A brief look at UDI member TransLink and BC Bill 47 (2023)

November 17, 2023

In light of BC Bill 47 (2023), which upzoned huge swathes of land along the Skytrain route, it is well worth looking at the statutory authority TransLink's relationship to the Urban Development Institute development lobby/real estate of which it is a paying member.

To quote Translink's Real Estate webpage:

"As Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority, TransLink holds land assets and rights throughout our region.

TransLink’s Real Estate division is responsible for acquiring, managing, and disposing of the enterprise’s properties in a manner that optimizes revenue, reduces capital and operating costs, and furthers our long-term goals for transportation infrastructure, sustainability, and a healthy environment.

The Real Estate division at TransLink oversees the following:

  • Land acquisition for transit infrastructure development including expropriations
  • Lease and tenant management
  • Property and asset management
  • Statutory Right of Way (SRW) management and enforcement
  • Disposal of surplus properties
  • Acquisition of strategic real estate assets
  • Integrated developments
  • Adjacent developments
  • Portfolio management and strategy
  • Station retail management
  • Park and Ride facilities management"


    "External Advisory Committee

The TransLink External Real Estate Advisory Group has been formed to provide objective, professional advice, and expertise to TransLink regarding TransLink’s real estate development strategy and activities.

Anne McMullin
President & CEO UDI

Anne McMullin is currently the President & CEO of the Urban Development Institute (UDI). UDI is a non-profit and non‐partisan industry association of the residential, commercial and industrial builders, which supports more than 220,000 good‐paying, family‐supporting BC jobs through nearly $23 billion in annual economic activity. Through municipal fees and contributions, the industry builds homes, offices, daycares, social housing, parks, public art, museums, schools and community centers throughout BC.

Anne studied political science at the University of British Columbia and journalism at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). In 2017, she received the BCIT Distinguished Alumni Award."

Anne has held multiple leadership and communications roles, including President and General Manager of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Director of Communications at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, and a Lower Mainland journalist. In her spare time Anne volunteers with many charities and community organizations."

Real Estate | TransLink

The following is quoted from the UDI Capital Region's Policy and Advocacy Updates Page:


November 8, 2023 - Province Introduces Legislation to Mandate Density Near Transit Stations

Today, the Province announced Bill 47 which if passed will mandate minimum residential heights and densities near SkyTrain stations and bus exchanges where there are residential or mixed-use land uses. This has been a long-standing policy objective of the Urban Development Institute. Anne McMullin, UDI’s President/CEO, stated in the Provincial news release: 

“We see this legislation as a pivotal turning point with the potential to significantly accelerate the pace of home construction in areas where growth is most needed and can be best accommodated. For years, the UDI has advocated for maximizing the billions of dollars of investments made by senior governments in our rapid transit system. Transit-oriented development will help us achieve other societal objectives: streamlined and more affordable commuting between work, home, and other destinations; decreased greenhouse gas emissions; and the cultivation of vibrant and healthier communities as people can walk or cycle to meet their daily needs.” 


Under the UDI Ideas for Provincial Involvement in Rental Housing document of August 2017 was the following text:

"Provincial Sites: The Province could lease some provincial lands in urban areas to the
private sector to build purpose-built rental housing. The free land would allow the
Government to leverage lower-market rental units. This policy could also apply to land
owned by Crown Corporations. Some overlooked sites may have real value. TransLink
officials attended a Board meeting a few years ago, and several Directors expressed interest
in developing sites in the right-of-way of the SkyTrain – especially at or near stations.
Several public sector entities own this land, including TransLink and BC Hydro. We recognize
that First Nations groups would need to be involved in these discussions and leases.

Land Banking: Linked to the above is continuing to purchase land that could be used for
affordable and rental housing. The previous government contemplated allowing TransLink to
purchase more land than required for building rapid transit projects. The excess land would
then be redeveloped, or sold/joint ventured with developers for profits that could be
reinvested in the transit system. What if this approach were adopted, but the lands were
used to build rental/affordable housing? These sites would be close to transit stations which
is essential for those living on lower incomes. Land costs would be reduced because
TransLink (or the Province) could purchase lands before speculation elevates land prices. In
suburban areas, TransLink could purchase land for “park-and-rides” near stations, which
could be redeveloped (again as rental and/or affordable housing projects) as transit lines
are extended and older station areas urbanize."

Pre-zoning: UDI has advocated at the local level for pre-zoning in areas where there is a
fully developed Area Plan in place that resulted from a robust public consultation process
(including a public hearing). This reduces processing times by eliminating a significant step
in approvals, and reduces risk. Public hearings at the rezoning stage are not necessary
(because of the public hearing at the area planning stage). We ask the Province to
encourage this – especially for rental housing projects."



The following is quoted from the UDI's policy page:


"UDI has a number of municipal liaison, policy and professional development committees to engage and collaborate with government and members. If you are interested in participating, please contact our Member Relations Manager."



Supply needs to follow transit as a means of addressing affordability and livability throughout our region. With our current rapid transit system, many key stations are under-utilized as they are zoned for single-family homes and/or low density development (i.e. Nanaimo and 29th stations, Broadway corridor). Regional density targets need to be set in these communities and around its stations. Municipal land-use plans (e.g. Official Community Plans) should be updated with density targets to accommodate growth further into the future. No future rapid transit lines should be approved without corresponding growth targets along the line"

Policy - Urban Development Institute (udi.bc.ca)

Under the UDI Housing Policy Policy Priorities" document of October 2020, was the following text under the heading "Solutions for a Stronger British Columbia":

Expanding transit investments so that Transit-Oriented housing projects can be built
with more affordability and in more areas across urban regions.
Respecting taxpayer dollars by linking new transit investments to land-use changes
through binding transit supportive agreements between local governments,
TransLink/BC Transit and the Province with specific targets and penalties, such as
increased TransLink taxes."

UDI Housing Policy Priorities


TransLink is a BC provincial statutory authority that is the successor to BC Transit in the Greater Vancouver Region. The provincial crown corporation BC Transit is also a UDI member.

Densifying along transportation corridors, as well as along potential transportation corridors, can lead to spectacular profits for speculators through the process of land-lift, as was evinced during the expansion of New York City in the 19th century, a time which saw politics and speculation operating hand in hand. Despite all the construction that has taken place over the years, housing in New York City in the 21st century, like housing in the City of Vancouver, is not known for affordability.

Additional Resources:
TransLink | South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority | Vancouver Region - Membership Application - Urban Development Institute (memberzone.com)
Musqueam Capital Corporation | Vancouver Region - Membership Application - Urban Development Institute (memberzone.com)
Policy and Advocacy Updates - UDI Capital Region

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/vancouver/article-bc-policy-advisors-warn-of-unintended-consequences-of-new-housing/ Kerry Gold Nov 22, 2023


"In Vancouver, 43 per cent of purpose-built rental stock falls within proposed transit-oriented development areas that the province has identified for upzoning, he says. That’s a much higher percentage than the 500-block Broadway Plan, which contains 25 per cent of the city’s purpose-built rental stock.

"Because the buildings within the transit areas are older, they are poised for redevelopment. Eighty-nine per cent of the buildings within the transit areas are more than 50 years old."

NDP drags feet then refuses to release info on its housing 'naughty' list | Vancouver Sun Vaughn Palmer Nov 22, 2023


"He spoke out again this week, warning that the NDP’s determination to impose 20-storey apartment towers around transit exchanges could mean the elimination of existing low rise, affordable rental accommodation and heritage buildings."

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