CVN letter to Council (14 Apr Public Hearing): Opposed – 1477 West Broadway (at Granville St)

April 14, 2022
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Public Hearing 1477 W. Broadway at Granville St.
Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20220414/phea20220414ag.htm
Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20220301/documents/rr5.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is opposed to this proposal since it is far too large for the area, has had a flawed process that is brought forward prematurely.  The local community’s concerns have not been addressed. Not only is the project far too large in scale for both height and density, but there has also been an enormous breach of process to get to this point.

City staff state that the proposed height of 40 storeys and density of 12.3 FSR aligns with the Broadway Plan, even though Council has not approved the Plan yet. This sets a huge precedent for the whole Broadway Corridor. There is no rationale why this project should be considered for approval now when the Broadway Plan is proposed to go to Council next month.

Staff are recommending $3.3M in development fees be waived. If you accept that, this project will increase demand for infrastructure and amenities, and you will instead force those costs to be subsidized by public funding through property taxes and capital debt financing. If you approve this project you will be setting a precedent for 40 storeys at other stations, resulting in large scale growth despite having no plans for funding for more schools, among many other growth related needs.

You must not ignore the many other issues involved in setting a precedent for this development in the Broadway corridor, such as massive shadowing, embodied carbon, as well as land value inflation that will lead to the loss of affordable rentals throughout the area.  Please do not approve this proposal. See more here: https://www.fsgac.org/1477-w-broadway-rezoning

Steering Committee,
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
Dunbar Residents Association
Fairview/South Granville Action Committee
False Creek Residents Association
Grandview Woodland Area Council
Granville-Burrard Residents & Business Assoc.
Greater Yaletown Community Association
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Residents Coalition
NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
Oakridge Langara Area Residents
Residents Association Mount Pleasant
Riley Park/South Cambie Visions
Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Assoc.
Strathcona Residents Association
Upper Kitsilano Residents Association
West End Neighbours Society
West Kitsilano Residents Association
West Point Grey Residents Association
West Southland Residents Association

CVN letter to Council (29-Mar-2022): Millennium Line UBC Extension Alignment and Integration (Opposed)

[Note – Appendix attached at bottom]
March 28, 2022
City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Millennium Line UBC Extension Alignment and Integration
Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20220329/regu20220329ag.htm
Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20220323/documents/r1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is opposed to the staff recommendations in this report and concerned that, once again, Council is being asked to make a major decision before meaningful neighbourhood consultation has taken place. The proposed recommendations would bring major changes to the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano and West Point Grey.

It is entirely premature to be deciding on proceeding with station area planning when a subway extension to UBC is far from even being decided. The business case has not been produced, and an extension to UBC has not been declared a regional priority. This is at the bottom of the list of TransLink’s regional Transport 2050 priorities, as it is only the sixth priority of seven total. Only after all other priorities are funded would this subway extension even be considered.

The staff report recommends proceeding with planning for towers at the hypothetical stations, although the concept is decades away, if ever, from ever becoming a funded project. For your consideration, attached are a few of the many issues raised by the affected neighbourhoods for your consideration.

Please only accept this report for information and refer it back to staff.

Thank you,
Steering Committee,
Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

CVN letter to Council (Mar 3 Public Hearing): Reject ‘Rezoning by stealth,’ send back to staff (Miscellaneous Amendments – Zoning and Development By-law …)

March 3, 2022
City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,
Re: Public Hearing 3-Mar-2022 Agenda 3: Miscellaneous Amendments – Zoning and Development By-law and East Fraser Lands Official Development Plan
Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20220303/phea20220303ag.htm
Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20220208/documents/rr6.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) requests that some of the items included in this report, items A.(v)(vi) (ix), be referred back to staff for more work since they do not meet the test for miscellaneous amendments to be for “minor non-substantive changes”.

Any changes to zoning that change the unit numbers, form of development, or density (FSR), are substantive in nature. Numerous items in this report are lumped in with unrelated items and it is unclear where in the city they apply without related maps. The proposed changes affect Grandview and Mt. Pleasant in particular, among other areas as well, without consultation.

