Dogs! Dogs! Dogs!

On the second Monday in November
Monday, November 8th at 7:00PM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89977392052?pwd=UyswYk9jcUEwc1UyUmc0ZzNNYkR6Zz09
Meeting ID: 899 7739 2052, Passcode: 777181
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keEbxTGUL

In 2017, the Vancouver Parks Board estimated that there were 55,000 dogs in Vancouver. Four years and one pandemic later, it could be possible that there are up to 60,000 or more dogs in the city. What that stunning number means is the potential for lots of conflict between dogs, their owners, and non-dog citizens. So, what are the options and concerns for dog owners and their precious furry friends? Daily dog walks? Visits to local dog parks? Runs in off-leash areas? Hopping into a car and driving to other municipalities with other better dog amenities?

What kinds of conflicts can arise between dog and non-dog people and what can dog owners do to improve the situation? What are the responsibilities of civic officials like the Parks Board, the School Board, and the City of Vancouver? Do we have enough dog parks to serve our city and our neighborhood? Are people scooping? And exactly what happens to all that poop?

Join us to explore these issues and have your say. We will be joined by dog-owner and City Councillor Pete Fry and Denise Fantinato of See Spot Run Canine Services. Also joining us will be Veronika Khvoro, a researcher/journalist who has covered dog issues at CBC Radio.

Action Required for Nov. 2 Public Hearing!

Rental Rezoning Policy

RS Zones 6 Storey apartment buildings on arterials with 4 – 5 storeys off arterials (+ roof amenities up to 6 levels)

C2 shopping districts rezoned to 6 storeys for rentals



The city-wide rezoning policy that will affect 

neighbourhoods across the city 
 

It is an expansion from the previous rezoning policy that will now pre-approve rezoning schedules that will be implemented through a new rental-only legislation. This means that the rezonings will be much more frequent and allow for full block assemblies, even off arterials.


The public hearing agenda is now online and we need letters and speakers. 

The Public Hearing will be Nov. 2 at 6:00 pm!

What you can do:

1. Sign the Petition: https://www.change.org/p/city-of-vancouver-council-officials-our-communities-our-plans-99961c91-4a17-497d-86c8-b385b3c0f315

2. Send an email to Council: Even if you sent an email to Council before, please resend it by email NOW and through the online form so it will be counted in the public hearing. See contacts below. Go to our website for more information. 

3. Sign up to speak to council at the hearing by phoneNumbers of speakers matters. It is easy to speak by phone. Each person has 5 minutes, but you do not have to speak that long. Even just to say one sentence is OK. Sign up to speak here: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/request-to-speak-at-a-public-hearing-form-1.aspx 

Reference:

Public Hearing Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211102/phea20211102ag.htm
Report for Public Hearing: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211005/documents/spec1.pdf

Eligibility Map: https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/streamlining-rental-summary.pdf

Send email questions and comments to City staff: Graham.Anderson@vancouver.ca   

Emails to Council 

kennedy.stewart@vancouver.caCLRboyle@vancouver.caCLRbligh@vancouver.caCLRcarr@vancouver.caCLRhardwick@vancouver.caCLRdominato@vancouver.caCLRdegenova@vancouver.caCLRfry@vancouver.caCLRkirby-yung@vancouver.caCLRswanson@vancouver.caCLRwiebe@vancouver.ca

AND submit through the online form so it counts in the public hearing: 
https://vancouver.ca/your-government/contact-council-public-hearing.aspx 


Reference Media:

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/west-side-residents-upset-with-city

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/dan-fumano-as-both-city-and-province-look-to-speed-up-housing-expect-debate

Some of the many problems with this proposal are:

