About 1,000 homes are demolished each year in Vancouver. There also seems to be quiet arrangement in place between the City and developer Ian Gillespie’s “Creative Energy” to burn the demolition wood splinters from old-growth forest timber into “biofuel” to power an “eco-friendly” and “low-carbon” steam plant proposed by Creative Energy. The City is trying to skirt regulations to give Gillespie a monopoly that would be created by the proposed district heating system.
Meanwhile, there are two actions concerns citizens could take immediately on this topic. Show your concern by attending this “wake” for a heritage home, and write to the City with your comments for the Character Home Zoning Review.
Wake for Heritage Home
When: April 9, 2017 (Sunday), at 11:30 a.m.
Where: “Heart House” at 4255 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Organizer: Neighbours Concerned About Community. Contact: 604-221-8181
“This weekend we will gather to mark the passing of the heritage home at 4255 West 12th Avenue. Speakers will include active community members and time will be given to those who would like to share memories. Short ceremony and opportunity to share memories, followed by a potluck luncheon. See invitation:
Write to City of Vancouver about the Character Home Zoning Review
Message from “Vancouver Character House Network” to heritage supporters:
In early 2017 the City of Vancouver sought public input on its Character Home Zoning Review in an effort to curb the close to 1000 wasteful demolitions that take place annually and the resulting decline in housing affordability. Proposals included rezoning four neighbourhoods in the city that now have a high concentration of character homes.
Despite 75% support for “increased flexibility in zoning to support Character Home retention” and significant support in three of the four study areas (64%, 68%, 75%), and despite the fact that more than 5,500 people signed a 2014 petition also asking for a form a rezoning (https://www.change.org/p/city-of-vancouver-mayor-and-council-save-vancouver-s-character-houses, link includes video), the City’s Director of Planning removed rezoning as an option in the Character Home Zoning Review.
The Vancouver Character House Network says that the use of zoning as a tool is the only effective means of slowing demolitions.
The Network invites concerned citizens and groups to write to City Council and express support for conditional zoning, similar to what has long been used in RT (multifamily) zones, to help stop the demolition of the Vancouver’s enduring, more affordable original housing stock.
The Network offers an online “tool” (http://stopthedemolitions.herokuapp.com) as an aid with suggested wording, or anyone can write their own letter in their own words. Addresses are provided in the link.