(Updated) On Sept 19, Vancouver City Council voted to refer the following motion to staff for consideration. Councillors heard only one speaker (Helten, from CityHallWatch) on the motion about the $1.1 billion in building permits issued in the first six months of 2012. The motion was aimed at getting important information on the City’s revenues and costs from development, plus information about population growth targets, and planning, etc. Several councillors had left the room before the speaker began, and no City planning staff were present to answer questions. Helten said that people can generally accept development and change, but want City decisions to be fact-based and transparent. He said that this information is important for the whole city, particularly four communities currently undergoing planning processes (Marpole, Grandview-Woodland, West End, Downtown Eastside). In the end, Councillor Raymond Louie moved that the motion be referred to staff for consideration, and it passed with mover Clr Carr in favour, plus the Vision Vancouver Councillors who had not already left the room. Clrs Affleck and Ball opposed, saying the motion itself should have been voted for adoption or rejection. In the following video clip Councillor Carr explains her reasons for introducing the motion:
MOTION ON NOTICE
(Download original motion: CoV motion B4, Carr, Impacts of bldg permits on city costs comm plans, Reg Coun 18-Sep-2012)
Impacts of $1.1 billion in Building Permits on City Costs and Community Plans
MOVER: Councillor Adriane Carr
- The City of Vancouver issued $1.1 billion in building permits during the first six months of 2012, the first time since 2007 that development plans have exceed[ed] a billion dollars for the first half of a year;
- Metro Vancouver’s 2040 Regional Growth Strategy projects that Vancouver’s population will increase by 148,800 by 2041 (approximately 50,000 more people every decade);
- There is no available analysis on whether the current volume of building permit approvals is accommodating growth or driving growth;
- Growth costs money, and the 2011 Annual Report on Development Cost Levies, presented to Council on May 27, 2012, notes that the City of Vancouver’s actual cost of development is not fully covered by Development Cost Levies;
- The City of Vancouver is currently undertaking community plans in the West End, Marpole, Grandview-Woodland and Downtown Eastside with terms of reference that call for plans to align with city and regional policies including Vancouver’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy and Metro Vancouver’s 2040 Regional Growth Strategy;
- Statements have been made in support of every building permit approval to date in 2012 that an increased supply of housing will result in increased affordability of housing in Vancouver;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT staff report back to Council on:
- To what extent the building permits issued in the first six months of 2012 accommodate Vancouver’s projected growth over the period up to when the planned housing units expect to be available;
- To what extent the Development Cost Levies and Community Amenity Contributions from these building permits cover the estimated actual cost of development to the City;
- Criteria to determine population growth targets for areas undertaking community plans, including “limits to growth” criteria that can determine when an area is “built out”;
- A mechanism to track the amount of population growth accommodated by any new development, including cumulative data, and that this be incorporated into rezoning and other similar reports to Council; and
- A mechanism to track the impact of new market housing, especially rental and condo housing, on housing pricing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT this report be received in sufficient time to inform the 2013 capital planning process.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT these reports be forwarded to the four community planning groups to inform their second stage of planning.
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