  • The public hearing combines two different types of rezonings, the amendments to C2 zoning schedules and the new rental rezoning schedules and policy areas, which makes this very confusing to the public. 
  • No mailed notification of affected properties for the public hearing so most people do not know this is happening.
  • Vancouver Plan basic planning is yet to be done regarding data and calibrating the Vancouver Housing Targets.
  • No meaningful consultation with residents while targeting special interests.
  • No neighbourhood-based planning, just arbitrarily imposed across the city without context
  • Proposed removal of Parking Bylaw minimum onsite parking requirements for new development means these projects will flood the surrounding area with vehicles and have no place for vehicle charging.
  • Loss of character houses and rental suites to demolition
  • Heritage buildings not exempted
  • The map that shows areas affected by the policy is symbolic only and it is confusing as to what properties are included or not
  • There has been no notification given to the properties that would be affected
  • Overrides Community Plans and Community Visions
  • Out of scale for the surrounding area at 6 storeys on arterials and 4 – 5 storeys off arterials (+ amenity roof & mechanical, physically 6 levels)
  • Will block public and private views
  • Allows up to full block assemblies for apartment buildings
  • Spot rezoning in RS detached houses that will overshadow adjacent area
  • Reduced front yard and rear yard, much larger footprint that shadows adjacent lots yards
  • The city is giving away too much for too little benefits – waiving of DCL & CAC fees
  • Lower or no onsite parking requirements and mostly unaffordable market rents
  • The proposal also allows 6 storeys in C2 commercial zones (+ amenity roof & mechanical)
  • Huge height and density increases to 6 storeys + with only 20% of units more affordable than market rates.
  • Expansion of the commercial districts in competition with already ailing neighbourhood shopping areas. The last thing the merchants and residents need, given the sorry state of the neighbourhood shopping areas, is more commercial floor space supply. Many shopping areas have up to 30%  commercial vacancy rates and many are struggling to survive.  More development increases land values and property taxes that prices them out.

Update on Whats Happening At Alma Blackwell

We now have 572 signatures on our petition https://chng.it/JYgGFdtSRs


We have a Save Alma Blackwell (DRAFT) document outlining the communications, conduct and issues https://www.dropbox.com/s/n175wb5kf172fwx/Help%20Save%20Alma%20Blackwell%20DRAFT.pdf?dl=0
We have learned that the property manager has shared with some tenants that she has “someone reporting to her”, a mole if you will, and that she attended the September13th GWAC meeting.


On September 15th, we received the attached letter from ENFHS Board Chair, Francesca Sorace (via the AB Property Manager) stating that:“The Board of Directors of Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society would like to announce the departure of its Executive Director, Lisa Clement effective October 1, 2021.”  


Since the beginning of my tenancy 18+ years ago, we have never had direct access to the ENFHS board of directors so I took the liberty to find Francesca on linkedin with the following message:   “My name is Linsea O’Shea and I have been a resident of Alma Blackwell since July 1st, 2003.  I am writing to you today, on behalf of many tenants of AB, to request a meeting with you and/or the Board of Directors regarding the demolition of the building as well as the conduct and behaviours we have incurred over the years from ENFHS personnel.  We would welcome our voices to be heard, for the very first time in decades, and we would welcome transparency from a representative of ENFHS which is also something we have not experienced in decades.”  Twelve days later I received the following from the board email address:“Thank you for your heartfelt message. Please know that the members of the Entre Nous Femmes (ENF) board have read your message and want to thank you for reaching out.  We appreciate that you would like to meet with the board. ENFHS will reach out in the coming weeks to provide a new date for the tenant meeting. By having one meeting with all tenants, we will ensure clear and meaningful information is communicated to all tenants of Alma Blackwell at the same time. In regards to conduct and behaviours from ENFHS personnel, the board would very much like to hear directly from you. Please provide a description of your experiences by email. Kindly continue to share your thoughts and concerns via email as it provides a way for all board members to be informed of information shared with the board. Kindly continue to share your thoughts and concerns via email as it provides a way for all board members to be informed of information shared with the board.”  On October 2nd, I responded with:“For what it is worth, and just to be clear, my message was not heartfelt – it was frustrated – and I did not send via email platform. I would appreciate an in-person meeting so I can see whom it is that I’m speaking with – which will ensure clear, meaningful and and trust-driven communication. How else can I know that the board is actually reading/reviewing these emails? How is it that you do not know of the  questionable and abusive conduct I have withstood over the years from ENFHS personnel?  Why is it that tenants are blocked from being members of the society? Let’s start there.” I have not heard anything back to date.


On September 17th, the Save Alma Blackwell committee virtually met with Neil Monckton, plus Alex Chan and Alvin Singh.  After hearing from a few of us on the issues/matters at hand, he stated that he would coordinate a meeting with our group and Mayor Kennedy.  During our email thread update, Neil stated that:“We have spoken to Minister Eby’s office and staff at BC Housing over the past week.  We reaffirmed your request to meet with the Minister and staff told me they were aware of the concerns being raised. Let me know if you don’t hear back from them.  BC Housing is also aware of the concerns being raised and we will continue to keep in touch with them.  We have also spoken to the City Manager’s office and to the Planning staff who have responsibility for development applications. Right now, nothing has been filed with the City so there is no pending action from staff.”  I keep bringing the email thread back to the top so our group can be heard by the Mayor.

