‘Broadway Plan’ survey ends Mar 31 (Wed): Many more issues and concerns in planning department’s proposals

Above: The Front cover of the Broadway Plan Phase 2 Emerging Direction booklet. Credit: CoV.

As we have reported, in connection with the Broadway Subway project, the City is engaged in a process to develop the “Broadway Plan” for a large section along Broadway shown in this map, from Clark to Vine (east to west) and 1st to 16th Avenues (north to south).

But people should not underestimate the importance of this plan. If discussions become more concrete about the Broadway Subway eventually extending to UBC, the much of the content of this Broadway Plan being proposed by the City’s planners could also be extended west of Arbutus to UBC, covering all of Kitsilano and West Point Grey. Broadway Plan outcomes may also be extended citywide through the “Vancouver Plan” currently under consultation. So this survey is very relevant to all areas in this map below, and for the entire city.

The Emerging Directions (Phase 2) Survey, closes on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Don’t miss this opportunity to tell planners and City Council what you think. The City’s official webpage is at Emerging Directions (https://shapeyourcity.ca/broadway-plan) and the survey link is on that page.

A few days ago we looked at the City’s proposed Broadway Plan’s threats to heritage and character housing and existing rentals in middle-density RT-zone neighbourhoods in Mount Pleasant Kitsilano.

Below we bring attention to points that have been raised overall about the plans being proposed by the City’s planning department.

Map: Area covered under the Broadway Plan. Credit: COV

Before starting the survey, it is wise to have a look at the main web page, particularly at these presentations below, and especially at the items that interest you. The survey gives you options to comment on nearly every aspect of the Emerging Directions report, which could be quite time consuming, but you can also choose to comment on specific topics and areas within the plan.

Broadway Plan Phase 2 – Emerging Directions
“Open House Boards” (93 pages): https://syc.vancouver.ca/projects/broadway-plan/broadway-plan-emerging-directions-open-house-boards.pdf

“Highlights Booklet” (20 pages): https://syc.vancouver.ca/projects/broadway-plan/broadway-plan-emerging-directions-booklet.pdf

Important concerns and risks to consider:

  • The City planners are trying to redefine “heritage” to eliminate its meaning of retaining built heritage and character buildings. See the section on Heritage in the Area-wide Policy Directions in the survey.
  • South Granville heritage rental apartment buildings are under threat. Could result in significant displacement of long-term tenants.
  • RT-zoning in Mt. Pleasant and Kitsilano Under Threat in Broadway Plan. This is an important part of Vancouver’s housing stock. (RT zones are generally for ground-oriented multifamily conversions of existing character houses, new duplexes, secondary suites and infill, so could be referred to as medium-density. These homes house many renters, and even more if illegal or unofficial rental suites are counted.) See our post on the topic here.
  • With this survey the City fails to provide adequate context. There are no references or links to documents about existing zoning – no zoning map – no zoning schedules. People need to know the current status before being able to comment meaningfully on what the planning department is proposing.
  • For this survey, the City has provided no reference to projected population growth based on census or existing zoned capacity (i.e., how many residents could be accommodated over time with current zoning in place, could be built even now without having to go through a rezoning application process and public hearing).
  • The planners claim that this process is “neighbourhood based planning” but in fact there is no real neighbourhood planning, as the main emphasis is to impose the corridor plan onto each area.
  • Each of the subareas identified in the survey are generally and vaguely described, with similar descriptions of increased density in more “diverse housing forms” (mainly apartments and towers) that would likely increase land values and displace people due to demolition of existing housing in order to build more expensive rentals or ownership housing.
  • City Hall area is now being referred to as “Crosstown” and that planning department wants to reduce protections of Vancouver’s famous mountain view cones, with C3A Zoning Design Guidelines to allow for taller buildings and redevelopment of the existing City Hall site.
  • Proposals would reduce views generally and increase shadowing throughout from tall buildings and towers.
  • Areas surrounding every subway station are designated to have towers, e.g., at Broadway and Arbutus.
  • Increased development in shopping areas would further increase land values and price out local businesses.
  • It is unclear how the amenities needed to service such a large increase in density would be provided.
  • The planners are proposing to make up for lost green space by closing streets and turning them into parks.

Please take the survey and have your say!


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