CVN writes Council supporting Motion B1 – Expediting a City-Wide Plan for Vancouver (13-Nov-2018)

CVN sent the following letter to incoming Mayor and Council as official input on Motion B1 at the first Regular Council meeting, scheduled for November 13, 2018.

November 11, 2018
City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councilors,

Re: Motion B1 – Expediting a City-Wide Plan for Vancouver https://council.vancouver.ca/20181113/documents/motionb1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) supports the above motion.
CVN and our neighbourhood groups would like to collaborate with the City in establishing the process for the plan and its implementation, which should also include neighbourhood associations, business improvement associations, and all affected parties in the area, including owners, renters, vulnerable populations, and local businesses.

Note that much of the city has gone through the CityPlan process and produced community visions that may not have been implemented as intended under the terms of reference. Others, like Upper Kitsilano, were part of a comprehensive planning process that allowed for a mix of housing types in their neighbourhood. Each neighbourhood is unique and we believe should be considered on an individual basis as part of a collaborative planning process.

The CityPlan Terms of Reference (amended 1999) is a good reference for process that was successful in defining roles and responsibilities. Much of the work accomplished under CityPlan is still relevant and should be considered in any citywide planning process.
Please approve this motion to enter into a citywide planning process.

Sincerely,
Larry Benge, Co-Chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

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CVN writes Council strongly supporting Motion B9 – Restoring Line-by-Line Budgets for the City of Vancouver (Reg Council 13-Nov-2018)

CVN sent the following letter to incoming Mayor and Council as official input on Motion B9 at the first Regular Council meeting, scheduled for November 13, 2018.

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November 11, 2018

City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councilors,

Re: Motion B9 – Restoring Line-by-Line Budgets for the City of Vancouver https://council.vancouver.ca/20181113/documents/motionb9.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) strongly supports the above motion.
For too long the City of Vancouver has lacked transparency in its budgeting process and restoring the provision of line-by-line budgets as proposed in this motion are essential.
Please approve this motion to restore line-by-line budgets as proposed.

Sincerely,
Larry Benge, Co-Chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

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CVN writes Council strongly supporting Motion B8 – Reconsider RS Zoning Amendments – By-law No. 3575 etc. (Reg Council 13-Nov-2018)

CVN sent the following letter to incoming Mayor and Council as official input on Motion B8 at the first Regular Council meeting, scheduled for November 13, 2018.

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November 11, 2018
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councilors,

Re: Motion B8 – Reconsider RS Zoning Amendments – By-law No. 3575 and Related Strata Title Guidelines https://council.vancouver.ca/20181113/documents/motionb8.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) strongly supports the above motion for the reasons stated in the preamble to the motion itself.

The recent rezoning made major changes to 68,000 properties in RS zones, without providing any public consultation. It was entirely inconsistent with standard planning practice and CVN opposed it during the public hearing. Most of those elected to the new council opposed the rezoning during the election.

Please approve this motion to reconsider the RS rezoning as proposed.

Sincerely,
Larry Benge, Co-Chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

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Candidates respond to four CVN questions for Vancouver election 2018 (Mayor + Council)

Voters in British Columbia vote in civic elections on Saturday, October 20, 2018. (Official city information is here.)

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) asked the candidates for Mayor and Council to each answer four questions of great importance to all Vancouver neighbourhoods. Here are the questions and responses.

Download PDF: CVN_2018 Vancouver election responses from candidates

To ensure there is no confusion, please note that we, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) are exactly what the name says and have existed for years, and we have absolutely no association with the political party recently created for this election, named Coalition Vancouver.

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The Questions

Trust: What specific actions would you take to increase the public’s trust in Vancouver’s governance?

Participation: What specific actions would you take to increase neighbourhood participation in planning changes to their own neighbourhoods?

Affordability: What specific actions would you take to increase affordability, retain the city’s most affordable housing, and reduce homelessness in Vancouver?

Liveability: What specific actions would you take to enhance liveability in Vancouver?

Candidates were strongly encouraged to:

  • Be brief
  • Avoid generalities
  • List as bullet points the specific actions that they would commit to if elected.

The Responses

Responses to date (as of 17-Oct-2018 evening) have been received from some, but not all of the candidates. Candidate responses are listed below in alphabetic order, first for Council, then for Mayor.

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Responses by Council Candidates

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Coalition writes Council opposing by-law changes in RT-7 RT-8 RT-10 zones (Public Hearing Sept 18)

CVN sent the following letter to Mayor and Council as official input on Agenda Item #6 for the Public Hearing scheduled for September 18, 2018.

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September 17, 2018

City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Public Hearing Sept. 18, 2018, Changes to RT7-RT8-RT10 Zones –
6. REZONING: Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law for RT-7 and RT-8 Zones (Kitsilano) and RT-10 and RT-10N Zones (Kensington-Cedar Cottage) https://council.vancouver.ca/20180724/documents/p3.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods is opposed to this rezoning and how these changes have been brought forward without a proper consultation process with the affected neighbourhoods.

