After five years of planning, 85 workshops, 70 speakers and a citizen’s assembly, Vancouver City Council has finally approved the Grandview-Woodland community plan.
It’s a massive plan to revitalize the neighbourhood around the Commercial – Broadway SkyTrain station all the way north to Hastings Street.
Despite concerns about height and density from residents, city council has voted to move forward with the 30-year plan.
Mayor Gregor Robertson acknowledges it’s been a contentious project.
“It’s been a really long process, at times it’s been divisive, the great strength in Grandview-Woodland is that it is a really inclusive and welcoming neighbourhood. It’s been that way for generations, and it needs to continue.”
Twelve-storey tower approved for Venables and Commercial
The Kettle Boffo project will provide 30 units of social housing and a renewed drop-in centre for the mentally ill.
The proponent asked for 12-storeys to make it financially viable, but after opposition from some local residents, Green councillor Adriane Carr put forward a motion to reduce it’s height to 4 storeys.
That enraged Vision councillor Kerry Jang.
“It is, I just can’t find the words, the callousness of it all, it almost reminds me of the debates we have over suicide netting or fencing on a bridge, oh it’s only one person, that’s okay, we’ll just let them die, it’s only one, unbelievable.”
Council defeated Carr’s motion and the 12-storey building prevailed.
It calls for the injection of up to 10,000 new residents and 7,000 new homes with towers as high as 24 storeys.
Locals not happy
Residents are still worried the plan will add to growing affordability problems in the area.
Dorothy Barkley with the Grandview Woodland Area Council says now the deal is done – residents will be watching closely to ensure promises are met.
She says despite pledges to protect affordability for renters fearing Demoviction — rents in the new towers will go up.
And she says so-called “YIMBYs” calling for new condos have it wrong on affordability.
“There seems to be some sense that condos are like oranges, if you flood the market with them the price goes down. Well that might happen with oranges, it doesn’t happen with something like Condos. The more you build, the more expensive they become.”
Barker says a building boom will increase competition for labour and resources – boosting prices.