Monday, June 10, 2024

Langely City Updates Zoning to Allow 'Plexes Everywhere and Removes Minimum Parking Requirement in Transit-Oriented Areas Per Provincial Law

To comply with provincial law, Langley City Council gave first and second readings to a zoning bylaw update on June 3rd, enabling provincial transit-oriented area zoning and "Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing."

Map showing transit-orient areas and where new "Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing" will be allowed due to changes to provincial law. Select the map to enlarge.

Provincial transit-oriented zoning sets the minimum height that local governments must allow near SkyTrain Stations and bus exchanges. The province has a 20-storey minimum height closest to stations and exchanges that steps back the further you get from the station and exchange areas.

Due to the Langley Regional Airport, federal regulations set the maximum height to around 12 storeys in most of Langley City. These federal regulations overrule provincial law. A small section of Langley City by the Willowbrook SkyTrain Station is outside the federal airport regulation area, and it already has no maximum height in our current Official Community Plan.

Due to federal regulation and Langley City's current Official Community Plan maximum height and density requirements, this provincial minimum height and density requirements will not impact our community.

Now, there is one significant provincial change: within transit-oriented areas, local government cannot set on-site residential parking requirements except for accessible parking. This change means developers will have to determine their own residential parking needs. Experience in all other parts of North America shows that developers will still build parking even with no minimum parking requirements. It also shows that there will be little impact on on-street parking utilization.

People can still build lower than Langley City and provincial height and density standards.

The other change to Langley City's zoning bylaw is to allow "Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing" in all RS-1 and RS-2 detaching housing zones. This change allows up to four housing units on each lot, with a maximum of six units within 400 metres of a frequent bus stop. Again, people can still build detaching housing with only one housing unit on a lot if they choose. All other City requirements, including setbacks, heritage, height, and environment protection regulations, will still apply.

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