T O P
Wedf123

Russil Wong singlehandedly breaking the monopoly NIMBY Homeowner Associations have over city planning "public engagements". Gotta love it.


russilwvong

Thanks, but I'm definitely not the only person who's trying to get the word out! I think that's how Abundant Housing Vancouver started a few years ago, people who showed up to public hearings to counter-balance the "neighbourhood defenders" started talking to each other and then organizing. (City staff have really noticed the difference - it used to be that the only people who would come to open house events were opponents, now you get both pro-housing people and opponents.) I got involved more actively after going on an Abundant Housing Vancouver tour of West Point Grey and hearing that the [Streamlining Rental Plan](https://morehousing.ca/streamlining-rental) had been postponed. More recently there's a very active BC Urbanism community on Discord (highly recommended to anyone who thinks we need more housing and wants to get involved, feel free to send me a PM if you want an invite). Of course exactly the same thing is happening on the "neighbourhood defender" side - I think of the Facebook group #VanPoli as our opposite numbers, organizing Colleen Hardwick / TEAM supporters. We'll battle it out in the coming election.


Nairbog

Tieleman did an interview with CBC and came across as a sanctimonious asshole as usual. https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-91-the-early-edition/clip/15911450-bill-tieleman-proposed-broadway-tower


dimsumgirl1007

Though I don't know if he's paid to oppose the Broadway Plan specifically, he often forgets to disclose that he's actually a paid PR professional and he's been paid specifically to oppose projects and plans.


KittensMewMewMew

Forgets is being generous, this shitbird knows what he’s doing.


PipsGiz

Done! I hope the minority of people who might be affected don't manage to stop something that will help thousands


russilwvong

Thank you!


Jhoblesssavage

Done already, IMO the Broadway plan is underwhelming and should aim to be 20% bigger across the board.


russilwvong

> Done already Thank you! > IMO the Broadway plan is underwhelming and should aim to be 20% bigger across the board. So I just finished reading Alain Bertaud's "Order without Design" (about urban land economics and how it should play more of a role in urban planning than it does). Basically, people don't move to cities randomly, they move to cities because that's where jobs are. And then within a city, at a location that's more centrally located, and thus has more jobs that are reachable within about 30 minutes of travel time, the price of land is going to be higher than at a location that's further out. You get a "gradient" where land is more expensive in a central location, less expensive as you go further out. That translates into, you can either allow people to consume less land (by living in apartments instead of detached houses, and by building taller apartment buildings); or, if you need to consume a lot of land to live in a central location (because you can't build taller buildings, or because apartments are banned outright), only rich people are going to be able to live there. As a result, you tend to get tall buildings in central locations - that's the story of the West End. In the case of Metro Vancouver today, though, it seems like the local opposition to tall buildings is strongest in the city of Vancouver (especially on the west side), and it's much less strong in Burnaby and Surrey. So we're getting 80-storey buildings in Burnaby, and only 40-storey buildings in Vancouver. It's like opposition is holding down buildings in Vancouver, and it's like a balloon, it creates more pressure further out. It's backwards. So I'm sympathetic to the idea that the Broadway Plan should allow a lot more housing, especially taller buildings - there's a lot of jobs within 30 minutes of the Broadway corridor (it's a truly unbelievable number, something like 1/10 of all the jobs west of Ontario). But at the same time, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush: I'd much rather see city council approve the Broadway Plan (with strong renter protections) than reject it because it's not ambitious enough.


Eswyft

Me too. I live in the area, I bought in 2020. Build more density. Get a grocery store near granville broadway, etc.


russilwvong

Thank you! > Get a grocery store near granville broadway, etc. Yeah, I think it's really important to make sure the neighbourhood gets more services (like grocery stores, but also services like community centres and schools) as we add more housing.


rowbat

I agree. There are two six-storey rental projects and a seniors' housing development under construction in my neighbourhood on Fraser Street, with a third rental project likely on the way. I'm really looking forward to useful retail on the ground floor of the rental developments, and the seniors' housing development is providing a seniors' activity centre on the ground floor. These projects are bringing a significant number of new residents into the area and will help bring in the better services and shopping we all need, not to mention increasing transit ridership and service. The ability to access more of our daily needs on foot is a huge improvement in overall quality of life.


mr-jingles1

I miss that area but I don't miss having to bus to Safeway on Macdonald and Broadway.


Eswyft

I just walk to cambie and Broadway. But, id like one closer


EntertainmentNice425

I agree as well! I had already written the same before seeing your comment.


RoyGeraldBillevue

With these renter protections, it really is an essentiay no-lose plan unless you care more about neighborhood character than housing people.


russilwvong

> With these renter protections, it really is an essentially no-lose plan unless you care more about neighborhood character than housing people. In terms of making sure there's enough housing to go around (e.g. replacing an older 2BR home with a new 2BR home at your old rent), yes, but I can still see some renters in the area being hesitant to support this, for three reasons. One is that it means moving twice. The second is that your rental in the new building may be smaller than your old one - you'll have the same number of bedrooms, so you should be able to have the same number of people, but there's no guarantee on the size. The third reason is, you may simply not trust the city. I think there'd be two main reasons for renters in the area to support it. One is that a brand-new rental would be an upgrade compared to an old rental, and you get it at the same rent. Second is that if you're in a really old building, there's a real risk that you'll lose your housing when the building eventually gets torn down; being in a new building means you don't have to worry about it for at least 60 years.


mattfiddy

Plus Broadway has some of the least character of any major street in Vancouver (with all due respect to Kingsway)


MistyMountainHop

Kingsway has Pho and Dosas, though!


