CVN Sends Letter to Council re 105 Keefer St., Chinatown

On February 26, 2017, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods sent the following letter to Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Vancouver City Council. This letter expresses concerns regarding the proposed rezoning for 105 Keefer St. in Chinatown.

As explained in the letter, CVN recommends that City Council not approve the proposed rezoning application.

CVN represents a diverse group of nearly 30 neighbourhood associations all across the City of Vancouver.

This letter is also available for download as a PDF (90kb):
CVN.Ltr to Council.105 Keefer.pdf

February 26, 2017

City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: 105 Keefer St. Rezoning Application

The proposed rezoning for 105 Keefer Street, in the heart of Chinatown, presents many concerns for the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods. We cannot support this proposed rezoning application.

And we are not alone among neighbourhood and community groups who oppose the development. Over 1800 combined signatures opposing the proposals have been gathered to date. Past and current proposals have been rejected by Chinatown Heritage Area Planning Committee, Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee and the Building Community Society of Greater Vancouver.

The first question which needs to be asked is why aren’t we protecting our historic Chinatown district, and that doesn’t mean just one token street. This is one of the largest Chinatowns in North America, a truly unique district with its own distinct flavour and character. It is one of the elements that make Vancouver unique in the world.

And if we are trying to conserve this district with its flavour and character for future generations, while being realistic in a desire to blend it into a future coexistence with a changing city, what is this proposed building doing to help us achieve these goals? We would say, ‘very little, if anything’. It has been criticized for the following:

  • The proposed units will not be affordable to those in the community who are being displaced, who are most in need.
  • It will by its nature, promote additional loss of affordability in the community, displacing vulnerable citizens and the affordable, culturally appropriate businesses they depend on.
  • Lack of any architectural detail, texture or character that would tie it to its location as a part of Chinatown.
  • Shows a total lack of respect for its site adjacent to culturally important and significant elements such as the Dr. Sun YatSen Garden and the War Memorial.
  • Its height is inappropriate to the site, and to the Chinatown district, and is another unfortunate example of an attempt to open up the area to tower development not in keeping with the character of Chinatown.
  • Its massing is also much larger and denser than average buildings in the area.

We are also concerned that, despite these criticisms of the current and especially previous proposals for this site, there continues to be very little change in the proposal revisions, other than slight adjustments that fail to address the major issues. For this reason, and giving full consideration to the above criticisms, we strongly advise Council not to approve the proposed rezoning application for 105 Keefer Street, and recommend further revisions to the proposal before further consideration is given.

Sincerely,

Larry Benge, Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods
Contact: info@coalitionvan.org

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 Association
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Residents Coalition
Norquay Residents
NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
Oakridge Langara Area Residents
Ray-Cam
Residents Association Mount Pleasant
Riley Park/South Cambie Visions
Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Association
Strathcona Residents Association
Upper Kitsilano Residents Association
West End Neighbours
West Kitsilano Residents Association
West Point Grey Residents Association

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CVN Sends Letter to Mayor and Council Opposing Use of Development Levies for Transit

On October 17, 2016, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods sent the following letter to Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Vancouver City Council. This letter is in support of Motion B.1, Ensuring Vancouver Development Levies are Not Used to Fund Transit.

As explained in the letter, CVN is strongly opposed to the use of development taxes or property taxes to fund transit, or policies that make increased development a requirement to receive transit funding.

CVN represents a diverse group of nearly 30 neighbourhood associations all across the City of Vancouver.

This letter is also available for download as a PDF (146kb):
Motion 1B-Oct.18-2016-CVN letter.pdf

October 17, 2016

Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors City of Vancouver

Re: Motion B.1 – Oct. 18, 2016 – Ensuring Vancouver Development Levies are Not Used to Fund Transit
http://council.vancouver.ca/20161018/documents/motionb1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is strongly in support of Motion B.1 – Ensuring Vancouver Development Levies are Not Used to Fund Transit.

