Where is all Vancouver’s dirt going? High traffic of fully loaded tandem truck-trailer rigs these days.

Dump truck and trailer rig going south on Arbutus Street in Vancouver. Just one of hundreds a week this May.

[Update: Readers and followers are providing some very informative material. Some of it, we’re adding to the bottom of this post to share with all and for future follow-up. Anyone who happens to know of information about the truck routes being used, for example, from Arbutus station to the barges, please do share.]

At the end of May, these truck-and-trailer rigs appear to be running on Arbutus Street at one- to five-minute intervals, six days a week from about 8 am until late in the afternoon (including Saturdays). This spring of 2023, Vancouver has a constant flow of dirt moving through its streets. At an estimated 50 cubic meters per load, about 60 metric tons, this is a lot of dirt just on this section of Arbutus at 12th Avenue. With the Broadway Subway tunnel and underground station construction, plus the recently-approved (2022) Vancouver Plan, Broadway Plan, fully loaded, fossil-fuel burning, noise-emitting, road-wearing tandem dump trucks and trailers are everywhere, including quiet residential streets. This short clip shows a truck, likely coming from the Broadway Subway Arbutus Station excavation, turning south from West 12th Avenue, passing a pedestrian, and heading south. Where is all this dirt ending up? Into the Salish Sea? Just going along Arbutus, per week, this could be nearly 600 loads, or nearly 35,000 metric tons. For a future article, anyone with more precise details and links on this topic, please feel free to e-mail CityHallWatch at citizenYVR@gmail.com.

Some responses received below.

⚡DYK, the excavation matter from #Burnaby development sites is dumped into Straight of Georgia off UBC.
Mysterious site off Point Grey is Canada’s largest marine dump (“kind of a secret”)
Notice to Dispose Waste at Sea from #Metrotown’s 5900 Olive
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Webinar and chat: Vancouver Noise – Your concerns/ideas and the City’s Bylaw Review (18-May-2023)

Above: The icon for the noise survey in May 2023 depicts the various types of noise typically experienced in urban areas. Credit City of Vancouver.

(Post-event update: This webinar concluded successfully with great presentations, discussion, ideas, and networking. More content is being added to this page even after the event. Consideration is under way for next steps. To be continued! Everyone is encouraged to learn about the issues of noise, plus the regulations in Vancouver, and certainly do participate in the city’s official survey before the May 30 deadline. )

The City of Vancouver is undertaking an extensive review to modernize and enhance the Noise Control By-law, seeking input from everyone who lives, works or operates a business in Vancouver (more info at this link “What are your thoughts about noise in Vancouver”).

CityHallWatch sees this as a good opportunity for a public discussion about the issue of noise, where is the balance between human activities and quiet? What about regulation and enforcement? What are your top concerns, ideas, and suggestions about urban noise?

Participants might gain some valuable input that will help them complete the City’s online survey (at this link, deadline May 30 – https://www.shapeyourcity.ca/noise-control-by-law-review/survey_tools/survey), empower them to advocate for the kind of soundscape they would like (and/or can accept) in their city.

Title: CityHallWatch webinar and chat (Thu – 18 May – 7pm): Vancouver Noise: Your concerns/ideas and the City’s bylaw review

Date: Thursday May 18, 2023
Time: 7 pm start, for 60 minutes. (“Doors” open 6:50 with opening video) We will do a “soft” closing at 8 pm, but persons who wish to remain will be able to stay on to continue discussions)
Where: Online (Zoom – register first to receive actual meeting link)
Host/moderator: Randy Helten, CityHallWatch Media Foundation

Registration required (participation is free, but space is limited): https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtdeGrqzsuG924VsRHVD5V9OKP51fUS9gQ



1. Intro and presentations (30 min)

– Background: Overview of noise topics, Vancouver’s noise bylaw, the current survey
– Arline Bronzaft, PhD (health impacts of noise, New York City Noise Code, enforcement)
– Elvira Lount (beach noise, party boats, special events, dealing with enforcement in Vancouver)
– Geoffrey Blair, MD, FRCSC
– Jan L. Mayes, retired audiologist
– Holly Hayes, A Beach for Everyone
– Other valuable input has been received (construction noise, neighbour noise, etc.), and will be presented by the moderator

2. Moderated discussion and open floor (30 min.)

Note that we will do a soft closing at 8 pm, but may continue for those who wish to remain.


