September 22, 2018

And All That Is Old Shall Be New Again — 2018 Vancouver Civic Election

With thanks to Abundant Housing Vancouver

What’s happened with zoning changes in Vancouver is a cultural change, and a fight that’s as old as Vancouver.  The arguements are the same, the type of associations are the same; but the lack of political will to engage the fight in the name of renters, density and affordability may be changing.

The upcoming civic election will tell whether those with the will to make greater and more significant change will assume power, or whether things will go back to same-old, same-old, with all power going to neighbourhood associations themselves to ensure that middle-density rental buildings are excluded.

The messages’ media has certainly changed, but not much else.

The fiche reprint above is from 1967 (more examples HERE).

I note these points from 1967. All adding up to familiar predictions of ‘Hoodmageddon”.  Will they continue to win the day?

Homeowners Plan to Guard Interests:

  1. Accusations of haphazard planning, making snap decisions without consulting. [Ed. The old process arguement].
  2. Perceived necessity of district associations to safeguard the interests of residents [Ed.  no one was, apparently, being listened to if they advocated for the interests of renters].
  3. Concern that proposed garden apartments and “. . even [gasp] row houses . . .” would substantially boost property taxes for homeowners.
  4. “The chief reason is that the area’s drainage system has yet to stand the test of winter.”  [Ed. the token nod to practicality].

I do recall a modern-day ‘Hoodmageddon scenario, perhaps in Kerrisdale, where one opponent advised against proposed density because Telus had told them that local TV and Internet capacity was already strained.

Who will prevail on October 2018?  At least one mayoral candidate has made it clear that rezoning will proceed only after neighbourhood associations have declined to exercise their veto.

Do you still think your vote doesn’t matter?

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  1. Now that Hector Bremner has been exposed as just another tool for developers, maybe it’s time to reconsider the mindless mantra of more density as a solution to our housing crisis.

    1. Supply is the solution—–The shortage of housing creates an auction for both rental & ownership. It is not the rich guy who has to couch serf or move to the boonies.. —–With pay to play election financing is almost gone, —- there is an opportunity for ( public benefit) density value capture .

    2. Perhaps a better mantra than actually increasing housing supply is to close our eyes and wish really hard. Also known as The Homer Simpson Approach: hide out under a pile of coats and hope everything turns out fine. If that fails, we can always go back to blaming the Chinese. By then the election will be over and the problem resolved.

      1. So $3 million bungalows are a result of a lack of supply rather than foreign buyers. I guess we should be pushing for more bungalows then.

        1. The fact that there are so few bungalos, yes. Make it a little harder for foreigners to buy if that makes you feel better. But adding lots of new units will reduce prices – or at least the rate of price increase. It won’t bring us back to whatever idealized, circa 1989 prices that many PT readers feel is appropriate for a house. Only something truly catastrophic would cause a sudden 50%-70% decrease in housing prices, so be careful what you wish for.

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