What does “landing density” mean?
The city says that the community can get “public benefits” if condo towers are built in the Downtown Eastside. The public benefits could be things like preserving a heritage building, providing a daycare, or building a handful of social housing units. The business class in Chinatown, along with societies that own heritage buildings say they want the public benefits to preserve the heritage buildings or to build social housing. But the city is proposing that developers from all over the city be allowed to “land” density from other areas into Chinatown South. “Landing” the density from other areas will be considered a “public benefit.” So the amount of public benefits that could be available in Chinatown for local amenities such as restoring heritage buildings or building social housing could be eliminated or severely reduced.
Currently the Transfer of Density policy allows density to be transferred out of the heritage districts and the DTES but not into the area. This is to reduce development pressures. The City is proposing to change this by allowing the transfer of density to be landed into Chinatown which would set a precedent for all the DTES. This will add development pressure for more condos without any new amenities such as social housing.