We have only one suggested change to the resolution, item #3 as follows (addition in yellow):

3. The City of Vancouver opposes making provincial transit funding contingent on the City’s use of Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) or Development Cost levies (DCLs) to fund transit as that would infringe on the City’s authority and responsibility to implement public amenity strategies as embedded in local area plans and would make it impossible for the City to adequately fund affordable housing and other essential public amenities.

While we support increasing affordable transit in Metro Vancouver, we are opposed to the use of development taxes (CACS or DCLs) or property taxes to fund transit or policies to make increased development a requirement of transit funding. Provincial insistence on this course would seriously undermine the civic tax base, jeopardize the municipal democratic process and infringe on municipal authority.

To avoid further provincial downloading of transit costs onto the City of Vancouver, we encourage you to pass this motion with this amendment and to write to the Province of BC as proposed.

Sincerely,

Larry A. Benge, Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods.
Contact: info@coalitionvan.org

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
Ray-Cam
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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CVN Sends Letter to Premier Clark re Transit and Housing Policies

On September 26, 2016, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods sent the following letter to Premier Christy Clark regarding land use planning and transit funding.

As explained in the letter, CVN is strongly opposed to the use of development taxes or property taxes to fund transit, or policies that make increased development a requirement to receive transit funding.

Instead, CVN supports more affordable transit options as detailed in the Appendix below.

CVN represents a diverse group of nearly 30 neighbourhood associations all across the City of Vancouver.

This letter is also available for download as a PDF (609kb):
cvn-to-premier-clark-bc-transit-housing-policies_26-sep-2016-final.pdf

September 26, 2016

Premier Christy Clark
Province of British Columbia

cc:
Hon. Rich Coleman (Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing and Deputy Premier)
Hon. Peter Fassbender (Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Minister Responsible for TransLink)
Hon. Mary Polak (Minister of Environment)
City of Vancouver (Mayor and Council)
Translink (Board)
Metro Vancouver (Board)
Metro Vancouver region – all Mayors and Councilors

Re: BC Provincial transit and housing policies

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is a coalition of resident associations from across the City of Vancouver. We are writing to you in response to concerns about recent reports of the province’s intention to use land based taxes to fund transit and to make increased development a condition of transit funding.

Since municipalities only get 7% of the tax base, while provincial and federal governments get 93%, we are opposed to the municipal tax base being further eroded. Municipalities mainly depend on property taxes and development fees to fund civic services and infrastructure. Transit is a provincial/federal responsibility for funding and the province should not be using either of these funding sources for transit. To do so is an unfair tax grab by the province.

Further, land use planning is the jurisdiction of municipal governments. It would undermine the public hearing process if the province were to make development rezoning a requirement of transit funding. Planning around transit should be based on local community planning processes, not on provincial interference in the municipal democratic process.

Therefore, we are strongly opposed to the use of development taxes (CACS or DCLs) or property taxes to fund transit or policies to make increased development a requirement of transit funding. Provincial insistence on this course would seriously jeopardize the municipal democratic process and infringe on municipal authority.

We do, however, support more affordable transit options as suggested in the Appendix below.

Sincerely,
Larry Benge, 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
Raycam
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

APPENDIX

TRANSIT

Negative impacts of transit tied to high density transit-oriented development
The Metro Vancouver Region’s designation of major transit infrastructure routes as Frequent Transit Development Areas (FTDA) encourages, requires and supports extremely high density development. This is the city and region’s proposed direction for the area referred to as the Broadway Corridor from Nanaimo/Commercial Drive to UBC, 4th Avenue to 16th Avenue. While this plan would involve a radical transformation of the Broadway Corridor and affected neighbourhoods, public consultation has been minimal with community input not reflected in the plan.

The proposed first phase of development of the Corridor is identified to be a subway from Vancouver Community College to Arbutus Street. If the first phase is approved, the city has indicated it would be also looking at land use designations west of Arbutus to UBC in anticipation of a phase two extension of a subway to UBC. This will have significant impacts on neighbourhoods in and surrounding the Broadway Corridor without their support.

