January 21st, 2020 Public Hearing – Laneway Landlords Condemn Violation Of Homeowner Rights As Moderate Income Rental Homes Break New Boundaries

January 21st, 2020 Public Hearing
Update 01/22/20 – The public hearing has recessed and will resume on January 28th at 3pm. As such, one can still send in correspondence or sign up to speak on Items 5 & 6.

The first public hearing of 2020 finally tests what the relatively new Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program is capable of. Frankly, though they provided more affordable housing than previous rental programs, their scale was all too similar. That’s true for this evening’s first MIRHPP project on Stainsbury Ave., as fears of opposition from the neighbouring single-family homeowners led the city to limit its height to five floors.

Items 3 and 4, a pair of towers on Vancouver’s eastern-most edge are far more ambitious, but are still smaller than the two 15 floor strata towers built on Burnaby’s side back in 1983. Though transit service has improved since then, especially with the new Rapid Bus 5, many are concerned that traffic will worsen. Others from both Vancouver and Burnaby feel the neighbourhood has deteriorated, as the later city has allowed too many rental homes in the area recently.

Though, as usual, Items 1 & 2 are basically housekeeping issues, the evening’s final item is rather unique. This amendment to the Nanaimo sub-area of the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan will pre-zone a couple blocks near Lord Nelson Elementary, as well as two near the Grandview Cut. This is in response to demands from local residents who felt isolated by the plan, and would like the opportunity to convert their single-family homes into something large, like townhomes.


Backlash Expectations

Item #3 – 1956 – 1990 Stainsbury AveModerate
This project has struck fear into the hearts of neighbouring landlords.

Item #4 – 3600 East Hastings StHigh
Traffic and parking are paramount issues, but others fear these new rental homes will bring more crime.

Item #5 – 3680 East Hasting StHigh
Like the last item, its companion has generated fears about traffic, parking, and type of people who rent.

Item #6 – Rezoning Of Certain Properties In The Nanaimo Sub-area Of The Granview-Woodland PlanLow
Some opposes the change near Lord Nelson Elementary, but residents to the south are strongly in favor.

1956 - 1990 Stainsbury Avenue Render

-Source

The Third Item – 1956 – 1990 Stainsbury Ave – Moderate

What is it?:
A five floor building proposed under the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPPs) that will offer 80 homes, 20% of which will be targeted to households with incomes between 30 – 80 thousand dollars. It will result in the closure of a small lane dividing the site.

Where is it?:
Here, at the corner of Stainsbury and Victoria Dr. It’s roughly a 20 minute walk from the Commercial-Broadway transit station, 5 minutes from John Hendry Park, and is across the street from a six floor rental building that is expected to be finished construction this year.

What was the open house like?:
Hannah was one of the 58 people who attended this event (pg 58), but I wasn’t. In her opinion, there were two main groups, one who were eager to see new housing options, and the other who feared this would lower the demand for their laneway homes.

What are its strengths?:
Aside from the type of housing it provides, it’s nice to see a building add a splash of colour to our grey, rainy city. The setback city staff have required along Stainsbury creates a very open space at the corner of Stainsbury and Victoria.

What are its weaknesses?:
Though the MIRHP program allows for six floor buildings, city staff limited this to five floors to appease its single-family neighbours to the south and east (pg 9). The steep grade of the property has created some issues, like the exposed parkade walls.

What is the opposition like?:
Aside from the concerns raised by nearby landlords at the open house, some feel more rental housing will reduce the quality of life in the neighbourhood (pg 49). One person claims they are being discriminated against, as they feel that, as a homeowner, they had a legitimate expectation this area’s single-family character was enshrined in the law (pg 1).

Want To Speak Up?:
Email your thoughts to City Council at publichearing@vancouver.ca. or register to speak in person here.

IMG_0979

The Fourth Item – 3600 East Hastings St – High

What is it?:
A 14 floor building proposed under the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPPs) that will offer 94 homes, 20% of which will be targeted to households with incomes between 30 – 80 thousand dollars.

Where is it?:
Here, kitty corner to the Kootenay Loop and on the doorstep of a Rapid Bus 5 stop, replacing a store that sells fireplaces. Located on the same block as the next item, both will have great views of the soon to be tallest building in the British Columbia, Gilmore Place, as well as the Brentwood Town Centre redevelopment.

What was the open house like?:
Joined by Councillor Swanson, 127 people (pg 48) attended this event that also presented 3680 East Hastings. Many were concerned these projects would worsen traffic congestion, and make street parking harder to find. Others were upset to see another rental housing proposal in the area, as they believe it has led to an increase in dog waste on streets.

What are its strengths?:
Aside from being extremely well-served by transit, its located just a block from Sir John Franklin Elementary. City staff have reduced the height of the podium’s southern side to four floors (pg 26), the same height allowed in the adjacent single-family zoned area under the Rental 100 Policy (pg 48). Best of all, it won’t displace any existing rental housing.

What are its weaknesses?:
Considering the age of nearby towers, and the excellent transit service, one could argue this project, and it’s companion to the east are being under-built. It’s also a shame that neither is providing a rooftop amenity space.