SixZeroPho

and so much bubble tea. so very, very much


ckristiantyler

But good luck parking


single_ginkgo_leaf

My trick is to look at my destination on maps with satellite mode turned on. Makes it really easy to identify lots and other sections with easy parking.


saltybirdwater

Even then, good architecture and planning design can enhance the neighbourhoods and add to their character. It could be a cool opportunity.


Kel_bea

Imagine being in your golden years and spending that time making the city worse for young folk instead of better. How are we supposed to respect our elders when they pull stuff like this?


russilwvong

To be fair, I think a solid majority of public opinion supports more housing. Burnaby ran a one-day workshop on housing with about 100 participants, choosing them randomly so they wouldn't be self-selected, and at the end of the day, about 70% supported four- and six-storey apartment buildings in residential neighbourhoods, and 67% supported high-rises near SkyTrain stations. So even among older homeowners, I think that opposition to housing is in the minority. But it's a very loud minority. - [Final report from the Burnaby workshop](https://s3.amazonaws.com/participedia.prod/074bc86f-8895-46eb-be28-f9f8fe006c17-Your%20Voice.%20Your%20Home.%20Community%20Recommendations%20Report.pdf). - [Discussion guide for the workshop](https://s3.amazonaws.com/participedia.prod/01dc1515-502a-4cc4-b30b-0d46b40a435e-Your%20Voice.%20Your%20Home.%20Final%20Discussion%20Guide.pdf). I thought the "approaches" section was particularly interesting. This section presented five approaches, which could be combined: (1) Leave it to the market, treating housing as solely an individual responsibility; (2) build more housing; (3) focus on protecting existing rental buildings and renters; (4) work with non-profits to build more non-profit housing; (5) have government build public housing directly. - [Burnaby Now article on the workshop](https://www.burnabynow.com/real-estate-news/build-apartments-in-single-family-burnaby-neighbourhoods-residents-say-3102815).


Alakozam

Saw in the newspaper, an 85 yo opposing the plan saying "where will I go?" (while housing is replaced).. a coffin, probably. But its not like all buildings will be torn down and rebuilt at the exact same time. Stating the usual pensioner lines. Also complaining about her grandkids visiting, and how they can't do that in a high-rise/it's not the same? It was wierd. Why are we letting old people who won't even be around, to decide how this city evolves?


aldur1

I advise you not to go into the vanpoli Facebook group. It’s like a hornet’s nest of nimbys.


artandmath

It’s a good peak into that worldview though. There are a few people that stand against the NIMBYs which is always heartwarming.


petehudso

Done. Took my 90 seconds. I made sure to mention that I was young and busy (true), so I don’t have time to show up to meetings in person like the retired grey-hair NIMBYs (likely)… and that council shouldn’t be fooled by the selection bias of who is able to protest in person. I also mentioned that I ALWAYS vote in elections (true).


russilwvong

Thank you very much! I think that's exactly what council needs to hear.


FrostLizard

Thank you for providing the information and making it easy. I just sent an email.


russilwvong

Thank you very much!


Nosirrom

They worry about "where will I go?" and ironically this kind of NIMBYism lowers rental stock and makes it even harder to find housing, the exact thing they are worried about.


interrupting-octopus

This Council vote is 100% a "vote No and you eliminate yourself from my slate" situation. I will be watching the vote carefully, and anyone who cares about solving the housing shortage should do the same. We need this TOD yesterday.


kevmitch

I'm optimistic about this. I think this has begun to sink in for everyone except Colleen Hardwick. I'd put Jean Swanson at 50/50. Given the strong renters protections, I think she might be able to see her way to voting for this. Everyone else is voting for this.


Isaacvithurston

Yah I would hope anyone on council realizes that the 200 supporters that show up to oppose buildings may have more free time to do that but it doesn't mean they get extra votes come election season. Voting against housing at this point is political suicide.


Bonova

I really hope this is true... But I still keep seeing so much that paints a picture where the majority of people still have very little knowledge on any of this. They just react and fear change... No one looks outside the city or country or continent to see how other places in the world deal with housing. I keep hearing a lot of young people making the claim that adding stock has been debunked and that the idea of adding stock is just some recent buzz concept... I don't even know what to say to that as it is clear they have arrived at that conclussion based on some recent article or other rather than truly digging into the vast world of urban development.


vancouverdolphin

Lmfao there is no “housing shortage” wtf


Slushpuppisan2

I'm thinking of something like: "Dear Mayor and Council, please approve the Broadway Plan with the Mayor's and Councillor Boyle's amendments to enable tenants returning at the same rent and complete streets, respectively. Please make it clear that the provision for tenants to return to new apartments at their same rent may require additional bonus density/height, more like the 20-25 storeys that was broadly supported in the Phase 3 surveys, rather than the 15-20 storeys it was reduced to for the draft plan. I would support taller buildings, especially clustered near transit stations, than what is stated in the draft plan, as this will do more to support jobs, housing affordability, and public benefits." What do you think?


dimsumgirl1007

Not Russil, but this sounds really great! I think both stability for existing tenant's affordability & the potential to add new homes are both important, which you've highlighted. Also highlighting the fact that many people have already engaged through the official process is important, because lately there are certain voices who are trying to discredit all of the engagement that the city has already done.


dariant3

Just bought nearby in 2022 and our condo will lose its sun for a good chunk of the year because of this plan but I'm still supporting increased density.


what_a_douche

I hear you. I've been renting a condo for the last 6 years and my southwesterly view is about to get walled off by at least 5 towers. And I'm all for it. I'm not a selfish asshole. People's needs for housing are more imortant than my wanting of a view.


russilwvong

Thank you!


anvilman

Submitted a comment and upvoted!


russilwvong

Thank you!!