Under this scheme for the Broadway Corridor, the City’s Transportation 2040 policies and the KPMG report propose that development could be similar to that of the Cambie Corridor, on the Oakridge Mall scale (redevelopment approval added 11 towers up to 45 storeys in height) as a model for sites such as the Jericho Lands. This scheme would not be an appropriate fit for our neighbourhoods and would destroy its existing character and not provide the kinds of medium density family-oriented housing that are so desperately needed in our city.

Worse yet is the very real possibility that neighbourhoods could be transformed by transit-oriented development and densification well in advance of transit infrastructure that may not be provided for decades, if ever. Meanwhile, intense levels of new development would add further congestion to the already severe impacts of UBC commuter traffic.

Amenities Starved for Transit Funds
Problems arise if subway funding is tied to a Public Private Partnership (P3) model, or if development is used to fund transit. These funding models would divert Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) paid by developers into funds that would pay for transit rather than for amenities for the community and its increased population. This is an unacceptable form of downloading the cost of transit onto cities and communities.

The Future of Transit
It is by no means certain that, in the long term, future transit systems will be dominated by large scale high cost projects. It is clear from the recent transit plebiscite that the public is fed up with continually paying for high cost transit, and is demanding more accountability.

Proponents of a Broadway Corridor subway would like to boil the choice of options down to efficiency and “megaproject” economic stimulus. However, the broader implications of competing public transit visions for Vancouver and its neighbourhoods are vastly more complicated and significant.

There are other options to promoting a nodal pattern of high-rise development through high-cost underground rapid transit on a single corridor. Others advocate for a high-capacity, at-grade transit network that is more evenly distributed and reinforces a pattern and scale of urban development that is more affordable, livable, socially productive and supports businesses on a broader city-wide scale.

Studies have shown that a more evenly distributed transit network is also more cost effective (see below results of a UBC- based study). These studies indicate that it is also vastly more sustainable from an environmental perspective to replace existing fossil- fuelled diesel buses with a combination of higher-capacity, zero-emission electric streetcars and articulated trolleybuses. The existing transit grid could have more frequent transit and expanded routes throughout the city and on key routes of heavy demand.

For the price of this….

Image showing single Broadway subway line, serving a small area of Vancouver

We can have this…

Image showing a grid of transit lines, serving nearly the entire area of Vancouver

Equivalent electric streetcar network deliverable for same cost of proposed Broadway Corridor subway
(Condon, et al, 2008, The case for the tram; learning from Portland, Sustainability by Design – An examination of alternatives to an underground extension of the Millennium Line to UBC, Foundational Research Bulletin, No. 6.)

How This Affects Us
There is a real danger that our neighbourhoods, and in particular larger sites such as the Jericho Lands, could be planned and built based on an outdated approach and faulty assumptions. Many informed sources suggest that a nodal based approach to transit, based on transit megaprojects and high rise development, is probably not the way of the future as some have suggested.

The Federal Liberal Party platform said only that they would support “rapid” transit on Broadway, but rapid transit can take a variety of forms other than a subway. Rapid transit could instead be streetcars or rapid electric trolley buses, or other combinations of grade level transit at a fraction of the cost as noted in the example above.

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CVN Letter Supports Grandview Woodlands Area Council

CVN requests delay of council decision so residents can review plan

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods sent the following letter on July 25, 2016, to the Mayor and Council regarding the proposed Grandview Woodland Community Plan.

CVN shares the concerns of the Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) and joins GWAC in their request for a delay of the council decision regarding the proposed plan.

CVN represents a diverse set of nearly 30 neighbourhood associations all across the City of Vancouver.

This letter is also available for download as a PDF:
CVN Letter to council – Grandview Community Plan-Final

July 25, 2016

City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Grandview-Woodland Community Plan, July 26, 2016

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) supports the Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) in their stated concerns about the proposed Grandview Woodland Community Plan and supports their request for a delay of the City of Vancouver Council decision on the plan. GWAC is a member group of CVN.

