It doesn’t matter whether proposals for new housing in Grandview are massive or tiny, there’s a desire or a way to stop them through protest and exhaustion.
Here are two examples that came in over the last few days – the first a circular delivered in the neighbourhood last week:
At the other extreme, this report from Frances Bula in the Globe: Vancouver city hall backlog delays crucial developments:
For Ms. Friese, the city’s policies resulted in her spending $75,000 and two-plus years on plans and permits to build an infill house for her parents in her backyard. Then she was told in late 2019 that the house she had designed wouldn’t be legally possible.
She had only gone ahead with the idea (she’d originally planned just a basement suite) because she’d received a notification from the city encouraging owners in Grandview-Woodlands to take advantage of the new zoning allowing for infills.
That was followed by many meetings with planners and other city staff who encouraged or required her to spend money on plans, an engineer to certify that she had no utility pole in her yard, and a lawyer to negotiate an easement provision with her neighbour.
In the end, she was informed, after fulfilling all the conditions in her nine-page, prior-to-final-approval letter except for one, that the fire department had decided her side-yard access was too narrow. She would have to pay for a sprinkler system for both her house and her neighbour’s to get permission to build. She tried to challenge it but, in the meantime, her existing “prior-to” approval expired.
At that point, she gave up. (A recent ruling from the provincial Ombudsman said the office would not investigate her case because there had been no “administrative unfairness.”)
“It’s been such a nasty experience with such huge consequences. There’s human repercussions to this,” said the 52-year-old Ms. Friese, whose parents ended up moving far from her to Vancouver Island after the failure of the infill plan.