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Entries from July 2015

The biggest housing challenge of all: affordable apartments for the developmentally disabled

March 28th, 2017 · No Comments

This story came my way in the most random way. I was at the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association dinner last fall and talking to the man across the table who, it turned out to be the CEO of the Community Living Society. So what, I asked Ross Chilton, is the big story in your world? […]

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Surrey: It’s harder to build a suburban downtown than it looks

March 28th, 2017 · 3 Comments

I’ve been curious about how Surrey will evolve ever since former mayor Dianne Watts set out to transform the city’s image and its reality. Besides the music festivals and the beautification and the stunning new pools and other facilities built in the city, Watts also promised to create a downtown for Surrey out of almost […]

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Community pools in Paris, Madrid, Lyon, San Francisco — a great way to get away from tourists

March 17th, 2017 · No Comments

I love community pools, as I think many of you know. I mourn the loss of the Mount Pleasant pool near me and I’m an ardent fan of New Brighton. The NPA campaign promise that got me the most excited was the one to build three new outdoor pools. As a result of all that, […]

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BC Hydro backs away from its rushed offer to build substations under Vancouver parks

March 17th, 2017 · 1 Comment

This was a strange one that no one could understand the timing of. BC Hydro, in the last week of January, suddenly announced it wanted to build new electrical substations under a couple of downtown Vancouver parks — but it needed an agreement from parks, school board, and the city by March 31. CEO Jessica […]

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Vancouver eliminates the idea of ‘downzoning’ single-family house size as a strategy for prevention demolition

March 17th, 2017 · No Comments

This was a surprise move by the city’s new director of planning. Gil Kelley, who was supposed to be just giving an update on feedback to the city’s proposals for ways to protect “character houses,” also announced last week that it was removing one city tool from the package — the proposal to drastically limit […]

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A good idea or an unworkable one? Vancouver looks at adding density in apt zones by adding one or two floors

March 17th, 2017 · No Comments

Vancouver planners are looking at a raft of ideas to increase housing in the city. One that didn’t get as much attention as the mayor’s statement that the city was going to look at more ways to do gentle density in single-family zones was his reference, in the same speech, to new strategies for densifying […]

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You thought illegal suites didn’t exist in Vancouver? You are so wrong

March 17th, 2017 · No Comments

When I was first heard about Adriane Carr’s motion to have staff looking at why the city is still shutting down illegal suites, I thought she was surely wrong. After all, when COPE and Larry Campbell swept to power in 2002, one of their first major actions was to declare that all secondary suites were […]

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What’s your fantasy new transit project for the NEXT 10-year plan?

March 6th, 2017 · 6 Comments

Okay, we haven’t even started on the major projects for this 10-year plan (Broadway subway, Surrey LRT, new Pattullo Bridge). But that doesn’t mean people aren’t thinking about the 10 years after that already. I was at a transportation conference at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade last Friday where, as moderator, I got to […]

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Vancouver mayor sets a decisive new tone in housing and transit talks

March 6th, 2017 · 4 Comments

There have been times in the last year when I’ve wondered whether Mayor Gregor Robertson is just phoning it in. He seemed absent, even when he was here, and disengaged. But that person was not in evidence last week. The mayor, in one of the strongest speeches I’ve heard from him in a long time, […]

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Province flirts with pushing/pulling municipalities to increase density around transit, speed up permit times

March 6th, 2017 · No Comments

What is the province’s message to cities these days? Hard to tell, as we seem to be getting multiple messages. There’s a lot of chatter in the background about how the province wants cities to boost their density around transit and help speed up supply by reducing the time to get permit. But on the […]

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