Vancouver approves ‘view cone’ changes

Vancouver city council has approved changes to some ‘view cones,’ in an effort to build more housing, hotels, and create job spaces.

Passed on Wednesday, amendments will focus on views that are either fully or partially obstructed, “or have limited access for public enjoyment.”

As part of the changes, 24 public views will be retained, with the city saying 11 of them “have been updated.” Two public view cones where views are “fully obstructed” are being removed, as are 14 others that were part of the list of council-approved public views.

One such view that has been removed is that from the Cambie Bridge, although some of it will be tweaked to keep certain views in place.

View cones were made in the late 1970s to keep buildings from being built too high and blocking the view of the North Shore mountains. But in the following decades, those changed as the growing population needed more space.

A view of Downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains, through what is described in Vancouver as a 'view cone'
The City of Vancouver has approved changes that will affect some ‘view cones.’ (CityNews Image)

“These changes will allow important public views to evolve with the city, balancing development with the preservation of natural elements to maintain a healthy and attractive urban environment,” said Josh White, general manager of Planning, Design and Sustainability.

“As our city grows, we’re taking a balanced approach to updating decades-old policies that will allow our iconic views to evolve as we work to deliver the housing and job space Vancouver needs,” added Mayor Ken Sim.

As Vancouver continues to deal with a housing crisis, advocates continue to push for more spaces that are affordable and accessible.

-With files from Kier Junos

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