CVN letter to Council: Climate Emergency Action Plan – Do not approve, send back for more consultation

November 1, 2020
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Climate Emergency Action Plan


The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is pleased to see that council is taking strong action on climate change, however there are concerns about how this 371 page report has been brought forward without meaningful public consultation and a number of the recommendations that are problematic.

We therefore request that this report not be approved at this time, and instead be referred back to staff for more public consultation to address these issues.

Some of the many concerns are as follows:

* Eliminating parking minimums in new residential construction gives too much cost saving benefit to developers, while offloading those costs to residents of the new building and surrounding area.
* Pay permit parking citywide unfairly offloads developers’ costs onto area residents, who will be increasingly squeezed out of street parking due to the removal of parking minimum requirements, and increased costs will make life even more unaffordable.
* Road pricing could be done more practically and fairly. Rather than tracking drivers, which invades privacy, it would be better to price road use through mileage driven or gas taxes.
* Transit should be evaluated based on embodied energy, including the amount of concrete in the Broadway subway and SkyTrain.
* Embodied energy of existing buildings should offset against energy efficiency requirements, especially for character and heritage buildings made of old growth trees.
* Massive redevelopment increases the ecological footprint and GHG emissions through embodied energy. Renovation and adaptive reuse should be prioritized over new construction.
* The general impacts on affordability and how this would affect the affordability crisis should be considered. It is not just a matter of a few equity groups, but the impacts on residents at large and property taxes, both residential and commercial small businesses that continue to struggle under the current tax load.

While we agree that climate change needs to be addressed as an urgent priority, the proposed recommendations seem more to the benefit of the development industry, with costs offloaded to residents and small businesses.

We urge you to refer this report back to staff for more broad consultation with the public to find holistic solutions that benefit the majority of residents and small business, rather than facilitating development and increasing the ecological footprint of the city.

Thank you,
Larry A. Benge, Co-chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-chair

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
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council
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
Joyce Area Residents
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Residents Coalition
NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
Oakridge Langara Area Residents
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