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Council adopts Broadway Plan guiding principles, paving way for phase two

The City of Vancouver is ready to launch the second phase of the Broadway Plan now that phase one has concluded and council has approved nine guiding principles for the process.
broadway
Phase two of the Broadway Plan, which is expected to run through April of 2020, will produce emerging directions for the plan, which will be refined in phase three. Phase four involves finalizing the plan and a council decision, which is anticipated at the end of 2020. Photo Dan Toulgoet

The City of Vancouver is ready to launch the second phase of the Broadway Plan now that phase one has concluded and council has approved nine guiding principles for the process.

During phase one, dubbed the “listening” phase, residents provided feedback in numerous ways, including through surveys, “walkshops,” open houses and a pop-up lemonade stand. The various activities produced more than 10,300 “engagement contacts,” according to the city.

Participants revealed their priorities include preserving and enhancing the distinctive character of each neighbourhood, improving walkability, retaining shopping streets and improving Broadway, which they felt lacks character. Participants were also concerned about renters, businesses and cultural spaces being displaced, and they called for more housing options such as rental and non-market housing close to transit, more job space close to transit, and amenities and infrastructure to support growth.

The nine guiding principles that council endorsed through a three-part motion Oct. 22 include:

  • to support affordable, diverse, equitable and inclusive complete neighbourhoods
  • to support Reconciliation with First Nations and urban Indigenous peoples
  • to foster a robust and diverse economy
  • to demonstrate leadership in sustainability and resilience
  • to encourage contextual design
  • to recognize and enhance the area’s distinctive neighbourhoods and places
  • to enhance Broadway as a great street
  • to provide and support healthy transportation options
  • to create and enhance parks and public spaces.

Gil Kelley, the city’s chief planner, said the principles reflect the feedback collected over six months.

“The input from the community has been invaluable as we work to create a plan that will meet their needs and aspirations and take into account citywide planning objectives and policies on key areas such as affordable housing, health and livability, sustainability, transportation and reconciliation,” he said in a press release.

Not everyone is happy about the Broadway planning process, however.

One person who spoke before council voted argued a vote for the Broadway Plan guidelines would be akin to “pouring gasoline on the housing crisis,” while NPA Coun. Colleen Hardwick contended it shouldn’t be a separate exercise — rather it should be incorporated into the city-wide plan.

But the mayor, and remaining councillors, were prepared to press ahead.

The upcoming phase, which is expected to run through April of 2020, will produce emerging directions for the plan, which will be refined in phase three. Phase four involves finalizing the plan and a council decision, which is anticipated at the end of 2020.

The Broadway Plan covers the length of Broadway between Clark Drive and Vine Street and First to 16th Avenues. The 30-year plan will deal with transit-supportive land use, housing, job space, transportation improvements, public space design and amenities around the future Broadway subway.

New rezoning applications won’t be considered for the area during the planning process, with some exceptions that include applications that were already in the pipeline, enquiries that received written support from staff within the previous three years, applications for affordable housing such as social or supportive housing, and applications that could be considered under an exceptional circumstance, which receive an exemption from council.

Currently, five rezoning applications are under review. There are seven active confidential enquiries and another five confidential enquiries that are inactive but could come forward during the planning process.

The Broadway Planning area has a population of 78,000, is the second largest employment area in B.C., with more than 84,400 jobs, and 42 per cent of homes are rental housing.

noconnor@vancourier.com