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City Plumber Q&A:

Can a councillor who is out expressing opinions on the Downtown Eastside plan still vote on it?

Question: Andrea Reimer extolled the virtues of the DTES plan which goes to public hearing on March 12th.  Sounded to  me like her mind was made up.  Doesn’t this mean she should recuse herself? Answer: Well, I was going to pontificate in my little civic blowhard way about the leeway councillors have to express opinions, […] [Read more →]

Why are there some super-sized stop signs in parts of Vancouver?

Question: Is there a standards size for the stop sign octagon? I am seeing supersized ones going west on 33 from Dunbar? Is it because West side drivers are worser?  older and lacking clear vision? Is there a catalogue of where various sized stop signs are put? Answer: Is there some reason you are using […] [Read more →]

Secret plan by Vancouver city council to increase requirements for social housing?

Question: I have heard that city council plans to amend the Oppenheimer sub district zoning to require 60% social housing in any new development, up from 20% in the current official plan, meaning that it will be uneconomic for private developers to build anything, resulting in taxpayers paying the whole shot for any development in […] [Read more →]

Who will win the court case: VPB or CCA?

Answer: Even knowing what this question means is a test of whether you’re a true Vancouverite? What the questioner is referring to is the lawsuit that six community-centre associations have started against the Vancouver Park Board to force them to stop the implementation of the OnePass card at all centres, which was supposed to start […] [Read more →]

The immobilized Woodward’s W

Question: Why has the Woodwards W stopped going around?   Answer: Swifter reporters than I (or at least one swifter reporter, Tiffany Crawford at the Vancouver Sun) found the answer to that last week. It’s apparently a broken clutch that has the W on top of the building as motionless as the original W, which […] [Read more →]

Any chance the city would use some of the fees collected from developers on Cambie for a new Canada Line station?

Q. There have been numerous rezoning applications recently for Cambie Street near 33rd Avenue, listed here: Given that 33rd Avenue was a proposed future station on the Canada Line, will development there allow that station to be built soon? Is the city doing anything to collect amenity money from developers as part of the […] [Read more →]

How many shelters are there for homeless people in Toronto? And other skill-testing questions about homelessness

Q. How many shelter facilities are there in Toronto? Name them. Name them? NAME THEM? What is this, some kind of Reach for the Top game, Municipal Issues version? Mind you, I was on Reach for the Top (the antecedent to Jeopardy, for those who didn’t know) when it was just a high-school competition, back when […] [Read more →]

What will happen to Buy-Low — our little slice of ungentrified Vancouver — if the Kingsgate Mall gets redeveloped?

Q. What happens to my beloved Buy-Low if/when Beedie Developments goes ahead with their plan to redevelop Kingsgate Mall, per the recent article in the G&M A. Well, Chris (I know it’s you because you are the first person to have signed your name to a City Plumber question in almost a year now. […] [Read more →]

What is with the empty lot at Robson and Broughton, prime real estate sitting undeveloped?

Q. What’s the story behind the vacant lot on Robson at Broughton? A. A lot of people seem to want to know this. In Vancouver, no vacant lot goes unnoticed. When I googled “empty lot Robson and Broughton,” it brought up about half a dozen references to it on various blogs around town. I guess […] [Read more →]

Why can’t everyone at the Olympic village use the Gold Medal fitness centre? Like the people in the rental and co-op buildings?

Q. Can you tell me if you have any further information on the Gold Medal Club in the Olympic Village? The city rental buildings (2) and the Coop (1) are not allowed access to that fitness centre. With strata fees going up 30% in some buildings, you’d think the city of Vancouver would be eager […] [Read more →]

Unanswered Questions: