After hours of chaotic Vancouver city council meetings spanning several weeks, a controversial plan to densify the Broadway corridor was passed Wednesday night.
The contentious proposal, named the Broadway Plan, aims to create high-density towers and homes for 50,000 more people along the new Broadway Subway line. More than two dozen amendments were made to the plan, and it passed with a 7-4 vote.
“I see nothing but positives here,” Mayor Kennedy Stewart said after Wednesday’s meeting. “We really listened, like we had many nights of public hearings, we had thousands of people inputting, we listened intently at councillors, what they heard, they reflected and amended the plan.”
Coun. Colleen Hardwick, who is opposed to the plan, said the process was rushed.
“Boondoggle is the first word that springs to mind ,” she said. “The way the whole process has been conducted, in my view, it’s been substandard and certainly not up to the legacy of Vancouver as a liveable city.”
The 30-year plan comes into effect at the start of September, before the next municipal election.
Renter protection was a significant concern for many locals, and some amendments to the plan aim to address the issue.
For example, staff is looking at the option of vacancy controls, so landlords can’t drastically increase rents when tenants move out. As well, renter protections are in the plan to allow tenants displaced by demolition and construction to return to the new building at the same price.
More details on what the plan will look like are expected in the fall.
“It’s just going to be a fantastic place, I think people from right across Canada are going to flock here,” Stewart said.