Tip: Head to City Hall NOW (6:30 pm) to observe Council debate + vote on mass rezoning of RS zones citywide

CoV zoning districts from RS-1 poster Sept 2018, Making RoomA historic decision is about to be made within a short time after 6:30 pm tonight. This deserves witnesses and full public attention, in person and/or online. Look them in the eyes.

As their last decision ever in a Council Meeting before the October 20 civic election, the current regime of Vancouver City Council is expected to debate and then vote on a hot topic at the Public Hearing.

Public Hearing resumes 6:30 pm, Wednesday, September 19. NOW
Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20180918/phea20180918ag.htm

Item: 5. REZONING: Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law for Most
RS Zones to Allow Two-Family Dwellings (Duplexes) to Increase Housing Choice

Follow on Twitter: @VanCityClerk

Follow live video: http://civic.neulion.com/cityofvancouver/ (might work best in Explorer)

(Beware that in times like this the sound and video system has been known to “fail.”)

The usual sequence is staff responses to Council questions, then discussion, then each councillor explains their position and how they will vote, and then the vote.

IMPORTANT: Council Heather Deal and all Vision Vancouver members voted to postpone the rezoning of RT-7 and RT-8 Zones (Kitsilano) and RT-10 and RT-10N Zones (Kensington-Cedar Cottage) until some time after the new Council starts on November 5, 2018. Councillor Deal was looking at a speakers list of 100 people, and decided to move the referral. This effectively makes the topic an election issue and hands some baggage over to the new council to clean up.

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)
to Increase Housing Choice
[postponed until after November 5, 2018]

 

Rezoning in RS (one-family), RT-7, RT-8, RT-10+10N zones: Public Hearing (Wed, Sept 19)

CoV zoning districts from RS-1 poster Sept 2018, Making Room(Update – Late afternoon, Council heard the last speaker on the RS rezoning, and decided to postpone RT rezonings for the next council after November 5 after the Oct 20 election. Starting 6:30 pm, Council resumes with questions, then Council member statements, then the vote on the RS rezoning.)

A Public Hearing that started yesterday continues right now at Vancouver City Hall for zoning changes affecting most of Vancouver, including most RS (one-family) zones in most of the City, as well as RT-7 and RT-8 (two-family, in Kitsilano), and  RT-10 and RT-10N (Kensington-Cedar Cottage).

Speakers so far have raised many pros and cons, but the overarching theme seems to be that there is general support for more density, but these proposals have been too rushed, poorly thought out, require more work before being passed, and should not be approved by the current Council, which will be mostly replaced in the civic election on October 20.

As of 2 pm, the speakers on the RS rezoning (Agenda #5) are at about number 50 of 76, and after this item finishes, the hearing will continue on to RT-7/8/10/10N with close to 100 speakers listed. The hearing is likely to continue the next day.

Link to the official Public Hearing agenda and correspondence:
https://council.vancouver.ca/20180918/phea20180918ag.htm

Speakers have a chance to speak when their name comes up if registered, or at the end.

Follow progress on Twitter at @VanCityClerk.

 

Media coverage:

https://www.vancourier.com/real-estate/vancouver-residents-divided-over-duplexes-replacing-single-family-homes-1.23435983

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-density-motions-sept-19-1.4296708

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/elizabeth-murphy-outgoing-vision-council-doing-chainsaw-massacre-to-city-zoning-without-public-consent

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/elizabeth-murphy-unprecedented-rezoning-rush-continues

Related petition.

Vancouver Character House Network.
It has currently has nearly 7,000 signatures and is rising.
https://www.change.org/p/city-of-vancouver-mayor-and-council-save-vancouver-s-character-houses/u/23282590

 

 

 

Tipsters: Who’s secretly funding Hector Bremner’s mayoral campaign? Activist launches crowdfunding to pay for anonymous tips

This video at a recent civic election candidates’ debate (UBC Sauder) shows  “YES Vancouver” mayoral candidate Hector Bremner’s response to a question about secret funders of advertising for his campaign. The question basically was would you encourage funder to reveal receipts, or would you prefer it remain shrouded. He replies, “If someone wants to come out and say it was them, I would love to know as well…” So in effect, anyone who has info about the funder/funding has his permission to let it me known.

