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Top News: July 23, 2018

  • Update on city-wide rezoning of detached housing
  • Changes to Parking Bylaw to change onsite minimum parking requirements
  • Save the Skyline – Stop Pavco tower breaking view cones
  • Jericho Lands planning update
  • Subway to UBC town hall meeting July 28

City-wide rezoning of all detached housing without consultation

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday July 24, 2018 at 9:30 am there are a huge number of reports being referred to public hearings. Two of those reports include rezoning across the city without consultation as part of the city’s new Making Room initiative. There has been no public consultation on these proposed rezonings.

  1. Rezoning all RS (single detached) to duplex, allowing up to 4 units per lot. This includes 2 strata duplex units and 2 secondary suites or 2 lock off units (with waived onsite parking requirements). There has been no public consultation process and it undermines all neighbourhood-based planning, including the WPG Community Vision that council approved in 2010. Report is here.
  2. Rezoning Kitsilano’s RT7 & RT8 (character house retention duplex zoning) to a new RT5 zone that allows more infill units, multifamily and easier to demolish character houses with gutted design guidelines. This affects the area east of Alma St. and north of Broadway, as well as an area west of Arbutus. Again, no public consultation. Report is here.

There is no opportunity to speak to council on these reports now. Only at public hearing, which we do not know when that will be. Will keep you informed.

Letters can be sent to council asking them not to send the reports to public hearing without first having a public consultation process.

Letters can go to city councillors: gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca ; clrdegenova@vancouver.ca ;  adriane.carr@vancouver.ca ; elizabeth.ball@vancouver.ca ;  george.affleck@vancouver.ca ;  andrea.reimer@vancouver.ca ; heather.deal@vancouver.ca ;  kerry.jang@vancouver.ca ;  raymond.louie@vancouver.ca ;  tim.stevenson@vancouver.ca ; hector.bremner@vancouver.ca ; ccclerk@vancouver.ca

Of note, there are many reports going to council on this date as well. This includes decisions on previous public hearings last week such as the increased size for laneway houses among many. Worth watching.

Vancouver Sun: Outgoing Vision council doing ‘chainsaw massacre’ to city zoning without public consent

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Changes to Parking Bylaw to change onsite minimum parking requirements

At the same council meeting on Tuesday is a policy report to change the city-wide Parking Bylaw to allow more new developments to have more units without minimum parking requirements, including in detached residential neighbourhoods city-wide. This report may be referred to Wednesday’s meeting at 9:30 am to hear from speakers. Because this is a policy report with recommendations, speakers and letters will be allowed. Report is here.

This will mean that the standard minimum of one parking space per unit will be relaxed or eliminated for new developments. More dependence on street parking will require other future measures including expanded permit parking.

Letters can go to city councillors: gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca ; clrdegenova@vancouver.ca ;  adriane.carr@vancouver.ca ; elizabeth.ball@vancouver.ca ;  george.affleck@vancouver.ca ;  andrea.reimer@vancouver.ca ; heather.deal@vancouver.ca ;  kerry.jang@vancouver.ca ;  raymond.louie@vancouver.ca ;  tim.stevenson@vancouver.ca ; hector.bremner@vancouver.ca ; ccclerk@vancouver.ca

Letters can be accepted up to the meeting that will likely be referred to Wednesday at 9:30 am. Requests to speak to council can be made here.

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Save the Skyline – Stop Pavco tower breaking view cones

Last week there was a public hearing on the Pavco towers at 777 Pacific Ave. The council decision has been referred to the council meeting on Tuesday July 24, 2018 at 9:30 am. These towers will break the long established view cones of the mountains.

Province article: Voices increasing against Pavco tower piercing downtown ‘view cones’

Further action requested. Go to www.saveourskylineyvr.ca/#take-action for instructions.

More background information at saveourskyline.ca

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Jericho Lands Planning Update

The initial step of a two year planning process for the Jericho Lands is going to council for approval of funding on Tuesday July 24, 2018. Report is here.

The West Point Grey Residents Association is listed as a primary stakeholder, so we will keep you informed as the process evolves.

As you are aware, the Jericho Lands represents a large area of the West Point Grey neighbourhood. In the WPG Community Vision that council approved in 2010, there is a direction as follows:

26.2 Jericho Lands Planning Process – Approved – 90% Support

If the redevelopment of the Jericho Lands is proposed, the City should ensure that a major study of future uses of the site takes place with significant public consultation. Consistent with the approach taken to create the WPG Community Vision, workshops and other consultations – including a survey of WPG residents – should be held to help determine the neighbourhood’s view on issues related to the development of the Jericho Lands not covered in the WPG Community Vision. There should be early feedback to City Council on the interests and concerns of the WPG community before any key decisions are made. The outcome of a Jericho Lands planning process should be a plan for the site developed in consultation with the WPG community; the plan should be considered when implementing Vision Directions and pursuing other City initiatives in WPG.

