CVN writes Council supporting reconsideration of RS Zoning Amendments and Related Strata Title Guidelines (18-Dec-2018)

December 17, 2018
City of Vancouver Mayor & Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,
Re: Report – Reconsider RS Zoning Amendments and Related Strata Title Guidelines
https://council.vancouver.ca/20181218/documents/a5.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) strongly supports reconsidering the RS zoning amendments and proceeding with referral to the required public hearing as quickly as possible. CVN previously sent a letter to council supporting the related motion.

Of the options listed in the staff report, we support approving the previous motion to reconsider the RS rezoning amendments and related guidelines, and referring this to public hearing expeditiously.

The results of the recent election clearly indicated a need for change to the planning process. We therefore, look forward to a new collaborative relationship with the City, to help bring about those changes and work towards developing a new city-wide plan.

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

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods supports rescinding of Public Hearing on rezoning of RT-7, RT-8, RT-10, RT-10N Zones

CVN sent the following letter to Mayor and Council as official input on this topic that was on the Regular Council meeting of December 4, 2018.

December 4, 2018
City of Vancouver Mayor & Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Reconsideration of Referral for Amendments to Zoning and Development By-law for RT-7 and RT-8 Zones (Kitsilano) and RT-10 and RT-10N (Kensington-Cedar Cottage)
https://council.vancouver.ca/20181204/documents/p1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) strongly supports the recommendations in the above report and urges you to approve it.

This report recommends rescinding the referral to public hearing for rezoning of RT7/RT8/RT10 as passed by the previous council before the election without consultation.

We appreciate that it helps to signal a change in process going into the upcoming citywide plan.

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

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods


Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods writes Council opposing Motion B5 “Land Value Capture in the City of Vancouver” 4-Dec-2018

CVN sent the following letter to Mayor and Council as official input on Motion B5 at the Regular Council meeting of December 4, 2018 (carried over to December 5 for speakers and discussion).

December 5, 2018
City of Vancouver Mayor & Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,
Re: Motion B5 – Land Value Capture in the City of Vancouver

https://council.vancouver.ca/20181204/documents/motionb5.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) cannot support this motion.

We agree that land value inflation due to increased density with rezoning is a concern. We also agree that a review of CACs and DCLs and how they are being applied should be considered in the context of a citywide plan. However, we do have concerns with the proposals in general. Our first issue would be that there is no mention of communities being involved in the work of putting together any of this proposed policy.

An additional major concern is this section:

“vi. Outlining next steps for the City of Vancouver to work with the Province to develop a ‘made-in-Vancouver’ land value capture. And outlining next steps for working with Translink to model a land value capture mechanism for transit infrastructure investments, including partially funding an extension of the Broadway subway to UBC.”

We continue to be troubled with the linkage between transit funding and development, since it diverts DCLs and CACs away from necessary civic services and amenities, and does nothing for affordability.

We do acknowledge the urgency to raise revenues to address the need for truly affordable housing, but would like to see community involvement in these decision-making processes, along with policy makers, researchers, and BC Assessment. We are also concerned that the motion lacks a clear definition of this tax, and look forward to a clarification.

We would appreciate the opportunity to work with Council and Planning to resolve these issues.

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

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods welcomes incoming Vancouver City Council (2018-2022)

CVN sent the following letter to incoming Mayor and Council prior to the first Regular Council meeting, scheduled for November 13, 2018.

November 11, 2018
City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councilors,

Re: Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods welcomes you

We would like to congratulate you on your election as our representatives in the city’s government, and take this opportunity to introduce ourselves to you. We are the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN), representing 26 Residents’ Associations across this city. We are advocates for our member groups, and would like to work with you to improve this city.

We have appeared before councils in the past, and will appear before councils in the future. We see our role as a positive one, and wish to strengthen our relationship with Council and the Mayor going forward. Our hope is that a stronger, more collaborative relationship between civic government, including the Planning Department, and ourselves can be established so that we may better work together. As part of establishing this relationship, we will be seeking meetings with the Mayor, Councilors, and Planning staff soon. We see changes to the existing planning processes as a vital ingredient in making this city a better place, as well as a way to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning department.

Looking forward to meeting with you.

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

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

CVN writes Council supporting Motion B1 – Expediting a City-Wide Plan for Vancouver (Reg Council 13-Nov-2018)

CVN sent the following letter to incoming Mayor and Council as official input on Motion B1 at the first Regular Council meeting, scheduled for November 13, 2018.

November 11, 2018
City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councilors,

Re: Motion B1 – Expediting a City-Wide Plan for Vancouver https://council.vancouver.ca/20181113/documents/motionb1.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) supports the above motion.
CVN and our neighbourhood groups would like to collaborate with the City in establishing the process for the plan and its implementation, which should also include neighbourhood associations, business improvement associations, and all affected parties in the area, including owners, renters, vulnerable populations, and local businesses.

Note that much of the city has gone through the CityPlan process and produced community visions that may not have been implemented as intended under the terms of reference. Others, like Upper Kitsilano, were part of a comprehensive planning process that allowed for a mix of housing types in their neighbourhood. Each neighbourhood is unique and we believe should be considered on an individual basis as part of a collaborative planning process.

The CityPlan Terms of Reference (amended 1999) is a good reference for process that was successful in defining roles and responsibilities. Much of the work accomplished under CityPlan is still relevant and should be considered in any citywide planning process.
Please approve this motion to enter into a citywide planning process.

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

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

CVN writes Council strongly supporting Motion B9 – Restoring Line-by-Line Budgets for the City of Vancouver (Reg Council 13-Nov-2018)

CVN sent the following letter to incoming Mayor and Council as official input on Motion B9 at the first Regular Council meeting, scheduled for November 13, 2018.

