Phase 1 FAQ

    What are the Upper Lands?

     The Upper Lands refers to all of the undeveloped land north of Highway 1 and below Cypress Provincial Park and the Capilano Watershed Reserve, from the eastern edge of West Vancouver out to Horseshoe Bay.

     The Upper Lands includes undeveloped lands above and below the 1,200-foot contour. Lands above the 1,200-foot contour are designated as a Limited Use and Recreation Development Permit Area in the 2018 Official Community Plan. No changes to the designation of these lands are proposed as part of this process. Lands below the 1,200-foot contour are divided into four remaining planning areas: Cypress Village, Cypress West, Inter Creek, and Eagleridge. These planning areas are west of Rodgers Creek. 

     This planning and engagement process focuses on two of these areas: Cypress Village and Eagleridge.  

    See the Map of the Upper Lands Planning Areas (PDF) and the Upper Lands Map from the Upper Lands Working Group Final Report for maps of the planning areas. 

    How big are the four planning areas in the Upper Lands?

    The total land area in the four remaining planning areas in the Upper Lands is about 570 hectares (which is about 1,400 acres). The size of each area is as follows:

    • Eagleridge is about 280 hectares (about 690 acres)
    • Inter Creek is about 70 hectares (about 170 acres)
    • Cypress West is about 80 hectares (about 200 acres) 
    • Cypress Village is about 140 hectares (about 345 acres) 

    Who owns the lands in Cypress Village, Cypress West, Inter Creek, and Eagleridge?

    British Pacific Properties Limited (BPP) and the District of West Vancouver own most of the land in these four planning areas:  

    • In Eagleridge, about 262 acres (38%) of the total 690 acres are owned by BPP and about 372 acres (54%) are owned by the District. 
    • In Inter Creek, about 75 acres (43%) of the total 170 acres are owned by BPP and the balance is owned by the District. 
    • In Cypress West, about 177 acres (89%) of the total 200 acres are owned by BPP and about 2 acres (1%) are owned by the District. 
    • In Cypress Village, about 235 acres (68%) of the total 345 acres are owned by BPP and about 53 acres (15%) are owned by the District. 

    See the Information about the Lands in Eagleridge (PDF)  document from Phase 1, the Information about the Lands in Cypress Village document from Phase 1, and the Protecting the Lands in Eagleridge (PDF) document from Phase 2 for ownership maps.

    What is the overall vision for the remaining Upper Lands?

    The overall planning vision already contained in the District’s 2018 Official Community Plan (OCP) is to protect all of the lands west of Eagle Creek (i.e. Inter Creek and Eagleridge) in their natural state, enhance recreation opportunities, and create compact, sustainable neighbourhoods in Cypress Village and Cypress West. The OCP also envisions protecting environmentally important lands within Cypress Village and Cypress West, concentrating development in these areas into higher density, mixed-use urban neighbourhoods. 

     The OCP recommends achieving this vision by ‘transferring the development potential’ from lands west of Eagle Creek into Cypress Village and Cypress West. 

     ‘Transferring the development potential’ means protecting the lands in Eagleridge and Inter Creek for recreation and conservation purposes (i.e. they could no longer be developed with single-family housing, which is allowed under the existing zoning) and including additional residential development in new neighbourhoods in Cypress Village and Cypress West. 

     Over the long term, this will protect a very large natural area for recreation and conservation, limit suburban sprawl, and concentrate urban development in a more compact, sustainable way.

    How long will development take?

    Transferring all of the development potential from Inter Creek and Eagleridge into Cypress Village and Cypress West likely involves converting almost all of the units from single-family to multi-family. This is necessary to achieve a compact, sustainable urban form. The resulting amount of multi-family housing would take decades to develop at the recent, relatively slow pace of growth in West Vancouver, likely spanning 50 years or more. It is neither possible nor prudent to predict the kinds of changes in technology, transportation, community priorities, housing needs, climate, and the nature of urban development that will likely occur over such a long timeframe. There is a need for flexibility, to adapt to a changing world over time. Therefore, the District is planning for a first major step in implementing the long-term vision in the OCP which focuses on planning for Cypress Village and Eagleridge (and means that planning for Cypress West and Inter Creek will happen in a separate planning and engagement process in the future).  

    Cypress Village will be built over about 20 to 25 years.

Phase 2 FAQ

    What was the result of Phase 1 of this planning and engagement process?

    Phase 1 collected community input about the share of the Eagleridge lands owned by British Pacific Properties Limited (BPP) to protect at this time, with the trade-off being that the greater the share, the greater the scale of development required in Cypress Village to enable this protection.  The community and stakeholder response favoured protecting all of the Eagleridge lands owned by BPP at this time, rather than in a phased approach, and planning for a scale of development in Cypress Village that will enable this protection. Therefore, Council directed that the Phase 2 planning work be based on full protection of Eagleridge in exchange for a target of about 3,500 housing units in Cypress Village.