This report proposes to make major changes to large portions of neighbourhoods, without providing any public consultation. It is entirely inconsistent with standard planning practice.

The rezoning of Kitsilano from RT7 and RT8 to RT5 is alarming, since this zoning was created through an extensive planning process with the community of over 5 years duration. The existing zoning continues to be broadly supported as it has worked successfully to retain character houses and rental suites while allowing appropriate new development. It has helped to avoid the demolitions and empty monster houses that have plagued the rest of the city. The RT5 zoning that is being proposed to replace RT7/8 is far inferior to the current zoning, will result in more demolition and lacks adequate design guidelines. It will act as an incentive to the removal of existing, affordable rental units. The RT7-RT8 should be used as a base model for change through amendments where needed, not replaced by an inferior zoning.

The RT10 also was created through a community process, of CityPlan, and should not be replaced.

This report should not be approved and instead referred back to staff for a meaningful public consultation process with the affected neighbourhoods before consideration by Council after the fall election.

Sincerely,
Larry Benge, Co-Chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

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Coalition writes Council opposing by-law changes in RS (one-family) zones (Public Hearing Sept 18)

CVN sent the following letter to Mayor and Council as official input on Agenda Item #5 for the Public Hearing scheduled for September 18, 2018.

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September 17, 2018

City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Public Hearing Sept. 18, 2018, Changes to all RS Zones –
Item #5. REZONING: Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law for Most RS Zones
https://council.vancouver.ca/20180724/documents/p6.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods again finds itself seriously concerned with the lack of proper planning processes at City Hall. This letter is opposed to how these changes have been brought forward above without proper process.

This report proposes to make major changes to 68,000 properties in RS zones, without providing any public consultation. It is entirely inconsistent with standard planning practice.

Most of the areas affected went though the CityPlan process and have a community vision that has not been properly implemented as intended under terms of reference. Others like Upper Kitsilano were part of a comprehensive planning process that allowed for a mix of housing types in their neighbourhood. Each neighbourhood is unique and should not be blanket rezoned for outright new development.

Each CityPlan neighbourhood strongly supported retention of character houses and this rezoning proposal will undermine that direction by giving outright development as a further incentive for demolition.

This report should not be approved and instead referred back to staff for a meaningful public consultation process before consideration by Council after the fall election.

Sincerely,
Larry Benge, Co-Chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

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Coalition writes Council on Changes to all RS Zones (Public Hearing July 17, 2018): Major changes misrepresented as minor amendments

CVN sent the following letter to Mayor and Council as official input on Agenda Item #2 for the Public Hearing scheduled for July 17, 2018.

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July 16, 2018

City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Public Hearing July 17, 2018, Changes to all RS Zones –

  1. TEXT AMENDMENTS: Development and Building Regulatory Review – Minor Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law, the Downtown Official Development Plan, and Various Land Use and Development Policies and Guidelines https://council.vancouver.ca/20180619/documents/rr1d.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods again finds itself seriously concerned with the lack of proper planning processes at City Hall, and is opposed to how the above changes have been brought forward without following a proper process.

This report proposes to make major changes to the RS zones, while misrepresenting them as minor text amendments with a number of unrelated items in a miscellaneous report that doesn’t include these issues in the subject. The city is proposing this without advising the affected neighbourhoods of these major changes or providing any public consultation.

The recommendations affecting all RS zones include major items such as changes to the intent of the zoning, front yard setbacks and the number of front doors allowed. It also proposes changes that allow the Director of Planning more authority without any involvement of the Development Permit Board.

These are not minor text amendments, but in fact are substantive in nature. They are pre-empting the proposed changes to zoning in the Making Room program rather than considering them as part of the overall zoning changes.

This report should be referred back to staff for a meaningful public consultation process on each related zoning bylaws separately, within the context of any further zoning changes as may be contemplated through housing policy, and before consideration by Council after the fall election.

Sincerely,
Larry Benge, Co-Chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods:

Arbutus Ridge Community Association
Arbutus Ridge/ Kerrisdale/ Shaughnessy Visions
Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours
Chinatown Action Group
Citygate Intertower Group
Community Association of New Yaletown
Crosstown Residents Association
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council
Dunbar Residents Association
False Creek Residents Association
Grandview Woodland Area Council
Granville Burrard Residents & Business Assn.
Joyce Area Residents
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Residents Coalition
Norquay Residents
NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
Oakridge Langara Area Residents
Residents Association Mount Pleasant
Riley Park/South Cambie Visions
Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Association
Strathcona Residents Association
Upper Kitsilano Residents Association
West End Neighbours Society
West Kitsilano Residents Association
West Point Grey Residents Association

 

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Coalition writes Council on Amendments to Zoning and Development By-law – Laneway Home Regulations (Public Hearing July 18, 2018)

CVN sent the following letter to Mayor and Council as official input on Agenda Item #2 for the Public Hearing scheduled for July 18, 2018.

