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CITY COUNCIL’S EAGER SUPPORT OF BILL 44 A BETRAYAL OF VANCOUVER RESIDENTS, SAYS TEAM FOR A LIVABLE VANCOUVER


Former City Councillor Colleen Hardwick wants to know why Mayor Ken Sim and his council aren’t standing up for their community like other councils.


VANCOUVER (June 10, 2024) -- ABC Mayor Ken Sim and his council are steamrolling the city with no regard for livability, says TEAM for a Livable Vancouver. They’re falling over themselves to comply with new provincial legislation that allows up to six units of housing per lot in former single family and duplex zones.


“Our mayor and council are betraying the citizens of Vancouver by eagerly embracing Bill 44, and even going beyond its requirements,” says TEAM board director and former City Councillor  Colleen Hardwick, who was TEAM’s mayoral candidate in the 2022 civic election.

“Meanwhile, other councils around the province are standing up for their residents and pushing back,” says Hardwick. “Why are the people we’ve elected to represent us so eager to sacrifice our livability and neighbourhoods to the province’s edicts?”


She points out that West Vancouver Council recently unanimously rejected a rezoning bylaw that would have put the municipality in compliance with Bill 44. Councillors said they don’t intend to allow Victora to dictate local zoning changes.


Other municipalities, including Richmond and Coquitlam, have complained about Bill 44’s rushed June 30 deadline for compliance and have asked for extensions. They say they need time to consult with residents, study the impact of new density on their community’s infrastructure,  and consider how it will affect livability.


“In contrast, Ken Sim has been the chief cheerleader for Bill 44 from the get-go,” says Hardwick. “We need to ask whose side he and the rest of the councillors are on.”


What really sticks out is the legislation's ban on public hearings for rezonings that apply to the kind of multi-unit housing that Bill 44 is pushing. “Democracy is not important to either the province or Ken Sim’s council,” says Hardwick. “Residents are considered impediments to the drive for development.”


While most of Vancouver is already in compliance with Bill 44 as a result of the city’s new multiplex zoning, parts of Kitsilano and Shaughnessy face rezonings that in some cases go beyond the legislation’s requirements. This has triggered a June 13 public hearing, which would otherwise have been banned if the rezoning were just to bring bylaws into compliance with Bill 44.


TEAM supports the concerns of the residents of those areas -- they haven’t been consulted about the changes. In Shaughnessy, heritage protections will be removed without incentives to encourage retention through adaptive reuse. In Kitsilano, the new rules will encourage demolition, allow up to six units on 33-foot lots, remove parking requirements, and lead to loss of affordable rental suites, sunlight and mature trees.

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