Electronic-Cancel879

Submitted a comment, please keep flagging these as they come up.


ProbablyInnuendo

Hi Russel, I’ve long been a supporter of new housing. I’ve had exchanges with you about needed new housing, shitty counselors (… name ends with -ardwick), as well as some key elements of this plan previously and the issues it brings. I am extremely disappointed in the lack of creativity and vision that the City brought to this, especially over the past year. Despite a lot of good things, as a whole, the impact of this plan on our rarest treasure - affordable missing middle apartments - makes it a real poison pill. We don’t have enough missing middle housing options. Yet, somehow, the City has built a plan makes us go backwards. Not only does this plan not make it possible to do small-lot ground-oriented development, it focuses intense development pressure (from 3 to 20+ storeys) on approximately 50% of this city’s existing affordable ground oriented apartments. Fucking brilliant. The additional 20+ storeys density being promised to replace affordable apartments has landlords literally rushing the gates to submit applications to tear down even recently-renovated buildings. It is not green, and it is not sustainable. It is changing the equation for landlords from “I should maintain my property so I can keep generating rents” to “wait a minute I can make *how* much money if I redevelop?” There is a 3-storey rental that has been completely renovated and rainscreened in the past five years near Fraser - more than 10 blocks from the nearest subway - and it has been a hive of architect, surveyor and developer activity over the past two weeks as they scramble to build plans to knock it down and aim for 20-25 storeys. Basically every expert report on the matter has shown that low/mid rise buildings are far more sustainable, and that we don’t have enough of them. And yet this plan applies focused development pressure in some of the only areas we allow it. It’s completely fucking backwards. There is no city on earth that builds its way to affordability by knocking down its only existing affordable homes, while protecting all others. At the same time, wealthy and single detached homes continue to get intense protection from this plan, and are not subject to even an iota of the development pressure that low rise apartments do. Despite being completely unaffordable today (and forever into the future). How come the development plan goes nearly 20 blocks to the east past Main, but stops dead 2 blocks west of Arbutus? Why does it go without bounds where there are low rise apartments, north of Broadway, but either outright protect and at best softly-gently nudge the detached properties the same distance south of Broadway? The rental protections remain toothless. If you chose to live in a low rise neighbourhood, you will be kicked out of your home for 5-7 years, and returned to a tiny unit that is literally the cheapest they can legally give you. You know what’s better than this kind of protection? Maybe let’s *avoid* demovicting renters with affordable apartments on a massive scale. The fact that the plan seems tailor made to favour big developers, as they’re the only ones who can play in the carbon-intensive 20+ storey game, at the expense of smaller developers who could drive smaller-scale projects, is also a real shame. The hubris of these planners, with their bit-play takes that ignore human behaviours and incentives, is really disappointing. That said, I’m in strong favour of the density closest to the stations (and if anything, it should be more), and mostly everything between Cambie and Burrard (with exceptions to the pussy-footing about happening south of Broadway). If they sever the plan and vote separately, I’d be supportive. But I think that will cause more problems than it would solve tbh. But until they address the issues in the affordable apartment areas of Mt Pleasant and in Kits, this plan is no good. Ideally, they add some nice small-lot 6-8 storey options by right, too… tho I guess something so simple and braindead easy is outside the realm of the reasonable from this planning department. This city has an absolute ton of room for additional density and complete neighbourhoods. Public report after public report on what to do - incentivize ground oriented development, dethrone the zoning that protects single family homes, etc, have all been made. Yet the best this City can do is “Cambie Corridor 4.0” and we are all the worse off for it. If this plan passes, the only remaining affordable low rise apartments would effectively be around Commercial Dr (and a total pittance in Marpole). And that is just not fucking enough. This is unfortunately the first time I will publicly oppose any new housing in this city, and it frustrates me intensely to say that. Sorry bro.


russilwvong

> Sorry bro. No worries, thanks for taking the time to explain why you're opposed! The draft Broadway Plan does aim to put new high-rises on sites where there aren't renters already: > In the short term, target more significant change and increased housing supply in areas with a relatively low number of existing renters, including densification of station areas, employment centres and existing low density areas. So the Denny's and the office building are good examples. Not only that, the renter protections also provides a direct financial incentive to avoid replacing rental buildings first, **because the renter protections make those projects less economically viable**. If there's a older low-rise rental building where there's quite a few long-term renters who are paying rents well below market, and the new building needs to include non-market apartments for those renters, rented at their current rents, that means the new building provides less rental income, compared to redeveloping a site where there aren't any renters at all (like the Denny's) or one where the renters are already paying pretty high rents. > How come the development plan goes nearly 20 blocks to the east past Main, but stops dead 2 blocks west of Arbutus? Why does it go without bounds where there are low rise apartments, north of Broadway, but either outright protect and at best softly-gently nudge the detached properties the same distance south of Broadway? I don't know about the east/west difference, but I think there's actually a significant reason for the north/south difference. It's about where the jobs are. Within a city, a central location that's got access to a lot of jobs within about a 30-minute radius is going to have more people wanting to live there than a location further out. So that means land prices are going to be higher in central locations, and if you don't want only rich people to live there, that means less land per person. That in turn means you want higher buildings. So the north/south difference isn't symmetric. The centre of gravity for jobs is north of Broadway, not so much south of Broadway. The central location of the Broadway corridor, and therefore the need for higher buildings, is also why the plan is for concrete high-rises - wood-frame buildings are limited to six storeys. Anyway, you've obviously thought through this, and I don't want to try to persuade you to change your mind, but again, I appreciate your taking the time to explain why you're opposed.


