Reproduced below is the NSV letter submitted to Vancouver City Council concerning the Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan bylaw changes that will be debated at a Public Hearing on April 1, 2014 at 6 pm. These bylaw changes will affect Gastown, Chinatown, Victory Square, Thornton Park, Hastings, Oppenheimer District, industrial lands and Strathcona.
March 31, 2014
Mayor Robertson and Councillors
City of Vancouver
453 West 12 Avenue
Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1V4
Dear Mayor Robertson and Councillors,
Re: Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan Zoning and Other Bylaw Amendments – April 1, 2014
Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver (NSV) is opposed to this proposal for the Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan zoning and other bylaw amendments. The issues raised when the Local Area Plan was approved by council still apply, and this rezoning should not be approved as proposed.
The plan covers very diverse neighbourhoods with many varying community interests. However, this plan is not supported by the affected communities. The process appears to have been orchestrated by the City to put these communities in greater opposition to each other to better serve development interests. A neighbourhood-based process is needed to better address local concerns and needs.
Some examples of the many concerns are as follows:
- Much of the community is made up of vulnerable low income people who will be further threatened, displaced and impacted by the increased development proposed.
- Redevelopment will not help the vulnerable populations that need senior government supports which are not addressed.
- These areas were previously heritage protected both by the province and the city. This is no longer the case. The proposed plan encourages redevelopment without adequate heritage protections that will further inflate land values and increase heritage density transfers that can now be landed in the neighbourhood instead of transferring to outside of the area to reduce development pressures.
- The tower form of development contemplated for this area is not consistent with the heritage character and will make housing more expensive without adequately addressing real affordability.
This plan should not be approved as proposed and should be reconsidered under a better process that is community supported.
On behalf of the Steering Committee
Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver
Website: nsvancouver.ca ; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. Please leave contact information in posted letter online.