commercial use sites). For convenience and information, this project includes 55 residential units. Further information on this project is available here.

Respecting character and protecting heritage

The OCP provides enabling policy to incentivize housing that respects neighbourhood character and encourages the long-term protection of valued heritage properties, such as converting single-family homes to multifamily use and infill options.

The following table summarizes the number of protected heritage properties since the OCP’s adoption:

Protected Heritage Properties        1 existing unit 
Total Protected                                 1 existing unit

Associated Infill Approved              1 net new unit 
Total Approved                                1 net new unit

Strengthening our centres and corridors through local area plans

The OCP provides directional policy to undertake and guide planning initiatives that strengthen key centres and corridors through local area plans (LAPs), with separate planning processes to determine area-specific built-forms, heights and densities, and the associated number of net new housing units.

Advancing housing affordability, accessibility, and sustainability

OCP policies support advancing housing affordability, accessibility, and sustainability through a variety of criteria. This OCP section also includes a policy to guide the use of District-owned surplus lands to increase the availability of more diverse and affordable housing.

Renter Units Approved             214 net new units
Seniors Housing Approved      47 net new units
Supportive Units Approved      0 net new units   
Total Approved                         261 net new units

Future neighbourhoods

The OCP sets out policies to manage new development in the Upper Lands through the preparation of Area Development Plans. Planning for Cypress Village and the protection of Eagleridge is underway.

To review this process, please visit the main project page here.

Implementing housing approved prior to the 2018 OCP

The 2018 OCP incorporated previously adopted policies and guidelines to respect past planning initiatives, development rights, and Council decisions. While the housing units guided by these policies are not part of the 2018’s estimated ~5,000 net new units (because they are not “new”, they reflect previous decisions and development rights), the two main such examples are summarized below for convenience.

Rodgers Creek and Evelyn Neighbourhoods were approved through larger area-specific rezonings as phased developments around a decade before 2018 OCP adoption. The build out of each neighbourhood is being guided gradually and incrementally, with many housing units yet to receive permits.

Reports & Studies