Our Communities Our Plans

Our Communities Our Plans

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This petition aims to move the City of Vancouver away from arbitrary rezoning policies and back to meaningful public participation in neighbourhood-based planning.

Historical Context: The original layout of the City of Vancouver was transit oriented, as it was designed for a streetcar system before the common use of the automobile. From the 1970s to 2006, the City of Vancouver was well-known for following urbanist Jane Jacob's principles for extensive public participation and influence in neighbourhood-based planning such as Local Area Plans and CityPlan. This allowed for accommodating growth in a variety of forms while retaining individual neighbourhood character and liveability.

Current Context: Since 2007, the City has moved away from this legacy and has increasingly implemented arbitrary city-wide rezoning policies that undermine neighbourhood character and disregard neighbourhood context. This change has often resulted in older, more affordable housing being demolished and replaced with more expensive new development that is unaffordable to the people who are displaced. This fuels rather than solves housing unaffordability and homelessness.

Key issue: The politically mixed Council elected in 2018 has regrettably continued to implement the same policies and programs as the former council, leading to extensive rezonings that promote growth rather than manage growth. Growth targets are now over double actual growth rates based on Census data. These policies are causing major damage to the City, its neighbourhoods, and its citizens.

Examples of problematic policies:

  • City-wide Vancouver Plan being redefined to implement existing rezoning policies, with most going ahead immediately as exemptions or quick starts, so not much meaningful is left to plan
  • Rental incentive programs that create a scale of development that is too large, such as:
    - Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPP) incentivized spot rezonings that create precedent setting large towers out of scale with surrounding areas;
    - On-arterial and off-arterial local residential streets "transition" area rental incentive policies that result in higher density 4 to 6 storey apartment, townhouse, multiplex development that is out of scale with neighbourhood context;
    - City-wide rezoning of C2 zones to 6 storey rentals, while also increasing height, reducing front and rear building setbacks, including for both rental and strata
  • Subway transit corridor development planning, such as the Broadway Plan, that focuses transit-oriented development into only a few very expensive corridors
  • Giving less weight to local neighbourhood people's opinions while prioritizing development interests
  • Omnibus city-wide rezonings of multiple zones at once, which makes impossible any consideration of local neighbourhood context
  • Policies that are biased towards demolition of character and heritage buildings, rather than promoting their retention and adaptive reuse that is more affordable and sustainable.

Therefore, this petition requests the City of Vancouver to:

  • stop promoting excessive growth with continuing demolition, loss of character, and arbitrary out of scale development and towers that produce unsupported precedents without neighbourhood context;
  • instead, use meaningful public participation in neighbourhood-based planning to manage growth, based on real data, for both ownership and rentals, that reflects public support in each neighbourhood;
  • provide local amenities sufficient to serve growth;
  • promote and plan for a city-wide grid network of plentiful, affordable, frequent electric public transit rather than only a few expensive over developed subway corridors; and
  • strive for a liveable, sustainable, affordable future for all, within the context of each neighbourhood's character.