Dunbar Re-Vision

They Just Don’t Get It | November 1, 2012

 They Just Don’t Get It.

There have been a number of tweets, letters to editors and most recently comments by the media that the Dunbar ReVision protest is about one six storey building for seniors. It isn’t. It is about the trashing of the established community plans for balanced development across the city without any consultation, without any notification. It is about the City Council reneging on commitments made to the communities that city planning would be guided by those community plans. It is about imposing – with only three business days notice- an interim rezoning policy for density on the communities that when implemented will completely change the nature of the city. It is about the city-wide failure of the City to explain and justify the interim rezoning policy. It is about an attack on the concept that communities and neighbourhoods should have a say about their community. It is about their taking the community out of community planning.


  1. Vancouver Vision’s initial salvo in the war on single family neighbourhoods was laneway houses. And so far they’ve gotten away with that, so now they’ve rammed this new plan through: 4-6 stories, 150 to 500 meters either side of EVERY arterial in the city. Though never at this breathtaking scale, they’ve previously shown the same contempt for neighbourhoods by ignoring local residents wishes in regards to every development proposal in the city.

    4-6 stories is only the start. Watch what happens if Vision Vancouver gets Skytrain on Broadway out to UBC. They’ll use it as a tool to Metrotownize the entire route, just like they used the Canada Line as a blockbusting tool to destroy Cambie neighbourhoods.

    This article captures the Vancouver “Vision” perfectly:

    Vancouver Vision makes the NPA, at it’s worst cozying up to developers, look like a bunch of amateurs.

    Yes, they don’t get it. And they won’t, until they’re thrown out of office.

    Comment by Brian — November 2, 2012 @ 3:09 am

  2. I thought city hall just spent a small fortune on a community plan. Why are they trashing it? It looks like a bait and switch. City council should go back and read that plan and they will see that over 85 percent of residents in Dunbar do not want over 4 floors on Dunbar. Robertson has big ambitions to alienate a lot of his constituents. It will be very hard to forget this when these big boxes show up all over town at election time. Think mayor, think. This city is comprised of more than your developer friends. We need more investigative journalism showing the financial links between our mayor and his developers. Vancouver needs to take a hard look at this council.

    Comment by Bruce — November 4, 2012 @ 9:40 am

  3. Bruce, the Vision council has proven over and over again that they don’t care what people in neighbourhoods want regarding development. They don’t even bother anymore to pretend community input is anything more than window dressing. The only thing they care about is what the developers who fund Vision want.

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” –Mahatma Gandhi

    Comment by Brian — November 4, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

  4. “so now they’ve rammed this new plan through: 4-6 stories, 150 to 500 meters either side of EVERY arterial in the city.” Brian above.

    This is NOT correct. This is not the proposal. You either didn’t read the city report and interim rezoning policy carefully, or are deliberately mis-stating to cause unecessary concern.

    Comment by Michael Geller — November 9, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

  5. Michael,
    I got my information from Elizabeth Murphy’s Oct 18 Vancouver Sun article:

    Here is the relevant quote:
    “The report describes a transition zone of “within approximately 100 metres of an arterial street (i.e. 1.5 blocks), groundoriented forms up to a maximum of 3.5 storeys …”, which will likely be stacked townhouses based on economics.

    Projects will also be considered if fronting “on arterials that are well served by transit and within close proximity (i.e. a five-minute walk or 500 metres) of identified neighbourhood centres and local shopping areas, mid-rise forms up to a maximum of six storeys.”

    I did make a mistake with the 100 m (I said 150 m) zone of 4 story development either side of every arterial in the city. (I deliberately used 4 stories rather than the more benign sounding 3.5 stories because anyone who has seen a “1.5” story laneway house encroaching on the privacy and shadowing a neighbour’s garden can see that they are 2 stories.)

    Of course I “didn’t read the city report and interim rezoning policy…” I wouldn’t expect to get anything other than Vancouver Vision propaganda that this council and its politicised “planning” department produces.

    Here’s the key issue: this Vancouver Vision council has taken the community out of community planning by continually ignoring what neighbourhoods say they want on every development issue to come before the city. Vancouver Vision, like many idealogues, has no idea that democracy consists of more than just allowing the public to vote at election time.

    I can assure you my intention was not to “deliberately mis-state”. I’ll leave that (and the accompanying obfuscation) up to the Vancouver Vision council.

    Comment by Brian Bosworth — November 10, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

    • Thanks..my intention was to clarify that the ‘transition zone’ between the arterials and single family neighbourhood behing could only be developed with higher density singles, townhouses, stacked townhouses and perhaps apts up to 3.5 or 4 storeys, not 6 storeys. The up to 6 storeys refers just to commercial portions of the arterials.

      I personally think this is a reasonable concept worthy of further testing. I agree entirely that allowing buildings up to 6 storeys in the transition zones would be frightening, and inappropriate, but that’s not what is proposed. I hope this is helpful….cheers

      Comment by mageller — November 11, 2012 @ 8:10 am

  6. Michael,
    Sure this time around, the 6 stories is only for “commercial portions”. But once they’ve got that through, Vancouver Vision’ll expand the 6 story area. That’s how the story line in these council/developer movies always play out.

    As for the 4 story part of the rest of every arterial in the city, the push will be on for the highest and densest there as well. Until, you know, necessity ramps up an increase here too.

    Sorry Michael, you can’t trust Vision. Proof? Here’s a couple minutes of hizzoner Robertson blah-blah from all the way back in ’08 regarding how important he considered community input to be way back then: http://youtu.be/VdpOAPgGHmQ

    Well, at least until Sam Sullivan and his Ecodensity greenbabble was defeated, eh Gregor?

    Comment by Brian Bosworth — November 12, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

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