Author Archives: Coalition R

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

 

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

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

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

Coalition writes City Council on NE False Creek Update and Related Reports (June 19, Item 2)

 

June 18, 2018

City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Council June 19: Item #2. NE False Cr. Update and Related Reports RR-2(a), RR-2(b), RR-2(c) http://council.vancouver.ca/20180619/regu20180619ag.htm

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods is deeply concerned that these major reports are coming forward in the summer holidays without adequate time for the community to respond. Many member groups have volunteered significant time and energy over the last decade working on these issues, only to find that the final reports do not reflect their input.

We recommend that these reports be amended to reflect the community’s input as noted above.

Some of the outstanding concerns that still need to be addressed are as follows:

Size and location of park. The park orientation reduces the public benefit by changing it inland north-south rather than being on the waterfront east-west. It is designed to maximize developer profits rather than community interests.

Towers in view cones. The stadium site, Lot 10, has a 40-storey tower that pierces the view cone. The Concord site, not yet before rezoning, will have two 42/43-storey buildings, also in the view cone. View cones were designed to benefit the entire city, and should be protected and respected.

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

Coalition writes Vancouver Council on “Millennium Line Broadway Extension of SkyTrain – Municipal Requirements” (Council topic May 16)

On May 15, 2018, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods wrote to Vancouver City Council on the headline topic. On the City Council agenda for Wednesday May 16 is an endorsement proposed by City staff for the “Broadway Subway Extension.”

Meeting agenda: http://council.vancouver.ca/20180516/pspc20180516.htm
Staff report: Report: http://council.vancouver.ca/20180516/documents/pspc1b.pdf

Here is one of the staff recommendations:
THAT Council endorse the Millennium Line Broadway Extension (MLBE), a primarily tunnelled SkyTrain extension under Broadway from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Street, as a key element in helping the City achieve its liveability, transportation and environmental objectives.

In that connection, here below is the text of the letter from CVN to Council.

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May 15, 2018,

City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Council Report May 16, 2018
Millennium Line Broadway Extension of SkyTrain – Municipal Requirements
http://council.vancouver.ca/20180516/documents/pspc1b.pdf

We would like to comment directly about Recommendation A in the above Report, to which we are opposed.

Although we generally agree with the logic to connect the Millennium Line from VCC to Cambie Line, we continue to disagree with the unaffordable option to extend along Broadway to Arbutus with a subway for the following reasons:

• The revised budget is not transparent and there is a concern that it will be significantly higher than the updated estimates of $2.8B.

• Once committed, it may be mostly cut and cover with the same problems as the Canada Line. There is no commitment to bored tunnel and each station is planned to be cut and cover regardless.

• There are much more cost effective options that would provide more transit to a much broader area, giving access to good transit to more people in a wide network, rather than a short subway to Arbutus.

• The subway is about $470m/km, trams $16m-$40m/km, electric trolley rapid bus $1m/km + $1m per double electric trolley articulated bus.

• We are opposed to the use of the city’s tax base of property taxes and development fees to subsidize this subway. The civic tax base is needed for civic services.

• The development along the corridor will be very large and out of scale with the surrounding area, which will require significant subsidies for services through increased property taxes. Development fees only cover about 10% of the costs of growth as it is. Now these development fees will also have to cover the subway itself.

For more information, please refer to the attached letter and appendix recently sent to the province. [Visit this link for that letter and appendix.]

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

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

CVN writes Premier Horgan on transit plans for City of Vancouver: Questions, costs, alternatives

On April 23, 2018, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods wrote the following letter to Premier John Horgan and other key officials.

Discussions are at an advanced stage regarding a multi-billion dollar transportation plan for the Metro Vancouver region, with a large portion of the funds supposedly being dedicated to a “Broadway Subway” from Commercial Station to Arbutus, and eventually to UBC. CVN raises questions, asks for clarification, and suggests alternatives.

As of May 4, CVN has still not received any acknowledgement of receipt from any recipients.

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April 23, 2018

Premier John Horgan
Hon. Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
Mayor Corrigan, Chair of Mayors’ Council, Metro Vancouver
Vancouver MLAs

Re: Transit Mode for City of Vancouver

Recently, we have seen the release of promised Federal and Provincial funds earmarked for transit improvements in Metro Vancouver. The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) has some concerns with how those funds could be implemented.

