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Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'

My advice to the development industry: Show you’re really part of the community by taking a stand on bad behaviour; share your data

December 1st, 2016 · 1 Comment

I’ve spoken on dozens of panels in my 34-year career as a journalist — panels for other journalists, for PR people, for non-profit groups, for students, for housing advocates, for business groups, for resident associations, for government employees — but none has generated quite the tizzy in a teacup as the one I was on […]

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City sells land that’s the subject of a lawsuit to developer promising affordable housing

November 26th, 2016 · 1 Comment

The city announced this week it was selling its land at 601 Beach Crescent to Pinnacle for $20 million, a promise of 152 units turned over to the city to be used for affordable housing, and no guarantee of any specific density in a planned rezoning. My story here. That is sure to be watched […]

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Should journalists agree to be speakers for developer groups? Sure, as long as there are rules

November 26th, 2016 · 3 Comments

I get targeted personally by a tiny but energetic group of people in town on a regular basis, as part of the ongoing very emotional and fraught debate in Vancouver about real estate and foreign investment. As a result, some have raised questions this week about why I’m appearing on a panel Nov. 29 with […]

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The empty-homes tax is done. Well, maybe … except for an exemption to come for “family use”?

November 17th, 2016 · 4 Comments

It was one confusing council meeting at one point Tuesday, as Councillor Kerry Jang made a motion to amend the empty-homes tax, basically asking staff to study new data coming in in 2017 and decide whether there should be some kind of exemption for secondary homes “frequented for family purposes.” Your guess is as good […]

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Is Vancouver becoming a city where people are ready to ditch the single-family home?

November 15th, 2016 · 10 Comments

That’s the argument that University of B.C. prof Nathanael Lauster is making in his just-published book, The Death and Life of the Single Family House: Lessons from Vancouver on Building a Livable City. Lauster (who walks the walk, living in a townhouse in Kits with his wife and two children) interviewed a few dozen Vancouverites […]

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Airbnb continues efforts to play nice with Vancouver, removes some commercial listings

November 15th, 2016 · No Comments

I’m told city council won’t decide until January sometime what to do about regulating short-term rentals. But, in the meantime, Airbnb is doing everything it can to sell itself to council and the general public. The numerous ads are still running (“It helps me pay the bills in this expensive city” “I would never have […]

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Empty-homes tax to be debated next week, with some owners sure to say “But it wasn’t meant for people like me”

November 12th, 2016 · 3 Comments

It’s become the norm this fall to attend news conferences announcing upcoming policy issues at council. There was yet another one Wednesday, where Mayor Gregor Robertson and staff outlined the details of the city’s proposed new empty-homes tax. My story here and the city’s report here. The interesting part now is going to be who […]

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UBC’s president a leader like Vancouver hasn’t seen before

November 7th, 2016 · No Comments

UBC is a huge presence in Vancouver: a university, a land developer, a research centre, a generator of start-up businesses, and a hotbed of intellectual ferment. So it means a lot to the city what kind of leader is chosen. The board’s decision to pick Santa Ono, then former president at the University of Cincinatti, […]

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Bing Thom: He lives on for many people in this city every day

October 25th, 2016 · 3 Comments

I was in a classroom yesterday morning where yet another person, one of a series I’ve heard in the last week, talked about how important architect Bing Thom was to Vancouver. Alden Habacon, UBC’s senior advisor on intercultural understanding, told the roomful of young people that Bing was the first person to say that Vancouver […]

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City looks at limits to density, mandatory social housing units for new Chinatown projects

October 24th, 2016 · 1 Comment

The efforts to “do something” about Vancouver’s historic Chinatown are never-ending. And it’s not just in Vancouver. Cities from Edmonton to San Francisco are also fretting about what is happening to their Chinatowns, either because they went into decline and are empty or, somewhat the reverse, they are being infiltrated by a host of non-Chinese […]

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