City’s proposed gentrification controls not strong enough

Dear DTES residents, community members, city wide supporters and those interested in the DTES Local Area Planning Process (LAPP).

This Tuesday, City council will receive a report from their staff on the Local Area Planning Process that includes an “Interim Rezoning Policy” and “Development controls” in the appendix (see links at the bottom of this post). There are some potential bombs in here for the low-income community that we need everyone to learn about and fight.

Please come to a TOWN HALL MEETING to learn more.

CCAP TOWN HALL
1-2:30PM, FRI MAR 23
Carnegie Theatre

If you cannot attend the Town Hall on Friday, we can come to you. Let us know how to get in touch with you and/or your group’s board of directors.

Please come to city hall to speak or speak or support.

CITY COUNCIL MEETING
2:00PM, TUES MAR 27
Council chamber
Third floor city hall
Lunch (12:00-1:15PM) & transportation from Carnegie provided

SIGN UP TO SPEAK AT COUNCIL

Meeting notice

Sign up: with Bonnie Kennett,

Meeting Coordinator

604.873.7269

bonnie.kennett@vancouver.ca

City staff report

BACKGROUND:

CCAP had hoped that the policies would allow the low-income community a bit of a break from fighting gentrification so that we can focus on longer term comprehensive planning in partnership with the city. Unfortunately we believe the city recommendations do not go nearly far enough. The major problems are:

1) Condo rezonings: All 508 active condo proposals in all parts of the DTES continue and still more can be proposed in Chinatown and Victory Square throughout the LAPP, and;

2) Condo development permits: Current applications for 180 new condos go ahead under current rules and the city will take applications for developments in every area of the DTES, and;

3) Retail gentrification: The policy continues to offer incentives through capital and heritage facade grants and offers virtually no controls over new boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, or bars and;

4) Definition of social housing: The city has lowered the bar for developers with a new definition of social housing (new condo projects that require 20% social housing need only have 10% units at welfare/old age pension rate). This has the potential to erase the DTES Oppenheimer District (DEOD) as a last possible social housing bastion in the area.

What will happen if these recommendations pass?

If council accepts the staff recommendations, then 688 condo units will likely be built in the next few years and many more can be approved. Woodwards has 550 condo units. These 688 proposed new units will have a similar massive gentrifying impact.

Very little social housing at welfare/old age pension rate has been planned and the number of condos will outpace social housing development at a rate of 25:1.
See more here

The LAPP Committee was not a partner in drafting this report. CCAP believes that procedurally, the process of staff developing these recommendations without the support of the LAPP Committee, threatens the partnership between the community and city staff that is supposed to be the foundation of the DTES LAPP process.

CCAP hopes that we can convince council to hold off on making a decision and give us more time to work with the staff on a new proposal for controls on development through the LAPP.

USEFUL LINKS:

CCAP’s alternative “interim development controls

City staff’s draft “interim rezoning policy and development controls

CCAP’s 10 reasons to oppose the city’s Interim Rezoning Policy

CCAP’s 8 myths and tricks the city will use to convince us that this is better than nothing