(Public Service Announcement — Below see event notice plus a media release by Chinatown Youth Coalition. For background, see our recent post 105 Keefer: Controversial project in Chinatown. New open house May 16 (Mon) regarding the City’s official open house from 5 to 8 pm nearby the same day.)
SAVE CHINATOWN Block Party (Alternative Open House)
Monday, May 16, 2016
4 – 7 pm
Chinese Cultural Centre – courtyard – 50 E Pender Street , Vancouver, BC
Organizer: Chinatown Youth Coalition
For the convenience of readers, we provide the full text of the notice here.
SAVE CHINATOWN Block Party (an Alternative Open House)
Monday May 16 @ 4–7PM (Short speaking programme at 4:15PM)
Chinese Cultural Centre courtyard
[105 Keefer Community Open House @ 5–8PM inside CCC]
Beedie Development Group has submitted a third proposal to rezone 105 Keefer and 544 Columbia Street, which the Chinatown Youth Coalition continues to oppose. In addition, Heritage Vancouver has listed Chinatown as number three on its new Top 10 Watch List of endangered sites in the city, under threat of being demolished due to high development pressure.
JOIN US TO:
- Show your love for Chinatown, its history, culture, and sense of community and kinship! Enjoy Music! Games! Tai Chi! Fun for the whole family.
- Express concern over the pace of new development in Chinatown and the addition of another market development, especially of the scale proposed at the culturally-sensitive site of 105 Keefer.
- Ask City Council for temporary stop to all new development project applications to conduct the social impact study it promised.
- Get informed and involved in helping safeguard the living culture of one of Vancouver’s founding neighbourhoods. Meet like-minded others and hear why they are speaking up.
**EVENT IS FREE – and even if you can’t attend – PLEASE REGISTER SO WE CAN KEEP YOU INFORMED OF NEXT ACTIONS, INCLUDING THE SIGNING OF A PETITION**
The Chinatown Youth Coalition includes
Chinatown Action Group
Chinatown Concern Group
Youth Collaborative for Chinatown
Youth for Chinese Seniors.
MEDIA RELEASE – For Immediate Release
May 12, 2016
Chinatown youth leaders oppose 105 Keefer rezoning application; Call for halt – and checks and balances – to new development through social impact study
Vancouver, B.C. – The Chinatown Youth Coalition is calling for temporary halt to all new market development project applications in Chinatown – including the current revised rezoning application for 105 Keefer – until a social impact study is conducted. The Coalition believes the current level of unchecked development is destabilizing the neighbourhood by threatening the viability of small ethnic businesses and affordable housing options for vulnerable Chinese and other residents, especially seniors.
“Chinatown provides crucial space and supports to the region’s low-income population who face language and income barriers,” says Sophie Fung of the Chinatown Action Group. She adds, “unfortunately, these community assets are becoming increasingly scarce.”
When City Council passed higher building height allowances in the historic low-rise neighbourhood in 2011, it agreed to conduct a social impact study to assess the effects of new developments on the low-income community and where opportunities for enhanced affordability and livability may be achieved.
“The pace of new development has been very rapid and is of grave concern,” says Doris Chow of the Youth Collaborative for Chinatown. “An alarm has been sounded. Chinatown is number three on Heritage Vancouver’s Top 10 Watch List of endangered sites in the city, under threat due to high development pressure. We’re not talking about an individual building at risk of demolition here, we’re talking about an entire community. We are in critical need of a system of checks and balances, which we hope a social impact study will help create.”
Two large, mixed-use market developments on Main Street are now coming online, with additional projects underway in the area. Younger, wealthier residents are moving into the neighbourhood, with high-end restaurants and shops opening that are targeted to them. Small businesses providing affordable and culturally-appropriate goods and services are closing due to development projects and rising property values and rents.
“Now is the time to pause on further new development and for the City to deliver on its promise of a social impact study,” says Godfrey Tang, area resident and member of the Chinatown Concern Group. “We cannot in good conscience allow City Council to approve any further development projects – and especially one of the scale proposed at the culturally-sensitive site of 105 Keefer – until we have a better understanding of the impacts on the day-to-day lives of the local low-income community.”
“We’ve seen multiple new market developments,” says Fung, “but we haven’t seen the addition of any significant levels of – or plans for – affordable housing, indoor or outdoor community spaces, or social services.”
The Chinatown Youth Coalition includes Chinatown Action Group, Chinatown Concern Group, Hua Foundation, Youth Collaborative for Chinatown and Youth for Chinese Seniors.