Saturday, 15 September 2018

General Rezoning Public Hearing Sept 19-3:00

From: Larry Benge <>

Subject: Public Hearing

There is a public hearing coming up this next Tuesday which is critical to the future of this city as we know it. The Council will be voting on  changes to all the RS1 zoning across the city, and to a rezoning of RT7 and RT8 to RT5.

RS1 zoning changes proposed: opening up all of the zoned areas (which represent about 75% of the city’s land mass) to not only duplexes, as presented by the City at various Open Information Sessions recently held, but also to triplexes, quadraplexes and multiplexes, basically anything. One can imagine what this would mean to those areas, and its affect on affordability and livability. Add to this the important fact that this is being done without any public consultation whatsoever, and no recognition of the uniqueness of our neighbourhoods, and the need to match any changes to that uniqueness and the needs of those neighbourhoods. They’re all different, and an across-the-board “equalization of zoning” does not serve them well. We should not be looking for the simplest, quickest solution, but the best way to enhance and improve our communities. We’re not saying that zoning changes must not be made, we’re saying it needs to be done the right way.

RT7, RT8: These 2 zonings have been some of the best in Vancouver for years, providing increased densities, a variety of building types to provide that density, and the opportunity to add that density while retaining character houses. It also includes disincentives to demolition and strong guidelines for any proposed projects.

The present proposal is twofold: it throws out the RT7/8 zoning and replaces it with RT5, and, with Mayor Robertson’s last minute added amendment, also opens it up to duplexes, triplexes, quadraplexes and multiplexes, basically anything, in the same way as the RS1 above. And, again, proposed without any neighbourhood consultation, and in the case of the Mayor’s amendment, a unilateral move at the end of a Public Hearing, with no recourse to public comment.

And both these proposals were made without any available financial assessment as to the impacts on affordability. And no mention of any integration of these proposals into a much-needed citywide plan.

Now, here’s the ask: we need everyone to be informed about this. We need people to show up at the Public Hearing Tuesday, Sept. 18, starting at 3:00PM. We need people to speak before Council in opposition to these changes, stressing the lack of neighbourhood consultation, the need for unique solutions for each neighbourhood, and the need to refer these proposals back to staff for proper consultation with the affected areas.

We need people to send letters of opposition to the Mayor and Council. They can be as simple as “I oppose the proposed changes to RS1 and RT7/8 zoning at the Sept. 18 Public Hearing”. Or as involved as you wish; borrow from the above text.

We need to make our voices heard, and heard NOW.

Please forward this to all of your contacts ASAP.


Larry A. Benge, Co-chair

Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

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