Infill Housing at 21st & Esquimalt
On July 4, 2011, Council amended the OCP to establish an ‘infill’ housing (future land use) designation for the 2000-block Esquimalt Avenue (north side) and Fulton Avenue (south side); and to designate this block a Development Permit Area with corresponding built form guidelines (OCP Amendment Bylaw No. 4619, 2011).
Council may consider applications for rezoning of individual properties in this block to enable development of ground-oriented infill housing, not exceeding a density of 0.61 Floor Area Ratio (FAR). Infill housing types may include smaller single-family dwellings, coach houses, duplexes, triplexes and combination thereof.
This OCP amendment was considered in tandem with a rezoning application for 2031, 2047 and 2063 Esquimalt Avenue, which was also approved on July 4, 2011 (Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 4678, 2011). Now known as “Hollyburn Mews”, this project comprises six duplex units fronting Esquimalt Avenue and three lane-oriented coach houses (a total of nine strata units).
The rezoning application for 2031, 2047 and 2063 Esquimalt was submitted in late 2008 by Bowling Green Townhomes Ltd. The proposal was further refined by new owner, Geller Properties Ltd. in the fall of 2010, following input from the public, the Design Review Committee, Council and District staff – as reflected in the Development Permit drawings.
Proposed OCP amendment and rezoning bylaws were introduced on April 18, 2011. A public hearing was held on May 16, 2011 and was reconvened on June 6, 2011.
During 2009, key Council resolutions were direction to staff:
- To give further consideration to the rezoning application for 2031, 2047 and 2063 Esquimalt Avenue in the context of an OCP amendment for the whole block bounded by Esquimalt Avenue, 20th Street, Fulton Avenue, and 21st Street; and
- To carry out further public consultation on the proposed OCP Amendment and Rezoning Bylaws prior to further consideration by Council.
The enhanced consultation process took place from June through September 2010, and included two additional public meetings, meetings with property owners on the subject block, and follow-up consultations by the applicant. For background information, links to the respective staff reports are provided below:
- Staff Report dated April 7, 2011
- Staff Report dated September 24, 2009
- Staff Report dated April 16, 2009
What is ‘Infill Housing’?
The concept of infill housing, as envisioned during the Community Dialogue on Neighbourhood Character and Housing is seen as a form of ‘gentle densification’. Infill housing types could include:
- a detached modest-sized dwelling (1,500 sq.ft.) added to a property with an existing single-family dwelling;
- two smaller houses sharing one lot, as an alternative to one large house;
- a smaller house on a smaller (subdivided) lot; or
- modest-scale attached dwelling units in a duplex (2 units) or triplex (3 units).
Infill housing is seen as ‘bridging the gap’ in housing choice between the two most prominent housing types in West Vancouver – i.e., a single-family house or an apartment in a multi-family residential building. Infill housing would include a variety of modest-sized, ground-oriented units as described above, and could be well-designed to fit with the established character of West Vancouver neighbourhoods.