Meeting with COV Councillor Colleen Hardwick
Friday, September 25, 3:00-4:30
Colleen, as part of her plan to meet with all 50 neighbourhoods in Vancouver, asked us to invite the Kits Executive Team and a few volunteers and supporters to a Zoom meeting to discuss the City’s planning process and how it applies to us.
- The City of Vancouver (COV) Housing Vancouver Strategy set a goal of 72,000 new ‘homes’ in the next decade (2017-2027) but at its current growth rate (about one percent compounded annually) we need only 32,000 per the Regional Growth Strategy. Plus there are already 28,000-to-30,000 condos in the City’s development pipeline. According to the Census, our population in 2016 was 631,486 and in 2021 is expected to be 661,797. Without any zoning changes, there is sufficient capacity to meet the demand over the next few decades. The ratio for population/household is 2.2 (so Kits Point probably has ~2,400 residents)
- The empty-homes tax (2017) and speculation tax (2018) have slowed the pace of offshore buyers but the pace of construction continues
- In October the CMHC rental vacancy rates will be updated—Colleen expects an increase of a few percentage points, supporting the premise that accelerated densification is not warranted. The pandemic has led to the collapse of Airbnb and foreign student demand. With increased working from home, there has been a net out migration from Vancouver to surrounding Lower Mainland communities
- Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) that developers pay to the COV are typically 5% of the project’s budget, less if it’s rental property. Since 2009 CACs have been regularized as a revenue stream in the City’s Capital budget effectively making the City dependent on developer contributions to fund its growth agenda
- Look at the Liveable City DNA matrix: if Kits Point (KP) had to add 500-1,000 new homes where would they be? What variety? What about mobility, community amenities, character, commercial activity and green space? What new zoning would be required?
- There’s an approximate $100 million operating deficit, it’s growing with expectations of a $225 million capital shortfall this year and since COVID, the COV has spent some of its reserves up front
- For needed revenue, converting every city street to paid parking is being considered
- Triple-net rents are destroying small business
- Planning is being conducted with a top-down approach, and neighbourhood plans from the past are being ignored
- Top jobs and consulting contracts are awarded to out-of-towners who have no sense of local history, i.e., a Toronto firm contracted for the Vancouver Plan
What can We Do?
- Have a point person in each block of KP
- Challenge/slow down the Vancouver Plan and inform with factual numbers of the real housing demand. Demand a community-based planning process.
- Pressure the City to have more public meetings and ensure KP residents attend and voice their opinions
- Reach out to nearby communities to determine common ground and a collective voice
If you are a registered and logged-in as a Kits Point Resident, you may also wish to share your thoughts with our community through our Forum link below.