UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The impacts of rezoning on adjacent property values Carruthers, Cameron M.


Urban areas such as the City of Vancouver offer employment opportunities and living amenities that are attractive to other Canadians and immigrants. The result is a rate of growth that exceeds the national average. It is the responsibility of the elected representatives to implement public policy that will provide housing for these new residents. As the amount of available land diminishes, increased density plays a more significant role. The purpose of this paper is to determine how, if any, increased density impacts the value of adjacent properties. It has been argued by individuals and local area interest groups that property values will decline if increased density residential development is allowed to occur in their neighborhoods. One such neighborhood, the Kitsilano neighborhood in Vancouver's west side, is undergoing a rezoning from light industrial to higher density residential relative to the adjacent neighboring properties. Using a statistical procedure known as hedonic modelling, the results indicate that the rezoning has had no impact on property values. This could result from the fact that the rezoning indeed has no effect on property values as is evidenced by a great deal of the literature on the subject. However, the model may be mis-specified and these results may be interpreted in a number of other ways. For instance, the rezoning studied in this paper has two components. The area is experiencing a land-use change from light industrial to residential which theoretically ought to increase property values in a predominantly residential neighborhood. The second component involves the proposed increased density relative to the existing neighborhood with an anticipated negative effect. The results of these two forces may be cancelling each other out in the empirical model.

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