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URGENT: Legalizing Secondary suites in Strathcona and Centerm Expansion - your comments needed!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dear Strathcona Residents 

Two Important and timely items to share for tomorrow (Tuesday):


1.) Motion to make Legalizing of Secondary Suites Easier in (RT zoned) Strathcona


Strathcona’s housing stock falls under the RT-3 zoning designation, which in part recognizes both our neighbourhood’s historic density and narrower, smaller lots.

Much of the density in the neighbourhood today would be considered “non-conforming” but nonetheless provide affordable and needed rental housing. The process of legalizing these suites (often triggered by structural renovations) however, often requires upgrading the entire home to current building code standard or even to strata ownership— which results the loss of affordable rental housing. The legislation being proposed seeks to grandfather RT zoned rentals, and relax some of the building code standards, and thus lower the cost of Multiy-Family Conversion Dwelling process in Strathcona.


This is a Motion on Notice for tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at City Hall.

Residents can comment to before Tuesday morning on the proposed. 


2.) Centerm Expansion Project

In December 2016, the Port of Vancouver submitted a project permit application for a series of expansions to the Centerm container terminal, off-terminal road and rail, which are located North and East of Strathcona. The proposed Centerm Expansion Project will have implications for our neighbourhood.  Key project components include:


  • increased transport from a current maximum of 900,000 containers annually to 1.5 million annually,
  • infilling to the marine area 4.2 hectares on the west and 4 hectares to the east of the existing terminal,
  • installation of up to five new gantry cranes, 
  • addition of new diesel-powered transfer vehicles for the port

For more information about the Port’s review of this project, see:


Until March 24, 2017, the port authority is conducting the first of two planned public consultation periods as part of the Port’s permitting process (Note: the Port is both the proponent and the regulator for this project.). The Port’s project team will consider feedback received during this consultation period to refine proposed project mitigations, plans to minimize potential construction-related impacts and options for a proposed community investment program. The Port states it intends to present its responses to the community during a second round of consultation planned for mid-2017.


Due to a large anticipated increase in rail and truck transportation of large shipping containers (more than a 60% increase) associated with the planned expansion of the Centerm facility, we anticipate that the proposed expansion could pose significant impacts on the air quality and traffic patterns within our neighbourhood. We therefore would like to request the Port of Vancouver to conduct a thorough environmental assessment of the anticipated impacts for our community and collaborate with community members to identify and implement effective mitigation and monitoring strategies. Construction of the project is anticipated to start in 2017 and be completed in late 2019. 


Ways for SRA members to get involved:


  • Attend the open houses to learn more and provide your feedback. No RSVP required.
    • Tuesday, March 7, 4-8pm, Japanese Language School, 487 Alexander Street
  • Attend the upcoming small group meetings in Strathcona or downtown for in-depth discussion with the project team. Attendants need to register by email ( or phone (604.665.9563).
    • Wednesday, March 8, 6-8pm, Stathcona Community Centre, 601 Keefer Street
    • Friday, March 10, 1-3pm, Wosk Centre, Strategy Room 420, 580 West Hastings Street
  • Write a letter expressing your questions and concerns about this expansion
    • By email:
    • By mail: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Attn: Centerm Expansion Project Team, 100 The Pointe, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver BC, V6C 3T4.

Kind regards, 
Strathcona Residents Associaiton Council