Community Benefit Bonus Policy

Contributing to the quality of life and general livability of our city

As Burnaby's population increases, additional public amenities are necessary to maintain and enhance the livability of our city. The Community Benefit Bonus Policy is one of the mechanisms available to the City to help finance and achieve those public amenities that maintain and increase our quality of life.

Burnaby’s Community Benefit Bonus Policy provides the City with important public amenities, now and in the future. These amenities include parks and public open places, civic facilities, non-profit office spaces, affordable housing, cultural facilities, child care centres, and public realm and environmental enhancements.

The City's density bonusing approach enables the provision of additional residential densities within our town centres where community amenities or a cash-in-lieu of amenities are provided. In doing so, the policy plays a key role in serving our growing communities.

Benefiting our community

  • Over the years an array of community amenities and housing units have been achieved through funding from the Community Benefits Bonus. Examples of these projects include:
    • 3 group child care centres (146 child care spaces)
    • 19 units of affordable and/or special needs housing
    • 3 housing fund grants to support affordable and/or special needs housing
    • 7 parks, either created or enhanced
    • 4 civic facilities, either constructed or enhanced
    • 4 City-owned non-profit office/program spaces
    • achievement of a number of environmental and urban design improvements

What is the Community Benefit Bonus Policy?

The Community Benefit Bonus Policy enables the City to consider development applications and approve additional density in exchange for contributing a ‘community benefit’ as defined by one or more of the following:

  • Community amenities including major public open space or plaza; public facilities, including libraries, community or recreation centres, arts facilities, youth centres; space for community or nonprofit groups that serve the community; public art; extraordinary public realm improvements including landscaping treatment and special street furniture; improvements to parkland or other public facilities; extraordinary environmental enhancements; and child care facilities
  • Affordable and/or special needs housing including units developed under senior government non-profit housing programs; price-controlled limited-equity market units; units controlled or managed or owned by non-profit housing groups providing affordable housing; guaranteed rental units; and housing for people with special needs such as those with physical or mental disabilities, or victims of violence.
  • Cash Contribution-in-Lieu is a contribution made to the City by a developer or applicant and is based on the value of the additional density achieved through a density bonus. The funds are allocated exclusively for the future provision of a community amenity and/or affordable and/or special needs housing.

The policy is governed by the British Columbia Local Government Act and is defined and implemented by Section 6.22 of the Burnaby Zoning Bylaw and other provisions within it that allow for density bonusing.

Housing fund

Burnaby’s Community Benefit Bonus Policy creates a range of non-market housing through contributions to the Housing Fund and the construction of new units. These contributions are provided by new development projects in town centre areas, in exchange for a density bonus. While some developers have constructed extra units–which are then managed by non-profit societies and tenanted by those with low incomes and/or special needs–most have opted for a cash-in-lieu contribution. Twenty percent of all cash-in-lieu contributions are allocated to the Housing Fund.

For eligible non-market housing projects, non-profit organizations can apply for a housing grant through the City's Planning and Development Committee, to help offset some of the capital costs of the development, including City fees and service charges etc.

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