Frances Bula header image 4

Entries from July 2013

UBC’s greenest building points to the future optimistically

April 24th, 2012 · 89 Comments

The University of B.C. professor who drove the creation of UBC’s Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability makes you feel like there’s hope after all, when you sit down with him for even 10 minutes. John Robinson is an environmentalist, but not the doomsayer kind that warns you to lie in bed quietly with the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Visions ramps up opposition to Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion

April 24th, 2012 · 145 Comments

The latest from city hall. As just an average person, I’d like to hear some explanations from those in opposition about how and where oil and gas should be transported. I’m an agnostic on this issue, but, as someone who observes that it takes oil/gas to run the modern world and even build bicycles, I’d […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Vancouver’s community amenity contributions: Making density livable? Or making housing unaffordable?

April 24th, 2012 · 108 Comments

Nothing like talking about how to make housing more affordable to get people going on everything they think is wrong with the world. One target in the talks: Vancouver’s community-amenity contributions — that money the city asks developers to give back to the city when their land is rezoned to allow them to build more […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

What do zoning rules really allow for controversial developments? A discussion

April 22nd, 2012 · 83 Comments

I’m reposting this detailed comment from Lee Chappelle, a former property-use inspector with the City of Vancouver, about the Rize development because his post analyzes a key point in its approval. A number of councillors and staff said that the site at Broadway and Kingsway would have been allowed a 150-foot building without a rezoning. […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

TransLink pressures, cancellations shred unity among regional mayors

April 19th, 2012 · 69 Comments

Divorces rise when the economy is bad. I’d suggest the same dynamic is at play among the region’s 21 mayors, who find themselves being squeezed by demand for more transit from residents, resistance to new taxes and fees from taxpayers, and a province that keeps hacking off more body parts in each go-round to find […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Rize tower approved: Council says “with major changes,” some opponents say “cosmetic changes”

April 17th, 2012 · 130 Comments

The Rize tower has been approved, with some conditions, which I don’t have the full text of here. The essence is that the developer has been directed to make a building that looks “ugly” (Andrea Reimer) fit in better. Vision/Council is saying major changes are required. The ever-reliable CityHallWatch is calling them cosmetic. Assessment from […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Rize tower council’s moment to take a stand on future development in city

April 17th, 2012 · 19 Comments

Vancouver city council can approve the Rize tower at Broadway and Kingsway today as is and defend it energetically, saying this is a good design that represents the way future development should be done, if it believes that ultimately people will come to point to the building as a good example. Or it can turn […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Los Angeles: A city of neighbourhoods or of cars?

April 16th, 2012 · 22 Comments

Those following on Twitter know that I’m in Los Angeles at the moment, a city that I love in spite of all of its problems. This is my fourth trip here in recent years and I discover new things all the time. This time around: Echo Park, the neighbourhood where we’re staying. Yet another of […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

What can council decide on Tuesday about the Rize? A planner’s answer

April 16th, 2012 · 15 Comments

I’d been asking for explanations of what the limits are on what council can do when it makes its decision about the Rize tower Tuesday. Here is the answer from former senior planner Trish French below. I’ve checked with others too, who remind me that the point of a public hearing is for council to […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

What should council decide on Rize tower Tuesday? Have your say

April 13th, 2012 · 149 Comments

The Vision council will be making a decision Tuesday, after five nights of public hearings and 130 speakers, what to do about the Rize tower rezoning at Kingsway and Broadway. It was clear from questions put to staff at the end of the last night of public hearings that councillors and the mayor are trying […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized