Design & Development
December 17, 2018

The Need for Consultation: Before and After

The following video features new Vancouver city councillor Colleen Hardwick speaking to the amendment, drawn from the “Making Room” housing program — itself an outcome of the staff-driven 10-year Housing Vancouver Strategy — that would allow duplexes across the city.

It’s actually two parts, featuring…

  1. Candidate Hardwick at a public hearing in September, on concerns about the process used to approve the original “duplex motion”; and
  2. Councillor Hardwick addressing the council amendment about a process, proposed in November, to facilitate the rescinding of the motion.

(Hint: The first part is not like the second part.)

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PT is getting great comments on a post – City Council: Duplexing and Messaging – put up on November 14. 

Let’s bring it forward, and begin again with the latest post from one of our great commenters, Ron van der Eerden.  (For those who were part of the comments stream, feel free to repost, but try to add something more to the discussion.)

I doubt duplexes will be very attractive to developers, that being “big bad developers”. A few very small developers may take advantage. But for a small developer it’s a big risk and big money for what would still be an expensive product. I’m certain the outgoing council knew this would be a fairly inconsequential move with  few repercussions and unworthy of the massive consultation some would have preferred. It’s more symbolic. A baby first step.

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Petard, meet Hoist.

Dan Fumano at The Sun did a nice job reporting on Colleen Hardwick’s desire to quickly reverse the duplexing bylaw passed by the previous council.

She asked (Gil) Kelley, (chief planner), if she was correct in understanding it would be possible to get the duplex zoning reversed in as fast as 60 days.

Kelley replied that if council wishes, staff could get the matter to a public hearing as early as mid-February, “but that would skip the consultation process that we would normally do.”

“It is unusual for us to do that, but we would do that if that’s what the council’s desire is,” Kelley said.

“The risk, of course, we’re once again, in some people’s eyes, doing something without consultation. Just so you understand that risk.” …

OneCity Coun. Christine Boyle piped up: “Can I just clarify? The suggestion is that we would do less consultation in rescinding this, even though the critique of the decision was that there wasn’t sufficient and meaningful consultation in the first place?”

“I’m not keen on that,” she said.

“And I don’t see how we would publicly justify that without falling into the accusation that consultation wasn’t really why people are against duplexes,” she added.

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