No more tall buildings in Chinatown suggested by Vancouver city planners

Carlito Pablo, The Georgia Straight, May 30th, 2018

Vancouver city staff are recommending in a report that tall buildings should no longer be allowed in Chinatown.

Staff have proposed a height limit of 90 feet on new developments in order to preserve the character of the historic neighbourhood.

This could mean that council has to revoke its 2011 decision that permitted developers to seek approval of rezoning applications for towers in areas south of Pender Street. Read more…

The City of Vancouver is taking action to calm speculation in Chinatown.

Vancouver should slow down and talk to community about zoning changes, says Chinatown group

KEVIN GRIFFIN, Vancouver Sun, June 4, 2018

A group representing Chinatown property and business owners as well as residents wants the city to put the brakes on proposed zoning and design changes.

Vancouver city council plans to vote Tuesday on changes that would, the group believes, amount to downzoning the neighbourhood when that’s exactly what they don’t want. Downzoning results in less density.

“We’re happy with the zoning we have right now,” said Steve Lee, spokesperson for Chinatown Voices, referring to the Chinatown Neighbourhood Plan of 2012. “The zoning that we have reflects a well thought-out plan.” Read more…

Steve Lee, spokesperson for Chinatown Voices, at a news conference Monday, June 4 at Dollar Meat Store, Chinatown. Photo: Kevin Griffin [PNG Merlin Archive] PNG

‘Last second’ email on planning shocks, dismays Chinatown advocates

JOHN MACKIE, Vancouver Sun, April 26, 2018

On Sunday, Mayor Gregor Robertson delivered a formal apology to Vancouver’s Chinese residents for the city’s historical discrimination.

But even as Robertson spoke, a new controversy was erupting in Chinatown over the redevelopment of the historic neighbourhood.

Late Friday afternoon, the city sent out an email that recommended several changes to a Chinatown Planning Update that the city had released in March. Read more…

Historic buildings in the 100 block East Pender in Vancouver’s Chinatown. GERRY KAHRMANN / PNG

Facing displacement by condos, should Vancouver artists ‘bite the hand that feeds?’

Tessa Vikander, Metro, Mar 11 2018

In an increasingly unaffordable city, where low-wage earners are struggling to find housing and artists are struggling to find affordable studio space, some members of Vancouver’s artistic community are calling on artists to get involved in anti-gentrification and housing rights advocacy.

The call to action came last Wednesday, during a community forum at the 221A arts space in Chinatown, where artists with varying political views debated the ethics of accepting developer money. After the event, Vincent Tao, a librarian at 221A who helped organize the event, told Metro that artists, who have to pay rent for their homes and studio or practice space, are in a tricky situation. Read more…

Vincent Tao wants artists to join groups fighting for rent freezes, a living wage and an end to “renovictions.”

Beedie decision reveals times have changed in Vancouver

Allen Garr, NOVEMBER 16 2017

“I was wrong.” That uncommon confession slipped from the lips of Vancouver developer and Courier columnist Michael Geller. At that exact moment, he and I were sitting cheek by jowl at last week’s development permit board hearing on Beedie Development’s fifth revision in the past four years of a proposal for 105 Keefer St. in Chinatown.

Moments after the city’s real estate guy Bill Aujla explained that, after months of negotiations, Beedie was unwilling to either sell or swap this piece of property, Geller picked up his phone and sent out a tweet: “This will pass.” Although, he added, there may be some minor modifications. Read more…

rotesters gathered at city hall to voice their concerns over a nine-storey condo proposal for Chinatown that, in the end, was rejected by the city’s development permit board in a 2-1 vote. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Opinion: Vancouver’s Chinatown and redrawing the lines in the ‘City of Optimists’

Andy Yang, Vancouver Sun,June 26, 2017

In the reverberations following the 105 Keefer St. rezoning rejection, the hearings lay bare the painful realities of city life in Vancouver. Amongst the gleaming towers and $6 lattes, life for many Vancouverites is increasingly vicious, indifferent and cruel. The public hearing became a sign of the growing frustrations and shortcomings of civic governance.
However, 105 Keefer offers lessons from which a person could even develop a sense of optimism.
What can be learned? Read more…

Opponents of the Keefer Street rezoning celebrate City Hall’s decision not to let a tower be built in Chinatown. ARLEN REDEKOP / PNG

Photos: Vancouver releases concept plans for post-viaduct False Creek

SCOTT BROWN, Vancouver Sun, June 6, 2017

The City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board have revealed conceptual plans for the future of Northeast False Creek, including a new park and the removal of viaducts.
In 2015, Vancouver City Council approved a $200-million plan to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, which connect False Creek with downtown Vancouver. Read more…

In battle over future of Canada’s largest Chinatown there are fears of a ‘freeway of condos’

Douglas Quan, May 28, 2017

VANCOUVER — In this city of towering glass, it could easily have been overlooked as “just another condo.”
But a proposed 12-storey condominium in the heart of Vancouver’s iconic Chinatown has stoked a red-hot debate unseen in this city for years, pitting those who believe the development is needed to revitalize the neighbourhood against those who fear the project will further erode the area’s unique character. Read more…

Shirley Chan’s family played a pivotal role in stopping the freeway project

What banquet culture means to San Francisco — and Chinatown

April Chan, May 12, 2017

San Franciscans of a certain generation have a specific vernacular to describe things of epic proportion: hella. (To emphasize the epicness, trill the “l” for added dramatic effect.) For this San Francisco native, it’s the only word that comes to mind when I think of banquet dinners in Chinatown. As in, hella loud. Hella, hella food.
And in the case of Chinatown’s New Asia restaurant, hella big. So for me, news of the city’s decision to convert Chinatown’s largest banquet hall into affordable housing brings mixed feelings. With gentrification sweeping through many parts of San Francisco, any effort to keep increasingly disadvantaged, longtime residents of any neighborhood — let alone, a historic district such as Chinatown — should be lauded. Read more…

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle / The popular New Asia restaurant in S.F.’s Chinatown is popular for banquets. The city is in contract to purchase the property and convert it into affordable housing.

Opinion: How Vancouver city hall exacerbates the affordability crisis

NATHALIE BAKER, May 13, 2017

If you’d like to understand why the housing-affordability crisis continues in Vancouver, look no further than the recently posted City of Vancouver staff report in support of the rezoning of 105 Keefer/544 Columbia streets.Read more…

A 2016 architectural rendering of the Beedie Group’s proposed new development at 105 Keefer at Columbia streets in Vancouver’s Chinatown. This was the third version of the development that was submitted. SCD / PNG