Heads up: “Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future”: Is 5-year review of regional growth strategy needed? Yes? No? Crucial meeting Mar 10 (Fri)

metro-vancouver-top-page-28-feb-2017

From top page of Metro Vancouver website

Heads up: On March 10, 2017 the “Regional Planning Committee” of Metro Vancouver will review feedback from member municipalities and other organizations as to whether or not there is a need for a review of the regional growth strategy (RGS) at this time.

(Input from the public on this topic so far may have been virtually zero, as we are not aware of any meaningful effort by Metro Vancouver or member municipalities to reach out and ask citizens or the public for input. Meanwhile, the Census 2016 initial results have been released, and more details are expected in the coming months. How does the Census affect population projections to 2040, for the region, and per municipality. Today (Feb 28) would be the official deadline (7 working days) to request to speak to the RPC, though there appear to be allowances for late requests (see below). The actual written report  to the RPC is already complete, but not yet available to the public. We can expect it to appear on the Metro Vancouver website by the end of this week. If you think you want to speak to the RPC, you may be wise to e-mail your request today (Feb 28), then reconfirm once you see the details. The meeting will be at Metro Vancouver headquarters, 9 am start on March 10 (4330 Kingsway Burnaby, BC V5H 4G8).

From the Metro Vancouver website:

The five year anniversary of the Metro Vancouver Board’s adoption of Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future (Metro 2040), the regional growth strategy, was this past summer (July 29, 2016). Metro 2040 sets out the collaborative vision for how our region will accommodate and shape anticipated long-term growth in a way that advances livability, protects important industrial, agricultural, and conservation lands, supports a diverse economy and supports the efficient and affordable provision of infrastructure such as transit and utilities.

The Local Government Act requires that: “at least every 5 years, a regional district that has an adopted regional growth strategy must consider whether the regional growth strategy must be reviewed for possible amendment”. Continue reading

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We need to protect our community from urban sprawl (Peter van der Velden, op ed, 24-Feb-2017, Delta Optimist)

Massey replacement bridge image, little lies, MVW, 26-Apr-2016

Artist’s concept of proposed bridge to replace Massey Tunnel

This op ed appeared in the Delta Optimist on 24-Feb-2017 (http://www.delta-optimist.com/opinion/we-could-all-be-paying-dearly-for-urban-sprawl-from-bridge-1.10337692) under the headline “We could all be paying dearly for urban sprawl from bridge.” Reprinted here with permission of the author, Peter van der Velden.

There will be incredible pressure on Delta to develop should the Massey Bridge be built. Residential development will not be the only source of pressure. The CEO for the Port of Vancouver (PoV) has made it clear that the Port wants access to more land for industrial purposes. This has caused speculation. Speculation always drives up land prices.

Recently the city of Vancouver raised the fees for development permits. They made it clear that the costs for development are greater than the income that permits generate. This means that the capital costs for all development is subsidized by the taxpayer. In a city like Vancouver where infrastructure is largely in place this is a lesser concern. Development follows high density zoning patterns. Once density is achieved the increase in tax base helps cover the operating costs of that infrastructure. Continue reading

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New “Lonelyhomes.ca” site catalogs empty homes in Metro Vancouver region

lonelyhomes-top-page-screenshot

Screenshot of Lonelyhomes.ca top page

CBC Radio this morning had an interview with Christine Boehringer, founder of Lonely Homes, a website (lonelyhomes.ca) that tracks empty homes (“positively identified houses or strata units … hat are not being lived in”) in the Greater Vancouver region. Information collected is “anonymized” to protect privacy and security, but this information could be a helpful tool to help develop a better understanding of the housing situation.

According to the website, the effort started by friends discussing the many ways lonely homes affect us. “No political party is driving it; we care about our community and want to maintain it. We are not affiliated with any government or real estate entity and we aren’t selling your email address. We’re just a small group of people who have followed all the newspaper stories and commentaries about housing in our communities.” They ask people to monitor their own neighbourhood and take two minutes to report lonely homes. The summary data by postal code “will be made available to local governments in Greater Vancouver to help drive policy and taxation planning.” As of today, 103 are indicated for the city of Vancouver.

Excerpt from site

Why are we doing this?
Lonely homes:

  • Inflate housing prices – Foreign buyers compete for homes and drive up prices well beyond the payscale of most British Columbians.
  • Raise property taxes – A higher home value means more property tax. Also, municipalities must provide services like water, sewer and garbage pick-up to vacant homes even if those services are not used. Municipalities could spend millions of tax dollars to build unnecessary infrastructure and services.