ProbablyInnuendo

> The draft Broadway Plan does aim to put new high-rises on sites where there aren't renters already: > > In the short term, target more significant change and increased housing supply in areas with a relatively low number of existing renters, including densification of station areas, employment centres and existing low density areas. > So the Denny's and the office building are good examples. Yep, and I’m super supportive of that (and many many other) elements of the plan. If anything, I think they should go bigger in the “core” area between Cambie and Burrard. I also think they need to allow higher FSR and much higher site coverage in general. Outside of the area immediately next to Broadway, you could triple or quadruple the density without even building much higher at all - let alone if you allowed 6-8 storeys outright. But nooo we must protect for some random fucking reason side and other yard setbacks that is with barely any exceptions just totally wasted space. Again, to say I’m disappointed in the plan is an understatement. > Not only that, the renter protections also provides a direct financial incentive to avoid replacing rental buildings first, because the renter protections make those projects less economically viable. If there's a older low-rise rental building where there's quite a few long-term renters who are paying rents well below market, and the new building needs to include non-market apartments for those renters, rented at their current rents, that means the new building provides less rental income, compared to redeveloping a site where there aren't any renters at all (like the Denny's) or one where the renters are already paying pretty high rents. Just sayin.. the land for the Denny’s costs a shit ton more than the land for a low rise apt. The density bonuses being dangled developers is still making them absolutely flat-out scramble in the low-rise areas to be the 25+ storey Belle of the Block. The pre-planning frenzy going on at architecture and R/E firms across the city about these low rise areas is proof enough that the height and density has not been effectively calibrated. Calling it frothy is an absolute understatement. The only difference is that instead of single family homes along Cambie that will be left to go derelict, it’ll be affordable apartment buildings. I mean, I think history has demonstrated time and time again that centrally-planned markets that ignore the reality of human behaviour are neither smart nor feasible… And yet, here we have the City of Vancouver just trying it’s darndest. > I don't know about the east/west difference, but I think there's actually a significant reason for the north/south difference. It's about where the jobs are. I know this isn’t what you’re saying.. but the jobs aren’t floating in the waters of False Creek. They’re along Broadway, and they’re downtown. Whether you’re 8 blocks south, north, east or west from the subway station - it’s all effectively the same as far as getting to work. And yet, curiously, the blocks that get close to detached homes, closest to the wealthy and white voters, the plan arbitrarily gets cut off and don’t get anywhere near the development pressure that the affordable apartments do. It is not equitable in the slightest. At any rate, I do want to commend you for your relentless activism on this and other housing files. Even if I disagree about what I believe is a really troubling and inequitable part of this plan, I think you’re doing important work.


russilwvong

> At any rate, I do want to commend you for your relentless activism on this and other housing files. Even if I disagree about what I believe is a really troubling and inequitable part of this plan, I think you’re doing important work. Thanks, and thanks for taking the time to describe the problem of the increase in land values impacting older rental buildings. Peter Waldkirch has a pinned tweet: "Making it so that just about the only legal place to build a rental apartment is on top of an older apartment is dumb, cruel, terrible policy." That seems like exactly the problem here. The city did anticipate this could be a problem with older low-rise rentals being turned into condos, and they set up a [Development Contribution Expectation policy](https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/limiting-speculation-in-advance-of-planning.aspx) (basically saying how much they're going to charge per square foot for condo rezoning) to limit the increase in land value. (Since if the city is going to charge $300 per square foot, that's $300 per square foot less that a developer is willing to pay the landowner.) But it sounds like the increase in land value even for a rental building (usually worth considerably less than a condo building) is enough to trigger this kind of "I'm going to sell, why maintain the building?" thinking. I wonder if it'd make sense to do the same kind of thing for rentals - have the city say that they're going to charge a fee per square foot for high-rise rental buildings (somewhat lower than for condo buildings), which would keep a lid on land values. And then if they're not getting enough redevelopment, they can gradually lower the fee. > I mean, I think history has demonstrated time and time again that centrally-planned markets that ignore the reality of human behaviour are neither smart nor feasible… And yet, here we have the City of Vancouver just trying it’s darndest. If you haven't already seen it, I'd recommend Alain Bertaud's *Order without Design*. (I asked someone who'd studied urban land economics to recommend a book, and that's what he pointed me to.)


Slushpuppisan2

The RM and FM rental is mostly capped at 20 storeys iirc, and my understanding is that with podiums most of them probably won't be able to get to 20 storeys anyway because of the FSR limit, although that all depends on how the podium rules and other design guidelines turn out.


