Development Permit Board (DPB) May 1 (Mon) to look at 399 East 1st Ave (Onni Group) 4 new buildings, but will City ignore Onni’s illegal short term rentals?

The Development Permit Board (DPB) meets on Monday, May 1, 2017, starting at 3 pm. Two items are on the agenda:

399 East 1st Avenue – DE420195. Development of 4 buildings ranging in height from 7 to 15 storeys comprised of 2 live/work buildings with commercial podium; 1 hotel building; and 1 office building. Developer is the Onni Group.

People should stand back and observe how our municipal government, on behalf of the citizens of Vancouver, treats this developer. Onni is a major developer in this City, and a political donor to the ruling “party” Vision Vancouver. The firm was in the news just a few weeks ago for illegally operating like a hotel without a license. The company has been busted before, and is a repeat offender. CKNW’s Charmaine de Silva broke the story after some investigative work. In her story, City Councillor Geoff Meggs appears to be unaware of any prior violations and defends the City’s failure to monitor and enforce. Meggs said “the developer skirting short-term rental rules is news to him,” and that clamping down on the issue is harder than some may think…“I’m surprised that that’s been happening on a wider scale with some of these companies.”

In the region’s current rental shortage, illegally renting units as short-term rentals just makes the problem worse, as those units are not available for long-term renters.

Will the City enforce its rules? Will it look the other way, forgive recent violations, and simply go ahead with these approvals? Anyone who feels the City has been ruthless with them in enforcing even a minor bylaw violation should take note.  Is the City putting the public interest first in all of its actions? Is the City even monitoring this company to ensure compliance?



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