Sunday , July 25 2021

The council agreed to begin a city plan to map Vancouver's housing vision

VANCOUVER – City councils choose to begin the city planning process that will help guide development, but some advocates warn that the board needs to be wary of a process dominated by wealthy residents who do not want to see their single family environment change.

City staff will now report back in January.

Councilors and mayors universally welcome the idea of ​​city planning as a way to better consult with residents and pave the way for the high density development that is accepted, not opposed, by the environment.

Vancouver has not had a complete city plan since the 1920s. Stuart Smith, a member of the Vancouver Abundant Housing pro-density group, warned that the 100-year plan by planner Harland Bartholomew should not be adopted as a model.

He said the city's plans in the past had been used to "build invisible walls around most of the land to exclude the poor" by allowing only one family home to be built in several neighborhoods.

As a precaution against some of these problems, OneCity Advisor Christine Boyle tried to include a paragraph that needed "an outline of how input from insecure populations of housing would be sought and how housing for vulnerable and disabled populations – temporary modular housing, supporting housing , social housing and leases that are specifically built – will be prioritized in every neighborhood during city planning. "

The board finally rejected the amendment.

"What we really want to achieve is a city plan that recognizes the nuances of the environment," said NPA Advisor Colleen Hardwick, "and now we will do this exercise, telling people what they can and cannot do."

Hardwick has compiled a controversial movement that proposes to roll back the previous council's decision to allow duplex in all city environments, including areas where land use is currently limited to one family house per lot, partly because of concerns about how such changes can increase. land value.

He also questioned whether the city's population would be sufficiently developed in the next 10 years to justify the construction of 72,000 new housing units currently being planned by the government.

Three green council members and five NPA members voted for a less specific amendment from Pete Fry's Advisor to "work together to develop with Vancouver citizens and city planning stakeholders informed by justice, spatial justice and fundamental rights to housing."

The mayor of Vancouver, Kennedy Stewart, Green Council Member Adriane Carr, and Hardwick NPA said that language was a victory for the new council, which consisted of four different parties and one independent. The new council has promised to work together, in contrast to the previous council which was sharply divided between the center-left Vancouver Vision and the center-right of the NPA.

They say that no existing housing projects, including temporary temporary housing for new homeless people, will be postponed while plans are being formulated. Some temporary modular housing projects, fast and inexpensive ways to build new housing, have become controversial, with neighbors fearing buildings will bring crime and throw needles into their environment.

But Tristan Markle, who worked on the COPE campaign Counselor Jean Swanson, said he saw the refusal of Doyle's amendment as a signal to the NPA's sound block, which was concentrated in a single-family home environment.

"They don't want their supporters to think that the NPA votes for modular housing," Markle said.

Jen St. Denis is a Vancouver-based reporter that covers affordability and city halls. Follow him on Twitter: @jenstden

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