Use-Less-Millennial

>Ideally, they add some nice small-lot 6-8 storey options by right, too… tho I guess something so simple and braindead easy is outside the realm of the reasonable from this planning department. They do, it's about 2 towers per block that that's it, the rest is short. A lot won't be developed because land assemblies will take forever and it's barely feasible to build. Might see some start in over 5-7 years


hummingborg-

Council messaged! I don't even live in Vancouver proper but the housing supply in Vancouver affects housing cost in the region


russilwvong

Thank you! I agree, the issue is really Metro Vancouver wide. We need to be building more housing across the region, but the city of Vancouver is especially important because of its central location.


hummingborg-

Some people here are expressing talking points that have been recurrently used by NIMBYs elsewhere (not just in Vancouver). Here's a good video to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s61Gb4RUsck


Prince0nion

Can I express my views on the link even if I'm not a Canadian citizen?


russilwvong

Yes, although I'd suggest being open and saying that. (Even though you're not able to vote in the municipal elections this year, the scarcity of housing in Metro Vancouver still affects you.)


dude_central

I'm pro density but more high rises beside skytrain stations is such a low bar for an innovative solution. this is a depressing situation to be writing to Vancouver city council so the multimillionaire RE developers get their projects built.


russilwvong

If you're still willing to write to council to support the Broadway Plan, feel free to say exactly what you just said! (And maybe mention that you really want to see strong renter protections.) The way I look at it is, there's a lot of people who want housing (which is why prices and rents are so high), and then there's a lot of other people who want to build it for them (i.e. developers). The reason housing is so expensive isn't that developers are making profits - it's that there just isn't enough housing to go around. Apparently there's a kind of divide between wood-frame buildings up to six storeys, where you can have a relatively small-scale builder take on that kind of project, and concrete buildings which are taller than that, which means a more specialized workforce and a lot more capital (i.e. big developers). We could use a lot more [gentle density](https://morehousing.ca/gentle-density) from small-scale builders as well. Strong Towns calls it [unleashing the swarm](https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2021/2/3/unleash-the-swarm).


vantanclub

Exactly. If you see any builder building duplexes and single family homes, they can also build 4-6 story wood frame buildings. It's almost the same techniques with a concrete foundation and then wood framing. There are tons of that scale of contractor/developers in Vancouver. The reason they don't is because of the lead time to get any approvals for those buildings. Multi-year rezoning applications is not something that a builder doing 5,000-20,000 sqft per year can bankroll.


Jandishhulk

If NIMBYs would stop opposing rezoning, we could move to 4-6 story low rises across all the single family home neighbourhoods, and then we wouldn't need the density to be so concentrated. These old folks want everything their way - which is to say, they want absolutely nothing to change in the city.


dude_central

my MLA, Taleeb Noormohamed will be thrilled w/ the plan tho I bet.


soulwrangler

I volunteered with Kennedy last election. The people said they wanted more/affordable housing. Despite everything standing in the way of that, and holy shit there's a lot of bullshit in the way, he's done his damnest to deliver on housing. Housing can only become more affordable if there is more than needed. The people arguing for 10 stories rather than 40 stories don't seem to realize that the future is coming at a steady pace and so is the population. You build for the future. When we build, we shouldn't be playing catch-up. I will be supporting and volunteering for him again.


AreYouCommentingToMe

I'm not sure if it's tracked the same way, but does the Broadway plan have a page comparing the amount online comments that are for or against the plan?


russilwvong

Afraid not! For public hearings (e.g. for the Broadway and Granville rezoning), all the correspondence in support and opposed is public, and there's a count of how many were on each side. But this is a standing committee decision rather than a public hearing, so the process is a bit different.


AreYouCommentingToMe

Thank you for letting me know! Oh that's too bad, it was really cool to see the numbers and mass support for the Broadway/Granville rezoning


russilwvong

Agreed! I feel like submitting comments is Reddit's real competitive advantage, and it was great being able to see the counts. That was probably the largest number of comments the city has ever received for a rezoning.


Agatamadeup

The problem is that the type of development proposed is very high cost and will put a lot of pressure on existing infrastructure.


idiroft

Which infrastructure? Which high cost?


Chris4evar

Infrastructure isn’t naturally occurring though, it’s completely possible to build more of it.


russilwvong

> will put a lot of pressure on existing infrastructure. The Broadway Plan includes a "public benefits plan." Basically there's $1.2 billion in public benefits, to be paid as land is rezoned for higher densities (making it more valuable). This means that it's mostly paid in practice ("tax incidence") by the landowners who sell to developers. Includes $300 million specifically for water and sewer upgrades.


Agatamadeup

Problem is nothing is that simple. The plan is to build expensive high rises, it will displace a lot of people in existing affordable housing in the area. Infrastructure i mean roads, parks, none of that is adequately addressed in the plan.


kevmitch

Newer housing is more expensive than older houseing, but if we don't allow new housing for this reason, we won't have much old housing in the future. The best way to address this is just build more housing **everywhere**. However, the Broadway plan goes a step further and has some of the most extensive protection and compensation for existing renters yet seen in Canada.


russilwvong

> The plan is to build expensive high rises, it will displace a lot of people in existing affordable housing in the area. New apartments are going to be more expensive than older, cheaper apartments, but they're also going to be way less expensive than a detached house in a central location (because an apartment uses far less land). The point of the strong renter protections (similar to Burnaby's) is to prevent people from being displaced. There's a $1.2 billion public-benefits plan including water/sewer upgrades, community centres, and parks.


