Author Archives: Coalition R

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:

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).

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

Coalition writes Council on Motion B.2 – “West Point Grey Rental Density for Students and Seniors” (for 12-Dec-2017)

Text of letter follows, in relation to a Motion B.2 to Regular City Council on Tuesday, 12-Dec-2017. Meeting info here:

PDF: CVN Letter to Council -Motion

December 10, 2017
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,
Re: Motion B.2 – West Point Grey Rental Density for Students and Seniors

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) has significant concerns about Motion B.2 (link above) and urges Council to defeat it. While CVN supports the need for affordable housing, social housing, and housing for seniors, we believe communities should be directly involved with the Planning Department in the planning decisions affecting their neighbourhoods. Those decisions should not be based on any one councillor’s opinion in a motion at a meeting.

We appreciate the recent comments by Mayor Gregor Robertson and General Manager of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability, Gil Kelley, that built supply has already exceeded resident growth and that more thoughtful, complex strategies are required to solve the affordability crisis in the city. So, it is surprising to see our newest Councillor propose a motion which continues the old argument that supply is the answer. And, in some of its suggested processes, this motion is diametrically opposed to our principle of collaboration between citizens and the planners at City Hall, a principle endorsed by his party, the NPA, before the last civic election.

The proposed Motion B2 contradicts approved planning processes, appears to be hastily drawn up, is less than thorough, and yet proposes to rezone under a specific new bylaw a significant part of a neighbourhood without any community consultation. With very high land values in this area it would not produce affordable housing. Further, the area is not close to major transit connections or retail amenities, and is not topographically amenable to people with disabilities, or many seniors. This proposal is unlikely to be socially or economically viable.

In consideration of the above issues, along with the Motion’s implied intent to impose a drastic change to the existing zoning without any neighbourhood consultation or involvement in the planning process, we recommend that this motion should not be referred to the General Manager of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability for any further consideration. Instead, we recommend that the community is meaningfully involved in collaboration with the City for any future planning of the neighbourhood.

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

CVN writes City Council on proposed new Housing Vancouver Strategy (2018-2027)

November 26, 2017

City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Vancouver Housing Strategy

November 26, 2017
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Vancouver Housing Strategy

As strong supporters of the need for affordable housing, especially for residents who live and work here, we appreciate the City’s efforts with the new Vancouver Housing Strategy. While the City finally acknowledges that speculative capital and land inflation created by increased density are driving unaffordability, the proposed solutions are again based on increasing supply through rezoning. This focus on additional supply through up zoning has proven to be one of the primary contributors to increased land inflation and undermines our shared objective of improving housing affordability. On that basis, we are opposed to this proposed plan.

We are particularly concerned about the proposals for city-wide rezoning to greatly increase new strata townhouses, rowhouses and apartments in ways that run counter to the CityPlan Community Visions and Local Area Planning processes that were promised to guide future increases of growth at the neighbourhood level. With the new proposed strategy, character house retention incentives would also be undermined, resulting in more demolitions and expensive new development that locals cannot afford.

Neighbourhood character and fit should be considered on a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood basis, with meaningful community participation, not by a citywide blanket override of existing zoning bylaws, community plans and neighbourhood-specific concerns. We agree that there should be opportunities for more housing choice all across the city, but any changes to zoning should be implemented appropriately for each neighbourhood. Density bonuses, intended to increase affordability in Rental 100 projects, could have the opposite effect by creating much larger developments that inflate land values for properties around the site with buildings that are out of scale with the neighbourhood. Targeting major developments for transit hubs has already proven to inflate both housing and land costs, yet this plan proposes to maintain this negative path.

Retaining current rental stock receives relatively little attention, despite being the most affordable option for residents. Retaining character houses by encouraging secondary suites that can provide additional rental housing and mortgage helper income will have less impact on land inflation than demolition and new larger developments. Making it easier for renovations and more secondary suites is a faster, more effective approach to affordability, yet is less of a priority in this plan than more expensive new development.

The City has provided virtually no time to review and respond to this massive 248 page report, posting it 2 to their website only last Friday; just two business days ahead of Council consideration. This clear lack of respect for the public’s interest flies in the face of the Mayor’s 2014 apology and commitment to listen to voters in the future. Vancouver’s voters expect and deserve better.

We request that this report not be approved at this time. Recommendations are complex, with far reaching implications. This report should be referred for meaningful participation to the communities that will have to live with the results of this process.


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 Association
Joyce Area Residents
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Oakridge Community Association
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


Responses from City Council by-election candidates to CVN’s 10 questions

(Updated to 11 am, Oct 13) CVN sent ten questions to candidates for the October 14 civic by-election in Vancouver. See the questions at this link.

Below we provide the responses, in the order received. (To read, you may find it easiest to open two windows — one with the questions, and one with the responses.)

Here is a list of the candidates (alphabetical order) and updated status of their responses:

  • BREMNER, Hector (NPA) – Response received 10/11 (below)
  • CARDONA, Diego (Vision Vancouver)
  • DUNSDON, Mary Jean “Watermelon” (Sensible Vancouver)
  • FRY, Pete (Green Party) – Response received 10/11 (below)
  • GRAVES, Judy (OneCity) Response received 10/13 (below)
  • LEE, Gary
  • MURPHY, Damian J – Response received 10/12 (below)
  • SWANSON, Jean – Response received 10/12 (below)
  • WASILENKOFF, Joshua Continue reading