October 19, 2020 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Regular Council meeting for Public Hearings

Monday, October 19, 2020



Council Chambers
Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair
Councillor Chak Au
Councillor Carol Day (by teleconference)
Councillor Kelly Greene (by teleconference)
Councillor Alexa Loo
Councillor Bill McNulty (by teleconference)
Councillor Linda McPhail (by teleconference)
Councillor Michael Wolfe (by teleconference)

Claudia Jesson, Corporate Officer


Councillor Harold Steves

Call to Order:

Mayor Brodie opened the proceedings at 7:00 p.m.



Richmond zoning bylaw 8500, amendment bylaw 10198
(Location:  8671, 8731, 8771, 8831/8851 Cambie Road, 8791 Cambie Road/3600 Sexsmith Road, and 3480, 3500, 3520, 3540/3560 Sexsmith Road; Applicant:  Polygon Talisman Park Ltd.)



Applicant’s Comments:



The applicant was available to respond to queries.



Written Submissions:



John Roston, 12262 Ewen Avenue (Schedule 1)



Michelle Li (Schedule 2)



Submissions from the floor:



Jim Wright, 8300 Osgood Drive, expressed support for reviewing options to enable the existing natural area to be retained in the proposed development and read from his submission (attached to and forming part of these minutes as Schedule 3).



In response to queries from Council, Mr. Wright was of the opinion that  reducing the number of buildings on the site along Garden City Road and allowing greater building height for the proposed buildings could enable the natural area to be retained.



Sharon MacGougan, 7411 Ash Street, President, Garden City Conservation Society, read from her submission (attached to and forming part of these Minutes as Schedule 4) and offered additional supplemental photographs of various trees on previously developed Polygon sites in Richmond.



Yvonne Bell, 10431 Mortfield Road, expressed concern over the proposed removal of mature trees in the rezoning application and its impact to the surrounding area and wildlife.  Ms. Bell further commented on the value of replacement trees listed in the staff report and inquired where the valuation came from.  She also noted concern over the labelling of the property for Richmond-Sea Island United Church for future development in the staff report.



By teleconference, John Roston, 12262 Ewen Ave, Coordinator, Richmond Rental Housing Advocacy Group, noted agreement to the previous speakers’ comments on preserving the natural area on the proposed development site. He further summarized comments from his written submission, noting in particular that:




there is a shortage of available market rental housing in downtown Richmond and a large increase in supply is required;




operating costs involved in rental housing should be minimized to keep rents down which would require economies of scale through joint management of properties and co-locating market rental buildings;




limited land in downtown Richmond can accommodate large purpose-built rental projects and this project should incorporate a large portion of market rental units; and




developers for large scale developments could still potentially profit by selling market rental units or full scale developments to pension funds or a real estate investment trust looking for long-term stable returns.



In response to queries from Council regarding comments from the delegations, Wayne Craig, Director, Development, advised that:




it costs the City $750 to plant a tree and with respect to this project, a security of $750 per replacement tree is being taken, however through the development permit the bond would be increased based on the actual cost to plant all the landscaping identified in the development permit and the $750 referenced in the staff report is a placeholder;




the site is in close proximity to the flight path and is designated for residential use in the City’s Official Community Plan (OCP) and the City Centre Area Plan (CCAP);




as part of the approval process, the developer would be required acoustical reports to demonstrate that the project can achieve the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) interior noise standards with respect to mitigation of aircraft noise;




the Church site referenced by the delegation is located directly west of the subject development and is identified for residential development in the OCP as future use;




the City’s current policies do not have any requirement for market rental to be included in residential development and the City’s focus to date has been on the provision of affordable rental housing;




the project does comply with the City’s affordable housing policy in providing 10% of the residential floor area as affordable housing units;




in 2018 Council adopted an incentives based approach to market rental housing which includes the provision of additional density exclusively for the provision of market rental housing and this project is being provided with a 0.1 FAR density bonus exclusively for market rental housing;




the designated height for the proposed site is as identified in the CCAP; and  




increasing the market rental housing for this project would require the project be referred back to staff.