What is the opposition like?:
Despite its proximity to frequent transit, many are afraid the traffic congestion on the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge will worsen (pg 49). Others are simply upset that so much rental housing has been added to the neighbourhood, as they feel it has made the community less safe (Pg 50). One person with a PhD worries these homes will lead to an increase in prostitution, or a Value Village, and should be located in a less safe area like Clark and Broadway were a young teen was murdered last year (pg 6).

Want To Speak Up?:
Email your thoughts to City Council at publichearing@vancouver.ca. or register to speak in person here.

IMG_0960

The Fifth Item – 3680 East Hasting St – High

What is it?:
A 14 floor building proposed under the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPPs) that will offer 118 homes, 20% of which will be targeted to households with incomes between 30 – 80 thousand dollars.

Where is it?:
Here, on the Boundary Road between Vancouver and Burnaby. It’s kitty corner to two 15 floor buildings built in 1983. Located on the same block as the previous item, both will have great views of the future tallest building in the British Columbia, Gilmore Place as well as the Brentwood Town Centre redevelopment.

What was the open house like?:
Joined by Councillor Swanson, 127 people (pg 49) attended this event that also presented 3600 East Hastings. Many were concerned these projects would worsen traffic congestion, and make street parking harder to find. Others were upset to see another rental housing proposal in the area, as they believe it has led to increase in dog waste on streets.

What are its strengths?:It provides easy access to Downtown, the North Shore, and SFU as its located next to a stop for the new Rapid Bus 5, and a block from the Kootenay Loop. Plus, it’s very close to Sir John Franklin Elementary, and won’t displace any existing rental housing. City staff have reduced the height of the podium’s southern side to four floors (Pg 26), to match the height allowed in the adjacent single-family zoned area under the Rental 100 Policy (pg 48).

What are its weaknesses?:
Considering the age of nearby towers, and the excellent transit service, one could argue this project, and it’s companion to the east are being under-built. It’s also shame that neither is providing a rooftop amenity space.

What is the opposition like?:
Despite its proximity to frequent transit, many are afraid the traffic congestion on the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge will worsen (pg 50). Others are simply upset that so much rental housing has been added to the neighbourhood, as they feel it has made the community less safe (pg 51). One person with a PhD worries these homes will lead to an increase in prostitution, or a Value Village, and should be located in a less safe area like Clark and Broadway were a young teen was murdered last year (pg 8).

Want To Speak Up?:
Email your thoughts to City Council at publichearing@vancouver.ca. or register to speak in person here.

Nanaimo Sub-area 2020 Zoning Changes.jpg

Above – Source / Below – Source

The Sixth Item – Rezoning Of Certain Properties In The Nanaimo Sub-area Of The Granview-Woodland Plan – Low

What is it?:
It’s complicated…

This will rezone the 2400 blocks south of East 12th Avenue, and north of North Grandview Highway. Areas A & B will change to RM-12N, while Area C will become RM-8A (pg 15).
It will also rezone parts of the 2300 block of Kitchener and Charles Street, the north and south side respectively. Areas A & B will become RM-8A, while Area C will change to C-2 (pg 11).

Where is it?:
The RM-12N and RM-8A are generally focused here, just before Nanaimo crosses the Grandview Cut and the Millennium Line.

The RM-8A and C-2 zoning changes applies to this general area between Lord Nelson Elementary and Nanaimo Street.

What was the open house like?:
I attended the open house for the changes proposed around North Grandview Highway, and was joined by 11 people (pg 42), many who live in the area and had come with their real estate agents.

Hannah, along with 27 others (pg 46), went to the event for the changes proposed by Lord Nelson Elementary and was met with some who were worried about the impact this would have on their home’s value. Others were simply curious why these properties were allowed to be rezoned, and not their own.

What are its strengths?:
These small changes are meant to address the concerns of homeowners who feel isolated by the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan. For this reason, the majority of people appear to be strongly supportive of this proposal.

It’s also great to see another small retail strip added along Nanaimo Street.

What are its weaknesses?:
It would have been nice to see a small cafe allowed to serve the Central Valley Greenway that runs along North Grandview Highway.

Many homeowners surrounding both areas would have liked to do something similar with their properties, but any further changes will be reviewed under the Vancouver (City-wide) Plan (pg 2), and possibly delayed because of it.

What is the opposition like?:
So far literally no one appears opposed to the changes around the North Grandview Highway (pg 44), with many neighbours hoping to see additional growth allowed in the future.

Meanwhile, a small group of long-term residents are opposed to any change by Lord Nelson Elementary, including one adjacent proposal already allowed under the community plan. Still, a slight majority in this area appears to be in favour of this plan as well (pg 46).

Want To Speak Up?:
Email your thoughts to City Council at publichearing@vancouver.ca. or register to speak in person here.

One thought on “January 21st, 2020 Public Hearing – Laneway Landlords Condemn Violation Of Homeowner Rights As Moderate Income Rental Homes Break New Boundaries

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: