Vancouver development applications snapshot 1-Dec-2018

For an explanation of our monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Development Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website. The list contains valuable information on each application. Spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested.

A tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two handy online maps (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications): https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/

Download the full list of development applications we created in PDF format:
CoV development applications 1-Dec-2018

For a current list of applications, click: vancouver.ca/devapps/.

Below is the list as of December 1, 2018. Continue reading

Vancouver rezoning applications snapshot 1-Dec-2018

For an explanation of our monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Rezoning Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website. The list contains valuable information on each application, and indicates scheduled “open houses” and Public Hearings. Spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested.

A tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two handy online maps (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications): https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/

Download the full list of development applications we created in PDF format:
CoV rezoning applications 1-Dec-2018

For a current list of applications, click: vancouver.ca/devapps/.

Below is the list as of December 1, 2018. Continue reading

Deadline 3-Dec-2018 (Mon) for public input on Ports Modernization Review by federal government: Key concerns

MetroVanWatch

PortBanner Ports Moderniation Review credit GoC Nov 2018Transport Canada wants to hear from key partners and stakeholders, including Canada Port Authorities, Indigenous groups, provincial and municipal governments, industry; academia and experts; and associations/groups that have a particular interest in port activities.” (Image and caption credit: Transport Canada website)

The ports around Metro Vancouver have a huge impact on transportation, road and marine traffic, the environment, employment, farmland, and the quality of life. It is important that the public provide input into this review process. Many aspects of the  Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) are invisible to the public, but this material below sheds a lot of light on things.

Susan Jones of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee has done a huge amount of research and work on these topics. Below we share text on recommended points to make in public input, plus a copy of the BBCC’s detailed submission to the Port Modernization Review.

Here…

View original post 5,320 more words

Consultation begins on Vancouver’s 2019 City budget ($1.5 billion operating + $568 million capital): Briefing Dec 3, meeting Dec 11, vote Dec 18

 

 

 

 

 

[Updated – The public briefing went ahead Dec, and Council meeting Dec 11. Final vote is slated for Dec 18.]

Reference: Mayor Kennedy Stewart supports 4.9 per cent property tax hike; Property owners also facing utility fee hikes for sewer, water and solid waste fees (https://www.vancourier.com/news/mayor-kennedy-stewart-supports-4-9-per-cent-property-tax-hike-1.23529974)

The City of Vancouver is inviting public input on our 2019 budget. Below is text from an official release from the “Civic Engagement and Communications” department.

This is big stuff. The draft 2019 operating budget is $1.516 BILLION and capital expenditure budget is $568 MILLION (including new and ongoing capital projects).

This is important as the first opportunity for public input on the civic finances since Vision Vancouver was ousted from City Hall. Thus, it is a chance for fresh analysis, examination, dialogue, and public impact on how your money is spent and reported.

Main web page for Vancouver budget: vancouver.ca/budget. 

See direct links for budget-related documents at bottom of this post.

The public is invited to …

  • Write questions and comments to Mayor and Council
  • Attend a briefing presented by City staff on Monday, December 3 from 5:30 to 7 pm at City Hall, Main Floor, Town Hall Room 110 (also streamed live on City’s Facebook page) [Tip from CityHallWatch: Free cookies, tea, and coffee. In recent years this briefing attracted just 5 or 10 citizens, so let’s show some serious interest this year, folks!]
  • Speak at a special City Council meeting December 11 when staff present the budget. [Tip: Business improvement associations and unions always show up here or at the next meeting, typically to discuss the money they expect to receive. It would be great to see taxPAYERS and citizens get more organized, analyzing the budget, preparing, attending, and speaking.]
  • Attend a Regular Council meeting on December 18 where our elected officials are scheduled to vote on the 2019 Budget. [Tip: The public should attend this meeting as well. Last year, Vision Vancouver proposed last-minute tax increases just minutes before the Council vote — increases that not even whispered about during all the prior public consultations. Unsurprisingly, Vision approved it.]

City Council wants and needs your input!

Click here for the Council meeting agendas and documents once they are posted a few days in advance.

CityHallWatch Wish List:

  1. More detail provided to the public about line items of the budget.
  2. More accountability and maybe a reduction in the mayor’s slush fund (see “Mayor Robertson’s $1 million ‘discretionary’ budget“).]