    What are the goals of this planning process?

    In broad terms, the goals of this planning process are: 

    • Protect all of the lands in Eagleridge that are owned by British Pacific Properties Limited (BPP) for conservation and recreation.
    • Create a new compact, sustainable urban community in Cypress Village, served by transit, with a mix of housing types, community facilities, and shops/commercial space to serve Cypress Village and Rodgers Creek.

    Why are 3,700 housing units being planned for Cypress Village?

    As part of the Phase 2 planning work, a total of about 3,700 housing units is now being proposed for Cypress Village. This is slightly higher than the 3,500 housing units referred to during Phase 1. The difference reflects the desire to accommodate some affordable purpose-built rental housing in the village.

    Cypress Village needs about 3,700 housing units in order to achieve these objectives: 

    • protect all of the lands in Eagleridge that are owned by BPP
    • change BPP’s existing single-family zoning on its lands in Cypress Village to site-specific zoning that allows a mixed-use village with mostly multi-family housing
    • have sufficient population to support a vibrant commercial core with amenities and transit service
    • include a mix of housing types (single-family, townhouse, apartment) 
    • include some rental and affordable housing 

    How many people will live in Cypress Village?

    Cypress Village will take about 20 to 25 years to completely develop. Population over the years is anticipated to be: 

    • About 200 people in 2025
    • About 1,700 people in 2030
    • About 6,900 people upon build-out in about 2045

    What will the village look like?

    Cypress Village will include a mixed-use village centre with multi-family housing and commercial space, some surrounding lower-density residential areas, and employment space. In the village core, buildings will range from about 15 to 25 storeys. See the Proposed Form and Character (PDF) document for conceptual images of what Cypress Village could look like, as well as images from around the region that could provide ideas and inspiration.

    Why not just encourage BPP to develop Cypress Village and Eagleridge under the existing single family zoning?

    During the extensive consultation for the Official Community Plan (OCP), the community response confirmed that the District should not continue to develop large-lot single family subdivisions and should instead aim to create more compact, sustainable communities. As a result, the 2018 OCP includes policies that encourage transferring the development potential away from Eagleridge (and Inter Creek) to protect the lands in these areas for conservation and recreation and policies to create compact, sustainable urban communities in Cypress Village (and Cypress West). The planning process underway now is implementing this vision for Eagleridge and Cypress Village. It will protect a very large natural area for recreation and conservation, limit suburban sprawl, and concentrate urban development in a compact, sustainable way.

    How will Cypress Village affect traffic congestion in West Vancouver?

    The transportation analysis found that the impact from Cypress Village on Highway 1, roads in West Vancouver, and the Lions Gate and Iron Workers Memorial bridges is small in the context of long-term increases from other sources including development elsewhere in the region and increased BC Ferries traffic volumes. No intersections will have noticeable delays related to traffic volumes from Cypress Village upon build-out, in large part because the new Westmount Road connection from Cypress Bowl Road to Highway 1 will provide options for drivers which helps to disperse and distribute traffic. 

    The transportation analysis also found that when Cypress Village is completely developed in about 20 to 25 years, travel times from West Vancouver to other parts of the region will not be materially longer because of Cypress Village (i.e. the impact is less than a 2-minute increase in driving time for most trips).

    Generally, when thinking about the traffic impacts of Cypress Village, it is important to keep in mind that: 

    • Impacts will be gradual because the village will be developed over a 20 to 25 year period. 
    • During the two decades of development, other changes such as residential development in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, other parts of the North Shore, and rest of the region as well as increased passenger volumes on BC Ferries will also contribute to the amount of traffic that affects West Vancouver residents. 
    • Most of the land in Cypress Village is currently zoned to allow development with single-family dwellings, so some additional traffic would be caused by development under existing zoning in any case. 
    • Vehicular trips out of the Cypress Village neighbourhood will happen throughout the day (not all at the same time). 
    • Cypress Village is purposefully being planned to include amenities (including a school), employment uses, and retail/service uses so that residents can reduce trips elsewhere to meet their day-to-day needs. 
    • Cypress Village will have Independent Transit Service (to be provided by BPP) providing bus service between the village and Park Royal (where there are transit connections to other parts of the North Shore/region).

    See the Summary of Preliminary Transportation Analysis (PDF) document to learn more. 

    How will the lands in Eagleridge be protected and managed?

    This planning process provides an extraordinary opportunity to protect a large, natural area that is environmentally and ecologically important to West Vancouver and the region. The intent of this planning process is to protect the lands in Eagleridge for recreation and conservation purposes (so the lands could no longer be developed under the existing single-family zoning or for any other urban development use). It is expected that trails will be expanded and improved.  

