'1 step forward, 3 steps back: Vancouver city council to vote on 'pace-of-change' policy
Vancouver council will soon vote on a policy that could slow development in the Broadway Plan, one of the most significant long-term projects underway in the city.
Councillors have started debating a “pace-of-change” policy designed to prevent people from being displaced at some of the city's oldest and most affordable apartments, a move that could stifle development.
“Yes, this does put a little bit of pressure on developers who are interested in knocking down older, purpose-built apartment buildings to redevelop them,” said Coun. Pete Fry. “We are talking about 2,000 renter households potentially impacted per year if there’s no pace of change.”
The policy options include an annual limit on the number of projects that would impact existing rental housing, with some exemptions. Housing advocate Jean Swanson said she’d prefer the slowest development option.
“I think the first option of five buildings a year is good,” Swanson said.
The other options are 10 or 15 projects per year in the existing apartment areas.
Once hopeful about the 30-year Broadway Plan, Raman Bayanzadeh. a commercial realtor with Royal LePage Commercial, said the pace-of-change policy is short-sighted, adding that he thinks it could push developers to other municipalities.
“It’s one step forward, three steps back,” he said. “Limiting development projects, limiting the number of applications going through, increasing costs and challenges for developers … they will look at other options.”
Council will vote on the policy on March 29, when it could decide to forego the policy altogether.
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