PANELISTS (about 4 min each)

  • Arline Bronzaft, PhD: Environmental psychologist and long-term researcher, writer and consultant on the effects of noise on mental and physical health for over five decades. In her hometown of New York City she has been continuously appointed by five NYC mayors to the Board of GrowNYC where she oversees its noise activities, and assisted in the 2007 revision of New York City’s noise code. She is also a Board Member of Vancouver’s Right to Quiet Society.
  • Elvira Lount (local activist/filmmaker, founder of Keep Kits Beach Wild and former board member of Right to Quiet society)
  • Dr. Geoffrey Blair: Retired Pediatric Surgeon who for more than 30 years worked at British Columbia Children’s Hospital where he was the Surgeon-in-Chief from 2001 to 2010. Currently, a UBC Clinical Professor, he teaches Surgery at the medical school. As an advocate for environmental protections and especially with concerns for the welfare of all children, he has helped to inject climate health issues into the school’s curriculum. He has also lobbied for years for a ban on gas-powered lawn equipment in the city of Vancouver.
  • Other materials have been received, and will be presented by the moderator.


YouTube recording of webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIdPC51blhM

– Randy Helten (Intro and overview) (0:00)
– Arline Bronzaft, PhD (health impacts of noise, New York City Noise Code, enforcement) (10:25)
– Geoffrey Blair, MD, FRCSC (leaf blowers) (21:32)
– Randy Helten  (construction noise) (30:14)
– Elvira Lount (beach noise, party boats, special events, dealing with enforcement in Vancouver) (33:30)
– Holly Hayes (efforts of the group ‘A Beach for Everyone’ to advocate for a healthy sound environment on beaches in Vancouver’s West End) (40:33)
– Maggie (quote about neighbour noise, as one example) (49:05)
– Jan L. Mayes (cognitive and health impacts of noise) (50:48)
– Discussion (53:38)

Presentation slides by moderator:


Residents love their soundscapes and have various concerns about a variety of noise sources (traffic, construction, sirens, parties, boats on the water, amplifiers and buskers, leaf blowers, and more). We know that people do pay attention to the sound environment. More and more scientific research is coming out about the human health benefits of quiet and the ability to have access to natural sounds. And about the need for quiet for all forms of wildlife, even insects to survive and thrive in their ecosystems and lifecycles.

CityHallWatch invited the City of Vancouver to provide a speaker/panelist for this event. They graciously declined, saying “We hope to hear from as many people as possible and thank you for amplifying this survey. … the online survey is just the first phase of this multiphase review, which will help provide areas of focus for further review. Given this is the first phase of this process, staff are seeking to understand people’s thoughts and concerns, and don’t yet have options to present to the public.”

The City of Vancouver survey deadline is Tuesday, May 30, 2023: https://www.shapeyourcity.ca/noise-control-by-law-review/survey_tools/survey)

Additional CoV links:



Right to Quiet Society for Soundscape Awareness and Protection (extensive resources, highly recommended): https://quiet.org/ especially the Resources page: https://quiet.org/resources/

Noise and neighbours (People’s Law School): An excellent resource about neighbour noise (what you should know, how to work out problems, helpful agencies, free or low-cost legal help, finding a lawyer or mediator. https://www.peopleslawschool.ca/noise-and-neighbours/

Quiet Parks International: https://www.quietparks.org/

A Beach For Everyone” (Vancouver’s West End): https://abeachforeveryone.org/

Quiet Communities, Inc. (QCi) is a nonprofit U.S. organization dedicated to helping communities reduce health and environmental harm from noise and pollution. Five programs are Quiet Landcare, Quiet Coalition, Quiet Healthcare, Quiet Empowerment, and Quiet American Skies. They strive to generate long lasting structural and behavioral changes that result in quieter, more sustainable, and more livable communities: https://quietcommunities.org/



City of Vancouver Noise Control By-law (44 pages) – https://bylaws.vancouver.ca/6555c.PDF

City of Vancouver Motor Vehicle Noise and Emission Abatement By-law No. 9344 (7 pages) https://bylaws.vancouver.ca/9344c.PDF

Vancouver Park Board bylaws: https://parkboardmeetings.vancouver.ca/files/BYLAW-ParksBylawsConsolidated-20210621.pdf

City of Vancouver – Street Entertainment on City Property (incl. busking), guidelines, rules, enforcement by Street Use Inspectors or Police Officers: https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/street-entertainment-application.pdf