    The District is seeking transfer of title to the lands in Eagleridge that are owned BPP to the District as part of this planning process. In addition to obtaining ownership, the District could rezone the lands to a Community Use zone or dedicate the lands as park.  

    In a separate, subsequent process, the District will explore options for managing the lands. Preliminary ideas for how the lands could be managed include management under the District’s Parks department (as is the case for the lands in Whyte Lake Park and Nelson Canyon Park already), involvement of a non-profit conservancy, exploring co-management opportunities, or some other approach. 

    See the Protecting the Lands in Eagleridge (PDF) document to learn more. 

    How will rainwater runoff from Cypress Village be addressed?

    The rainwater management strategy for Cypress Village is being designed to maintain the quantity and quality of water in the natural drainage systems and avoid negative impacts downstream. Low Impact Development (LID) features will be combined with natural wetland ecosystems for a system that removes pollutants, avoids increased erosion and flood risk, and encourages habitat growth.  

    Consistent with the Five Creeks Integrated Stormwater Management Plan which can be viewed online here: Five Creeks Stormwater Flood Protection Project,  the western leg of the diversion system will be constructed for Cypress Village and be tied into the existing diversion system, which will safely convey potentially damaging high runoff flows from significant weather events into the ocean.

    How is climate change being addressed in the planning for Cypress Village and Eagleridge?

    This planning process for Cypress Village and Eagleridge will support the District of West Vancouver’s response to addressing the impacts of climate change in the following ways:  

    • Developing a compact, transit-served community in Cypress Village is a more sustainable way of accommodating new housing than estate-sized single family housing, which is what is currently permitted by existing zoning on BPP’s lands in Cypress Village and Eagleridge. The District’s 2016 “Community Energy & Emissions Plan” found that household emissions are lowest in mixed use, compact village nodes and corridors with a diverse mix of housing types, transportation options, and close proximity to destinations such as shopping and community facilities. 
    • Protecting a large area in Eagleridge (about 262 acres owned by BPP) in its natural treed state for conservation and recreation maintains forested areas that play an important role as carbon sinks, in addition to contributing to ecological diversity.
    • The Planning Principles for Cypress Village and Eagleridge seek to minimize the carbon footprint of Cypress Village by providing for: 
      • a compact community with transit service and a diversity of housing and population that maximizes transit ridership
      • dedicated bike and pedestrian networks with connectivity within and outside of the community to encourage active modes of transportation such as walking and cycling rather than driving
      • building design, site development, and energy systems that achieve a low carbon footprint
      • integrated rain water management planning
      • protection of environmental areas within the Cypress Village planning boundary to enhance habitat and reduce risks of natural hazards
      • other sustainable principles such as providing for car share and electric vehicle use and charging 
    • The infrastructure design for Cypress Village seeks to address climate change by: 
      • designing low-impact rainwater management systems
      • planning, designing, and providing for climate resilient infrastructure systems that will service the Cypress Village community over the life of the assets comprising those systems 
      • incorporating a new fire hall in the Cypress Village planning area which will significantly improve response times in the area and address the risk of wildfires
      • incorporating other requirements such as emergency access routes to cul-de-sac streets, FireSmart development principles and building design, and active transportation networks where possible


    What will happen to the mountain bike trails in the Cypress Village planning area?

    There is an extensive network of unauthorized mountain biking trails in the Cypress Village planning area (and other parts of the Upper Lands). Development will occur in some places where these mountain biking trails are currently located on private land. However, the District’s OCP envisions that Cypress Village will be a “gateway to mountain recreation” and Cypress Village is being designed to provide outdoor recreational opportunities including hiking, cycling/mountain biking, bouldering, and associated infrastructure (such as parking, staging, trailheads, washrooms), as well as connections to trails and parks outside of the planning area. A large mountain biking area within the Cypress Village planning area is proposed.  

    See the Active Transportation Network and Recreation Areas (PDF) document to learn more. 

    Who is paying for the development?

     The developer, British Pacific Properties Limited (BPP), will be responsible for the construction of, or appropriate financial contributions toward, the capital cost of all on-site and off-site infrastructure needed to serve the Cypress Village community. 

    Why does the proposed housing mix for Cypress Village include single-family houses?

    One of the planning principles for Cypress Village is to include a range of housing types, tenures, and unit sizes to meet the needs of residents of different ages and incomes. So, the proposed housing mix includes different types of housing:  

    • 90% apartments (about 3,300 units)
    • 4% to 5% townhouses (about 150 to 200 units)
    • 5% to 7% single-family dwellings (about 200 to 250 units)

    This will help to provide housing choice.

