City Council week of Nov 14: False Creek seawall, empty homes tax, parking meter fees, electric vehicles, green buildings, autism, homeowners, etc.

Captain VancouverBelow are excerpts of agendas for the week of November 14, 2016. We have highlighted some items with bold and will add some related media links later.

We encourage citizens to scan through for any items important to them. Some major developments are on agenda.

Meetings include City Council (Nov 15 Tues & 16 Wed)one Public Hearing (Nov 15 Tue), and the Urban Design Panel (Nov 16 Wed). The Vancouver Park Board meets meets Nov 14 (Mon). The Vancouver City Planning Commission meets next on Nov 23 (Wed). The next Development Permit Board (DPB) meeting is set for Dec 12 (Mon). The Vancouver Board of Education (VSB) agenda currently says “you are not allowed to access this content.”


Vancouver Park Board, Monday, Nov 14, 2016

  • REPORT BACK: South False Creek Seawall Upgrades – Final Design (for information only)
  • REPORT BACK: Marking National Flag of Canada Day 2017
  • REPORT BACK: Access to Park Board Services Without Fear Policy
    [Related media: “City of Vancouver passes ‘access without fear’ policy…to provide access to city services without fear to people with uncertain immigration status. (Metro News, April 2016)]
  • MOTION: Building Inclusive Communities Through Autism Spectrum Disorder Awareness


Vancouver City Council – Regular Council, Tuesday, Nov 15, 2016

  • Encouraging Homes for Renters: Recommended Approach for Taxing Empty Homes
    [CHW COMMENT: There has been considerable media coverage of this item, and HALT Vancouver has done a detailed critique of this tax — Click here.]
  • Appointment of External Auditor for 2017
    [Spoiler alert: The staff recommendation is to appoint KPMG LLP, the fee proposal for 2017 is $101,200 (excluding taxes), and the proposed budget for auditor 2016 to 2020 is S515,200.]
  • Parking Meter Program Changes and Various By-law Changes Related to Parking
    [CHW COMMENT: Parking policies affect many people, parking bylaw officers are sometimes predatory, and the smart phone payment system is glitchy. Perhaps the City should set the tone by adopting a statement instructing parking officers to be more fair. Out of province/country vehicles are sometimes seen being hauled away, probably because they were not aware of the extreme enforcement practices in Vancouver. Perhaps a bit more friendliness is in order for tourists.]
    Media coverage on parking fee increases.
    CBC – Pricier parking could be coming to peak areas in VancouverCity eyeing big changes to meters, including some rate hikes, some rate decreases.
    CTV news – $1/hour parking meter increase recommended in parts of Vancouver.
  •  Joyce-Collingwood: Reallocation of Transportation Community Amenity Contributions:
    [Staff are saying $1 million in transportation project-specific Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) collected from 2011 CD-1 rezoning of 5515-5665 Boundary Road, 5448-5666 Ormindale Street and 3690 Vanness Avenue should be used to fund immediate transportation improvements near the Joyce-Collingwood SkyTrain station.  Debate: Is this a major precedent — using CACs for transportation-related improvements? More info needed.]
  • Year 2017 Development and Building Inflationary Fee Increases
    [Staff are calling for a “2.0% inflationary increase” to compensate for increases
    to City costs for all Animal Control, Zoning and Development, Subdivision,
    Electrical, Secondary Suite, Inspection, Gas, Sign, Tree Removal, Building and
    Miscellaneous Permit fees, effective January 1, 2017. Will bring approx. $789,700 in additional revenue for 2017. ]
  • Referral to Public Hearing
    • 1. CD-1 Rezoning: 151-157 West 41st Avenue
    • 2. CD-1 Text Amendment: 4066 Macdonald Street and 2785 Alamein Avenue
    • 3. CD-1 Text Amendment: 1001-1015 Denman Street
    • 4. CD-1 Text Amendment: 1030 Denman Street (Coast Plaza Hotel)
    • 5. Miscellaneous Text Amendments
    • 6. CD-1 Rezoning: 5050-5080 Joyce Street
  • Motions on Notice
  • 1. Support for a Democratically Elected Board of Education
    [By Clr Reimer. Punchline is “THAT Vancouver City Council write to the Minister of Education and the Premier to state unequivocal support for the return of a democratically elected Vancouver Board of Education as soon as is feasible and no later than six months from the date of dismissal.”]
  • 2. Homeowners’ Advisory Committee
    [By Clr De Genova. Punchline is “THAT Council establish a new Type A committee named the Homeowners’ Advisory Committee, governed by the mandate and terms of references that govern other Type A City of Vancouver Advisory Committees.” To start March 2017.]
  • 3. Measures to Expedite Affordable Housing
    [By Mayor Robertson: Punchline: That Council … “provide clear priority to affordable housing projects, particularly those in partnership with BC Housing and the Federal Government, in the regulatory process, including both planning and permitting, to expedite delivery of affordable units to the largest degree possible;
    • ensure Property Endowment Fund policies are designed to deliver suitable sites for development at the deepest possible levels of affordability with the goal of maximizing the construction of desperately needed non-profit and social housing;
    • support the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency to respond quickly and comprehensively to new initiatives with the Province of BC or other
    partners, particularly with funding development and design costs prior
    to construction”]


Vancouver City Council – Standing Committee on City Finance and Services, Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016

  • Electric Vehicle Ecosystem Strategy
    [CHW COMMENT: Purpose is to promote Strategy and associated funding to expand access to home, workplace and public electric vehicle (“EV”) charging infrastructure. $500,000 is proposed to come from $250,000 from the unallocated cash Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) associated with the rezoning of 999 Seymour Street in 2008 for new Electric Vehicle infrastructure in the Metro Core; and • $250,000 from the Gas Tax Fund Community Works Reserve for new Electric Vehicle infrastructure located outside the Metro Core.]
  • The Greenest City Fund: Updates and Revisions
    [CHW Comment: This is to approve the revised Greenest City Fund framework, which has approved annual grant funding of $250,000 within the annual Operating Budget.]
  • Updates to the Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings
    [CHW Comment: This is to approve updates (Appendix A) to Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings. Updates include adopting limits on greenhouse gas emissions, thermal energy and total energy use, and establishing administrative requirements as intended in the Zero Emissions Building Plan. There are environmental benefits but also implications for costs of housing.] See our post: Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings: City to create more incentives to demolish/burn heritage houses (aka “biomass”)?
  • 39 Smithe Street and 45 Smithe Street – Parq Holdings Limited Partnership Application to Relocate and Amend Liquor Primary Licences


Urban Design Panel – Wed, Nov 16, 2016

  • 3681 Victoria Drive & 1915 Stainsbury Avenue
  • 800 Robson Street (Robson Square)

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