Housing issues continue to plague Vancouver, which is nothing new — but several new motions trying to address the crisis are set to go before city council on Wednesday.
Coun. Christine Boyle has her eyes on the Shaughnessy neighbourhood, as it is one of the least dense areas for housing in the city.
The neighbourhood is currently protected by a municipal land-use policy that limits the construction of new housing, but Boyle thinks there’s an opportunity to be had in the area with the lower density level.
If passed, staff would be directed to create a plan to add badly needed housing as well as shops and services to bring Shaughnessy’s density up to the city’s average by 2050.
Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim is also proposing that city staff expand the mandate of Vancouver’s housing development to include work on middle-income housing.
Another motion is expected to be presented as well by Coun. Lenny Zhou, who wants staff to work with the school board in hopes of adding housing density around schools with lower enrolment numbers.
This would focus on “family-oriented housing” as the school district has generally seen dropping student numbers over the last 25 years, despite a rise in Vancouver’s population.
An associate professor at the UBC Sauder School of Business thinks Boyle’s motion for the Shaughnessy neighbourhood will pass.
“I think it will pass. I think council recognizes that mansion zoning that you might see in a far-off suburb doesn’t make any sense in one of the world’s most expensive cities experiencing a housing crisis,” Thomas Davidoff said.
“It’s a beautiful neighbourhood.… You’d hate to lose the trees and some of the more important historical structures but, of course, there is a way to fill in the rest of the neighbourhood in a sensitive way.”
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