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.