Yesterday I attended the Open House put on by CoV Planning Department concerning rezoning for new building types with the Community Plan. I was there around 1:00pm and the WISE Hall was packed with people. It was so busy in fact that it was difficult to get decent shots of the display boards, so I apologise in advance for their quality (selecting an image will at least get you a bigger picture).
The new zonings concern the eastern half of Grandview, and specifically Broadway, First Avenue, Hastings, and the entirety of Nanaimo from Wall to Broadway and beyond.
There are no surprises here as the approved Community Plan was clear about most of these changes. However, the display panels do give a lot more detail on FSR and similar technical matters.
The Open House will be repeated on Wednesday evening from 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Tonight’s dinner was Moroccan Chicken smothered in olives via the New York Times. I used both large green and smaller black olives. Pretty good!
Select the image for a better view.
The Rio Theatre, just west of Commercial on Broadway is being offered for sale as a development site.
This comes as no great surprise, given its location in one of the major development areas identified in the Grandview Woodland Community Plan. It would be great to see the theatre, or something like it, incorporated into whatever is built there in the future. The Rio has served the neighbourhood since 1938 and, with the massive increase in population density planned for Broadway & Commercial, we need to retain entertainment and similar facilities to service those new residents. After all, Man cannot live by condos alone.
A senior member of the Kettle Boffo team that wants to build a massive over-sized tower on the corner of Venables and Commercial Drive loves to retweet on Twitter material regarding “affordable housing,” as if that is important to him. We also know that it is becoming difficult in Grandview to find affordable housing.
So, yesterday, I asked him (and copied to Boffo Properties) a simple question:
“How many of the Boffo condos on the Drive are planned to be affordable under CMHC definitions for median income Vancouver families with minimum legal down payment?”
All of the variables are easy to find:
- CMHC (and most other) definitions of “affordable housing” consider 30% of gross income to be the maximum of affordable.
- The latest Stats Can figure (2015) for median family income in Vancouver is $72,662. I’d be happy for them to use $75,000.
- The minimum down payment in Canada is 5% for the first $500,000 and 10% for the balance above $500,000.
So far, there has been absolute silence from them. I wonder why that is? Could it be that none of the condos will be affordable to the average Vancouver family? If so, how is that helping the situation in Grandview?
If the Boffo Tower is designed for the global luxury market rather than to help house regular locals, that’s up to them, but let’s not have any of the partners suggest this has anything to do with affordability.
What I did get in return for my question was the typical nonsense from the build, build, build crowd. As usual they say that a $651,000 condo (now the median price in Vancouver) is more affordable than a $2 million single-family property. While that is technically true it still doesn’t make the condo genuinely affordable. This argument is exactly the same as telling a working family they should buy an Aston Martin rather than a Lamborghini when what they actually need is a Ford Escort.