Summary of Vancouver City and Park Board bylaws and regulations relating to music and amplification (includes info on parks, streets, beaches, party boats, liquor control regulations, a party boat petition, etc.), by Elvira Lount 18-May-2023: https://cityhallwatch.files.wordpress.com/2023/05/vancouver-city-and-park-board-bylaws_amplified-music-busking_lount-18-may-2023.pdf

Motor Vehicle Act Regulations (Division 7A): No person shall start, drive, turn or stop any motor vehicle, or accelerate the vehicle engine while the vehicle is stationary, in a manner which causes any loud and unnecessary noise in or from the engine, exhaust system or the braking system, or from the contact of the tires with the roadway. Link: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/26_58_04

Canada Noise Regulations & Bylaws by Province (and key city) – An excellent summary of regulations all across Canada: https://www.zolo.ca/blog/noise-regulations

New York City Noise Code (This Code balances the important reputation of New York as a vibrant, world-class city that never sleeps, with the needs of those who live in, work in, and visit the city. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Police Department (NYPD) share the duties of enforcing the Noise Code.): https://www.nyc.gov/site/dep/environment/noise-code.page

A Guide to New York City’s Noise Code (Understanding the most common sources of noise in the city): https://www.nyc.gov/assets/dep/downloads/pdf/air/noise/noise-code-guide-summary.pdf


A Quieter, More Respectful Society, by Arline L. Bronzaft, PhD, The Hearing Journal, Sept 2022 (article, 2 pages): https://cityhallwatch.files.wordpress.com/2023/05/a-quieter-more-respectful-society-bronzaft-hearing-journal-sep-2022.pdf

City of Vancouver Noise Bylaw Review: Input on Health Impact, by Jan L. Mayes, MSc, Audiologist (Retired), 18-May-2023. Paper with specific comments for Vancouver’s bylaw review (7 pages) including noise exposure limits, noise-sensitive groups, sleep disturbance, noise reduction prevents future costs, improving noise prention actions, and extensive info sources. Link: https://cityhallwatch.files.wordpress.com/2023/05/cov-bylaws-v2-noise-and-health-risks-jan-l-mayes-may-2023.pdf

“Quiet Parks and Quiet Spaces” (Video) (In observation of the 27th annual International Noise Awareness Day (INAD), and to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Vancouver based Right to Quiet, a virtual forum was held on April 27, 2022  examining the health enhancing benefits of quiet green spaces, and the importance of protecting such spaces from noise pollution for the benefit of humans and urban wildlife.”): https://youtu.be/T27p9Wjg8rI

“Hear Nature again,” a compilation (video) created by Elvira Lount for this webinar, focusing on illegal amplified music in our parks, buskers, party boats and special event noise. (2:14) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrLPppHBAkM

Noise Is All around Us—and It’s Affecting You More than You Think (During the pandemic, our noise levels dropped and the world changed. Should we fight for more quiet?) by Bojan Fürst, The Narwhal, 19-May-2023. Link – https://thewalrus.ca/noise-ethics/

Noise pollution and violent crime (article). Every 1 dB increase results in 1.6% increase in violent crime rate. Every 4.1 dB increase results in a 6.6% increase in violent crime rate. Decreasing noise pollution could decrease violent crime rate (which has impact on social interactions, policing costs, etc.). Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272722001505

The fight to preserve and revive quiet places (podcast): On May 15, 2023, CBC Radio had a wonderful and timely interview with Jonathan Kawchuk, a composer, and Canadian representative for Quiet Parks International. Listen to the 19-minute segment here: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-63-the-current/clip/15984729-the-fight-preserve-revive-canadas-quiet-places. See transcript here (jump down the page to “Quiet Places.”) Lots of information about sound and noise.

What are your thoughts about *NOISE* in Vancouver? City seeks input to update Noise Control By-law. Survey ends May 30 (CityHallWatch post, 11-May-2023) Link: https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2023/05/11/vancouver-noise-survey-bylaw-update/

Excessive noise ticket if your vehicle is too loud? Web page. https://bcdrivinglawyers.com/can-you-get-a-ticket-if-your-vehicle-is-too-loud/


‘It’s maddening’: Vancouver Broadway Subway construction noise affects neighbours (City News video 3 minutes, 18-May-2022. It’s a noisy nightmare for a man who lives and works right next to the Broadway Subway construction. Why he says the City of Vancouver won’t do anything about his complaints. Crystal Laderas reports.) Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_4L9BciB38