GWAC has made a very reasonable request of delay. As stated in their press release:

“Among the top concerns of residents” said GWAC President Dorothy Barkley, “is having only one summer month to read, digest, and respond to a 250-page document.” Both the Citizens’ Assembly and the planners had almost a year to think about the plan for the neighbourhood. Residents need at least a few months. “GWAC is calling on the City to delay the decision on the Draft Plan to at least November 2016 and to provide a clear mechanism by which resident feedback will be incorporated into the plan.”

Even for those residents who did manage to make it through the 250 page draft plan there were other complications. Further we note that the proposed Plan was changed from DRAFT to a revised final document with only five business days before the council meeting, and that no change bars were included to assist residents in digesting the material and any changes.

A delay as proposed would be consistent with the CVN document Principles and Goals for Collaborative Neighbourhood-based Planning in the City of Vancouver as supported by neighbourhood groups across the city. We urge Council to grant them this reasonable request.

Sincerely,

Larry Benge, 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
Raycam
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

Reference Documents
Council Meeting July 26, 2016 and Reports
http://council.vancouver.ca/20160726/20160726ag.htm

Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) press release
http://www.gwac.ca/news/media-advisory-grandview-woodland-area-council-does-not-endorse-the- draft-grandview-woodland-neighbourhood-plan

Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) Principles and Goals for Collaborative Neighbourhood- based Planning in the City of Vancouver
http://coalitionvan.org/principles-and-goals/

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CVN Letter Supports Chinatown Community in Opposition to Rezoning

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods sent the following letter on June 29, 2016, to the Mayor and Council regarding the rezoning application for 105 Keefer St. and 544 Columbia St., in Chinatown.

CVN joins the local Chinatown community in opposing this rezoning application.

CVN represents a diverse set of nearly 30 neighbourhood associations all across the City of Vancouver.

This letter is also available for download as a PDF:
CVN Letter to Council – Chinatown – Keefer St.- June 29-2016.

For additional information about the rezoning application, see:
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/105keefer/index.htm

June 29, 2016
City of Vancouver Council

Re: Rezoning Application for 105 Keefer St. and 544 Columbia St., Chinatown

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

We join the local community to OPPOSE the above rezoning application. We are concerned about the development pressure currently being forced onto this vulnerable community and request that this application not be approved as proposed.

Please listen to the community for a better design of a much smaller scale that fits into the heritage character of the Chinatown neighbourhood and minimizes the impacts on the Chinese Cultural Centre and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden across the street.

Please ensure the new development is revised in a way that the local community supports. Sincerely,

Larry Benge, 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
Raycam
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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CVN Sends Letters to Mayor, Council re Joyce-Collingwood, Affordable Housing, and Mole Hill

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) has written letters to the Mayor and Council regarding three items on the City of Vancouver Council agenda for Tuesday June 14, 2016.

The agenda for this meeting is posted on the City of Vancouver website at http://council.vancouver.ca/20160614/regu20160614ag.htm

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CVN Letter Supports Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours in Opposition to 3365 Commercial Dr. Rezoning

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods has sent the following letter to the City of Vancouver Mayor and Council in support of Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours, requesting that Council not not refer Policy Report #4 (CD-1 Rezoning – 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695- 1775 East 18th Avenue) to Public Hearing at the Council meeting on April 19, 2016.

CVN represents nearly 30 neighbourhood associations all across the City of Vancouver.

This letter is also available for download as a PDF: CVN Letter to Council, 3365 Commercial Dr., April 2016.PDF

April 18, 2016
City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Policy Report to Council for 3365 Commercial Drive is Premature
The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods agrees with Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours (CCAN), a member group of the coalition, regarding this proposal.

We ask that you do not refer Policy Report #4 (CD-1 Rezoning – 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695- 1775 East 18th Avenue) to Public Hearing at the Council meeting scheduled for April 19, 2016.

