We pledge to act on the public’s interest for the people of Vancouver.
Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver (NSV) is an organization made up of individual electors from neighbourhoods across Vancouver, of which many individuals are also part of neighbourhood groups whose views help to inform NSV Principles and Policies. NSV is endorsing candidates on the ballot in the upcoming 2011 civic election.
NSV is offering an alternative to Vision Vancouver and the NPA who are both effectively the same on city planning and development issues since they are heavily funded by the development industry. Regulators of land use policy, such as Vancouver’s City Council, should not be funded by those they regulate. Excessive amounts of money should not be raised or required for local elections.
NSV is endorsing a diverse team of individuals – not career politicians but highly committed, capable residents – who want to serve the public interest and create a sustainable future for all the people of this city.
NSV supports sustainable development in a scale, pace and form that protects heritage buildings, affordable rental housing and neighbourhood character, implemented through genuine grassroots neighbourhood-based planning processes. Affordable and social housing should also be a priority and designed to perform well within the scale and character of each neighbourhood. We want our city to be ecologically, socially, and financially sustainable.
Vancouver is in crisis
The previous NPA Council under Sam Sullivan and Suzanne Anton brought in policies such as EcoDensity that promote unsuitable forms of development across the city. Despite Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver’s promises to move in another direction, Vision has instead implemented most of the NPA’s problematic policies.
Vision has introduced the Short Term Incentives for Rentals (STIR) program, which has resulted in unsupported spot-rezoned tower developments with high-end rental units heavily subsidized by Vancouver taxpayers. STIR was implemented with no public consultation.
Breaking an important commitment from the last election, Vision is moving to expand Heritage Transfer of Density to land in areas outside of the downtown core, which would reduce public amenities paid for by development.
Vision has also supported the severely flawed Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy (RGS). Other problematic policies include the Cambie Corridor Planning Program, Historic Area Height Review, and Vancouver Views & Higher Buildings Policy. These policies were adopted without reflecting community concerns and the RGS was under the radar of the general public. (See item G in NSV Principles and Policies.)
Community planning processes have been set in motion for the West End, Grandview-Woodland and Marpole, under new and concerning terms of reference that disregard CityPlan, which was created with genuine public involvement. Under directions from the NPA and Vision majority Councils, the City’s Planning Department has shown increasing disrespect for current zoning guidelines and failure to meaningfully incorporate community input in development decisions about the future of their neighbourhoods.
What is at stake in election 2011
These problematic development policies will be implemented during the next three-year term — if the new Council supports them.
The Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), a 30 year plan for the region, was approved in July 2011. Vancouver now has two years to produce a Regional Context Statement (RCS) that must be approved by Metro Vancouver and TransLink. The previous RCS was just a statement under the Liveable Region Strategic Plan, but this new RCS will be a detailed plan, like a zoning document.
Once approved by Metro Vancouver, any future changes will have to be approved by Metro Vancouver and TransLink, so future change will be limited.
If either the NPA or Vision Vancouver win a combined majority on City Council on November 19, the TransLink “Hong Kong model” of using development to fund transit will be used to download costs on Vancouver, at the expense of community amenities such as parks, day care centres, libraries and affordable housing.
The major cause of Vancouver’s problem
Election campaign financing in the millions of dollars by the NPA and Vision Vancouver is mostly dominated by big money from the development industry. We believe that the regulators of land use policy, such as Vancouver’s City Council, should not be funded by those they regulate.
We want to set Vancouver on a better path
Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver will be running a low-cost, grassroots election campaign so that our candidates will not be compromised by these interests.
NSV believes that Vancouver needs to be redirected away from unlimited growth and land speculation under development industry control to a more sustainable model that allows for moderate growth over time to meet the needs of all the citizens of Vancouver.
The City has large amounts of un-built density within the existing zoning that could accommodate population growth for the next few decades. There is time to plan our neighbourhoods to evolve in a balanced and sustainable way.
NSV wants to ensure that Vancouver remains a beautiful city of neighbourhoods and evolves into a truly “made in Vancouver” model of sustainability.
More information on NSV Principles
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