From 24hrs – Jan 21, 2011
by Bob Mackin
A controversial proposal to allow 12 to 15
storey buildings in the Downtown Eastside was suddenly yanked from city
council’s Thursday planning committee agenda and delayed to gauge public
Dozens of people were hoping to speak against a policy
to enable condominium towers in the historic area. Mayor Gregor
Robertson successfully tabled an emergency motion before noon to strike a
neighbourhood committee and set a Dec. 31 deadline for a report on the
impact of taller buildings.
“The community has been loud and clear
for the last number of days and weeks even,” Robertson said. “It’s an
important step for us to take right now.”
Councillors Suzanne Anton, Ellen Woodsworth and David Cadman opposed the motion.
is another blow to democracy by this council,” Anton said. “It says to
me that you are afraid of hearing the 80 speakers, or however many are
on the list, this afternoon.”
Read full article
Twin zoning by-law changes proposed by the City of Vancouver would open the door to much taller buildings in the downtown peninsula.
Staff reports supporting the “Vancouver Views & Opportunities for Higher Buildings” proposal, which would allow for 80-90 story buildings in the Downtown Core, and the “Historic Area Review” plan, which would permit higher buildings and densities in Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside, will be discussed at a council meeting at 2 PM on January 20 at Vancouver City Hall.
Critics are concerned about the proposed policy changes for a number of reasons – citing the potential impacts of increased gentrification in the Downtown Eastside, loss of defining city viewscapes, and the surprisingly high eco-footprint of tall condo buildings, which rank a distant last in energy efficiency to all other dwelling options (some 10 times less efficient than many houses, town homes, and small apartment buildings). They are also concerned there hasn’t been enough community consultation on the big picture of these proposed dramatic changes.
Last week, community groups Village Vancouver and City Hall Watch hosted a townhall meeting to share more information with the public and hear their concerns. Common Sense Canadian contributing videographer Jamie MacQuarrie was on hand to capture the lively discussion. Watch this 5 min highlight video.