Heather Lands Develop Receives Re-Zoning Approval

The rezoning application for the 21-acre Heather Lands project has been unanimously approved by Vancouver City Council. Approval was received following a public hearing on May 24, 2022, and will guide the development of a new, mixed-use urban neighbourhood.

There will be extensive green space within the Heather Lands, including an interpretive forest trail, public parks, public open space, and private residential gardens.

The development site is being shaped by a joint venture effort between the Canada Lands Company (“CLC”) and a partnership of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (MST), and is located within the Nations’ traditional territory.

DIALOG was selected by the ownership group in 2019 to prepare a rezoning application for the site in a way that respects and reflects MST culture and values, while also seeking to resolve important housing affordability needs within the Vancouver region.

DIALOG has been an integral partner in helping the development group achieve broad community engagement and buy-in for the project’s plans.

At the 5-hour public hearing, one Vancouver City Council member shared, “This is the first project that is taking Indigenous values, and ways of being, and putting it into action. It is setting an incredibly wonderful precedent for how these kinds of projects can unfold in Vancouver.”

A conceptual drawing by the DIALOG team shows the approved development plan from above, looking southward.

The design team worked to meaningfully embed the MST Nations’ stories, history, values and culture in the physical planning, built form, public art, landscape, and experience of the site. In addition, the landowners’ Cultural Liaisons represented each of the three Nations as part of the design team.

A top priority for the future Heather Lands neighbourhood is to ensure that the voices, culture, and values of the MST Nations are embedded in all facets of the new development while also delivering much-needed community amenities to the area.

The end project will ultimately create a new neighbourhood with homes, shops, offices, parks, daycare, and a MST Cultural Centre, organized around a seminal forest trail reminiscent of the paths travelled by ancestors.

The rezoning of the Heather Lands will now move toward enactment in two phases, followed by phased design and construction activities that will create 2,600 new homes and align with the City of Vancouver’s housing targets for affordable housing.