At the Council Committee meeting on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, Council voted for the staff recommendations in the report “Vancouver Plan Update and Quick Start Actions,” except for minor tweaks to one clause. The timing of major decisions like this at the end of July is typically seen as a way to skirt public attention during the summer holiday season.
Even though the public voted in the last election for change by wiping out Vision Vancouver from elected office, most of the current Council is complicitly implementing the Vision policies.
There are many concerns with this report and staff recommendations, as we previously noted in our post: Vancouver Plan Update (July 21): Rezoning before planning and consultation puts cart before the horse .
Councillor Colleen Hardwick proposed amendments to address the most contentious items. The amendments were voted down by all other Councillors. She proposed to postpone for further reconsideration the area-wide rezonings, which will impact many parts of the City and are being recommended by staff as“Quick Start Actions,” until after more public consultation is done once the Housing Vancouver targets have been recalibrated based on transparent data. She also proposed to pause the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPP) for further analysis of the effectiveness of the program.
The only changes to staff recommendations that were approved by Council were small tweaks to the MIRHPP program. Clr. Adriane Carr moved an amendment to remove the proposed reduction of the affordability requirements and Clr. Sarah Kirby-Yung moved an amendment to reflect Provincial annual rental increases and allow them during project development/construction up to completion. Only Clr. Colleen Hardwick raised any concerns about the continuation of spot rezonings under MIRHPP. Others were only concerned that any proposed Council amendments to staff recommendations would compromise or hinder more spot rezonings under MIRHPP.
At the time of this post (July 25), the minutes for the Council Committee meeting were not yet published online. However, those who followed the meeting report that all the staff recommendations in the report were approved by a mostly complicit Council, other than the minor tweak to MIRHPP, ignoring significant opposition expressed by the public.
While staff mentioned there would be further consultation on the Vancouver Plan in autumn 2021, this report and staff recommendations on the Vancouver Plan Update and Quick Starts were approved by the Council majority, to direct staff to continue to consult and write reports for consideration at public hearings, based on the appendixes to the report specifying how the Quick Starts actions would be implemented and with directions on specifics of the rezoning programs.
A huge and fundamental underlying issue is that if the citywide spot rezoning programs are implemented now that Council have added to their momentum, not much will be left for the Vancouver Plan to address. This is all beginning to show signs that the Vancouver Plan will end up as nothing more than a compilation of all the former Vision council’s policies drawn onto one map.
The public needs to continue questioning why the electorate’s clear message from the 2018 civic election, which completely swept Vision out of elected on City Council, is not being respected by the majority on the current Council, and needs to challenge this Council for failing to change the policy outcomes over this current term (2018 to 2022) in terms of city planning.
Related: This important survey ends on July 30 (new extension announced July 26). See our story and send in your input if you have not yet done so.
Online survey deadline extended to JULY 30 on rental rezoning policy citywide, affecting RS, RT and C zones. 6 storeys on arterials, 4-5 storeys off arterials (‘Streamlining Rental’): https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2021/06/25/streaming-rental-rezoning-survey/