Eye on Norquay

Looking Out for East Vancouver

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Sold the Story

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A video news item from 6 March 2012 offers chilling confirmation that City of Vancouver density-dumping into residential East Vancouver already gets a fail.

A Global BC news clip features a Cedar Cottage resident complaining about how city planners sold the story on their mass rezoning by promising increased affordability. Now a strata basement suite goes for about $600,000! A transcript of that later segment of the news clip is provided below.

The first “neighbourhood centre” at Kingsway and Knight in 2005 mass rezoned about 1600 single-family properties. The second in Norquay in 2010 mass rezoned about 1900 single-family properties. The first four of nineteen envisioned neighbourhood centres were all allocated to East Vancouver as of 2007. A freedom of information request attempting to discover on what basis this NPA “planning” was done has slammed into the FOI stone wall erected by Vision Vancouver.

Ongoing Norquay resistance to forced imposition of a “neighbourhood centre” appears to have brought that particular program to a dead halt. The newer thrusts are to “implement” the Mount Pleasant plan and to fast-track four simultaneous new grabfests in the leftover piece of Downtown Eastside (Chinatown already partitioned off), West End, Grandview-Woodland, and Marpole. Alongside, the Little Mountain/Cambie Corridor sideshow remains a spectacle unto itself.

For years planners have insisted that our East Vancouver neighborhoods need to become more affordable. At the same time, the price differential between east side and west side Vancouver has expanded from around $100,000 three decades ago to multiples of $1,000,000 today.

Isn’t it strange that the “affordability” card gets played east of Main Street, while the east-west price gap has only continued to widen? Don’t forget how land speculators in 2010 sought to take over five school board properties — all of them located in East Vancouver. If affordability is a problem, planners need to start by fixing empty neighborhoods like Shaughnessy with at least equivalent densities before forcing even more no-amenity development into an already dense East Vancouver.

People who live in East Vancouver have been sold the story — and sold down the river.

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Global BC on Expensive East Vancouver housing
Tue, Mar 6 — Vancouver’s bizarre housing market has home prices soaring in an unlikely location, the downtown Eastside. Ted Chernecki reports.

Transcript of 1:40 to 2:36


But it’s not just the Downtown Eastside that’s weathering this real estate storm. East Vancouver’s single detached housing is suddenly hot. This house near busy and loud Kingsway and Knight Street just sold, the basement only — wait for it — just under $600,000. Yes, it’s been fixed up, but it’s still ultimately a 1200 sq ft basement suite, and nearby residents are crying, “There goes the neighborhood.”

We were sold the story when they changed the zoning in the Cedar Cottage neighborhood that we would have more density here but it would mean that there would be more affordable housing for families — and I don’t know what kind of families can afford $1.2 million for the top half of a house.

Offshore money is driving up single detached homes, first in Richmond, then the west side, then West Vancouver, and now that those prices have gone up, those foreign buyers have turned their attention to North and East Vancouver where property here is still relatively cheap.

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Written by eyeonnorquay

8 March 2012 at 4:24 pm

Posted in Context, News