In John Maxwell’s book “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” the chapter starts by saying “growth is stimulated by asking why” and also shares this quote by George Bernard Shaw – “Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not”.
“We know what the statistics are, we know there’s a problem, but it was very real standing there and seeing how broken our city has become — that this has become almost normal.”
“The election can’t happen fast enough. City Hall’s just become a place that’s stuck in a rut … We keep getting back into hyper, hyper-partisan, status quo thinking.” Vancouver Coun. Hector Bremner
“If we don’t proactively innovate and change the game, someone else will rewrite the rules for us.” ~Neil Burgis, Ph.D.
What is Inclusionary Zoning?
Inclusionary zoning means assuring that the local zoning ordinance is flexible enough to allow production of conventional homes but at a below-market price. I received approval to reference materials in this article because they are in the middle of a debate in Ontario about how to proceed with Inclusionary Zoning and how it can help both businesses, as well as young professional homebuyers, have a say.
Inclusionary zoning means assuring that the local zoning ordinance is flexible enough to allow production of conventional homes but at a below-market price.
“For an inclusionary zoning approach to improve housing affordability, consider whether the lot sizes for each of your residential zoning classifications can be reduced without great harm. Many people enjoy not having much of an expanse of lawn to care for. Maybe you can zone for more villas, townhomes, patio homes, and condominiums, as well as write a zoning district classification and assign a zoning district or two or three for mixed-use development. We know that neighbors often resist greater housing density, but you can use visual preference surveys, tours of nearby developments, and conversations with the developer to help defuse that.”
Adding an Extra Housing Unit on a Lot
Another really useful approach to providing some discreet affordable housing and even low-income housing is the alley house, carriage house, granny flat, mother-in-law quarters, accessory housing, garage apartment, or whatever term for accessory dwelling units you may be familiar with.
If you have a community full of elegant two-story homes widely spaced, with large rear yards and alleys, can’t you provide that people can build carriage houses along the alleys? Provide strict standards for them, and architectural review so that the carriage house is in some sympathy with the main house.
If you zoned to allow new carriage houses, that would be an example of inclusionary zoning. If you have a community full of elegant two-story homes widely spaced, with large rear yards and alleys, can’t you provide that people can build carriage houses along the alleys? Provide strict standards for them, and architectural review so that the carriage house compliments the area.”
I know that I am not the first to write to the City of Burnaby regarding this and I am certain I won’t be the last. Currently an R10: Low-scale development in mature single-family areas consists of homes built with low-scale character. I don’t know how building monstrosities can be considered low-scale. While R4 or R5 – provides for the use and development of two-family dwellings on larger lots in medium density residential areas, some R10 homes sit on much larger lots and have lane access.
Isn’t it time we reassess the 19th century model of one home on one lot? For example, you have a two-family dwelling “duplex” directly across the street from your home that was grandfathered in back in the 50’s and yet the municipality has no plans to allow homes built 10 years later to develop two-family dwellings. In my opinion, this is not only biased but an old school way of thinking? It may have worked in 1950 but we are in the 21st century and our population has grown significantly.
Allowing homeowners to provide more density on existing land allows those who can’t find affordable housing, below-market price options to live and work in the area. It also mitigates the negative environmental and economic effects that we see in urban sprawl such as an increase of greenhouse gas emissions, greater energy consumption, pollution and wildlife habitat destruction. Isn’t it time to ask why it can’t be done?
“Changing the structure and rules of the global economy will require a mass movement based on messages of compassion, justice, and equality, as well as collaborative and democratic processes … If we stay positive, inclusive, and democratic, we have a truly historic opportunity to build a global movement for social justice.”
If every one of us took a stand and took responsibility to be a part of the solution that we could improve the lot for the many already in our communities that are living in poverty and can’t afford housing that meets even their very basic needs. As the Vancouver Coun. Hector Bremner said, “We can do better than this.”
We are constantly faced with the choice of which direction we are willing to go, follow the crowd or do something different. I for one won’t be following the crowd, will you?
“Inclusion works to the advantage of everyone. We all have things to learn and we all have something to teach.” ~Helen Henderson