    Including some single-family housing also helps with the transfer of development potential that enables the protection of the lands in Eagleridge that are owned by BPP. The fundamental financial basis for the upfront transfer of development potential and simultaneous transfer of ownership of BPP’s lands in Eagleridge to the District is that the value of BPP’s lands in Cypress Village under rezoning to allow a mixed-use village will approximately match the value of BPP’s Eagleridge and Cypress Village lands under the existing single-family zoning. Including a mix of housing types in Cypress Village means that more housing product can be offered to the market early on in the development timeframe, which is a financial benefit in the economics of the transfer of development potential while also addressing housing needs in West Vancouver.

    The areas earmarked for single-family development in the proposed land use plan are generally locations where the terrain makes it more challenging to accommodate multi-family development. The siting of single-family houses in these locations will take into account terrain, slopes, and environmental considerations (such as creek setbacks).

    The single-family houses are proposed to be in the range of about 2,500 to 3,500 square feet, which is much smaller than the houses typically found in the Upper Lands and much smaller than the single-family houses that would be allowed under the existing zoning (which would average about 13,500 square feet under the existing zoning).

    How many housing units are needed in Cypress Village to enable the protection of the lands in Eagleridge that are owned by BPP?

    BPP’s lands in Cypress Village and Eagleridge are currently zoned to allow large single-family houses on large lots. This existing single-family zoning creates land value. Under the existing zoning, about 310 large single-family lots could be developed on BPP’s lands in Cypress Village and about 316 large single-family lots could be developed on BPP’s lands in Eagleridge. These numbers take into account steep terrain and environmentally sensitive areas, which can be included in lot area but which influence where buildings can be located. These numbers also take into account land that would be needed for roads and park dedications.

    This planning and engagement process will: 

    • Create an Area Development Plan and rezoning for Cypress Village that will allow a mixed-use village instead of single-family development in Cypress Village. The village will mostly include multi-family housing (e.g. apartments and townhouses). There will also be some small single-family houses plus employment space and community facilities. 
    • Protect the lands in Eagleridge that are owned by BPP for recreation and conservation purposes. This will mean that BPP’s lands in Eagleridge could no longer be developed with single-family housing (or any form of urban development). 

    As part of this process, BPP will: 

    • Give up the ability to develop the larger single-family lots on its lands in Cypress Village (that are currently allowed under the existing zoning) in exchange for the approval to develop a mixed-use village in this location instead. 
    • Give up the ability to develop any form of development on its lands in Eagleridge (larger single-family lots are currently allowed under the existing zoning) in exchange for the approval to develop additional housing in the new Cypress Village community. 
    • Pay for the costs of the infrastructure needed to service the new mixed-use community in Cypress Village. 
    • Pay for the costs of desired amenities in Cypress Village, including a community centre, parks, child care space, trails, a new fire station, and other facilities. 

    The fundamental financial basis for the transfer of development rights and rezoning is that the value of BPP’s lands in Cypress Village under rezoning to allow a mixed-use village should approximately match the value of BPP’s lands in Eagleridge and Cypress Village under the existing single-family zoning.

    Multi-family housing has a lower land value per unit than single-family housing, so more than one multi-family unit is needed in Cypress Village to offset the land value of each foregone single-family lot. About 2 to 3 townhouse units and about 5 to 7 strata apartment units are needed in the mixed-use village to equal the value of each foregone single-family lot on BPP’s lands in Eagleridge and Cypress Village. One reason for this is that the housing units in the mixed-use community in Cypress Village will be much smaller than the single-family houses that are permitted under the existing zoning. For example: 

    • Under the existing single-family zoning on BPP’s lands in Cypress Village, the average lot size would be about 0.6 acres and the average house size would be about 13,500 square feet. 
    • Under the existing single-family zoning on BPP’s lands in Eagleridge, the average lot size would be about 0.7 acres and the average house size would be about 15,000 square feet. 
    • Housing units will be much smaller in the mixed-use village. For example, the average unit size is currently anticipated to be about 900 to 1,000 square feet for strata apartment units, about 2,500 square feet for townhouse units, and 2,500 to 3,500 square feet for most of the single-family houses. 

    In round numbers, the total of 3,700 housing units proposed for Cypress Village under rezoning includes: 

    • About 1,700 units to convert the zoning on BPP’s lands in Cypress Village from single-family to mixed-use village and to cover the infrastructure costs required to service the new village. 
    • About 1,500 units to enable the transfer of development potential from BPP’s lands in Eagleridge. 
    • About 300 units to cover the costs of desired amenities in Cypress Village, including a community centre, parks, child care space, and other facilities. 
    • About 200 affordable rental housing units.  

    The minimum size of a compact, urban community in Cypress Village that can support transit, local commercial space, and community facilities is about 5,000 people, which requires about 3,000 housing units. So, the size of the village is very similar when looked at from the perspective of creating a critical mass for a complete community or from the perspective of exchanging development potential and protecting the lands in Eagleridge.