SQUAMISH, B.C. — As the District of Squamish updates its zoning bylaws, officials are looking to incentivize low carbon building construction and development along the core transit network and neighbourhood nodes.
Officials noted the goal of low carbon building would be to reduce greenhouse gases. Officials also hope encouraging development near transit could increase transit frequency and enable more shops and services to exist within neighbourhoods.
“This Smart Growth Neighbourhood Incentive will aim to gently add density into pockets of existing neighbourhoods to work towards more complete neighbourhoods that offer residents shops, services and transit in a walkable area,” read a release from the city.
Officials explained they are exploring using density bonus systems to accomplish this.
The city’s proposed low carbon incentives would:
- Reduce the permitted density allowed by one third for buildings that use high carbon energy sources, but allow buildings to achieve full density if they incorporate only low carbon sources such as baseboard heaters, heat pumps and electric hot water tanks.
- Homebuilders choosing to install a natural gas fireplace or furnace would be required to build a home one third smaller than previously allowed.
The city’s efforts to encourage transit-oriented growth would:
- Allow for increased density along the core transit network and neighbourhood nodes.
- Allow for additional housing forms to gently increase density in the forms of duplexes and triplexes and added floor space in multi-family properties.
- Require a proposed cash amenity contribution of 50 per cent of the increased value achieved through the density bonus.