WPGRA has sent a letter to the city emphasizing this point and note that this direction is included in the report to council. We want to see the local community having a central role in this planning process and will inform those who are interested. Please encourage your neighbours to sign up with us for further information coming in the fall.

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Subway to UBC Town Hall July 28, 2018

Plans to extend the Millennium Line subway along Broadway to Arbutus are underway, and talk has turned to the possibility of continuing the subway on to UBC. MP Joyce Murray is having a Town Hall information and discussion session.

Her panel includes:

Michelle Barile – West Broadway Business Improvement Association
Jerry Dobrovolny – Chief engineer and General Manager of Engineering Services
Michael White – Associate Vice President, Campus and Community Planning at UBC
Sany Zain – Vice President, Infrastructure Management and Engineering TransLink

Saturday, July 28, 2018
Registration 12:30 – 1:00 pm
Town Hall: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Pacific Spirit Church, Memorial Hall
(2195 45th Ave at Yew)
Light refreshments will be provided

RSVP at joyce.murray.c1c@parl.gc.ca or call 604-664-9220

Extending the subway to UBC would turn all of West Point Grey and Kitsilano into a Frequent Transit Development Areas for high density development under the Regional Growth Strategy. It would have a particularly large impact on the Jericho Lands.

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) of which WPGRA is a member, has written a number of letters recently on the subject. Letter to Province  & Letter to City of Vancouver

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City rushing to rezone WPG and city-wide

The public’s urgent attention is needed as the city rushes to rezone city-wide during the summer when people are away and before the upcoming election when most of current council will be stepping down.

Vancouver Sun: Outgoing Vision council doing ‘chainsaw massacre’ to city zoning without public consent

The first of the public hearings was, Tuesday July 17, 2018, with all of Vision and NPA voting for and only Green Clr. Adriane Carr voting against based on lack of proper process. https://council.vancouver.ca/20180717/phea20180717ag.htm

Wednesday July 18 Public Hearing 6 pm – Changes to Laneway Housing

The following public hearing has concluded and now being referred to council for decision on  July 24, 2018 at 9:30 am.

Item #2. TEXT AMENDMENTS: Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law – Laneway Home Regulations

Reference: Agenda https://council.vancouver.ca/20180718/phea20180718ag.htm

Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20180619/documents/rr1c.pdf

Main objection: Making changes to all zones with laneway housing across Vancouver, including West Point Grey (WPG), with no input from the local WPG community, or any other affected neighbourhood, only with input from industry and current users.  Changes include making laneway houses bigger and taller without any design guidelines.Will be a further incentive to demolish rather than only allowed as an incentive to retain character houses through adaptive reuse. Needs broad public consultation.

Further information is in letter below or in report link above.

Tues. July 17 Public Hearing 6 pm – Changes to all RS zones – APPROVED

The first of the public hearings was, Tuesday July 17, 2018, with all of Vision and NPA voting for and only Green Clr. Adriane Carr voting against based on lack of proper process.

Item #2. TEXT AMENDMENTS: Development and Building Regulatory Review – Minor Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law, the Downtown Official Development Plan, and Various Land Use and Development Policies and Guidelines

Reference: Agenda https://council.vancouver.ca/20180717/phea20180717ag.htm 

Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20180619/documents/rr1d.pdf

Main objection: Makes substantive changes to RS zoning across the city without any public consultation and misrepresents them as minor text amendments, together with a number of unrelated items. This includes changes to the intent of all RS zones, allowing multiple front doors, reduced front yards, and increased discretionary authority to the Director of Planning without having to go back to council or the Development Permit Board. This should go back for community consultation.

Further information is in letter below or in report link above.

 

 

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BC ‘School Tax’ Surcharge

May 27 WPGRA Town Hall Meeting: Thanks to MLA David Eby, the presenters, moderator, all who attended and the volunteers who made our event a success.

The Jericho Hill Gym was packed to capacity, including the upper balconies, at over 900 in attendance . With the exception of only a few people, the overwhelming opposition to this tax was clear. MLA David Eby committed to taking this message, including the proposed alternatives, back to the government and Minister of Finance, Carol James.

Main points often repeated by attendees:

Most cannot afford this tax.

Many cannot defer.

There are better options from the provincial tax base to cover needed revenue for schools rather than encroaching on the municipal tax base of property taxes.

The presentation by Elizabeth Murphy is here. BC Budget-Surtax-2018-Presentation

Recent media:

Georgia Straight: B.C. property surtax undermines cities and affordability

Business in Vancouver: Surtax undermines municipal tax base

Vancouver Sun: B.C. taxes need a ‘second look’

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The BC Government has proposed a huge surtax onto property taxes for those assessed at over $3 million. It would substantially affect the City of Vancouver for both owners and renters, covering more properties over time.This would eventually affect everyone.