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(Note: Tipsters see info at bottom)

Civic activist Justin Fung has launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to pay a “bounty” for a tipster who reveals the funder(s) for Hector Bremner and YES Vancouver’s current advertising campaign.

Until September 22, due to a loophole in the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act (which after years of public outcry was brought in to ban corporate and union donations in B.C. civic elections and restrict the size of donations), there is no limit on election advertising until September 22 when the official “campaign period” begins. Bremner’s campaign seems to be the only one flouting the spirit of the new legislation.

The full write up of the “Who pays for Hector Bremner ads?” GoFundMe campaign is here, including links to media coverage on the topic:
https://www.gofundme.com/who-pays-for-hector-bremner039s-ads

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Excerpt: Help Hector Bremner identify the “mystery people” behind the ads that feature high-resolution photos of his mug appearing all over town.

We are crowdfunding to pay a bounty for information that leads to journalists being able to confirm the identities of the group behind this “grand mystery” of who is putting ads of Hector Bremner up all over Vancouver and on Facebook.

Hector Bremner, YES Vancouver, and key figures such as Tim Crowhurst and Mark Marissen behind his campaign claim they have no idea who is behind a shadowy and well-heeled group called “Vancouverites for Affordable Housing” and these mysterious billboards, glossy posters featuring larger-than-life photos of Hector as the only choice for Vancouver’s mayor. According to an article in the Globe & Mail, “some experienced political watchers estimate the amount dropped by the mystery group on outdoor billboards, train station ads and targeted social media advertising for Mr. Bremner at upward of $75,000.”

*****

Mr. Fung, who launched the crowdfunding campaign, told CityHallWatch today that within a couple days he will have a system for providing tips anonymously and paying the “bounty” to the tipster, and add the instructions to the GoFundMe page. Meanwhile, tipsters can direct message him at @jhwfung on Twitter.

Alternatively, nothing is stopping anyone from immediately providing an anonymous tip to some of the excellent civic reporters in Vancouver. For ideas please see our post and contact links on “Whistleblowing” here: https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/about/whistleblowers/.

***** Continue reading

City failed to notify tens of thousands of residents in one-family (most RS) zones: Public Hearing Sept 18 for citywide zoning changes

 

CoV zoning districts from RS-1 poster Sept 2018, Making Room

Map by City of Vancouver. RS-1 (one family) zones are light peach/yellow colour.

 

(Update: As of 5 pm on Wed Sept 19, Council had heard all speakers on #5 (RS zone – duplexes) and must decide when to discuss and vote on that item. Meanwhile, a motion by Clr Deal has postponed #6 (RT zones) for the new City Council after November 5 for reason of “lack of time.” This has effectively turned the RT zoning issue into an election issue.)

A concerned citizen notified CityHallWatch that residents in *RS zones affected by proposed rezoning* did not receive direct notification regarding the Public Hearing (tomorrow) and proposed zoning changes that will affect 68,000 properties as part of the City’s “Making Room Housing Program.” [Up-date – the headline originally said “RS-1” zones but was corrected to “most RS” zones.]

How can people have a say if they have not been given notice the changes are coming?” (concerned citizen, Rebecca)

In Vancouver, one-family (RS) zoning districts account for 57% of the city (see map, light- peach/yellow zones).

The final Public Hearing of the current city council starts tomorrow, September 18 at 3 pm. (Note that nearly the entire council will change in the Oct 20 civic election.) The fifth item on the agenda is “REZONING: Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law for Most RS Zones to Allow Two-Family Dwellings (Duplexes) to Increase Housing Choice.”

Public Hearing, September 18, 2018, starting at 3 pm. Click here for agenda and documents, and instructions on how to speak or write to City Council. Follow meeting progress on Twitter at @VanCityClerk:
https://council.vancouver.ca/20180918/phea20180918ag.htm

The set of official documents was made public online for the first time only on Thursday, September 13, just three business days before the Public Hearing.

There may be both merits and demerits to the proposed zoning changes, but the fact that affected residents have not been fairly and properly notified is a serious problem. People may wish to write to Council with their concerns.

