Monitoring the Norquay Plan — Report No. 1 (March 2015)
A separate posting of fifteen photos of Norquay duplexes from February 2015 accompanies this evaluation.
This overall review of the 2010-2013 Norquay Plan starts with residential areas, and focuses on the most prevalent new housing type, the duplex. Remark is added for single-family house, a permitted form which is not new. See note appended below on context for brief description of the Norquay Plan and a listing of aspects yet to be reviewed. The City of Vancouver failed to include in the Norquay Plan any mandate for formal review of the effects and consequences of the mass rezoning.
A developer can build duplexes outright anywhere in two of three of Norquay’s residential zones (RT-11 and RM-7, but not Transition). Duplex development can include a secondary suite for each unit but not a laneway house. Some sites in RT-11 may qualify for additional infill small houses. There are no formal design guidelines for duplexes in Norquay. However, regulations govern things like height, yards, site coverage of the building, etc. In Norquay, regulations also call for such features as pitched roofs and main doors that face the street. These regulations can be found in Section 4 of the RT-11 and RM-7 District Schedules at
Since 2013, and as of February 2015, the City of Vancouver has issued 44 development permits for duplexes in Norquay. This is by far the most popular form of development to date in our residential zones. Small developers are attracted by the possibility of building denser housing quickly on a single lot.
In general, duplexes with front/back units are being built on narrow, deep lots and side-by-side units on wider lots. The front yard setback is usually in line with neighbouring houses. Back yards are small. The quality of the design varies considerably.
Unit size ranges from approximately 1200 sq. ft. to 2000 sq. ft., with a median size of 1550 sq. ft. The observed asking price range (not inclusive) is $719,000 to $1,098,000, with a median asking price of $899,000 for each unit.
Photos of 15 duplexes completed in Norquay as of February 2015 can be viewed in a separate posting, along with prices and square footages where available.
Single Family Houses
Any residential RT-11 or RM-7 or Transition site in Norquay may be developed outright as a single family dwelling. “Outright” land uses are those that are permitted by the City of Vancouver, provided that all the regulations and provisions of the Zoning and Development Bylaw and the Parking Bylaw are met. The builder does not need to go through a lengthy development application process, where the proposal is evaluated according to formal development guidelines and impact on neighbours is considered. A single family dwelling built in Norquay follows city-wide RS-1 (Single Family Dwelling) regulations. They can be found at
Since Norquay’s new zoning was passed in spring 2013, the City of Vancouver has issued 15 development permits for new single family dwellings. We have not observed any new single family houses being advertised for sale, possibly because these sites are being redeveloped by existing owners.
In addition, we have noticed 3 major renovations of existing single family houses in Norquay since 2013.
Note: Subsequent monitoring reports are anticipated for RT-11 (Small House/Duplex) Zone RM-7 (Rowhouse/Stacked Townhouse) Zone Transition Zone Kingsway Development Kingsway Public Realm Public Benefits Comprehensive Analysis
In the fall of 2010, Vancouver City Council adopted the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan. The plan lays out a “roadmap forward” that is supposed to guide development in Norquay for the next 30 years.
In the spring of 2013, Vancouver City Council adopted new zoning schedules for Norquay. Most of the residential area was rezoned to RT-11 (small house/duplex) or RM-7 (rowhouse/stacked townhouse). A rezoning policy was put in place for the Transition zone (four storey apartments) immediately behind Kingsway.
Specifications for development along Kingsway are part of the 2010 Norquay Plan.
Council also adopted a Public Benefits Strategy and Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy for Norquay in spring 2013. This policy identifies the key amenities and services that Norquay can expect to accompany development, and suggests how they should be funded. To date, nothing has been delivered.
Development has begun. The City of Vancouver has no formal process for monitoring the implementation of the Norquay Plan. This series of postings will examine how the Norquay Plan of 2010, the subsequent new zoning schedules of 2013, and the Public Benefits Strategy are being implemented.