[Side note: Until about November 15, the “Civic Engagement and Communications” department was known as “Corporate Communications.” No announcement was made about the change in name. Another side note – the department is currently hiring a new “Communications Coordinator II” at $40.48 – $47.82 an hour, apply by Dec 2.]

Motions coming to City Council regarding the budget (added here Nov 28)

  • Motion “Creating a ‘Baseline Review’ Task Force” (Clr Hardwick): … that Council appoint a three (3) member, independent Oversight Commission to undertake a baseline review of all city finances; and direct staff to report back to Council by December 18, 2018 with draft Terms of Reference

Related:

Motion on reviewing the mayor’s discretionary budget –
https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/vancouver-mayors-office-budget-may-face-review-if-council-motion-okd

Taxpayer fatigue in Metro Vancouver –
https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/citing-taxpayer-fatigue-metro-vancouver-board-re-examines-regional-budget

Don Cayo: ‘It makes no sense’ how Surrey and Vancouver keep their books (with video) (Vancouver Sun, 18-Nov-2015). Excerpt: The financial figures bandied about by most City Halls don’t add up. Columnist Don Cayo explains why. Big Canadian cities, Surrey and Vancouver among them, are not only incredibly inconsistent in meeting their budget targets, but they muddy their accounting so badly that it is incredibly difficult to nail down just how far off-base their projections are.

While we’re at it…

Vancouver’s procurement policies are not transparent. A look at methods being used to circumvent accountability
(October 13, 2015).
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/vancouvers-procurement-circumvent-accountability/

Indefensible  secrecy in City’s bid decisions? Compare Vancouver vs Toronto. Case in point: $8.51 million bid (3-year contract, supply of traffic control services)
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/bid-secrecy-vancouver-vs-toronto-transparency/

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2019 City budget funds key priorities (Official Information Bulletin, 27-Nov-2018)

The City of Vancouver’s proposed $1,516 million operating budget and $371 million budget for new capital projects ensures that important services can be maintained and improved, while at the same time proposes priority new investments to help meet the future needs of a growing and changing city.

The total capital expenditure budget for 2019 is $568 million, including new and ongoing projects. Continue reading

Open house for 54-storey ‘Granville Gateway’ highrise (601 Beach Crescent) to straddle north end of bridge with ‘twisty tower’ Vancouver House: Mon 26-Nov-2018

Rendering granville gateway bldgs credit gbl architects

On the left is Westbank’s Granville House, now under construction. On the right it the proposed 54-storey tower, subject of today’s open house. Credit GBL Architects

Rezoning Open House
For proposed 54-storey “Granville Gateway” tower at 601 Beach Crescent
November 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Executive Hotel, Portofino Room, 1379 Howe Street

The applicant team and City of Vancouver staff will be present to answer questions. You can provide comments on this rezoning application by filling out the City’s online feedback form.

Below are links to recent media coverage (plus excerpts) on the rezoning application and storeys about the controversy with the site, originally owned by the citizens of Vancouver (via the City).

The two towers beside the north end of the Granville Bridge, one opening soon, and this one now going ahead for rezoning, could be considered a symbolic and prominent legacy of Vision Vancouver, which ruled with an absolute majority from 2008 until decimated in the October 2018 civic election.

CityHallWatch first started covering the Higher Buildings Policy, which enabled these towers and many more, in 2010. Through our FOI inquiries, we learned that the City sold the public land to Pinnacle for a fraction of what it is worth. (See 11-Sep-2018 story in TheBreaker News.)

Official information on the rezoning application is here:
Rezoning Application – 601 Beach Crescent
https://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/601beach/index.htm

The City of Vancouver has received an application from GBL Architects Ltd. to rezone the site to a new Comprehensive Development (CD-1) District to permit the development of a 54-storey mixed-use building which includes:

  • 303 market residential units and 152 social housing units;
  • a floor space ratio (FSR) of 7.23;
  • 2,094 sq. m (22,543 sq. ft.) of commercial space at grade;
  • a floor area of 41,755 sq. m (449,444 sq. ft.);
  • a building height of 163 m (535 ft.); and
  • 442 underground parking spaces and 970 bicycle spaces.
  • The application is being considered under the Higher Buildings Policy.

The applicant is Pinnacle International, based in Vancouver and with property here and in San Diego, Toronto, and Mississauga. “Pinnacle International is one of North America’s leading builders of luxury condominium residences, master-planned communities, hotels and commercial developments.” The website does not indicate who owns the company.