On September 22nd, a UBC report came out finding that Vancouver has the highest eviction rates in the country and Global News came to Alma Blackwell and interviewed single-mother resident, Rhiannon Latimer, about the report and about being demovicted. https://globalnews.ca/video/8214220/bc-renters-faced-with-highest-eviction-rates-in-canada-report?fbclid=IwAR3b0dZySnNwbLkZk3_mVAooGgrSVy4KztoGVklWwDk2YzY0c8D3Nx_onNA#autoplay

On September 29th, the Daily Hive posted an article on how Canadian renters are losing $769 more per month than homeowners. https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/canadian-homeowners-paying-less-than-renters?fbclid=IwAR2S3qHwm7XVcqNLR3cythrpW3J6hwQz07wd0SkpR1iX8NmWPKA3H_ZPy48


A majority of residents will not be able to return due to new and pending income parameters set by ENFHS and their new relationship with BC Housing. These new terms breach our current tenancy agreements. Those that can afford to move, have left, leaving residents facing an uncertain housing future for vulnerable people in a challenging rental market.
Although it seems that the property manager has stopped her efforts in rehousing tenants, we have lost another tenant and we now have 15 empty suites (which still begs the question about the empty home tax).  The property manager is now difficult to approach, is quite defensive and launching into big spiels about how they’re “not forcing anyone to move right now” and “we understand this is stressful” blah blah blah and telling tenants that they could “end up homeless if they stay to the bitter end”.  She told one tenant that if she is offered an alternative place to live that she should take it because she “can’t guarantee she can offer another one and that wouldn’t be a good idea because she wouldn’t want the bailiffs to have to remove her”.  
One couple that moved asked for the compensation (of one month rent and moving costs) and were told that “ENF never asked anyone to move out or were forced to do it”.


On October 7th, I recieved the attached email from Jenny Kwan with this message “The concerns that you have raised with regard to tenant concerns, as well as the funding of the redevelopment of the building, rest within provincial government jurisdiction. I have taken the liberty of writing to BC’s Minister responsible for Housing, David Eby, and BC Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay, to inform them of your concerns and requested that they follow up with you directly.”


As of today’s date, October 17th, I am waiting to hear from the CoV Chief of Staff, Neil Monckton, for the promised meeting with the Mayor. When Emad Agahi came to interview Rhiannon for the news hour piece, he indicated that he would like to return and interview more of our neighbours. I have people lined up and ready to go!


I have been trying to get usage of our common room, vicious raccoons relocated, the recycling moved to outside our fence due to an ongoing trespasser uttering threats to tenants, screens on some our windows replaced due to insect infestation and adequate lighting in our courtyard. Some of these ongoing maintenance requests go back as far as January, and it is clear to me that the property manager / ENFHS refuses to put any monies toward this site, in spite of the fact that 95% of us still living here are not subsidized and are paying rent.

Port Update: Public comment period Oct 15 to Nov 14 regarding Centerm Expansion Project permit extension to April 30, 2023

There’s a 30-day public input comment period regarding the sought extension of the permit for the Centerm Expansion by a year. Further information about the permit amendment review can be found in the text of the letter reproduced below (emphasis added):

The Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project received a project permit from the port authority in April 2018, and the current permit will expire on April 30, 2022. The port authority is seeking an amendment to extend the project permit up to April 30, 2023.

While the construction of all components are progressing well in the midst of a global Covid-19 pandemic, the project completion date is now expected to be in April 2023. This permit amendment will allow the project flexibility to complete some construction activities before the project can be deemed complete.

The Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project is the largest infrastructure project that the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has ever undertaken. The project includes an expansion of Centerm Container Terminal, and updates to port roads along the south shore, which connect to and service the terminal.

As part of the port authority’s permit amendment review process, a notice has been posted on the Impact Assessment Agency website and a 30-day public comment period is being held from October 15, 2021 to November 14, 2021. The public will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the permit amendment request by visiting this website.

We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we complete this important project as safely and efficiently as possible.

If you have questions about this project, please feel free to contact the project team at centerm.expansion@portvancouver.com or by phone at 604.665.9563. For more information about these projects, visit www.portvancouver.com/centerm-expansion.