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Rezoning and density bonuses add child care spaces in Vancouver condo developments
Detail: Vancouver, over the next two years, through rezoning and density bonusing will create much needed additional child care spaces. For example, a new condo complex, Atelier on Robson, added a 37-space child-care centre as an amenity. The developer agreed to build the 13,900-square-foot centre and make a cash contribution of at least $1.1 million to the city’s Childcare Endowment Fund, in exchange for 68,841 additional square feet of residential density.

542 childcare spaces at 13 centres have been created through density bonuses, according to numbers obtained from the city’s social-planning department. By early 2010, that will almost triple to 1,464 spaces. Another 14 centres are set to open within two years.

However such licensed child care only serves 13 per cent of children aged zero to 12. According to 2006 census numbers, Vancouver has a need for more than 50,000 licensed spaces. Vancouver school trustee Sharon Gregson said that, if the crisis is to be relaxed, the province must come forward with greater child-care funding, and the city’s schools must lift the ban on using empty classrooms as child-care spaces.

Vancouver’s director of social planning, Mary Clare Zak noted that childcare is an increasingly popular amenity among developers as a lot more young families are moving into condos particularly in the downtown area. Senior social planner Vickie Morris however cautions that “The delivery of those really depends on what happens in the real-estate market….They may be secured in principle, in theory, but the timing of the delivery of them really depends on the market and whether the rest of the development that triggers the requirement for them actually goes forward.”

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Source: "Vancouver condo developments adding childcare spaces" by Pieta Woolley, December 11, 2008,
Date: December 15 2008