The public hearing documentation should include redline versions showing the proposed changes to the zoning bylaws and guidelines. Staff have only provided redlines for the Guidelines.  Staff should also be required to provide maps and links to the zoning bylaw schedules that are affected, as well as detailed analysis to explain implications and what these changes mean in practical terms. 

The following excerpts are just some of clauses of particular concern in the RECOMMENDATION section of the Referral Report:

v. correct an omission in section 4.7.7 in the RM-11 and RM-11N Districts Schedule by including reference to two additional sections for which more density for multiple dwellings can be achieved through the purchase of amenity or affordable housing shares;

 vi. correct an omission in sections 4.1.1. and 4.1.3 in the RM-3A District Schedule and section 4.1.1 in the RM-4 and RM-4N Districts Schedule to include seniors supportive or assisted housing as a use for which minimum site area requirements can be reduced;

ix. correct the minimum site area allowance for multiple dwellings to align with unit density in sections 4.1.2 and 4.1.3 in the RT-5 and RT-5N Districts Schedule and the RT-6 District Schedule

For example, the proposed changes in (ix) above for RT-5 & RT-6 zones would allow multiple dwellings on much smaller lots (those less than 30 ft wide), but the referral report does not explain the implications. Minimum lot sizes are set on purpose. The proposed changes cannot be presented simply as an issue to “correct”.

In (ix) the references to numbers of units regarding  “multiple dwelling” do not seem to be counting secondary suites as units. In fact, under Vancouver’s existing by-laws for RT5 duplex zoning, it already allows a secondary suite for each duplex unit, for a total of 4 units on each lot. Thus, multiple dwellings of 3 units could actually mean a total of 6 units on a lot when secondary suites are also counted.

The proposed changes would likely change the economics in favour of demolition, rather than character house retention, the latter being a key objective of current City policies in RT5 and RT6 zones.

These are just some of the implications of the staff’s proposed “minor” “miscellaneous amendments”.

Council needs to know that staff are proposing substantive changes. This would constitute rezoning by stealth.

Please refer these items back to staff with instructions to prepare the required documentation, for proper community consultation, and a report back to Council prior to bringing this forward to a public hearing.

Thank you,

Steering Committee,
Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

CVN letter to Council (for Jan 25): ‘Making Home” Motion (opposed)

January 24, 2022
City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Making Home Motion

Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20220125/regu20220125ag.htm
Motion: https://council.vancouver.ca/20220125/documents/b3.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) agrees with the aim of this motion to provide more affordable, innovative housing options throughout the city. However, CVN continues to oppose this motion, based on concerns regarding its total lack of details and that it will not accomplish the intended goals.

Citywide spot rezoning of 2000 projects everywhere is not a pilot project. At 6 units each, it would create 12,000 units / 26,000 people that equals the entire population growth of the City of Vancouver for 4 years, without considering the huge amount of projects already in the pipeline.

This ignores neighbourhood-based planning that could potentially produce unintended consequences leading to the development of more intensive high-end market housing that inflates land values in the areas affected.

Additionally, this would increase speculation and demolition of older, more affordable housing, causing displacement while also undermining the few character house retention incentives currently existing in zoning and City policy.

The RT zones in particular have a lot of missing middle character housing already that would be put at risk of demolition, so RT zones and areas with a lot of character houses should be excluded. Also, houses on the heritage register, both listed and registered, should be exempt. Lots with character houses should require the character house retained as part of this proposal.

Neighbourhood-based planning processes integrated into a citywide plan will deliver substantially better results. However, this motion is unclear what it actually proposes and raises a lot of questions.

We would be prepared to work with the City on identifying other options that could be put in place to increase affordable housing options. Any of these approaches should recognize the unique characteristics and needs of each neighbourhood so as to best adapt any actions to that neighbourhood, thus following the intent of zoning by-laws and local community visions and plans.

Seeking truly effective solutions to the need for affordable housing, we oppose this motion.