With a rezoning Public Hearing likely in the coming months, now is the chance for taxpayers and citizens to scrutinize the details and see if the City has gotten a fair deal from this public land on behalf of the people it serves, the people of Vancouver.  Continue reading

Open house for precedent-setting 28 storey tower concept – 1296 West Broadway (former Denny’s, now 2538 Birch St): Thurs 29-Nov-2018

1296 Broadway 2538 Birch open house 29-Nov-2018 invite

Pre-Application Open House for 28-storey tower at 2538 Birch (1296 W Broadway)
Event organized by Developer
– Thursday, November 29, 2018, 6 – 8 pm
– 2nd Floor, Holy Trinity Anglican Church
– 1440 – 12th Avenue, Vancouver (at Hemlock St.)

Background

After an extensive process and Public Hearing on January 16, 2018, a 16-storey rental tower with 153 market rental units was approved at 1296 West Broadway (address now changed to 2538 Birch Street), the former site of a Denny’s Restaurant. After the rezoning conditions were met, Council enacted By-law No. 12179, CD-1 (708), on July 24, 2018. With all that cleared, a development application (this time for 158 rental units) went ahead for the approved 16 storeys and is still active today, it seems (DP-2018-00425). So that is all very fresh.

Now the property owner is considering a whole new process, to start a new rezoning application for 28 storeys and they want public input about the idea of the extra 12 storeys, with two levels of retail and office, and approx. 262 rental apartments. “All units are to be secured as market rentals and twenty percent (20%) of the residential units are earmarked to households earning $30,000 to $80,000 per annum.”

An invitation to the pre-application open house from Jameson Broadway & Birch LP on behalf of Icon Properties of America (IPA, a A “family-owned business” based in Altamonte Springs, Florida) is being circulated in the neighbourhood. Hoping to expand on what was already approved, they seek to add 12 floors to provide more rental units for this “transit-oriented” location. The increase appears to be 104 units (from 158 up to 262). Continue reading

Vancouver’s Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHP) – basic info for reference

We provide this here just for reference. A record of the City web page as of 26-Nov-2018.

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https://vancouver.ca/people-programs/creating-new-market-rental-housing.aspx

The Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program encourages development proposals for new buildings where:

  • 100% of the residential floor area is secured rental housing
  • At least 20% of the residential floor area is made available to moderate income households earning $30,000 to $80,000 per year

 

How the program works
The pilot program will select up to 20 proposals for submission of rezoning applications between January 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019. All applications will proceed through a full rezoning process, including public hearing.

Eligible City incentives for Moderate Income Rental Housing projects include:

  • Additional height and density beyond what is available under existing zoning
  • Development Cost Levy (DCL) waiver
  • Parking requirement reductions
  • Relaxation of minimum unit size and configuration requirements
  • Expedited processing

How the program creates affordable rentals
The incentives for this program are designed to encourage delivery of rental buildings where at least 20% of the residential floor area is made available to moderate income households.

Targeted rents in Moderate Income Rental units
Housing unit Monthly rent
Studio $950
1 bedroom $1,200
2 bedroom $1,600
3 bedroom $2,000
Each project owner or their designated property manager will administer the moderate income rental units, including tenant qualification and waitlisting.

Rent increases in the moderate income units will be capped according to the BC Residential Tenancy Act annual allowable increase, regardless of unit turnover.

Tenant eligibility for moderate income rental units will be verified by the building’s management at initial occupancy and on an ongoing basis.

  • For new tenants, household income cannot exceed 4 times the annual rent for the unit (at least 25% of income is spent on rent).
  • For existing tenants, household income cannot exceed 5 times the annual rent for the unit (at least 20% of income is spent on rent).
  • If an existing tenant no longer qualifies for their moderate income rental unit, the operator will issue a six-month notice to end tenancy, in accordance with the BC Residential Tenancy Act.

Learn more about the program [download from this page]

  • Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program bulletin PDF (300 KB)
  • Housing Vancouver Council report PDF (6.6 MB)
  • Family Room policy requirements for family units in secured market rental housing rezoning projects PDF (290 KB)
  • Rental Incentives Guidelines PDF (653 KB)
  • Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program FAQs (114 KB)

Apply to create rental housing through the program
Note The program is currently full [web page as of 26-Nov-2017] and we are not accepting additional pre-enquiry applications until further notice.

We accepted preliminary pre-enquiry applications for review from January 1 to February 16, 2018.