Staff recommend Vancouver council choose slowest pace of development for Broadway Plan
City of Vancouver planners are recommending council choose the slowest pace of development for some areas of the Broadway Plan.
The recommendation would see five projects built per year in designated locations covered by the plan, and is part of the “pace-of-change” policy, designed to prevent people from being displaced at some of the city's oldest and most affordable apartments.
Coun. Pete Fry said under this option, staff are anticipating that about 180 households per year would be displaced. He said developers who are frustrated with the potential policy should look to other areas along the Broadway Corridor.
“There’s still open season on redeveloping the station areas, and parking lots, warehouses and what have you,” Fry said. “It’s just, we’re concerned about the loss of the affordable rentals in the area, and we want to make sure we do it slow and measured.”
Sasha Faris, president of First Track Development, a group with a few projects proposed along Broadway, called the staff recommendation an “about-face.”
"Trying to shore up the ability to have more densification by only five projects per year, this is the complete opposite direction of trying to fix the housing crisis,” Faris said.
Other stakeholders – such as Landlord BC – agree. That group calls the proposed policy “unnecessary overkill.” The province also encouraged council to not go this route.
“We’re in a housing crisis and we’ve already gone through this public consultation," said Ravi Khalon, B.C.'s Housing Minister. "We’ve approved this project over three years and it’s about time we get to work.”
Mazdak Gharibnavaz, a volunteer with the Vancouver Tenants Union said the group would like to see as little displacement as possible. He told CTV News the VTU conducted a survey of renters that would be impacted by the redevelopment of the Broadway Corridor and found that over a quarter of residents have been there for at least a decade.
“It’s really the people that live in these neighborhoods that have made these neighborhoods and if you tear out the people from the neigbourhoods, then you’re destroy the neighborhoods themselves,” he said.
Coun. Rebecca Bligh told CTV News all options are on the table when council votes on March 29, including scrapping the policy.
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