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'It's not appropriate here': Residents voice safety concerns as Vancouver council approves new Dunbar rental building


Several Dunbar residents are speaking out regarding Vancouver city council’s unanimous approval of a 30-unit, five-storey rental building on Collingwood Place.

“The whole neighbourhood is not happy about council’s decision,” said Alan Kenney, a resident who lives in the area.

Kenney cites increased traffic and pedestrian safety as his two biggest concerns. He says the streets already narrow and do not have sidewalks, making it challenging for pedestrians.

“Once these new developments go in, it will not be safe for any pedestrians at all,” said Kenney.

Council held a public hearing this week, at which more residents spoke out in opposition to the project, including one man who cited concerns with a fire truck having difficulty in the past getting out of the neighbourhood after tending to a fire.

“This was very scary and it made us fearful that this problem could also arise not just on the way out, but also on the way to fight a fire,” said the man in council chambers.

City Coun. Peter Meiszner told CTV News he understands the residents' concerns, but housing is a crucial need for a city lacking supply.

“It’s on a transit route, it’s close to UBC and it’s in a neighbourhood that desperately needs affordable housing,” said Meiszner. “This is going to give people the opportunity to rent in the neighbourhood and that’s something that’s missing right now.”

Kenney, however, says he’s not opposed to building, but wants council to proceed responsibly.

“We’re not against development, or the whole densification of the city, it’s just that it’s not appropriate here,” he said.

Meiszner says city staff has been instructed to explore having the rental building’s front access located on Dunbar St to help avoid congestion. He says street parking restrictions are another option to help ease residents' concerns.

“Change is challenging for people and I totally understand that,” said Meiszner. “But we need to build housing.”

Earlier this year, the city adopted new bylaws aiming to help increase supply, and in September the provincial government announced housing supply quotas for several cities – including Vancouver – to reach over the next five years.

Another five-storey, 30-unit building just a few doors down is set for a council vote within the next few weeks. Top Stories

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