Bylaw changes would open up massive supply of industrial space for arts, culture

Two important reports referred to public hearing at Vancouver city council today will mark a massive increase in space available for arts and cultural uses, if ultimately approved by councillors.

Neither has anything to do with the Waldorf Hotel. (Council also approved a heritage assessment for the Waldorf.)

One would streamline existing rules to support artist studios in existing areas. Staff estimate 25 million square feet of existing space would become accessible to art uses as a result.

The other consolidates the Mount Pleasant area north of City Hall, bounded by Yukon, Second Ave., Main St. and Broadway as a light industrial zone with increased job space potential.

Heights and densities would not increase, but there would be increased flexibility to undertake a whole host of businesses, restaurant uses or artistic endeavours. This 40-block neighbourhood already supports about 7,200 jobs.