VANCOUVER, B.C. – Following last week’s January 29, 2019 council vote approving SkyTrain technology for extending rapid transit to UBC, Councillor Pete Fry has introduced a motion to suppress real estate speculation and protect affordable rentals along the proposed route.
Fry’s motion builds on the amendment he made to last week’s subway vote calling for Equitable Transit Oriented Development, modelled after policies being developed in Seattle Washington. Fry’s successful amendment called for the creation of housing options near transit, with priority given to affordability, and a robust community engagement process as part of a larger city-wide plan.
“It’s an acknowledgement of some of the mistakes of the past for instance where the Canada Line encouraged massive real estate speculation and spurred developments that cater more to luxury investors than affordable housing for transit users,” said Fry.
“The fact is we have over 30,000 affordable rental units along the proposed rapid transit corridor west of Arbutus, and this interim policy is designed to protect that stock.”
Fry worked with City Planning staff to help refine the motion which combines a number of existing city policies to effect a moratorium on rezonings within at least 800 metres of the proposed underground transit line along Broadway and 10th from Vine Street west to UBC.
The Emergency Interim Zoning Policy for the Broadway Corridor to UBC builds off the Broadway Plan passed last June, which covers the corridor from Clark to Vine Street. Fry has further directed staff to look at implementing recent Provincially-legislated rental only zoning in a further effort to limit speculation and protect tenants.
Council’s decision last week to support the technology behind SkyTrain as the choice for the rapid transit extension to UBC comes after expert third party reporting confirmed it as the best option.
The decision opens the conversation for funding of the line, including senior governments, UBC, First Nations and other partners. The city’s expected contribution at this point is for the stations and associated lands within its borders.
Fry's motion acknowledges the concurrent separate planning process underway for the MST (Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil Waututh) lands at the former Jericho Garrison.