Streamling Citywide Rental Rezoning letter to City

Nov. 2, 2021

City of Vancouver
Mayor Stewart and Council

Dear Mayor Stewart and Councillors:

Re: Streamlining Rental Citywide Rezoning

This letter is to inform you that the Dunbar Residents’ Association opposes the Streamlining Rentals proposal. We urge you to vote against it and work with communities like ours in finding better ways to bring needed housing to Vancouver.

We strongly believe that residents and neighbourhood associations should be consulted and considered an integral part of the discussion before significant changes to our communities are introduced. The DRA has not had the courtesy of even an official notice of this plan, and we know many of our residents are unaware of it.

This council’s approach is markedly different from that of the late 1990s, when a year’s worth of intense citizen engagement led to the Dunbar Community Vision. Residents’ opinions were treated as if they mattered, and there were workshops, surveys and community liaison groups to create the plan, which was approved by council in 1998. Residents accepted new types of housing such as rowhouses and four- and sixplexes along arterials, provided they were small-scale, fit into the area, and the community continued to have some say in the details.

If this council were willing to collaborate instead of imposing top-down citywide rezoning, we believe residents would be equally willing to embrace change today. With proper consultation, the city may find that small-scale, gentle-density zoning options are more effective in this community than the one-size-fits-all solution it is proposing. Under this approach, the city could encourage new types of housing with density bonuses for duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes, and discourage single-family luxury homes with a slight reduction in density for them.

The DRA acknowledges the need for more family-friendly, affordable housing, especially for people who work in Vancouver, and welcomes opportunities to collaborate with the city in adding it to our community.

Please reject this proposal and start again with a more collaborative, consultative approach with neighbourhoods.

Yours truly,

DRA President Bruce Gilmour, on behalf of the Dunbar Residents’ Association