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July 15, 2018
City of Vancouver Mayor & Council
Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Public Hearing July 18, 2018, Changes to Laneway Home Regulations

  1. TEXT AMENDMENTS: Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law – Laneway Home Regulations. https://council.vancouver.ca/20180619/documents/rr1c.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods opposes the above changes without a proper planning process that includes meaningful public consultation with the affected neighbourhoods.

This report proposes making changes to all zones with laneway housing across Vancouver, but has only consulted with industry and users rather than pursuing a planning process that also includes the affected communities.

Adding outright provisions for larger laneway houses without design guidelines will mainly benefit demolition and full site redevelopment. One option that has not been considered is that this could instead only be used in combination with the retention of character houses, as part of a broader discussion of housing policy through a proper planning process.

This report should be referred back to staff for a meaningful public consultation process before consideration by Council after the fall election.

Sincerely,
Larry Benge, Co-Chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods:

Arbutus Ridge Community Association
Arbutus Ridge/ Kerrisdale/ Shaughnessy Visions
Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours
Chinatown Action Group
Citygate Intertower Group
Community Association of New Yaletown
Crosstown Residents Association
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council
Dunbar Residents Association
False Creek Residents Association
Grandview Woodland Area Council
Granville Burrard Residents & Business Assn.
Joyce Area Residents
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Residents Coalition
Norquay Residents
NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
Oakridge Langara Area Residents
Residents Association Mount Pleasant
Riley Park/South Cambie Visions
Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Association
Strathcona Residents Association
Upper Kitsilano Residents Association
West End Neighbours Society
West Kitsilano Residents Association
West Point Grey Residents Association

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Coalition supports Amendments to Chinatown HA-1 & HA-1A Dist. Schedule, Design Guidelines and Policies (Public Hearing June 28, 2018)

CVN sent the following letter to Mayor and Council as official input to the Public Hearing.

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June 27, 2018

City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Public Hearing June 28, 2018
Amendments to the Chinatown HA-1 and HA-1A Dist. Schedule, Design Guidelines and Policies
http://council.vancouver.ca/20180515/documents/p8.pdf

We are in support of the proposed amendments in the above report for Chinatown.

We also encourage you to add the amendments requested by the community to:

1. Limit outright development lot widths to 25ft or existing lot size; and
2. Make dwelling use conditional to encourage social housing development and retention of existing affordable housing and commercial spaces.

These proposed amendments are the first step in reversing the harm done to Chinatown through the 2011 Heritage Area Height Review (HAHR) policies. Neighbourhoods and individuals from across the city were strongly opposed to these changes in 2011. They have proven to be very destructive to the important historic area’s architecture, culture and affordability for both residential and commercial businesses.

It is urgent that Council take action now to reverse the damage from the HAHR and the recommendations above are a good first step.

Sincerely,
Larry Benge, Co-Chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods
Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

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Coalition writes City Council on “Housing Vancouver Update” (June 19)

June 18, 2018
City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re:  Council June 19: Housing Vancouver Update and Related Reports RR-1(a), RR-1(b), RR-1(c), RR-1(d) http://council.vancouver.ca/20180619/regu20180619ag.htm

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods again finds itself seriously concerned with the lack of proper planning processes at City Hall. This week’s agenda has a 681-page package of proposals for Council’s consideration, including referral to public hearing, without giving adequate time for affected communities to view, comment or to have their input reflected prior to referral. These reports should be accepted for information only and referred back to staff for a meaningful public consultation process before consideration by Council after the fall election, not rushed through in the summer.

The problematic proposals presented include the following:

  • New housing initiatives produced in consultation with industry stakeholders only.
  • Changes to zoning across the city being referred to public hearing with no consultation.
  • RT7 & RT8 to be eventually rezoned to the new RT5 from Grandview, with some changes for more infill proposed to be referred to public hearing now with no prior neighbourhood consultation.
  • RS zones across city to be rezoned. First changes being referred to public hearing include changing the RS zones to outright strata duplex by changing intent, allowing for two front doors and reducing front yards to allow for infill, with no public consultation.
  • Changes to parking bylaws across the city. Reduced requirements with new development and increased requirements for street permit parking.
  • Changes to laneway houses to allow larger and taller with no design guidelines. Only               consulted industry and users. Designed to benefit new development not character               retention.
  • Allowing the Director of Planning more power so fewer projects need to go to Development Permit Board. This affects all kinds of existing zoning bylaws, which will all be amended.
  • Changing RT10 in Cedar Cottage to RT11 from Norquay. Referral to public hearing.
  • Many Guidelines and Policies being repealed including CityPlan Rezoning Policy.

A few specifics: Continue reading

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