Continue reading

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Buildex Vancouver: Construction, development, property industry conference – Feb 15 & 16, 2017

MetroVanWatch and CityHallWatch are dedicated to the citizen and grassroots perspective, but this annual industry event at Vancouver Convention Centre West may be of interest to many people outside the industry, with seminars, workshops, panel discussions, and a free industry exhibition.

BUILDEX Vancouver is Western Canada’s largest tradeshow and conference for the Construction, Renovation, Architecture, Interior Design and Property Management industries. With over 600 exhibits, and more than 80 educational seminars BUILDEX attracts over 14,000 attendees annually.

http://buildexvancouver.com/

Example of seminar streams:

  • Building Code & Envelope Solutions
  • Building Performance & Energy Efficiency
  • Legal, Regulatory & Risk Management
  • New Products, Technologies, Innovations & Materials
  • Professional & Personal Skills Development
  • Project Planning, Management & Best Practices
  • Health & Wellness
  • Facility Management & Building Maintenance
  • Property Management
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Implications of dredging Lower Fraser River to increase commercial shipping: Risk to industries, services, fisheries (preliminary report by Trevor Langevin)

In the context of plans by the Province of British Columbia to construct a bridge over the Lower Fraser River to replace the George Massey Tunnel, MetroVanWatch is posting this preliminary report by Trevor Langevin, with permission. Download: fraser-river-dredge-report-sept-2016-langevin

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Implications of Dredging the Lower Fraser River for the Purpose of Increasing Commercial Shipping: The Risk to Specific Industries, Services & Fisheries

Preliminary Report

Trevor Langevin
September 2016

History

The waters of the upper Fraser river have come to the top of their river banks nearly every year. Every year there is a flood watch during the spring snow melt run off. In the lower sections, the river has breached the lower mainland’s dike system, the two worst years being 1894 and 1948.

The river is dangerous and unpredictable when too much water from melting snow runoff hits the river at the same time as the oceans high tide. Steps to tame the river happened when the larger Southern main flow was dredged to a nearly uniform 35 foot depth, from the mouth of the river up to the New Westminster bridge. The Northern channels of the river were used mainly for the logging industries so were not regularly dredged. Dredging has happened right up to the Mission bridge during the last 100 years. The ships that require the river to be dredged to a 35ft. depth all used the larger Southern flow.

The new bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel is in controversy because the news media has found inconsistent reasons for its being pushed by the Government. To the Governments point, yes the current tunnel is backlogged, but to the common person, that is not reason to decommission the tunnel before its service life has been reached, which is the opinion of BC residents. Continue reading

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Highrise towers under construction: Vancouver 68, Surrey 14, Burnaby 100

This Global News story reveals some interesting facts and questions.

Highrise towers under construction: 68 in Vancouver, 14 in Surrey, and 100 in Burnaby. The story goes on to point out that developers are benefiting tremendously by proximity to transit stations. Are they paying municipalities enough for the increased burden on infrastructure? And what about all the demolitions to make way for the new construction. Interview with Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan. Worth watching.

http://globalnews.ca/video/3077078/burnabys-building-boom-outpacing-rest-of-metro-vancouver

 

800 units at Edmonds and Kingsway by Cressey. Anthem last month sold 700 units, an all-time record for number of units sold over a short period of time.

 

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Burnaby Demovictions: Political Opposition to Host Town Hall Meeting – Dec 2 (Fri)

From a media release

Burnaby Demovictions: Political Opposition to Host Town Hall Meeting

November 29, 2016 – Burnaby – Burnaby First Coalition (BFC) will host a town hall meeting to discuss possible alternatives to the planned mass rezoning, demolition and eviction of thousands of lower income families from Metrotown’s Maywood neighbourhood sanctioned by Burnaby’s Mayor and Council. BFC is an unaffiliated municipal political party that unites residents of diverse backgrounds seeking fairness, inclusion and transparency in local government.
 
The event will be held at Metrotown Library meeting room 6100 Willingdon Avenue Friday December 2, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. 

The meeting will provide an opportunity to hear the background to the demovictions and highlight possible planning alternatives. Residents will have the opportunity to share their ideas on city planning.

The  Local Government Act (LGA) requires that re-zonings be consistent with Official Community Plans. However, the Metrotown Community Plan states that the Maywood low-rises “should be protected”, not demolished, and sets maximum density and building height far below those that Council has approved.
Continue reading

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