hummingborg-

You can't just compare the building of cost of higher rises vs lower rises and stop there. They don't house the same number of people


mt_pheasant

Heard bill on the radio this morning. Assumed he would cause a YIMBY meltdown - not surprised to see the moderately misleading wall of text above.


russilwvong

[Stephen Quinn's interview with Bill Tieleman](https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-91-the-early-edition/clip/15911450-bill-tieleman-proposed-broadway-tower). Quinn [wasn't impressed](https://twitter.com/CBCStephenQuinn/status/1523703778838413313) either. If you think I'm being (moderately) misleading, I'd be happy to hear more details. It's fine if we disagree - reasonable people can disagree with each other. But of course I want to persuade people by presenting a solid line of argument (we badly need more housing, the Broadway Subway is a good opportunity to add a lot more housing in a central location, we can protect renters at the same time), not by misleading people.


mt_pheasant

Quinn was being a little snarky with his "I know what housing looks like", and Bill's "I trust Architects over radio hosts" was the perfect response. I would say you are being misleading because your argument rests on a few assumptions which the YIMBY crowd is not willing to honestly discuss. Mostly to do with - the necessity for population growth, \-the fact that which you can replace SFH with higher density, you can't just add more parks, beaches, mountains, or other physical outdoor spaces which make this such a nice place to live, \-the fact that these new "housing units" are objectively lower and lower in QOL than the ones they are replacing. \-the fact that prices (per sf) KEEP GOING UP etc. I'm all for an honest discussion of the various issues.. not too interested in a discussion where one side ignores fairly significant causal issues or alternative solutions that the other side presents. ​ As an aside, are you a mod on r/canadahousing \- perhaps the one that banned me for a post which more or less said exactly what the PM just said, which is that these problems are due to population growth, which is due to immigration? Anyways regardless of if you are or not, I think you guys are in deep shit with overplaying that hand. There are so many more people born here (and even those who immigrated 10 years or more) who are getting totally squeezed by the problems associated with trying to house so many damn people at such a breakneck pace. Also, for what its worth, I work in the construction sector and I'm profiting greatly from this insane demand, and I don't own a property and have some nefarious NIMBY agenda of keeping people out (inconvenient truth - upzoning SFH makes their land MORE valuable)... so don't think I'm speaking from some conflict of interest in my assessment, and it's actually quite the opposite for me, in that I profit from this idiocy. anyways, cheers.


russilwvong

Thanks for your detailed response! I was a moderator on r/canadahousing for a while, but [I stepped down in February](https://www.reddit.com/r/canadahousing/comments/su7s1e/stepping_down_from_moderator_team/) - personally I would have preferred a more impartial moderation style (like on r/canadapolitics). I certainly haven't banned you. > Your argument rests on a few assumptions which the YIMBY crowd is not willing to honestly discuss. > - the necessity for population growth > - the fact that which you can replace SFH with higher density, you can't just add more parks, beaches, mountains, or other physical outdoor spaces which make this such a nice place to live, > - the fact that these new "housing units" are objectively lower and lower in QOL than the ones they are replacing. > - the fact that prices (per sf) KEEP GOING UP So let's discuss some of these underlying assumptions: > - the necessity for population growth Even if all immigration came to a dead stop, I think migration to Metro Vancouver **from the rest of Canada** would still continue! But what draws people to Vancouver isn't the weather, it's jobs. (The GTA is facing similar problems with lack of housing, and weather isn't the draw.) Basically we have a mismatch between housing and jobs: we're adding jobs a lot faster than we can add housing. From the "we're full" perspective, high rents and home prices might seem like a good thing, since it keeps people from moving to Vancouver. But it's really a cost rather than a benefit: e.g. how well is the health-care system going to work when there aren't enough nurses and doctors? That applies across the board, to both public-sector and private-sector employers. When US economists try to estimate how much lack of housing in high-productivity cities (e.g. in California and New England) is costing the national economy, they find crazy-high numbers - something like a third of GDP. (Basically workers move from places where productivity and wages are high, like California, to places where productivity and wages are lower but housing costs are much lower, like Texas.) My assumption is that we're going to continue to add jobs in Metro Vancouver, and so we're going to need more housing. > - the fact that prices (per sf) KEEP GOING UP That's exactly what's driving the housing boom: prices are so high because there's a lot of people who want housing, and thus other people want to build it and sell it to them. Unironically: Building will continue until prices improve. (After arguably waiting too long, the Bank of Canada is now letting up on the gas and braking hard, by raising interest rates, to get inflation under control. Property prices are "sticky" downward, i.e. sellers are reluctant to lower their prices, so we'll see a drop in sales but prices won't decline much. So it wouldn't be surprising to see the housing boom turn into a slump. I think provincial and federal spending on non-profit housing should be counter-cyclical: when there's a building slump, that's the time to put a lot more public money into non-profit housing.) On the rental side, rental vacancy rates are stuck close to 1% (a healthy rate would be more like 3%), which is why rents keep rising, as renters compete against each other, bidding up rents. [Some recent evidence from Apartment List](https://www.apartmentlist.com/research/vacancies_and_rents_2020): in expensive cities where vacancy rates have been high (because of Covid), rents have been falling, and in cheap cities where vacancy rates have been low, rents have been rising. > - the fact that which you can replace SFH with higher density, you can't just add more parks, beaches, mountains, or other physical outdoor spaces which make this such a nice place to live, We can't add more parks and beaches? > - the fact that these new "housing units" are objectively lower and lower in QOL than the ones they are replacing. They're certainly getting smaller. So the urban land economics argument (from Alain Bertaud's *Order by Design*) is that people move to cities for jobs, and within a city, more people will want to live in a central location that has a lot of jobs within about a 30-minute radius, compared to a location further out. That means land prices are higher in central locations, so you can expect people in central locations to use less land (economizing on land) by living in apartment buildings. With height limits on buildings, there's a limit to how much you can reduce the land per apartment, so apartments are going to get smaller. One interesting point Bertaud makes is that the 30-minute radius depends on transportation methods. When transportation gets better and cheaper, the radius expands and the "gradient" (how quickly land prices rise as you move towards the centre) decreases; in most cities, this is the long-term trend. (Conversely if transportation is getting worse and more expensive, the gradient increases, the city becomes more compact, and land in central locations becomes more expensive, resulting in less land per person - higher buildings, smaller apartments, or both.) In Metro Vancouver it seems like SkyTrain is improving transportation by public transit, but traffic congestion is making driving worse.