Robin Glover, Vice President Development, Polygon Homes Ltd., spoke to questions from the delegations and commented that:




number of restraints to retaining additional mature trees on the site including site servicing, that the preload required prior to development in Richmond is potentially damaging for existing tree root systems, and much of the proposed site is below road grades;




the proposal for the park location on the site allows for a central location of 2.5 acres for park space should the remainder of the block move forward with future development;




landscaping, including trees, for development sites in Richmond typically go through a one year maintenance program after which the landscape is reviewed and if there are deficiencies, the developer must return to the site to rectify and once that has been addressed, ongoing maintenance is handed off to the strata or City for off-site trees;




a total of 1226 homes are proposed for the site, 155 of those would be affordable housing units managed through SUCCESS, and an additional 65 market rental units consolidated in a single building;




Polygon Homes Ltd. has built stand alone rental facilities previously in Richmond however this project proposes delivering the affordable housing and market rental units in Phase 1 to allow for quicker delivery;




currently approximately 40% of the strata units for previously completed Polygon Homes Ltd. projects  in Richmond are available in the rental market; and




immediately adjacent to the proposed site is a 13 storey tower under construction which was difficult to get YVR and Transport Canada approval for due to potential issues with the proposed third runway and there may be limitations in raising the building height on the proposed site.



In response to questions from Council, Mr. Glover advised that (i) building height on the proposed site is limited by Transport Canada approval, (ii) the location of the park is intended as a central green space and portion of the site will be dedicated to bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and (iii) Polygon has been in discussion with organizations regarding the purchase and management of the market rental housing.



The Chair acknowledged the conclusion of the first round of public speakers. Three speakers then addressed Council for a second time with new information.



Sharon MacGougan offered additional comments regarding the poor condition of mature trees in areas of the city and expressed concern about the location of the proposed pathways on the Polygon site.



Yvonne Bell spoke to the impact of removing mature trees from the project site on children who would live in the development.



John Roston noted support for increasing the number of market rental units in the proposed development.


It was moved and seconded



That Richmond Zoning Bylaw 8500, Amendment Bylaw 10198 be given second and third readings.



The question on the motion was not called as the following referral motion was introduced:


It was moved and seconded



That the Application by Polygon Talisman Park Ltd. (RZ 18-836123) be referred back to staff to (i) explore better use of existing mature trees, (ii) review the current value for replacement trees, (iii) review the proposed park location, and (iv) increase the number of market rental units, and report back.



The question on the referral motion was not called as discussion took place on (i) the number of market rental units proposed in the development and the possibility of increasing building height to accommodate more, (ii) retaining more of the mature trees and natural area of the site, (iii) relocating the proposed park on the site, (iv) staff review of a formal market rental housing policy, and (v) current valuation of planting trees by the City.



In reply to questions from Council regarding timeline for a report back to Council on the referral, Mr. Craig remarked that it would not be anticipated in time for the next scheduled Public Hearing.



In response to queries from Council regarding the park plan and development of the site, Alexander Kurnicki, Research Planner 2, remarked that typically, public consultation would be part of the park plan process including the surrounding community beyond the site.



Discussion further took place on reviewing the City’s market rental policies and impact to the project and delay of affordable housing and market rental housing if the item were to be referred back to staff.



The question on the referral motion was then called and it was CARRIED with Cllrs. Loo and McPhail opposed.



As a result of the discussion, the following referral motion was introduced:


It was moved and seconded



That staff provide suggestions and options for a market rental policy and report back.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (8:34 p.m.).







Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the Regular meeting for Public Hearings of the City of Richmond held on Monday, October 19, 2020.




Mayor (Malcolm D. Brodie)


Corporate Officer (Claudia Jesson)