Communities Join Together

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City Hall is applying the wrong planning paradigm in NorquayDTES, Mount Pleasant, Marpole, Granview-Woodland, and West End according to the neighbours. The people are mad as hell and won’t take it anymore. Join us 24 September at the front steps of our City Hall to keep our democracy free of the wrong kind of growth. The neighbourhoods are saying they welcome investment, but will not cede their future over to large scale development. People have clearly indicated a preference for a human scale urbanism, and consultative planning processes.

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Hunger Strike for Ending Homelessnes

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Noon Friday March 22nd a resident calling himself “The Artist — formerly known as Homelesss Dave” began a hunger strike for social justice and housing the homeless. The hunger strike began six days after the official start of the 40th provincial election campaign on 16 march 2013. His message on Twitter read:

 “We’re not about smashing windows. We’re about smashing the old broken paradigms and building new paradigms that are more just and equal.”

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Zoning Not the Right Tool

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600 Block E Cordova—Signs of the Problem: Turning a back on this neighbourhood is longstanding City policy.

A new proposal in the 500-block E Cordova Street exposes the fault line in our community vision. A 2.5 FSR project will provide social housing units on the ground floor. The developer is answering local policy by providing 3 units at SRO rates of $375.

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One Decision Our Way

Quebec & 15th Avenue

This building was built under strata legislation. The owners hold the property in common and must deal with issues as a collective. With the new legislation, each unit will have the legal entity of a single house. Expect changes in design. No more underground parking, common roofs, and shared landscaping. Also expect changes in use. Individual units will generate more opportunities for rental housing. We see major changes to the feel and functioning of the neighbourhood as well. In these matters, small changes can usher in great qualitative differences.

Slipping below the radar, in the first week of June 2012,  the Provincial Legislature passed a small amendment that made legal a form housing in this region that had been banned from the outset. As a result “the missing link” in Vancouver urbanism is now approved and ready for construction. Fee-simple (clear-title) attached housing is now legal to build in British Columbia for the fist in a long time. There really are no examples I can point to of row houses built here in the last 150 years. Row houses are there, but always missing one important feature or another. We have premised the Vancouver Historic Quariters analysis on just this reversal in policy. Read more about the implications of this change for Vancouver urbanism here.

One Decision the Other Way

Vancouver City Council approved the Mount Pleasant Community Plan on 18 November 2010 as we were completing the planning stages of this study. By March 2012, as we were finalizing this report, a Public Hearing to approve re-zoning of a 19 storey tower in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood attracted 295 speakers. Most rose to denounce the tower as the wrong building form for their neighbourhood. On 17 April, with one abstention and one vote against, Council approved the re-zoning citing the $6.25 million cash contribution from the developer as the decisive factor. The community plan, and a two-year community outreach and consultation process, were over ruled. Read More.