Night Music: Somewhere Down The Crazy River

April 10, 2015

By request.

A Moratorium on Spot Zoning

April 10, 2015

Tomorrow, Saturday, the Grandview Citizens’ Assembly will meet once again to review the planning department’s suggestions on zoning and housing in each of the various sub-areas into which our neighbourhood has been divided. Having spoken with a great many of the CA members, I have some confidence that they have become radicalized and informed enough to produce some valuable and workable solutions (that doesn’t mean to say I believe the Planning Department will accept all the CA’s initiatives). However, there is one key to the future that is so important that I am essentially rewriting a post I published just a month and a half ago as a reminder to the CA to include it.

That vital key to the future is a strict moratorium on spot rezoning for a period of time (say 7-10 years) after the Community Plan is approved. Having such a moratorium guarantees that the Community Plan will indeed be a social contract with the community — this is what you agreed to, and we won’t mess with it.

However, without some legally binding restriction, the Community Plan will be meaningless: without the restraint of a moratorium, any meeting of Vancouver City Council, on application by a developer, would have the ability to make a change to the zoning previously agreed to by the community, thus making the community’s wishes null and void and breaching the social contract that a Community Plan should represent.

This kind of moratorium should be required for any and all Community Plans. Making sure it is written into the Grandview-Woodland plan would be a fine start.