Vancouver land negotiations led to 'significant stress' for residents, city councillor says in call for lease renewal
A Vancouver city councillor is calling for the immediate extension or renewal of leases on the south side of False Creek, saying residents in the area have faced years of stress and uncertainty.
In a motion being brought to city council this week, Coun. Colleen Hardwick is asking the city to immediately address leases in the neighbourhood.
The city owns 80 acres of land in False Creek South, which was used in the 1970s to pioneer a waterfront community. Between 1976 and 1986, a significant portion of the land was leased out to tenants long term, with many of those contracts lasting for 60 years. Most of those leases expire between 2036 and 2046.
Some of the homes are leasehold strata units – like townhouses and condos. Others are social housing, some are long-term care homes and many are co-op units.
Hardwick's motion says leases haven't been negotiated yet, but existing residents have had "more than a decade of meetings with the city" and "are experiencing significant stress."
Her motion asks that strata properties in the area be given immediate lease extensions, followed by lease renewal negotiations.
For co-ops, she proposes immediate lease renewals. She also says consideration of lease renewal policies and community planning for the area should be done in public.
The city's neighbourhood planning program for the area was paused in 2018 so the leases could be renegotiated. Earlier this year, however, residents were asked to give their feedback on the city's plan for the neighbourhood.
Results from that survey said the most important factor when considering the future of the neighbourhood should be "providing clarity for residents currently living on city-owned lands in False Creek South about future plans for those lands."
"The importance of providing clarity for False Creek South residents was a consistent theme in online public meetings and was also reinforced in emails and open-ended comments," a summary of the survey says.
Hardwick's motion is on the agenda for Tuesday's council meeting.