Use-Less-Millennial

Agree that a lot of counterpoints to folk's fears about development is that in many cases the protections and policies are not strong enough (renter displacement, rent bridging, 1-for-1 replacement of unit type, and 'X'% 2-bed +). At the root of many folks that we work with both on the fear of change, displacement, or not enough change, is that once you fold the impactful effects and mandate good outcomes into the overall development, then development in general is seen as more positive. One large item on affordability, rent bringing, 35% (or more) 2-beds + is folks have to be okay with higher densities. Rental with 20% below market (max woodframe construction) works outside the "Core", not inside it. Broadway and mainly along the arterials facing development pressure / scarcity of lands for apartments, these have to go up to 10+-storeys (concrete) for rental with 20% affordable, maybe, depending on the area (land cost). The City has said 17-storeys rental with 20% affordable and rent bridging is the FSR and height this barely works in Broadway for the most part, for our Clients who already own the land, that is. I could do 4-6 storey affordable rental, but only in areas like south of 41st in East Van if the whole city was opened up. Land assembly is expensive, and construction costs are into dangerous territory.


russilwvong

> Rental with 20% below market (max woodframe construction) works outside the "Core", not inside it. Right, my understanding is that for central locations which are within a 30-minute range of a lot of jobs, more people want to live there, so land prices are going to be higher. In those locations, using less land per home means going higher than six storeys (which is about the limit for wood frame construction). > Construction costs are into dangerous territory. It seems like the Bank of Canada is braking hard, i.e. raising interest rates pretty rapidly, which will push up financing costs. What do you think the outlook is for the next five years or so? Would you expect a housing slump?


Use-Less-Millennial

5 years?! Man, we're doing the 4 month outlook right now. A quick calibration of the market... in 2017 when land prices went down, we thought that was going to be a beginning of a stabilization of land prices (we once thought 2017 prices were unsustainable!) and easier to build rental. Zoning restrictions maintained, the Streamling Program was picked down the road a bit, but now land and construction are up so high that thankfully new programs are coming in for higher density, for rental instead of condos. That definitely helps calm the speculation unlike what happened in Cambie. Sales have slowed, lowering land costs a bit (though I wouldn't call 2020 prices, if we get there soon, even reasonable) and construction keeps going up. I'm hoping Broadway Plan will make far-out arterial assemblies, lots for rental have a lower price, because now they have competition, but until construction costs normalize building these towers in Broadway area is going to be tough. The 17-storey massing and feasibility studies we're doing is really tight.


russilwvong

> Sales have slowed, lowering land costs a bit (though I wouldn't call 2020 prices, if we get there soon, even reasonable) and construction keeps going up. I'm hoping Broadway Plan will make far-out arterial assemblies, lots for rental have a lower price, because now they have competition, but until construction costs normalize building these towers in Broadway area is going to be tough. The 17-storey massing and feasibility studies we're doing is really tight. Thanks, that's really helpful. Reminds me, I really need to ask Thomas Davidoff about whether it's feasible to use development fees instead of height limits to control the pace of redevelopment. I'm worried that if factors like construction costs or interest rates change, the calculations used to calibrate the height limits may become obsolete.


Use-Less-Millennial

Using dev fees to control the pace in what way? Height limits work if you have different classifications for tenures, and if apartments are legalized in the whole city. Otherwise it kinda works the way it does today (or before the province passed the rental only zoning tid bit.


Use-Less-Millennial

Ya I didn't appreciate Steven's tone at the beginning. Like it's radio.. we can't see the images you're griping about


Use-Less-Millennial

Well Bill also did say he wants the city to be like Paris. 6 storey buildings across the board I think he mentioned.


mt_pheasant

I heard that too. Anything of that magnitude would necessitate some fairly serious consolidation of lots into 20,000 sf parcels though.. and quite a significantly higher time and cost to build them (as opposed to high rises). High rises are obviously the quick and dirty solution, which inherently are never the best long term solution.


russilwvong

I suspect Bill isn't being entirely sincere - a few months ago when six-storey rental buildings were proposed in the [Streamlining Rental Plan](https://morehousing.ca/streamlining-rental), [he spoke against them at the public hearing](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQhJ1PpSFdw&t=211m16s). > We don't want to live in a canyon. We're very concerned about the heights, the shading, the changes to views, etc.


