VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) — People in the neighbourhoods that could be transformed by the Broadway subway say building rental housing, maintaining walkability and preserving local businesses are their top priorities for a new area-wide plan.
The Broadway Plan will affect 485 city blocks spanning four distinct neighbourhoods.
Currently, the City of Vancouver is holding open houses and inviting residents to offer input on the plan through an online survey. A draft of a 30-year plan for how the area will be developed around the new subway will be presented to city council in 2020.
Drafting a long-term plan offers an opportunity to reexamine what can get built and where, according project director Kevin McNaney.
“Most of the zoning is about 30 years old,” he says. “It’s time to rethink it.”
Currently, the area has a 0.4 per cent rental vacancy rate and McNaney says increasing rental stock without displacing current tenants is one of the main concerns people have identified since the planning process began.
“People are concerned about the lack of rental housing–for families, for different income levels,” he says.
So far, over 8,000 people have responded to a survey. The majority say they want to see rental housing, social housing and co-ops built in the area.
“We know there are needs to be met in the area. The question is: How do you meet those needs without taking away the things that people really care about in those neighbourhoods?”
McNaney says people in the four distinct neighbouhoods–Mount Pleasant, Kitsilano, Fairview, and False Creek Flats–want local businesses and walkable shopping streets preserved.
Another thing McNaney has heard is that, while people love their neighbourhoods, they aren’t particularly enamoured with Broadway itself.
“People want to see change. They want to see better sidewalks, they want to see cafes, they want to see public spaces, they want to see street trees. They want Broadway to be something they love,” he says.
McNaney says building a subway will dramatically decrease bus traffic and will go a long way toward making this possible.
The survey is available online and the next Open House is at Kitsilano Neighbourhood House on July 15 at 3 p.m.Broadway Plan - Communications - Boards - Draft Guiding Principles-2019-07-11