City staff are recommending unlimited increases in density as part of the Joyce-Collingwood Station Precinct Plan and Related Rezonings report, which went to City Council today, June 14. Speakers will be able to address City Council at a committee meeting tomorrow, June 15, though the exact time they are likely to speak is not specified. This unpredictability and timing puts a considerable hardship on working people, students, and the elderly who may wish to address their elected officials directly.
Meanwhile, many dots appear to connect. A major political donor of the political party that scraped by to maintain majority control on City Council in the last election is asking the City to approve a massive rezoning for 29-storey tower at 5050-5080 Joyce. That is just one of many towers to come if the plan is approved. In a sense, it is somewhat disingenuous that this application was permitted to come forward during the consultation on the entire precinct. It hangs over the consultations. Details for this application:
The local community has many concerns, some of which are listed below (excerpt from Joyce Area Residents Association website). They are calling on Mayor and Council “to vote against the plan, so more genuine community consultation and additional research, such as a rigorous social impact assessment, can be conducted to better understand the impacts of incoming development in the Joyce Station Area.”
CityHallWatch notes that the staff report is not recommending any limits on the density of the tallest towers that could be approved here. That is equivalent of an open-ended license to print money. Lots of it. It there some kind of recycling program going on between political donations and the virtual printing of money through granting of unprecedented height and density in this neighbourhood?
Impacts on the community could be devastating. Displacement of low-income renters. Demolitions of affordable housing. Forced relocation of small local businesses. Skyrocketing rents. Disruption of a community.
Today Councillor Adriane Carr made a motion to have the City Council hold a special meeting on a weekday evening in the neighbourhood, instead of at City Hall during daytime working hours, in order to permit the affected residents to hear the staff presentation and then address their elected officials directly. The motion lost, with five votes opposed (all Vision Vancouver) versus four in support (NPA and Green Party Councillors). Once the staff report is adopted as policy, the next step would be a public hearing, but by that point the policy will be basically set in stone.
- We want the Single Family Homes to be protected. Many of these families want to stay in the neighbourhood but will face increased pressure from real estate agents and neighbours to sell.
- We want safeguards to resist displacement. City of Vancouver has found 46% of our greater Joyce Station area to be made up of renters.
- City of Vancouver has found that our neighbourhood has higher averages of immigrants and low-income people than the citywide average. Our neighbours are working-class and many could not engage with City planning processes fully because of this.
- We want EQUITABLE Transit oriented development. My Health My Community survey found that the highest rate of transit users are low-income and immigrant. Those frequent commuters need truly affordable housing available housing, not condos.
- Planners also want to add more density to our already congested area without giving us a reasonable traffic plan.