Noise city: Vancouver’s noisiest neighbourhoods. Simon Little, Global news 12-Jul-2016. (Based on 311 calls to the City, with map) an excellent overview of issues and regulations as of 2016: https://globalnews.ca/news/3519121/noise-city-vancouvers-noisiest-neighbourhoods/

More is coming


To be added


$35 million project to replace 20 km of SkyTrain Expo Line’s rails will help reduce noise (In recent years, TransLink has been looking to mitigate growing noise issues on SkyTrain through a range of measures and has conducted extensive studies on pilot projects on solutions.)
Kenneth Chan, Daily Hive, 12-May-2023. https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/skytrain-expo-line-rail-replacement-project-federal-funding

Time for Saanich to Ban Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers (useful information, resources): https://www.teale.ca/ban-leaf-blowers

ParX – a presciption for nature: https://www.parkprescriptions.ca/

BROADWAY SUBWAY – noise related

Broadway Subway Project – Commercial in Confidence. Project Agreement Execution Copy. Schedule 4 Part 1: https://www.infrastructurebc.com/wp2/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Schedule-4-Design-and-Construction-Parts-1-to-4-Redacted-1.pdf

Broadway Subway. Noise Technical Data Report, Stantec, 2019: https://www.broadwaysubway.ca/app/uploads/sites/626/2020/08/Noise-Assessment-Technical-Data-Report-October-2019.pdf

Where do you watch for advance notice of Public Hearings and other City meetings in Vancouver?

What are the City’s rules and practices regarding when and how to publish crucial public information?

The sooner the better when it comes to learning about a public hearing, meeting, open house, or public consultation. Conversely, delayed access to information can put people and neighbourhoods at a disadvantage and reduce their chance to prepare, study up, and develop input to the City.

CityHallWatch asked City Hall for an update on meeting notifications, and received a response from the Communications department. Here is what we learned.

Staff are working on a Public Notice By-law to be presented to an upcoming Council report (no scheduled date yet). The new bylaw will address public notification for various matters, including public hearings. Currently, the Vancouver Charter governs what is required as a bare minimum.

Currently, below are the ways the City does public notification for public hearings:

Print ad notification – The Charter requires that two ad notices be placed in a locally circulated newspaper. The ads must appear in different weeks and the last ad must run at least 7 days prior to the public hearing. The City generally runs two ads in Vancouver is Awesome on Tuesdays, in the two weeks prior to the public hearing. Sometimes Vancouver Sun is used for one of the ads, as it publishes daily (Tues-Sat), but still within the time requirements of the Charter. [Example: For the May 9, 2023 Public Hearing, an advert appeared in the Vancouver Sun on May 2.]

Continue reading

What are your thoughts about *NOISE* in Vancouver? City seeks input to update Noise Control By-law. Survey ends May 30 for multi-year project.

Below is a public service announcement from City of Vancouver, plus some online resources we have put together. Vancouver’s online survey ends May 30, 2023. CityHallWatch held an online webinar with experts on May 18 on this topic. (See link for lots of materials/resources plus the video recording – https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2023/05/12/chw-webinar-vancouver-noise-may-18/ )

As an aside, did you know that International Noise Awareness Day this year was on April 26, 2023? Did you know that Vancouver is the proud home of the Right to Quiet Society, a wonderful resource. This consultation and review process by the City of Vancouver is a great opportunity for public input. People experience many kinds of noise in cities, and it affects us and the natural environment.

Photo by Anamul Rezwan on Pexels.com


Notice from City of Vancouver

Tell us your thoughts about Noise in Vancouver

The City of Vancouver is undertaking an extensive review to modernize and enhance the Noise Control By-law. As a part of the first phase of this multi-year project the City is seeking input from everyone who lives, works or operates a business in Vancouver. 

The City is asking people to share what they think about the City’s approach to regulating noise in Vancouver and identify areas that could be improved. The online survey should take around 10-15 minutes to complete. 

SURVEY LINK (Noise Control By-Law review): https://www.shapeyourcity.ca/noise-control-by-law-review

The City supports protecting the public’s right to enjoy public spaces without unreasonable noise nuisances, while also supporting economic and cultural activity and growth. Feedback received will help identify area of focus for staff and shape future revisions to the by-law. Results will be included in an update to Council later this year

Get involved  

Visit the Shape Your City page to learn more about the Noise Control By-law review and to complete the online survey, which is open until May 30.  Auto-translations are available at the top of the page.


RESOURCES (compiled by CityHallWatch – we welcome more suggestions)

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Public Hearing May 9, 2023. Six items: Zoning changes for town/rowhouses (Cambie Corridor), density bonus contribs, rezonings at 855-865 W10th, 208 E54th/7018-7078 Main/211 E55th, 1040-1080 Barclay (60 storeys, West End), more

Above: Two more towers at 57 and 60 storeys proposed for the West End, at the corner of Barclay and Thurlow, enabled under the West End Community Plan.

There are six items on the Public Hearing agenda for May 9, 2023, starting at 6 p.m. (Note that the May 11 public hearing has been cancelled.)

  1. City-Initiated Zoning Changes for Townhouses and Rowhouses in the Cambie Corridor
  2. Recalibration of Density Bonus Contributions
  3. CD-1 Rezoning: 855-865 West 10th Avenue
  4. CD-1 Rezoning: 208 East 54th Avenue, 7018-7078 Main Street, and 211 East 55th Avenue
  5. CD-1 Rezoning: 1040-1080 Barclay Street
  6. Heritage Designation: 852 Seymour Street
  7. Heritage Revitalization Agreement Amendment: 6161 MacDonald Street – WITHDRAWN

As of noon on the day, there were 30 items of correspondence in total for all six items.

Here is the agenda with links to related documents, correspondence, and instructions on how to write or speak to Council: https://council.vancouver.ca/20230509/phea20230509ag.htm

Below is a screen grab of a notice in the Vancouver Sun from May 2. Further below are some concise summaries, with links to the Shape Your City public input pages.

Below, click links for the relevant Shape Your City pages.

Item #1 – City-Initiated Zoning Changes for Townhouses and Rowhouses in the Cambie Corridor:

The staff proposal is for a City-initiated rezoning of 220 parcels from RS-1 and RT-1 to the RM-8A or RM-8AN zones for specified sites in the Cambie Corridor Plan area. It proposes a bulk rezoning of many parcels in the Cambie corridor, from RS and RT to a newly-updated RM8. This sets a new precedent. The RM8 zoning schedule has been recently updated. Here is the recently updated RM8: https://council.vancouver.ca/20230425/documents/a4a_000.pdf. [This para has been revised.]

A pertinent public comment expressed concern about how this might trigger more land assembly: “We already have numerous properties sitting dormant for years due to speculation purposes in this area. Must be hundreds of units vacant or bulldozed with no development occurring. This includes existing multi-family and apartment buildings. In addition, infrastructure has failed to be developed for the anticipated area growth. Council needs to take action on the existing land assemblies before creating more damage to existing housing stock.” A good point for Council to discuss in the Public Hearing.

Item #2 – Recalibration of Density Bonus Contributions.

The staff proposal is to adopt the recalibration of four density bonus contribution rates (“affordable housing shares” and “amenity shares” in the Zoning and Development By-law) with new rates Sept 30, 2023. Also to adopt density bonus exemption for secured market rental development in the Joyce-Collingwood RM-10N district schedule and an expanded definition of Amenity and Affordable Housing shares across all density bonus zones effective upon enactment.

Item #3 – 855-865 West 10th Avenue. 12 storey office building.

See image below.


Item #4 – 208 East 54th Ave, 7018-7078 Main St, and 211 East 55th Ave 

This is for a six-storey mixed use building with 131 secured market rental units, commercial retail space at grade, and floor space ratio (FSR) of 3.62. There was at one point a petition against this development, but opposition has apparently dissipated.

See image below.


Item #5 – 1040-1080 Barclay Street 

Two residential towers (57 storey West, 60 storey East) over ten levels of underground parking. 506 secured market rental units, 130 below market units (East), 365 market strata-titled units and 99 social housing units (West). Retail space at grade in both towers. 37-space childcare facility. Current FSR is 2.75. Proposal is overall floor space ratio (FSR) of 21.87 (consisting of 20.7 FSR West and 25.0 East). A building height of 174.5 m (572 ft in East) and 173m (567 ft in West). 832 vehicle and 2,256 bicycle parking spaces. Proposed by

An amendment (Criteria for 100% Secured Rental and Below-Market Housing as an Alternative to Inclusionary Social Housing in the Burrard Corridor of the West End Community Plan) to the West End Community Plan allowed the original proposal at this site to change from two strata towers proposed in 2018 to the current proposal.

See image below.


Item #6 is about preserving the Great War Veterans’ Association Hall at 852 Seymour. The proposal is to add the existing building at this address to the Vancouver Heritage Register “B” and bring forward a by-law to designate the facade as protected heritage property.

Where’s all the new Rental Housing? (CC#111: A Homes for Whom database refresh answers the question…well, better than from any other source) by Brian Palmquist

City Conversation #111 was first published 8-May-2023 – https://brianpalmquist.substack.com/p/wheres-all-the-new-rental-housing. (For a list of City Conversations by Brian Palmquist on CityHallWatchplease visit this page.)

If you feel this article is relevant for Vancouver’s mayor and city council, feel free to tell them so, perhaps raising a point you wish to emphasize, and link to the article. Info on how to contact them is here.


Where’s all the new Rental Housing?

City Conversation #111: A Homes for Whom database refresh answers the question…well, better than from any other source.

Above: Excerpt from my Homes for Whom (HfW) database—9775 spot rezoned rental homes have building permits

Apologies for the delayed publication of this City Conversation. As I’ll explain below, I had to do a major refresh of my Homes for Whom (HfW) database in order to answer the question: “Where’s all the new Vancouver rental housing?” That’s the question I asked myself after reading about the Vancouver Planning Department’s proposal, on the May 9th [2023] agenda, to prioritize rental housing projects because there’s just too many housing projects arising from all of the city’s initiatives to solve the housing affordability crisis by just building more.

The Council and staff trickle down approach goes something like this: approve enough housing, especially rental, and purchase prices of condos and rents at purpose built rentals will become more affordable. What could go wrong with this thesis?

Plenty, as it happens. Some of you will know that I developed the HfW database starting a couple years ago and tracking back to the previous Council’s 2018 start date. I did this because city staff would not tell Council or the public what housing was planned, what was in process, what had been approved and what had been built.

I decided it can’t be that hard. In developing and maintaining HfW I have relied on four sources:

  1. The city’s Rezoning active and archived applications web page, which adds new projects sometime after rezoning applications are received and sometime before they are approved. The newest projects are added to the first of their (currently) 29 web pages, so I visit there once a week or so and add the latest greatest projects to HfW. Note that my database only considers rezonings, not projects that conform to existing zoning. Since existing zoning rental housing is pretty much limited to laneway homes and duplexes (in total, about 600/year), I think my numbers are a pretty accurate picture.
  2. The city’s Shape Your City web pages, where the individual details of projects are published, also sometime after rezoning applications are received and sometime before they are approved. When those numbers change nobody much is advised, certainly not me, so I may have a few dated numbers in HfW.
  3. The city’s Building Permits database, which is entirely separate from Shape Your City but includes details of building permits, their companions and precursors: demolition permits, trade permits, etc. This is the database I had to revisit and troll through 218 web pages to determine what’s actually approved for construction—the big item in my publication delay.
  4. Vancouver citizens—I am developing a healthy relationship with an increasing number of residents, who regularly alert me to rezoning, development permit or building permit signage that’s somehow not findable on city web pages. Drop me an email mentioning the neighbourhood(s) where you live, work or play and I’ll alert you via email each time there’s a new project or an amendment to an existing one in your areas of interest.

I’ve written recently about the plight of renters by the HfW numbers but I knew my numbers were a bit dated so undertook an update by:

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Among many Council items this week: Amendments to Vancouver’s Procedure By-law No. 12577 to be discussed May 9. Will the ABC majority under Sim reduce (or maintain) democracy?

Vancouver City Council (from left): Peter Meiszner, Brian Montague, Christine Boyle, Lisa Dominato, Adriane Carr, Ken Sim, Sarah Kirby-Yung, Rebecca Bligh, Pete Fry, Mike Klassen, Lenny Zhou

[Update – Final debate on “Prioritization Framework for Planning Policy and Processing Applications” was punted to Council May 30. ABC council member statements could be portrayed as being in favour of reducing public access and democracy, while opposition councillors took the opposite stance. The meeting still has unfinished business (Council member motions).]

Agendas are online for Vancouver City Council this week. Regular Council on May 9, 2023. Many major items are on it, including a report by planning staff overwhelmed with developer inquiries and applications, “Prioritization Framework for Planning Policy and Processing Applications.” The same day, Tuesday, May 9, the Public Hearing has seven items, some major, including an application for a 60-storey tower at 1040-1080 Barclay Street in the West End, seeking an increase for Bosa-Kingswood Properties (Barclay) Inc for a immodest increase in density from 2.75 up to 25.0 FSR. On Wednesday, May 10, Council Standing Committee will look at 2023 Property Taxation, among other things. Disappointingly, and for the record, as of Monday morning just three business days prior to the May 11 Public Hearing, no agenda has been posted online for it.