The purported rationale for this zoning change is to create “affordable” housing and offer more housing choices. From CoV information posters: “The proposal for duplexes will allow for an increase in supply of housing in low-density areas, and a new duplex unit is typically more affordable than a new single-family house.” Staff reports make some assumptions and claims, however, it appears the City has not done any real modeling on many aspects of this proposed change: Increased demolitions, evictions, neighbourhood disruptions, impacts on property assessments (up? or down?), impacts on property taxes (up? or down?) and so on. Will the additional supply from zoning changes really be more “affordable”? And how does the City know that?

There has been limited media coverage of the proposed changes in RS-1 zoning districts. The City did hold four information sessions on the RS-1, which according to “City Duo” blog were not well attended and there were “plenty of spare staff standing around bored.” Probably because very few of the affected residents had been notified about the sessions.  Continue reading

Vancouver city hall is slamming through destructive new zoning without giving citizens a say (Elizabeth Murphy, Vancouver Sun)

City HallThis opinion piece is in the print edition of Vancouver Sun – page B2 on Saturday, September 15, 2018 (and in the Province on Sept 14). Reprinted here with permission. The Public Hearing for these topics comes up in less than 3 days, on Tuesday, September 18, 2018. Info here: https://council.vancouver.ca/20180918/phea20180918ag.htm. The author is encouraging concerned citizens to write or speak to Council.

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“The City of Vancouver is on a mad rush job to rezone Kitsilano and Cedar Cottage in a move that will only benefit developers.”

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/elizabeth-murphy-vancouver-city-hall-is-slamming-through-destructive-new-zoning-without-giving-citizens-a-say

By Elizabeth Murphy

Vancouver Sun – Updated: September 14, 2018

Broadway will soon experience development similar to what is happening along the Cambie Corridor, which is mostly unaffordable, argues project manager and former city property development officer Elizabeth Murphy.

__________________________________

Recent information on the costs of transit and utility upgrades for growth raise concerns and questions. What is becoming clearer is how much the public is being asked to subsidize the transit providers and development industries that benefit from these plans while making life less affordable, livable and sustainable for people.

Neighbourhoods are being rezoned in an incompetent, mad rush to accommodate this growth agenda — most of which is unaffordable and unnecessary to meet population growth — without community involvement or adequate consideration of the impacts on finances, society or the environment. This is not in the public interest.

It is the result of big money controlling governments, especially at the civic level, where developer funding of elections has resulted in their overbearing influence on housing and development policies. Although there have been recent changes to campaign financing rules, this influence still exists.

The costs of the Broadway subway, from VCC-Clark Drive station to Arbutus, have ballooned to almost $500 million per kilometre for the 5.7 kilometres — to $2.83 billion. The current funding split is 31 per cent federal, 41 per cent provincial and 28 per cent regional, a long way from the original 40-40-20 split previously confirmed by governments.

Now the region, mostly Vancouver, will have to come up with much more funding to cover its portion, partly as property tax revenue. Transit is primarily a federal and provincial funding responsibility so the increased burden on municipalities takes away from their ability to finance municipal services. It is a form of downloading. Continue reading

Info meeting tonight: Zoning changes in Kensington-Cedar Cottage (6-Sep-2018, Thurs)

CoV RT-10 Kensington Cedar Cottage info mtg 6-Sep-2018

The City of Vancouver is holding a public info session as follows.

Proposed Zoning Changes in Kensington-Cedar Cottage
Thursday, September 6, 2018, 5 – 8 pm
Trout Lake Community Centre
Grandview Room
3360 Victoria Drive

Below is a link to the explanatory letter from the City to residents.

CoV letter card RT-10 Kensington Cedar Cottage 6-Sep-2018

Public Hearing 18-Sep-2018 (Tues): Citywide rezoning RS (one family) for duplexes, rezoning RT-7, RT-8 (Kits) RT-10 RT-10N (KCC), Former Main Post Office, East Fraser Lands, Alberni/Nicola, etc.

Here is a scanned image (from the Vancouver Courier Sept 6 print edition) of the agenda for the September 18, 2018 (Tuesday) Public Hearing, the last one scheduled under the current regime.

The complete agenda documents will only be made public here a few days in advance, according to standard City practice. However, you can find information on some of these projects on the Rezoning Applications website (vancouver.ca/rezapps).

CoV Public Hearing notice Courier for 18-Sep-2018 Continue reading