Questions about Participation and Process
How do I weigh in on a project I like?
Great Question! Head here to see which part of City Hall would be best to contact. In most of our posts, we also make sure to include links to the project’s webpage were you can submit your views as well.
Does my opinion actually make a difference?
When you choose to speak at City Council or at a Development Permit Board meeting, you are addressing the people capable of making the most change. Writing letters is another great way of being heard, as they really do read each one. Attending an open house event is always great too. The city staff really do value each person’s opinion, so make sure to fill out a comment card. All comments are collected, transcribed, and put into the staff report. These go to the desk of each City Councillor, and are used to evaluate the project. They are also made available on the City’s website, though of course all comments remain anonymous.
I have information about an upcoming pre-application open house /city led open house/ workshop.
Great! Please share it with us here, and we will let as many people know as we can.
Does development / rezoning make land more expensive?
This is a tricky question. Ultimately, if you can build two homes on one lot that land will be worth more. However, that cost will now be split between two owners. Let’s say a home is worth $1.00. It is then rezoned to allow three homes, and the land rises in worth to $2.00. A developer comes along and offers to develop the site into three homes, but will charge another $0.50 for construction fees /profits. The total cost of the land will now be $2.50, however each home now only costs roughly $0.83.
How can new rental projects be called affordable when they cost so much?
Rental housing is called affordable housing because it lacks the down payment needed for a market project.
Ok… but rents are very high, how is that affordable?
The truth is that while they are more affordable than market housing, monthly rents are very high in Vancouver. We feel the best way to combat that problem is to have more rental housing available. Landlords will obviously find it harder to charge high prices when there are more options on the market.
More Questions About Us
Do you post user submitted opinions?
We support everyone’s voice. Still, we are not city government, and we can’t possible contribute everyone’s opinion here – that is what we have our section about how to engage productively. If you believe you have photos or some info that should be shared, please pass it along and it might make our page. We’re all to happy to credit our sources but we also respect and support the right to anonymity.
Why concentrate on Vancouver? Why not spend more time on Burnaby, Richmond or Surrey?
Unfortunately, there is only so much time in a day. We live in Vancouver, so it is easier for us to cover the changes it is seeing. However, we recognize the importance of our neighboring cities, and occasionally can share some insight about our region too. After all, our entire region is a wonderfully interconnected growing area. When our family is older, we may end up in the suburbs and recognize the greatness in all of them.
Are you YIMBYS / Pro Development?
The truth is, we have been called a lot worse than YIMBY, so we will tolerate this label. That said, we don’t want to see ugly buildings for the sake of the ego. We want good homes for good people in a good city. We do think that means more density and development, but it has to be done in a thoughtful way.
Are you saying you want me to sell my home?
We never want to see people forced to leave their home. Everyone should have the opportunity to live here. That said, we don’t want to see others force people to leave because they reject an increased diversity in their neighbourhood, nor do we agree with the view that others should have veto rights on the land someone else owns. The important thing is that these changes comply with city policy.
Do you try to influence people to support more urban growth?
While we do try to give an unbiased presentation of the information, there is no denying that we both support a bigger, more inclusive Vancouver.
Does that make you pro-development?
Yes and no. We support reasonable and responsible development in Vancouver. That means we understand there is a need for more homes, more office space, and more industrial density too. However, it also means we don’t want to see Soviet style block homes, people forced to leave their homes, or see Vancouver become a resort city for the ultra wealthy. There is a happy middle ground that is willing to see more people live in Vancouver, while preserving our parks and the ALR.
Do you work in real estate/ for the development community / for the local government / etc.?
The short answer is no; The long answer is also no. We do this in our spare time because we genuinely believe there is value in positively contributing to our city, and in sharing what we learn with as many people as we can.
Is your goal to to advance a political party / agenda?
This is tricky to answer. In short we are human, but we are not working for anyone. Like most people, we exercise our freedom to vote and try to be informed. However, we recognise that the growth of our city is more important than one political party. As such, we generally try not to advocate for or disparage any political view in the information we provide.
Why do you cover events for luxury market buildings?
All buildings have an impact on our daily lives. We want people to be informed about all changes in their city. Though it is important to remember, a luxury condo is often comparable in price to a detached home in Vancouver.
I don’t understand what a term you used means.
That is totally understandable. Just head over to our glossary, and hopefuly you can find it there. If not, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to explain.