Here below we look at staff-proposed amendments to the City of Vancouver’s Procedure By-law 12577, which governs how meetings are held. These observations are adapted from an analysis provided by Evelyn Jacob. Thank you, Evelyn.

The Vancouver Procedure By-law is important as it governs how meetings are held. A clearly-written bylaw can help promote efficiency and democratic access to public decision-making. But there can be trade-offs between efficiency and democracy. And what might be considered a good thing for City staff or elected officials could actually reduce the public’s ability to speak to elected officials about crucial matters. Changes in the rules deserve careful scrutiny. Anyone with concerns is encouraged to write or speak to Council. Instructions to do so are on the agenda page for May 9. You are also welcome to add your comments to this post for other readers to see.

Amendments to Procedure By-law No. 12577

Read the entire report by Rosemary Hagiwara (Acting City Clerk) here: https://council.vancouver.ca/20230509/documents/r4.pdf

Staff summary (in their own words): This report seeks Council’s approval of various administrative amendments, including additional speaking time for persons with disabilities if there are accessibility barriers or constraints to speaking as directed by Council. In addition, in response to various questions and comments from Council, staff are including optional administrative and substantive amendments to the Procedure By-law in this report for Council’s consideration to improve overall meeting efficiency. The last comprehensive review of the Procedure By-law was in 2019, with administrative amendments on December 10, 2019, May 26, 2020 and September 21, 2021.

Background: On July 19, 2022, Council directed staff to prepare amendments to the Procedure By-law to allow for additional speaking time for persons with disabilities if there are accessibility barriers or constraints to speaking. In addition, staff are including administrative and substantive amendments in this report for Council’s consideration to improve overall meeting efficiency. To inform these proposed amendments to the Procedure By-law, staff conducted a jurisdictional scan of Lower Mainland municipalities of similar or equivalent size on their meeting procedures around speaking time.



Below are some of the changes proposed. The staff report classifies the proposals as either “administrative” (Table 1) or “substantive” (Table 2).

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Prof *Patrick Condon* to speak at GWAC AGM today Saturday, May 6, 2023 (6 pm start, in person or online): ‘It’s all about the Dirt! – Why new density is a good thing, but unfortunately won’t lower prices’

The public is invited to this annual general meeting of the Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC), a non-partisan, non-profit group representing the Grandview-Woodland community, and probably Vancouver’s longest-serving neighbourhood association.

Here is an excerpt from their event notice.

Guest speaker: Professor Patrick Condon, the UBC James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Liveable Environments

Join us in-person at the Britannia CFEC room or via zoom for our GWAC Annual General Meeting

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86540230936?pwd=QXIzQmJXdzlNdEM4QmZFUEVHelNEQT09
Meeting ID: 865 4023 0936, Passcode: 265386,

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kxzAL3Y7I

Our guest speaker will be Professor Patrick Condon, the UBC James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Liveable Environments, with his presentation:

It’s all about the Dirt! – Why new density is a good thing, but unfortunately won’t lower prices

Much of current city policy, as embodied in the Broadway plan and the city-wide Vancouver plan is based on the presumption that insufficient housing supply is the reason for high prices.

Solution? Upzone the whole city for massive potential population and housing unit increases. Sadly, if your objective is more affordable housing, there is little evidence that this will help.

Come discuss the way forward for Vancouver with Professor Condon and GWAC. 

If you’d like to get involved with GWAC or join the Board of Directors, please contact us for more info at: info@gwac.ca

Petition: Marpole deserves the promised 10-acre waterfront park (sign by Sunday, April 30). Ten years after the Marpole Community Plan, no park. Full details here.

Above: An artist’s concept of the promised park. In the Marpole Community Plan (2014) the City of Vancouver pledged to, within ten years, “Create a waterfront park of approximately 10 acres at the foot of Cambie Street.

A petition on Change.org seeking signatures to tell the City of Vancouver that it needs to deliver on a promise for a 10-acre waterfront park. Here first is the petition text, followed by a letter to officials, and complete information pack on the topic.

Please click the link to sign: https://www.change.org/p/marpole-waterfront-park


Marpole deserves the promised 10-acre waterfront park

The 2014 Marpole Community Plan outlined the plan for a new 10-acre waterfront park along the Fraser River waterfront.