Completing the Millennium Line from the VCC Station to the Cambie and Broadway Station makes logical sense. It provides the link for the Skytrain system for passengers travelling from Surrey (and the Valley) to the Airport.

What needs to be reassessed is system progress from that point. The Mayors’ Council Vision has called for rapid transit along Broadway from Commercial Station to Arbutus, and eventually to UBC. The mode of this extension is not spelled out in the Mayors’ Vision. In an atmosphere of limited funds and a need for fiscal responsibility, we should be wise and frugal, while meeting the needs and requirements of the future. Barring an unexpected economic downturn, prices will not decrease, but will continue to rise. All of which brings many questions:

  1. What mode supports best options resulting in less single occupancy vehicle travel?
  2. What mode supports best options for housing affordability?
  3. What mode supports best options resulting in enhancement and growth of existing neighbourhoods?
  4. What mode supports best options resulting in support for local businesses?
  5. What mode supports best options resulting in earliest build out and transition to full service on widest coverage?
  6. What mode supports best options resulting in lowest cost while providing needed capacity?

Continue reading

Coalition writes council on Northeast False Creek Plan (NEFC Plan) & Viaducts Replacement Project

On Tuesday, January 31, 2018, Vancouver City Council is set to hear and decide on a report from City staff regarding “Northeast False Creek Plan (“NEFC Plan”) and Viaducts Replacement Project.” This is a significant report and decision. The agenda and official document are here: http://council.vancouver.ca/20180131/cfsc20180131ag.htm

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods wrote the following letter to Mayor and Council on this topic.

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January 30, 2018
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,
Re: North East False Creek Report to Council

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods has consistently been concerned about the planning processes at City Hall. Those concerns continue with the issuance last week of the North East False Creek Report that comes before Council on January 31, 2018.

General comments:

  • The 368-page Report going to Council on January 31 gets released to the public on
    January 24. This gave citizens only six days to review 368 pages.
  • The North East False Creek Stewardship Group held a meeting in which members
    stated that while they had met with the city for 16 months to work on this planning
    process, they had seldom seen their opinions expressed in any of the sections of the
    report. Some members, discouraged by what they saw as a process that only served to
    waste their time, ended their participation. Is something wrong with the process?
  • Some subjects, such as the realignment of Carrall Street, were never discussed with the
    public in the formulation of the Report.
  • It would be informative to have the calculations for density be made public so all can see
    the cost/benefits for the City and the economic realities of such a project.
  • Is this an extension or amendment to the False Creek/Expo Lands agreement, which
    has a total square footage cap (11Msf?) and a maximum number of units cap (?) and
    various conditions and cost waivers? If so, should this be discussed as part of a
    separate public process?
  • The Report states there is a $350 million capital budget plus design budget. Are the
    developers who benefit paying part of this, and through what mechanism (CACs?), or is
    public money paying for the viaduct removal and new infrastructure?

Positives:

  • Hogan’s Alley Memorial
  • Ice rink, community space and daycare at Plaza of Nations

More specific concerns: Continue reading

Happy New Year 2018 from CVN!

2018 is here!

2018 will be an important year for Vancouver with a municipal election in October. This city is at an important point in its history.

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods will continue to advocate based on its Principles and Goals built upon the following main concepts:

  • A collaborative, accountable and transparent partnership
  • Vancouver as community, not commodity
  • A livable, sustainable city

For more information, please click here.

Coalition writes Council on Motions B.1 & B.3: Preserving Livable/Usable Space in One and Two Family Houses Reporting Data on Secondary Suites(for 12-Dec-2017)

Text of a from CVN letter to City Council follows, in relation to Motions B.1 and B.3 to Regular City Council for Tuesday, 12-Dec-2017. Meeting info here: http://council.vancouver.ca/20171212/regu20171212ag.htm

PDF: CVN Letter to Council -Motion B.1.B.3-NC.Dec.11.2017

December 8, 2017
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Motion B.1 Preserving Livable/Useable Space in One and Two Family Houses
Motion B.3 – Reporting Data on Secondary Suites

The above two motions, B.1 and B.3, are scheduled to be introduced at the Council meeting on Tuesday, December 12. The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods supports both of these motions. We believe they are beneficial proposals which will add useful data to our knowledge base (Motion B.3), and help builders and homeowners work to increase accessibility in current and future housing (Motion B.1).

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

For reference, the THEREFORE sections of both motions are copied below. Please see the meeting link above for the full text of the motions.  Continue reading