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Development permits in Vancouver plunge even more

February 26th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Councillor/journalist Geoff Meggs has another interesting tidbit from city hall, the latest report on development permits continuing the downhill slide.

By the way, his post below that one is also pretty interesting — a dramatic account of the city meeting over a Fraser Street re-development project, which includes people crying and fainting. Who ever thought council was boring.

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  • whatever

    Also interesting is the Meggs attack on Cernetig, the Vancouver Sun columnist. Under the title \”Cernetig to non-rich: butt out\”, Meggs suggests that Cernetig\’s column criticizing the ongoing effort by City Hall to sustain the social housing component of the Olympic Village fiasco is all about keeping \”poor people… well back from the beach\”.

    This is interesting as an example of a politician ready to confront the media directly. Odd for being in a forum where few will notice and be able to give him the credit he deserves, yet public enough to provoke the probable response.

    Meggs apparently intends merely to blunt the point of this particular column. It bears repeating: At $595,000 per unit the price is prohibitively steep in any City budget scenario.

    Those of us living in antiquated existing subsidized housing, and those waiting to get into subsidized housing all the more so, would welcome the opportunity to live in one of the many more modern homes that could be built at a much lower price in Geoff\’s neighbourhood, or likewise very satisfied living without some of the high-end elements of the planned Olympic Village units, elements that are apparently necessary to compliment the market price housing being built for the rich. Instead, by sticking to the plan for the Olympic Village fewer of us will be able to win the lottery. But Geoff is right in that those who do win will get to live among the rich, with all the wonderful benefits that brings.

  • Dawn Steele

    While I see Meggs being right on principle, “whatever” above makes more sense to me on a more pragmatic level.

    If we have thousands waiting for affordable housing and we can get 2 or 3 for the price of one by “mixing things up” a little less boldly, that may be the place to start.

    Besides, we may be able to pick up some of those waterfront condos and convert them pretty cheaply if we hold off another year or so…

  • Glissando Remmy

    Lately, lots of local radio hosts (I don’t watch TV) were crying out loud about the new costs associated with the Olympic village social housing element. Sadly I’ve arrived to one conclusion: Vancouver has become a city of sadomasochists.
    The rich, the political power aficionados, the privately owned media are the Sadists pushing their agenda onto the rest of Vancouver people successfully turning nice, educated, emphatic formerly known as Vancouverites into heartless greedy Masochistic jerks.
    Turning teachers, radio hosts, nurses, cooks, auto mechanics, doctors, nannies, waiters, taxi drivers, architects, bank tellers… against themselves (YES, any of you could be hit by a bus as I am writing this and you could become a social service material in a jiffy) is despicable.
    Picture this. 1 billion dollars on Olympic “security” costs (whatever that means nobody knows but accepts)…GOOD; Daycare and Kindergarten full time programs for ALL THE KIDS…BAD;
    1 billion dollars Vancouver Convention Center next to …the present Canada Place convention center…GOOD; Social and Affordable/ Rental Housing in the Olympic Village down from 66% initially to 20% now…STILL BAD;
    Another billion or more for the Sea to Sky orgasmic highway so we can impress the accidental tourists… GOOD; more beds, medical staff and why not “NO Medicare monthly premiums”…BAD.
    And this masochistic wish list of the newly minted priorities of life in the best place on Earth can go on and on and on.
    In the past few years many things (public assets, human rights, liberties) that our predecessors fought hard for, have been lost not only in Canada but around the world, due to unforeseen events, political and corporate corruption, mass disinformation and unlawful wars.
    But the most damaging feature that surfaced above all is the desensitizing of the general population in the face of pain and suffering of others (which reminds me of the Milgram experiment) due to a new type of collective ignorance and apathy. The type that keeps the caffeine addicted yuppie in front of their favourite Reality show. There is no line between fiction and reality anymore so anything is possible.
    But I digress.
    As for the Olympic Village Social Housing element, well, these units do not come with all the perks that these Radio/ TV talking heads are foaming at the mouth about, they don’t face the water and there is a slight difference in terms of materials being used, unit size, amenities…
    Anybody is an expert when they have no idea what they are talking about.
    There is a great deal of interest in killing this social housing arrangement; simply there is too much money to be made on the open market. Now or later, real estate sharks don’t HAVE to deliver for the Winter Games anyway, we are!
    Anybody dare to foresee the future of Little Mountain Housing development after Holborn Properties bailed out of their higher class Ritz-Carlton project?
    The development and the real estate peddlers not to say the organized crime bosses are salivating at the prospect of having more stock to scalp, speculate or money launder.
    Life taught me one thing. If an opportunity comes your way, TAKE IT! You may think it over later and decide upon it BUT if you pass, THAT opportunity is gone forever. Same goes for the Olympic Village social housing element.
    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us all busy!

  • not running for mayor

    What is better 200 social housing units in SEFC or 400-500 units next to a skytrain station? If you don’t know the answer ask the people on the wait lists which one they would prefer.
    That is why this disccussion even exists.

    If I get hit by that bus I’d probably blame myself for not moving out of the way instead of the government for not building bus seperated lanes

  • Julia

    in this case, I would prefer to pay less and get more. This issue should be about a roof not the postal code.

    and… it is time the city stop assuming that development is going to go on endlessly in this city. To build a city budget and counting on development revenue to pay the bills is flat out dangerous and we are currently finding out. As of this week the city is 12 million below revenue projections and I can bet it is going to get worse. It is time for development revenue to be viewed as windfall money. Spend it twice a year after the money has hit the bank account on projects that are sidelined due to budget constraints or maybe even use it to reduce the following years property tax ask. But spending it before you have it is simply foolish.