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Vancouver's Broadway Plan gets mixed feedback at public session

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A large crowd gathered at a public information session on Vancouver's Broadway Plan Monday night, as new provincial housing rules pushing for more density could change neighbourhoods along the new subway line.

The Broadway Plan, first introduced in 2022, already included many housing developments near transit stations, but new proposals could make the buildings much larger, in some cases more than double the original height.

Planning staff with the city say feedback at the session was mixed.

"Some people are just thrilled to see more housing supply, they think that's much-needed, particularly around transit," said Matt Shillito, interim director of planning with the City of Vancouver. "Others are more concerned about the scale and the pace of change and how that might impact the existing residential neighbourhoods in particular."

Cameron Gilbert is a renter in the neighbourhood and his building is slated to be demolished as part of the Broadway Plan. He said there's a lot of uncertainty in the neighbourhood about what protections are in place for renters.

"It's pretty up in the air," he told CTV News Vancouver. "There's so many new proposals right now, so many renters are being displaced and so many people are going to be looking for new accommodation in the upcoming months, years. So it's really unclear to us and the communication with the city has been pretty limited."

Gilbert said renters are concerned about how the promised protections will be enforced.

"What is in place to hold the developers and the landlords accountable?" he asked. 

Last month, the city acknowledged a significant increase in rezoning applications for the Broadway Plan. Applications are up from 29 at the end of Q4 2023 to 46 at the end of Q1 2024, as per the report. For context, an annual average of 76 rezoning applications were submitted across the entire city over the last five years, according to the city's memo. 

Two more open houses will be held this month. One is scheduled for June 20, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at city hall while another is scheduled for June 26 at the same time, at Kitsilano Neighbourhood House.

City staff will review public feedback and submit a report to council in November.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Isabella Zavarise 

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