But the identified location near Cambie Street is becoming another TransLink bus parking lot.

Marpole is park deficient and desperately needs more green and recreational space for our growing community.

Our neighbourhood is expected to absorb tens of thousands of new residents, but where are the additional recreational amenities and park space for those new and our existing residents?

Marpolians NEED our promised 10-acre waterfront park.

Please sign this petition to advocate for the 10-acre waterfront park, and to request the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board to actively commit to finding and developing the 10-acre waterfront park in Marpole. 

Please reply and sign petition by April 30.  Petition will then be forwarded to the Development Permit Board on May 1 in time for their 3pm meeting.  This matter can also be spoken to directly to the Permit Board in person, by telephone or over Zoom.

Please click the link to sign: https://www.change.org/p/marpole-waterfront-park


For documents and information about the Development Permit Board meeting on Monday, May 1, 2023, please visit the “Meetings” tab at this link: https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/development-permit-board.aspx

The page also provides information about how to view and speak to the meeting online, speak by phone, or write to the Development Permit Board.

For a description of the DPB by CityHallWatch, please visit: https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/development-permit-board-dpb/

To see what comments the public submitted during the Shape Your City consultation phase, click here – https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/mtc-syc-comments-appendix-h.pdf


Letter from community advocates to Translink

April 27, 2023 

Kevin Quinn, Chief Executive Officer, Translink

Lorraine Cunningham, board of directors chair, Translink

Re: Marpole Transit Centre development application (DP-2022-00957)

Translink has proposed to create a new bus parking depot, called the Marpole Transit Centre, on its 20.4 acre land at the Fraser River, between the foot of Cambie Steet and Laurel Street in Marpole. (https://www.shapeyourcity.ca/8902-9001-heather-st-and-502-w-kent-ave-s )  On Monday, May 1, Vancouver city hall’s Development Permit Board will meet at 3 p.m. to decide on its approval.   

Continue reading

Housing Min. Kahlon rushed and got Bill 26 passed April 26. What’s next? Kits Coalition still seeks contributions, explores legal options.

In the early afternoon on April 26, we published, “Kits Coalition requests contributions to mount a legal challenge to Province’s threat to municipal powers. Estimate $50K needed. Minutes count. All communities in British Columbia affected.” It turns out that this went straight to Committee for detailed that day at about 5 p.m., where each section of Bill 26 was debated. May crucial problems with the bill were raised, but glossed over by the proponent, Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon. By around 7 p.m. the Committee reported back to the Legislative Assembly that the Bill was “complete without amendment.” Within seconds Kahlon announced the Third Reading, and with a vote along party lines, the Bill (Bill 26 – 2023, Municipalities and Validating (No. 5) Amendment Act, 2023) passed. The final stage, Royal Assent is expected anytime from now to May 11. But even after that, this story far from being over.

As stated in our previous post, this issue has gone way beyond one housing project application the Kitsilano Coalition was focusing on at Arbutus Ave between 7th and 8th Avenues in Vancouver. It goes right to the core of the role of provincial government, municipal governments, independence of our judiciary, and the voices of citizens.


Here is a statement from the Kitsilano Coalition on April 27, the day after Bill 26 passed:

We were disappointed by the outcome of the debate and vote at the legislature regarding Bill 26 on April 26th. Michael Lee, Elenore Sturko and Mike De Jong all raised valid, on point arguments, that were not addressed by Housing Minister Kahlon.

Specifically regarding the services and transparency in this building approval process, as well as the concerns that this bill removes citizens rights to be heard and use the courts to hold government accountable.

They warned the government that this legislation is very prone to a constitutional challenge.

With an NDP majority, it was expected this bill would proceed, in spite of these significant flaws.

At this time, Kitsilano Coalition is having discussions with the existing and extended legal teams, to determine the most effective next course of action.

These efforts require immediate and ongoing funding to define and implement a legal strategy. The requests and fundraising target made by Kitsilano Coalition is now needed more urgently, as costs are being incurred and will continue to accumulate. We ask and thank you for your financial support. Please sign up at KitsCo site (https://www.kitsilanocoalition.org/) for updates, which will come by mail if you are on the list.

Please also contribute at this link.”



This is an urgent issue of critical importance to all communities in British Columbia. For background, see our previous post on the topic here: In response to City of Vancouver request, B.C. provincial government introduces bill intended to override a community group’s Supreme Court legal challenge to Arbutus tower project (19-April-2023)