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

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