Be informed about this precedent and make your voice heard.

This is the letter sent to the province from the West Point Grey Residents Association and other information on the surtax below.

Sign the petition: Say no to new provincial surtax on property

https://www.change.org/p/b-c-voters-and-members-of-legislative-assembly-say-no-to-new-provincial-surtax-on-property-拒绝省政府新施的物业附加税/share_for_starters?just_created=true

Contact BC Province:

Send letters to Premier John Horgan and the BC government:

premier@gov.bc.ca ; john.horgan.mla@leg.bc.ca ; Carole.James.mla@leg.bc.ca ; FIN.minister@gov.bc.ca ; david.eby.mla@leg.bc.ca ; andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca ; greencaucus@leg.bc.ca

See media:

Canadian Property Taxes –

City of Vancouver currently has the highest property taxes in Canada

https://elizabethmurphyblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/canadian-property-taxes/

BC undermines municipal tax base and affordability

 http://vancouversun.com/ opinion/op-ed/elizabeth- murphy-b-c-undermines- municipal-tax-base-and- affordability 

or https://elizabethmurphyblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/10/bc-property-tax-surcharge/

‘School tax’ is confiscatory wealth tax on lifetime savers

http://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/gordon-gibson-school-tax-is-confiscatory-wealth-tax-on-lifetime-savers

NDP demonstrates irresponsibility and incompetence with new taxes http://theprovince.com/opinion/columnists/gordon-clark-ndp-demonstrates-irresponsibility-and-incompetence-with-new-taxes

CityHallWatch

https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/property-tax-school-surcharge-wpgra-letter/

Globe and Mail – Justine Hunter

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-new-bc-tax-on-high-value-homes-goes-largely-unnoticed/

The Province – Gordon Clark

http://theprovince.com/opinion/columnists/gordon-clark-ndp-demonstrates-irresponsibility-and-incompetence-with-new-taxes

Canadian Mortgage brokers Association of BC – Letter to Province

http://www.shpoa.ca/pdf/correspondence/CMBAletter.pdf

Jonathan Rubenstein – Letter

http://www.shpoa.ca/pdf/JR.pdf

David Eby, MLA, Vancouver-Point Grey Letter to constituents

http://davidebymla.ca/newsletter/issue-update-schools-tax-an-open-letter-to-concerned-constituents-march-2018/

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson describes new school tax as a “dangerous precedent” Georgia Straight on April 26th, 2018

https://www.straight.com/news/1066791/bc-liberal-leader-andrew-wilkinson-describes-new-school-tax-dangerous-precedent

Andrew Wilkinson, MLA, Leader of the Opposition  – Letter

http://bcliberalcaucus.bc.ca/

BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver

Vaughn Palmer: Weaver says new housing taxes more cash cow than crisis solver

Vancouver Sun Published on: May 3, 2018

http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-weaver-says-new-housing-taxes-more-cash-cow-than-crisis-solver

Scrap the Surtax – website

https://www.facebook.com/scrapbcsurtax/

Contact BC Province:

Send letters to Premier John Horgan and the BC government:

premier@gov.bc.ca ; john.horgan.mla@leg.bc.ca ; Carole.James.mla@leg.bc.ca ; FIN.minister@gov.bc.ca ; david.eby.mla@leg.bc.ca ; andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca ; greencaucus@leg.bc.ca

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Update on Jericho Lands:

We are still accepting surveys from the community as per below. The Jericho Lands planning process has been delayed due to the owners’ focus on the Heather Street Lands in the Cambie Corridor. However, consultation on the Jericho Lands may start later this year 2018 after the Heather Lands planning is completed in the spring. So please complete your survey now if you have not already. Thank you.

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Have your say! Jericho Lands Survey

Redevelopment of the Jericho Lands, which are an integral part of the West Point Grey (WPG) neighbourhood, has the potential to transform the local community. A City of Vancouver planning process for both provincial and federal portions (as shown below) is expected to get underway in coming months. Consistent with the WPG Community Vision, approved by the City of Vancouver in 2010, local residents need to give early input to guide the Jericho Lands planning process. The following survey is intended to help the West Point Grey Residents Association (WPGRA) represent local perspectives.

JerichoLands-plan-colour-crop2The Jericho Lands are shown outlined in white above. Both the provincial side (on the left) and the federal side (on the right) are under consideration for development planning.

Download Survey Form Here 

Please note this is a file you can fill out on your computer. (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Some browsers will display the file on your screen, but won’t let you fill it out.  If this is the case for you then:

Download the file to your computer and then open it with Adobe Reader

When complete, save a copy and email it to us at info@wpgra.ca.

survey-thumb

Survey Clarification:
Question 3. Types of Dwellings for Jericho Lands
For descriptions of housing types continue here.