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November 11, 2018

City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councilors,

Re: Motion B9 – Restoring Line-by-Line Budgets for the City of Vancouver https://council.vancouver.ca/20181113/documents/motionb9.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) strongly supports the above motion.
For too long the City of Vancouver has lacked transparency in its budgeting process and restoring the provision of line-by-line budgets as proposed in this motion are essential.
Please approve this motion to restore line-by-line budgets as proposed.

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

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

CVN writes Council strongly supporting Motion B8 – Reconsider RS Zoning Amendments – By-law No. 3575 etc. (Reg Council 13-Nov-2018)

CVN sent the following letter to incoming Mayor and Council as official input on Motion B8 at the first Regular Council meeting, scheduled for November 13, 2018.

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November 11, 2018
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councilors,

Re: Motion B8 – Reconsider RS Zoning Amendments – By-law No. 3575 and Related Strata Title Guidelines https://council.vancouver.ca/20181113/documents/motionb8.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) strongly supports the above motion for the reasons stated in the preamble to the motion itself.

The recent rezoning made major changes to 68,000 properties in RS zones, without providing any public consultation. It was entirely inconsistent with standard planning practice and CVN opposed it during the public hearing. Most of those elected to the new council opposed the rezoning during the election.

Please approve this motion to reconsider the RS rezoning as proposed.

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

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Continue reading

Candidates respond to four CVN questions for Vancouver election 2018 (Mayor + Council)

Voters in British Columbia vote in civic elections on Saturday, October 20, 2018. (Official city information is here.)

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) asked the candidates for Mayor and Council to each answer four questions of great importance to all Vancouver neighbourhoods. Here are the questions and responses.

Download PDF: CVN_2018 Vancouver election responses from candidates

To ensure there is no confusion, please note that we, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) are exactly what the name says and have existed for years, and we have absolutely no association with the political party recently created for this election, named Coalition Vancouver.

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The Questions

Trust: What specific actions would you take to increase the public’s trust in Vancouver’s governance?

Participation: What specific actions would you take to increase neighbourhood participation in planning changes to their own neighbourhoods?

Affordability: What specific actions would you take to increase affordability, retain the city’s most affordable housing, and reduce homelessness in Vancouver?

Liveability: What specific actions would you take to enhance liveability in Vancouver?

Candidates were strongly encouraged to:

  • Be brief
  • Avoid generalities
  • List as bullet points the specific actions that they would commit to if elected.

The Responses

Responses to date (as of 17-Oct-2018 evening) have been received from some, but not all of the candidates. Candidate responses are listed below in alphabetic order, first for Council, then for Mayor.

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Responses by Council Candidates

Continue reading

Coalition writes Council opposing by-law changes in RT-7 RT-8 RT-10 zones (Public Hearing Sept 18)

CVN sent the following letter to Mayor and Council as official input on Agenda Item #6 for the Public Hearing scheduled for September 18, 2018.

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September 17, 2018

City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Public Hearing Sept. 18, 2018, Changes to RT7-RT8-RT10 Zones –
6. REZONING: Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law for RT-7 and RT-8 Zones (Kitsilano) and RT-10 and RT-10N Zones (Kensington-Cedar Cottage) https://council.vancouver.ca/20180724/documents/p3.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods is opposed to this rezoning and how these changes have been brought forward without a proper consultation process with the affected neighbourhoods.

This report proposes to make major changes to large portions of neighbourhoods, without providing any public consultation. It is entirely inconsistent with standard planning practice.

The rezoning of Kitsilano from RT7 and RT8 to RT5 is alarming, since this zoning was created through an extensive planning process with the community of over 5 years duration. The existing zoning continues to be broadly supported as it has worked successfully to retain character houses and rental suites while allowing appropriate new development. It has helped to avoid the demolitions and empty monster houses that have plagued the rest of the city. The RT5 zoning that is being proposed to replace RT7/8 is far inferior to the current zoning, will result in more demolition and lacks adequate design guidelines. It will act as an incentive to the removal of existing, affordable rental units. The RT7-RT8 should be used as a base model for change through amendments where needed, not replaced by an inferior zoning.

The RT10 also was created through a community process, of CityPlan, and should not be replaced.

This report should not be approved and instead referred back to staff for a meaningful public consultation process with the affected neighbourhoods 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 Continue reading

Coalition writes Council opposing by-law changes in RS (one-family) zones (Public Hearing Sept 18)

CVN sent the following letter to Mayor and Council as official input on Agenda Item #5 for the Public Hearing scheduled for September 18, 2018.

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September 17, 2018

City of Vancouver Mayor & Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Public Hearing Sept. 18, 2018, Changes to all RS Zones –
Item #5. REZONING: Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law for Most RS Zones
https://council.vancouver.ca/20180724/documents/p6.pdf

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods again finds itself seriously concerned with the lack of proper planning processes at City Hall. This letter is opposed to how these changes have been brought forward above without proper process.

This report proposes to make major changes to 68,000 properties in RS zones, without providing any public consultation. It is entirely inconsistent with standard planning practice.

Most of the areas affected went though the CityPlan process and have a community vision that has not been properly implemented as intended under terms of reference. Others like Upper Kitsilano were part of a comprehensive planning process that allowed for a mix of housing types in their neighbourhood. Each neighbourhood is unique and should not be blanket rezoned for outright new development.

Each CityPlan neighbourhood strongly supported retention of character houses and this rezoning proposal will undermine that direction by giving outright development as a further incentive for demolition.

This report should not be approved and instead 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 Continue reading