This rezoning application includes a significant heritage component. At its meeting on May 4, 2015 the Vancouver Heritage Commission stated:

THAT the Vancouver Heritage Commission does not support the application to relocate and rehabilitate 3365 Commercial Drive due to the relocation of the house, its new siting and its condition;

FURTHER THAT the Commission is willing to consider a revised application that would address the position of the heritage house on the site with a reduced, more compatible infill project adjacent.

A revised application was submitted to the City of Vancouver by the developer in December 2015, but staff failed to send that application to the Heritage Commission for reevaluation. While the “infill project adjacent” has been slightly reduced in the revised application, we do not believe that this single change adequately addresses the concerns expressed in the initial evaluation of May 4, 2015. The relocation and the condition of the house have not been addressed at all; the siting has been addressed only minimally.
This application should not proceed to Council until the Vancouver Heritage Commission has reviewed the revisions. The evaluation of the Commission is essential information that needs to be provided to Council before a legitimate decision can be made to refer the application to Public Hearing.

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 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
Raycam
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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CVN Requests Mayor and Council Reject Proposed Affordable Home Ownership Pilot Program

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods has sent the following letter to the City of Vancouver Mayor and Council, to request that Council not approve in principle the goals of the Affordable Home Ownership Pilot Program. This letter is also available for download as a PDF: CVN Letter to Council on Affordable Housing Pilot Program- IRP-April-2016.pdf

April 18, 2016
City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Affordable Home Ownership Pilot Program

While we support solving the housing affordability crisis, we are opposed to the goals of the Affordable Home Ownership Pilot Program in its present form. This staff report proposes making significant changes to the Vancouver Charter as well as major potential changes to land use in expanded areas tied to many arterials on a citywide basis without adequate public consultation. This raises major concerns.

We request that Council not approve in principle the goals of the Affordable Home Ownership
Pilot Program, as described in this report. Instead, we suggest the following:

  1. Withdraw the report and refer it back to staff to include a robust consultation process with affected neighbourhoods based on collaboration:
  2. Include the approved CityPlan Community Vision directions, where they are in place, and which would be implemented on a local community basis;
  3. Complete the Heritage Action Plan and Character House RS Zoning Review first, before considering any proposed new or expanded pilot programs that will affect zoning;
  4. Remove proposed 6 storey and development projects in RS, RT and RM zones unless supported in local area plans; and
  5. Expand Rate of Change protection in C2 and RT zones to protect existing rentals.

Lack of process: This proposal has been brought forward without any community consultation or notification. Further, any anticipated future expansion of the program is proposed to require only development industry and related stakeholders being consulted and includes no requirement for community consultation. This is in contradiction of the city’s stated goals to create a more collaborative relationship with the community.

Location of development: The map included in the report (below) indicates significant areas where 3.5 storeys and/or up to 6 storeys of development could be located. These areas, especially for 6 storeys, as proposed encroach into RS, RT and RM zones, putting heritage, character and older affordable rentals and owner-occupied units at risk of demolition. It also conflicts with the Heritage Action Plan and the Character House RS Review that are in process.

Map of Planned Areas Affected

This proposed Pilot Program is an amendment to an existing one, the Interim Rezoning Policy for Increasing Affordable Housing Choices (IRP). The existing program has mainly focused on rental projects. Now that home ownership, mainly strata, is being focused on, and broader areas have been identified for development in this report, there will be increased developer attention and activity. Of further concern is that the previous requirements that pilot projects be located no less than 10 blocks apart appears to have been removed.

Many neighbourhoods have large site developments with potential to provide new multifamily ground oriented development, such as the Jericho Lands, without the loss of existing older rentals and character buildings. What best suits each area should be determined on an individual neighbourhood basis.

Affordability objectives: The economics of the proposed Charter changes will not reasonably increase affordability. The program is proposed to provide housing at 20% below market rate purchase values, but recent real estate prices are going up 15% to 25% in one year. Thus, new projects priced at last year’s already excessive prices, will still be too expensive to make any relevant improvements to affordability.

