A concerned citizen notified CityHallWatch that residents in RS-1 zones did not receive direct notification regarding the Public Hearing (tomorrow) and proposed zoning changes that will affect 68,000 properties as part of the City’s “Making Room Housing Program.”
“How can people have a say if they have not been given notice the changes are coming?” (concerned citizen, Rebecca)
In Vancouver, one-family (RS-1) zoning districts account for 57% of the city (see map, light- peach/yellow zones).
The final Public Hearing of the current city council starts tomorrow, September 18 at 3 pm. (Note that nearly the entire council will change in the Oct 20 civic election.) The fifth item on the agenda is “REZONING: Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law for Most RS Zones to Allow Two-Family Dwellings (Duplexes) to Increase Housing Choice.”
Public Hearing, September 18, 2018, starting at 3 pm. Click here for agenda and documents, and instructions on how to speak or write to City Council. Follow meeting progress on Twitter at @VanCityClerk:
The set of official documents was made public online for the first time only on Thursday, September 13, just three business days before the Public Hearing.
There may be both merits and demerits to the proposed zoning changes, but the fact that affected residents have not been fairly and properly notified is a serious problem. People may wish to write to Council with their concerns.
The purported rationale for this zoning change is to create “affordable” housing and offer more housing choices. From CoV information posters: “The proposal for duplexes will allow for an increase in supply of housing in low-density areas, and a new duplex unit is typically more affordable than a new single-family house.” Staff reports make some assumptions and claims, however, it appears the City has not done any real modeling on many aspects of this proposed change: Increased demolitions, evictions, neighbourhood disruptions, impacts on property assessments (up? or down?), impacts on property taxes (up? or down?) and so on. Will the additional supply from zoning changes really be more “affordable”? And how does the City know that?
There has been limited media coverage of the proposed changes in RS-1 zoning districts. The City did hold four information sessions on the RS-1, which according to “City Duo” blog were not well attended and there were “plenty of spare staff standing around bored.” Probably because very few of the affected residents had been notified about the sessions. Continue reading