Thank you,
Steering Committee,
Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

CVN update letter to Council (for Nov 9): Streamlining Rental Rezoning Public Hearing (opposed)

November 9, 2021
City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Streamlining Rental Rezoning Public Hearing
Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211102/phea20211102ag.htm
Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211005/documents/spec1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) acknowledge that there are many different ways to provide more rentals and to accommodate growth. However, CVN is strongly opposed to the recommendations in this report and this arbitrary, citywide approach that lacks neighbourhood context.

This letter is to update you on the Change.org petition, Our Communities Our Plans, is opposed to these arbitrary rezoning policies and was previously 4,100 but is now over 4,450 signatures. https://www.change.org/p/city-of-vancouver-council-officials-our-communities-our-plans-99961c91-4a17-497d-86c8-b385b3c0f315

We continue to oppose the combining of dramatically different types of rezonings into one public hearing, an approach that is very confusing to the public.
• The proposed C2 changes to zoning schedules and design guidelines include changes to:
o all C2 citywide outright 4 storey strata with increased heights and decreased setbacks
o the addition of 6 storey rentals in areas as per eligibility map
• The proposed RS/RT zoning changes allow random spot rezonings for rental-only apartment buildings based on new RR zoning schedules approved in advance, up to 6 storeys on-arterials and up to 5 storeys off-arterials
These are three different types of rezonings should be in separate reports and public hearings.

Please do not approve the recommendations in this report and instead, refer it back to staff to separate the three major zoning initiatives, allow for neighbourhood-based planning work and community consultation, and provide proper notification to the properties affected.

Thank you,

Steering Committee,
Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

CVN letter to Council (for Nov 2): Streamlining Rental Rezoning Public Hearing (opposed)

November 2, 2021
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Streamlining Rental Rezoning Public Hearing
Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211102/phea20211102ag.htm
Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211005/documents/spec1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) acknowledge that there are many different ways to provide more rentals and to accommodate growth. However, CVN is strongly opposed to the recommendations in this report and this arbitrary, citywide approach that lacks neighbourhood context.

We also oppose the combining of dramatically different types of rezonings into one public hearing, an approach that is very confusing to the public.

* The proposed C2 changes to zoning schedules and design guidelines include changes to:
– outright 4 storey strata with increased heights and decreased setbacks
– the addition of 6 storey rentals

* The proposed RS/RT zoning changes allow random spot rezonings for rental-only apartment buildings based on new RR zoning schedules approved in advance, up to 6 storeys on-arterials and up to 5 storeys off-arterials

These different types of rezonings should be in separate reports and public hearings.

There has been no neighbourhood-based planning processes. Most of the areas included in this rezoning have CityPlan Community Visions prepared with extensive public input, but they have been completely ignored in these proposals. The most recent Community Visions were approved by Council as recently as2010 and were intended to cover 30 years.

Please do not approve the recommendations in this report and instead, refer it back to staff to separate the two major zoning initiatives, allow for neighbourhood-based planning work and community consultation, and provide proper notification to the properties affected.

The planning-related data that Council directed staff to provide has yet to be received and the expected recalibration of the Housing Vancouver targets has yet to be done. Each neighbourhood should be meaningfully consulted on how data-based and needed growth is to be accommodated, including new rentals. The solution is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each neighbourhood is unique, and planning should consider the local context.

Consultation by the City has emphasized special interest groups and avoided most of the population of Vancouver. The City’s consultation processes continue to be flawed and appear to be designed for a predetermined outcome. Continue reading

CVN letter to Council (for Oct 5): (opposed) Streamlining Rental around Local Shopping Areas (C-2, C-2B, C-2C, C-2C1 Zones) + New Rental Zones in Low Density Areas

Oct. 4, 2021

City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

 Re: Referral Report – Streamlining Rental Around Local Shopping Areas – Amendments to the C-2, C-2B, C-2C and C-2C1 Zones and Creation of New Rental Zones for Use in Future Rezoning Applications in Surrounding Low Density Areas Under the Secured Rental Policy

Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211005/spec20211005ag.htm

Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211005/documents/spec1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is strongly opposed to the referral of this report to public hearing as proposed.

