Top 10 reasons to vote against the City’s “Interim Rezoning Policy” for the Downtown Eastside

1) The process of creating the policy has shut out low-income peoples’ voices and reduced the LAPP Committee to an advisory group. “Partnership” between the LAPP Committee and City staff is getting defined very weakly through this process.

2) It allows 508 new condo units to go ahead through Rezoning applications in the DTES. These new condos will have detrimental impacts on the low-income community such as rent increases and displacement, loss of low-income serving shops and services, and a change in the culture of the neighbourhood to a place where low-income people feel they don’t belong.

3) Rezonings are exceptions to the law and are not guaranteed to property owners. They are extra perks to encourage development that are not consistent with the LAPP Terms of Reference that is supposed to protect and improve the lives of low-income people first and foremost.

4) The Chinatown & Victory Square plans don’t include protections for low-income people. Council has approved plans for these areas but these plans are one-sided in favor of developers. The Interim Rezoning Policy should not allow Rezonings in Chinatown and Victory Square until there are adequate protections for low-income people, housing, and shops at least.

5) By allowing Rezonings to continue in Chinatown and Victory square the policy gives perks and encouragement to developers to propose still more condos even though there are no protections for low-income people, housing, or shops in those areas.

6) The policy allows Rezonings to continue in Chinatown and Victory Square, which is driving up land prices and makes buying land for social housing more expensive.

7) Gentrification resulting from development in Chinatown and Victory Square is spilling over into other sub-areas that are supposed to be protected by the Interim Rezoning Policy and making developments within existing zoning more attractive. Pantages condos in the DEOD are one example.

8) It does not slow or stop (during the LAPP) rezonings of commercial spaces into boutiques or warehouses being subdivided into high end galleries. Not even in the DEOD.

9) It doesn’t stop renovictions through permitting rezonings for the renovation of heritage buildings.

10) The city Interim Rezoning Policy contradicts the Terms of Reference of the DTES Local Area Planning Committee with all these 9 points, which value individual private property rights over the needs and interests of the low-income community.