Whose city is it anyway?

Vancouver rejects Keefer St. proposal in Chinatown

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/chinatown-decision-vancouver-council-decides-on-controversial-condo-development

This recent Vancouver Sun article describes one small victory for community residents over a large property developer (in this instance the Beedie group).

This is a perfect example of community involvement working to resist ever-increasing population density, which is the mantra of both municipal governments and the provincial government. in this province.

The government’s rationale goes something like this.

There is too much demand and not enough supply so the housing prices are becoming unaffordable for most residents.

In their view the solution is to build more units in the same space (hence, increasing density).

With all due respect, that rationale is flawed.

Firstly as the authors below point out, it is not possible to build enough units to satisfy the world-wide demand for housing in Vancouver (and the Lower Mainland).

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/vancouver/vancouver-housing-supply-isnt-the-issue-affordability-is-data-shows/article31794288/

http://theconversation.com/housing-blame-game-here-to-stay-in-world-of-infinite-demand-24716

Other so-called “world class” cities like New York, San Francisco, London and others have hundreds of more high rise apartments than Vancouver could ever dream of building and they are still way out of reach for the average buyer.

Adding more towers is like adding more lanes to the highway and expecting to solve the traffic problems (ask LA residents how well that has worked out for them).

Secondly, it is patently unfair to pay attention ONLY to the demand side (everybody and their dog wants to live in Vancouver), while not giving equal consideration to the neighborhood residents (me and my dog already live here).

The proliferation of unlimited high rise apartments has a definite negative impact on the quality of life of the neighboring residents and the city at large (i.e. congestion, pollution, overcrowding, traffic problems, lack of parking, etc.)

Unfortunately our governments at every level have an insatiable appetite for tax dollars, so the prospect of collecting property taxes, GST and PTT from six hundred owners in a high rise apartment block, versus a hand full of single family residents invariably wins the day –at the expense of the people who live in the neighborhood.

It’s high time that the citizens of Vancouver and surrounding cities take a page out of Chinatown and TAKE BACK control of development from the developers and the government shills who accept their political donations.

Ever increasing DENSITY is NOT GREEN (as the current mayor of Vancouver would have you believe), nor is it sustainable.

At the end of the day, too much density is a LOSE-LOSE proposition –housing still remains unaffordable AND the quality of life of the city’s population diminishes for all residents!

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the normal result we can expect from our politicians.

With BC’s newly elected government will we see more “locals last” policy or will things change? (don’t hold your breath)

Disclaimer:  The foregoing is for information purposes only and not intended as legal advice to the reader.  Always consult with an experienced real estate lawyer when modifying the standard real estate contract in use in BC. In addition statutory law as well as case law may change from time to time which could render this analysis inaccurate in the future. 

(C) 2017 Pazder Law Corporation