It has just come to our attention attention that an item going to the Public Hearing tonight, Thursday, December 10, 2020, basically affects zoning across about 90% of the West End. City staff have prepared an item entitled “Amendment to the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan” which they refer to as a “minor amendment” and yet 13 neighbourhoods across Vancouver are affected, including most of the West End. We can vouch for the fact that there has been absolutely no outreach from the City to the West End regarding these changes.
If the staff really aim to get item #7 (CD-1 Rezoning: 349 East 6th Avenue) approved, the wisest thing might be for Council to only allow the changes for that one specific site. And as the City is in the midst of a citywide planning initiative known as Vancouver Plan, include the other areas in consultation on the citywide plan.
What are the implications of the proposed changes in the West End? There has been no analysis. Are there risks for existing renters? How many sites are affected? Could the proposed changes result in more renovictions or displacement?
Zones affected: RM-2, RM-3, RM-3A, RM-4, RM-4N, RM-5, RM-5A, RM-5B, RM-5C, RM-5D, RM-6, FM-1). West End is in bold.
Here is what staff are recommending.
THAT Council approve the application to amend the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan (RHS ODP) By-law and to amend the RM-2, RM-3, RM-3A, RM-4,
RM-4N, RM-5, RM-5A, RM-5B, RM-5C, RM-5D, RM-6, and FM-1 District Schedules of
the Zoning and Development By-law, to allow for one-for-one replacement of existing rental housing units required by the RHS ODP on another site, that was subject to the RHS ODP before it was rezoned to allow for replacement housing and that is adjacent to the contiguous area of the zoning district of the site that requires the replacement housing, generally as presented in Appendix A and Appendix B of the Referral Report dated October 20, 2020, entitled “Amendment to the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan”.
There are potential risks with what staff are proposing. Could it open up the West End to the buying, trading and selling of protected rental stock between different sites with different district schedules? Perhaps.
The big point is that staff are asking Council to approve changes to zoning in the West End without having done the slightest public consultation and analysis of impacts, including threats to housing security for all.