In some neighbourhoods, especially on the west side, building new ground oriented housing for families is very unlikely to be affordable as described in the report. Conversely it is anticipated that increased land use stimulated by this program would further inflate land values. Adaptively reusing existing character houses with secondary suites and infill is the most accessible way to build more affordable units both for owners and renters. Purpose-built secondary suite rental units also aid home ownership as mortgage helpers and provides much needed, low cost rental housing.

In conclusion: Again, we strongly advise Council not to approve the goals of the Affordable Home Ownership Pilot Program as proposed and instead make the changes described above.

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 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
Raycam
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

Attachment
From the report to Council for meeting dated April 20, 2014:
Affordable Home Ownership Pilot Program

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CVN sends input to federal government on transit and housing infrastructure funding prior to March 22 budget announcement

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods was pleased to receive a response from the federal government to our November 30, 2015 input regarding federal assistance for transit and housing in Vancouver.

CVN representatives were invited to explain our views on February 29, 2016 in an extended teleconference with Gurpreet Vinning, Policy Advisor and Special Assistant for Western Canada for the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities (the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi). Below is a link to the follow-up letter sent by CVN on March 18, summarizing the main points of discussion.

With the government expected to announce the new federal budget on March 22, 2016, we feel that the views of neighbourhoods need to be considered in federal decisions. We note that on some topics, there is a gap between what the Mayor of Vancouver is calling for and what many Vancouver neighbourhoods want.

CVN is also advocating for better practices by Vancouver City Hall in listening to and reflecting the wishes of Vancouver citizens, in this case relating especially to conditions for federal funding for infrastructure, transportation and housing in Vancouver.

Link to March 18 letter to Gurpreet Vinning, Policy Advisor and Special Assistant for Western Canada for the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities:
CVN Letter to MP-infrastructure-March-2016-Final.pdf

CONTACT:
info@coalitionvan.org

RELATED:
CVN Sends Letter to MPs re Federal Assistance for Transit and Housing (November 30, 2015):
http://coalitionvan.org/posts/cvn_letter_mps_federal_assistance_transit_housing/

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods has sent the following letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to all the local Vancouver federal MPs, and to key ministers responsible for federal infrastructure and funding. This letter is available for download as a PDF:
http://coalitionvan.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/CVN-Letter-to-MPs-Nov.30-2015.pdf

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CVN Calls on Mayor and Council to Endorse Principles and Goals for Collaborative Neighbourhood-based Planning

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods has sent the following letter to the City of Vancouver Mayor and Council, calling on them to endorse CVN’s Principles and Goals for Collaborative Neighbourhood-based Planning, as revised January 8, 2016. This is an updated version of the Principles and Goals document originally issued in 2014.

January 15, 2016
Dear Mr. Mayor and Councilors:

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) represents twenty-six community residents’ associations across the City of Vancouver. Our member associations include a broad cross- section of the Vancouver population. CVN is both non-profit and non-partisan.

CVN came together as a coalition in 2013 and collaboratively developed a shared statement of Principles and Goals for Collaborative Neighbourhood-Based Planning in the City of Vancouver. Almost all political parties in the recent municipal election endorsed these Principles and Goals. To provide additional clarity, CVN has recently updated the April 7, 2014 document to: include transportation planning, specify that “residents” are owners and renters, recognize diversity and remove an outdated reference to the 2014 election.

We call on each of you to:
• Fully and officially endorse the Principles and Goals for Collaborative Neighbourhood-Based Planning in the City of Vancouver (rev. January 8, 2016).

• Ensure that the successful candidates hired as City Manager and Director of Planning fully support the Principles and Goals for Collaborative Neighbourhood-Based Planning in the City of Vancouver.

• Incorporate these Principles & Goals in all City planning including Housing, Transportation and Land Use.

Please find attached the latest edition of the Principles & Goals document.

We look forward to hearing from you and to using CVN’s Principles and Goals document as a basis for constructive collaboration between City Council, the Planning Department and Vancouver’s many communities.

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 Association
Joyce Area Residents’ Association
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
West Kitsilano Residents Association
West Point Grey Residents Association

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