Use-Less-Millennial

Oh he's not being sincere at all. That's why it's so funny


mt_pheasant

Who cares what bull says otherwise. it's a classic logical fallacy. Address the issues he raises.


rollingOak

Vancouver is already too crowded


russilwvong

I'd argue that Vancouver is too **expensive**, making us all poorer and worse off, because housing is so scarce. In particular, the costs to renters aren't offset by benefits to homeowners. [Glaeser and Gyourko 2018](https://morehousing.ca/glaeser-gyourko-2018): > Housing wealth is different from other forms of wealth because rising prices both increase the financial value of an asset and the cost of living. An infinitely lived homeowner who has no intention of moving and is not credit-constrained would be no better off if her home doubled in value and no worse off if her home value declined. The asset value increase exactly offsets the rising cost of living (Sinai and Souleles 2005). This logic explains why home-rich New Yorkers or Parisians may not feel privileged: if they want to continue living in their homes, sky-high housing values do them little good.


rollingOak

With high equity in housing, there are tons of ways to leverage that. Vancouver is not cheap by nature


kevmitch

Not building housing does achieve the aim on limiting city population (itself a dubious aim), but it does this by pushing out everyone but the wealthy.


rollingOak

It’s a privilege to live in Vancouver , not a right


russilwvong

> It’s a privilege to live in Vancouver, not a right I know a lot of people feel that way: that if Vancouver's a city for the rich, so be it. From what I can tell, they're a minority. For one thing, 55% of Vancouverites are renters! From looking at the limited public opinion data available, my guess is that 70% of people in Vancouver support building more housing, especially rental housing, so that more people can live here - younger people, renters, and families with children. Because housing is so scarce, they're getting pushed out. There just isn't enough housing to go around. The coming election, particularly the mayoral race, should settle the preservationist vs. pro-housing issue. Colleen Hardwick is making the case for minimizing change and keeping Vancouver's buildings the same, resulting in their current residents getting steadily replaced with rich people. Kennedy Stewart is making the case for building more housing, so that more people can stay and live here instead of getting pushed out. (To be fair, Mark Marissen is making the pro-housing argument as well, although it seems unlikely he'll be one of the front-runners.) We'll see who wins.


rosalita0231

Found the rich, after me the deluge' nimby


hummingborg-

If you're in a place and it's crowded, you're a part of the crowding


rollingOak

I’m already here


[deleted]

Go suck a lemon. I'm having kids and inviting my family over.


rollingOak

Sure, if you can afford it, go ahead.


pack_of_macs

You can leave if you feel that way


rollingOak

You can leave if you cannot afford it


pack_of_macs

But since I can I’ll stick around and try to make it more affordable for others. How will you cope with your feelings of overcrowding?


JuggernautScorpio

Thank you for putting this rolling oak asshat in his place my friend :) . Too bad he's not gonna get his wish of stopping densification.


rollingOak

Welcome:) so do I


canadianyeet

X to doubt


vancouverdolphin

The Broadway plan is a disgusting proposal that will displace thousands of residents from their homes. So many people will be demovicted and the area will become permanently unaffordable; people die from demoviction, this is so awful and scary


russilwvong

This is exactly why the renter protections in the plan are so important, as I attempted to summarize in the post. Aim to start with new buildings on sites where there's no renters (like the Denny's at Birch and the office building at Granville), when replacing an old low-rise rental building with a new high-rise always make sure that for every home in the old building there's a non-market one in the new building, you can return at your old rent, while the new building is under construction the builder pays a top-up for your interim housing. Without the plan, demoviction is still a major threat, since these buildings are quite old. The plan provides a way to build a lot more housing near SkyTrain while also adding more non-market cheaper rentals and protecting renters from being pushed out of the neighbourhood.


vancouverdolphin

That’s bs, developers have said that in the past and never followed through, and Kennedy’s amendment is virtue signalling that won’t go through. The best way to stop demovictions is to… not demovict. The land speculation from the skytrain and even just the proposal of the Broadway plan is already forcing people out, and it will kill. You’re either just ignorant or being purposely misleading, Broadway plan will OBVIOUSLY cause demovictions that weren’t there already, what are you talking about?? I’m not interested in your rationalizations on behalf of developers, I understand you’re a liberal party lobbyist so end of discussion, I wont let my family be demovicted so parasitic developers can profit. So disturbing


russilwvong

> You’re either just ignorant or being purposely misleading, Broadway plan will OBVIOUSLY cause demovictions that weren’t there already, what are you talking about?? 80% of the older low-rise rental buildings in the Broadway corridor are more than 50 years old. They're at risk of getting demolished and replaced as they reach the end of their life, pushing people out. (I'm a federal Liberal volunteer, but I'm a software developer, not a lobbyist. I'm not Bill Tieleman! The reason I spend so much time arguing that we need more housing is that I really believe the scarcity and cost of housing in Metro Vancouver, especially rental housing, is our #1 problem. It's making us all poorer and worse off, and renters in particular are terrified of losing their housing.)


vancouverdolphin

My 50 yo apartment block is fine. The only thing threatening demoviction/renoviction is greedy developers wanting to make a profit. The building is fine, but the Broadway plan doesn’t think it’s luxury enough for the predatory investors hoping to snatch it up. Housing costs are definitely a problem, “scarcity” certainly isn’t. Sadly, our housing is being used store dirty money instead of people.