This 348 page report combines two very different types of rezonings that should be separated into two separate reports and public hearings rather than combining them into one as proposed.

The area rezoning of the commercial C2 zones is a specific change to the zoning schedules. This deserves its own report that clearly lays out this proposal for both Council and the public to consider.

The creation of the new rental zones as “off-the-shelf” future  spot rezonings is an entirely new type of zoning that affects RS, RT and RM zones arbitrarily across the city. This is very confusing even for people with planning background, far less the general public. Most people who are affected have no idea this is happening or what it is. There have been no notices provided to these areas during the consultation process to advise those affected of changes to the proposals to allow for their feedback to inform the report.

What little public consultation was done on these two types of rezonings, was done separately so it should follow that the public hearings and reports are also separate.

There has been no neighbourhood-based context considered for either of these proposals. Nor has the Vancouver Plan completed the consultation process or the recalibration of the housing targets based on data that has yet to be provided. This should be all done in advance to inform any proposals and prior to considering referral for such sweeping changes to zoning.

It is completely against every planning principle to be referring this report to public hearing before the larger issues regarding the Vancouver Plan have been addressed, and without neighbourhood-based planning completed. To refer this report now is making assumptions and setting precedents that limit future options in advance of this process.

These proposals are also in conflict with the Interim Rezoning Policy for Kitsilano and West Point Grey that requires a “collaborative neighbourhood-based process” which has not, as yet, taken place. Additionally, the IRP restricts rezoning to projects already approved to proceed, and to future collaborative neighbourhood-based processes that focus on rental-only zoning along Broadway and West 10th Avenue. The other area covered by Interim Rezoning Policy east of Vine for the Broadway Plan is exempt from the proposed C2 changes.

A Change.org Petition: Our Communities Our Plans, is opposed to these arbitrary rezoning policies and is currently over 3,500 signatureshttps://www.change.org/p/city-of-vancouver-council-officials-our-communities-our-plans-99961c91-4a17-497d-86c8-b385b3c0f315

During previous discussions with staff, the public was told that unprotected buildings listed on the heritage inventory would be exempt from these spot rental rezonings as had been in earlier drafts of the proposals. But here in this report, listed unprotected heritage buildings are explicitly included as eligible for rezoning, that is a further incentive for demolition and undermines retention incentives.

We also note that the Climate Emergency Action Plan proposal is to eliminate onsite parking requirements for new development, that offloads those costs and impacts onto the surrounding area. This would affect these rental rezoning proposals.

The related Climate Emergency Parking Program is a City cash-grab that takes advantage of the removal of onsite parking minimums in new development by implementing city-wide pay parking permits, making the city yet more unaffordable and unlivable for the residents. If these changes are implemented as proposed, it would further add increased parking pressure in the surrounding areas where these rental rezonings would occur.  These parking issues should be resolved before referral of this report so those issues can also be considered and addressed in the rezoning reports.

Please refer this report back to staff  to allow for more basic planning work and community consultation, which should be done prior to finalizing proposals for rezoning. Also to direct staff to divide this report into two separate reports and public hearings: one for the  area rezoning of the commercial C2 zones; and the other for the creation of new rental zones for future spot rezonings under Secured Rental Policy.

 Thank you,
Steering Committee,
Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Continue reading

CVN letter to Council (for October 5): Climate Emergency Parking Program (opposed)

Oct. 4, 2021

City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Climate Emergency Parking Program

Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211005/spec20211005ag.htm
Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211005/documents/spec5.pdf

While the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) recognizes that the climate emergency needs to be urgently addressed, CVN is concerned that this Parking Program will not address the climate emergency as proposed. The Parking Program to implement citywide pay parking permits, is a greenwashed City of Vancouver fee-based cash-grab that makes life yet more unaffordable and unlivable for residents. Therefore CVN is strongly opposed to the report recommendations as proposed.

Further, the related Climate Emergency Action Plan proposal to eliminate parking minimums for new development is a giveaway to the development industry while offloading those costs onto the residents and businesses in the surrounding areas. The Parking Program for citywide pay parking permits is a City fee-based cash-grab taking advantage of these offloaded costs and impacts from developers onto the residents surrounding new development. The proposed citywide rental rezoning proposals will exacerbate these impacts.

This will have negative impacts on:
– Seniors, people with disabilities, and families with small children would be less likely to find parking in front of their residence when the area is flooded with vehicles from new development without onsite parking minimums.
– Pay parking unfairly impacts renters who are less likely to have a garage to park in.
– Lower income people will be more impacted since it adds a larger percent to their cost of living.
– While the annual parking permit fees may be relatively low to start, this will escalate quickly. We understand that the West End Parking Permits started at $40 annually and are now $400.
– The transition to electric vehicles will be less viable because there is little to no onsite parking in new development for vehicles to charge.

We also are concerned that the report has misrepresented the feedback from the public. Clearly 80% of the almost 19,000 responses to the city’s survey are opposed to this pay permit parking citywide. It is disingenuous for the city to create selective additional surveys designed for a different predetermined outcome to support the initiative when there is in fact demonstrated to be overwhelming public opposition.

We request that the report recommendations not be approved, and instead, also reconsider the proposed actions to eliminate onsite parking minimums in new development.

Thank you,

Steering Committee,
Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Continue reading

CVN letter to Council (for July 21): Vancouver Plan Update-Quick Starts

July 19, 2021

City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Vancouver Plan Update and Quick Starts

Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20210721/cfsc20210721ag.htm
Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20210721/documents/cfsc1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is strongly opposed to the recommendations in this report.  Please refer this report back to staff  to allow for more basic planning work and community consultation which should be done prior to any consideration of Quick Start actions.

The data that Council directed staff to provide has yet to be received and the recalibration of the Housing Vancouver targets have yet to be done.

Further there has been no real neighbourhood-based planning or meaningful consultation with residents. Consultation has emphasized special interest groups so far and avoided most of the population of Vancouver. The city’s consultation process continues to be extremely flawed that is designed for a predetermined outcome.

We are opposed to the following Quick Starts:

1. Streamlining Rental Rezoning Initiative – It is premature to consider this proposed rezoning as a quick start before the end of the City’s survey (July 27). The survey results should be available for Council consideration prior to deciding if this should be a quick start.

A Change.org Petition: Our Communities Our Plans, is opposed to these arbitrary rezoning policies and is currently over 3000 signatures.  https://www.change.org/p/city-of-vancouver-council-officials-our-communities-our-plans-99961c91-4a17-497d-86c8-b385b3c0f315

In addition to our point that no neighbourhood-based planning or meaningful consultation has been conducted, the thousands of individual properties that are affected by the proposed rezoning have not been notified. Most are not aware of this initiative.

2. Downtown Eastside Policy Updates to Increase Social Housing Initiative – This would put more development pressure and land speculation on Chinatown, Strathcona and Gastown for 10 storey and higher towers in the heritage districts, and would undermines their heritage character.

3. Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPP) – The proposed amendments would allow bigger towers and have even lower affordability requirements compared to what are already mostly market units under MIRHPP. This program should be cancelled not expanded.

These staff recommendations are premature. Please do not approve the recommendations, and instead, refer this report back to staff  for more planning and consultation work which needs to be done prior to Council consideration of Quick Start actions.

Thank you,

Steering Committee,
Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

CVN letter to Council (for July 7): OPPOSED – Policy Enquiry Process: Approach and Criteria – Policy to Ignore Policy

July 6, 2021
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Policy Enquiry Process: Approach and Criteria – Policy to Ignore Policy

Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20210707/pspc20210707ag.htm

Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20210707/documents/pspc1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is strongly opposed to this proposed policy change.

It suggests allowing spot rezoning proposals to go forward for consideration even if they do not conform to any policy that would allow it. This would undermine all community plans and planning processes so as to make zoning and planning policy meaningless.

While this may benefit the development industry, it would undermine the public interest.

It would make more work for staff, Council and the public to deal with projects that should not be going forward at all.

Please do not approve this report recommendations.

Thank you,

Steering Committee,
Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading