Month: September 2023

Adding Missing Middle Housing and Simplifying Regulations

Adding Missing Middle Housing and Simplifying Regulations

From: Guy Cross <[email protected]>
Subject: 1. Adding Missing Middle Housing and Simplifying Regulations
Dear Mayor and Council,
I am strongly opposed to the subject rezoning proposal — which, as I recall, was central to Kennedy Stewart’s 2022 election campaign.
Arguably, it is entirely predictable that subject proposed rezoning would:
1. Further inflate property values in RS zones across Vancouver

2. Preferentially incentivise the demolition of existing older homes, resulting in..
a. loss of heritage/character houses and related neighbourhood character,
b. loss of much of Vancouver’s most affordable housing
(notably, more than 40% affordable rental housing in some RS neighbourhoods),
c. increased waste and associated release of embodied carbon through demolition,

   d. increased carbon emissions associated with resource extraction, manufacturing,
       transportation and construction of new housing.
3. Lead to unprecedented loss of mature tree canopy, with
   a. associated loss of shade,
   b. release of embodied/sequestered carbon. reduced atmospheric oxygenation
       through photosynthesis, and related reduction in carbon sinking capacity,

c. and undermining of neighbourhood aesthetic/character.

4. Result in major reduction of permeable ground, with serious implications for storm
    drainage and associated flooding in connection with increasingly extreme
    weather events.

5. Produce increased strain on already overburdened water/storm drainage/sewerage
infrastructure, with associated cost/tax implications.

6. Cause major construction-related impacts on local communities, including noise
    and air-quality, particularly as scale of construction increases.

In contrast, benefits are predictably limited for average Vancouverites.

1. Increased housing opportunities for high-income households.

2. Increased permitting and property tax revenues for the City.
3. Massive profits for the small-scale development industry.
What about public consultation?
Given the scope and city-wide implications of proposed rezoning, related
public notification and consultation has been relatively limited in scope and
with questionable measures of public support.
In contrast, the City’s Character Home Rezoning Review, undertaken
between March 2015 and September 2017, was a fulsome process that engaged
extensively with neighbourhoods across Vancouver, and established broad and
unquestionable public support for incentives to retain and convert existing
character/heritage homes for multi-family use.
The full range of public consultation is summarized in the following diagram

And, again, public support was perfectly clear..

Inline image

The problem for Vancouver is that the FSR incentive for Character House retention
did not go over well with so-called  “practitioners” (a tiny minority of Vancouverites with
disproportionate influence at City Hall), who ultimately pulled the plug on the obvious
alternative to the counterproductive proposal that’s before you today!
Thus, in view of foregoing obvious downsides associated with subject proposed
rezoning, I encourage you to apply the brakes and to direct staff to re-visit and
re-assess the broadly supported alternative vision developed through the prior
Character Home Rezoning Review.
In my view, there should be little question that the vast majority of Vancouverites
would be better served by that prior approach to a more affordable, more sustainable
and more livable Vancouver.
Ultimately, only a tiny minority would be unhappy.
Guy Cross
The Missing Middle Housing Plan

The Missing Middle Housing Plan

The Sept. 14 Public Hearing is fast approaching with only 11 days left to get the word out.
People will be getting back from summer break without any idea that most of the city is about to be rezoned.
Here are reference materials and information on how to participate in the public hearing.
There are many issues with the proposed RS rezoning that negatively affects livability, sustainability, and affordability. Some examples are:
  • Lack of neighbourhood planning and meaningful stakeholder involvement limited to developers interested in building new multiplexes.
  • These rezoning changes are just the beginning, with staff indicating the next steps will be to apply similar changes and consolidation of all RT zones citywide.
  • no required on-site parking that puts more pressure on street parking and undermines the shift to electric vehicles with no place to park for charging
  • loss of trees and green space, both onsite and for street trees due to reduced front yards that impacts street tree roots
  • lack of infrastructure to serve growth including sewers, water supply, electrical grid, schools, daycare, community centres, recreation facilities, medical services, social services, etc.
  • impacts of new requirements for onsite underground water holding tanks and electrical transformers (PMT) required for an onsite 12 ft x 12 ft easement on each lot to mitigate lack of infrastructure
  • loss of affordable secondary suites through demolition, and with no requirement to have a suite with a new single family house
  • no design guidelines for development quality and contextual design
  • development pressures on land affordability and lack of affordability of new units not much if any less than the original units demolished.
  • This proposed plan will undermine character house and heritage building retention incentives and should be revised to be equal to or greater than new construction to be an incentive.

  • Properties listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register should be exempt from multiplexes, and instead have viable incentives for increasing density and multifamily through retention options.
  • For character house retention, with a renovated addition or suite, density is reduced from the current 0.75 to proposed 0.65
  • Character houses with infill only are at 0.85 while multiplexes are proposed at 1.0 FSR.
Reference materials:

How to send letters and sign up to speak at the Public Hearing:

Send letters to be counted in the Public Hearing record:

Request to speak to Council, by phone or in person at City Hall:

Send letters also directly to Council:

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], , [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected],[email protected]

Please sign up to speak, send a letter to Council and spread the word!