The City of Vancouver is proposing to gentrify Chinatown through a mass rezoning plan called the CRAP (Chinatown Economic Revitalization Action Plan).
The CRAP will open the floodgates for condo development in Chinatown, raising rents, increasing evictions, and accelerating the displacement of the neighbourhood’s most vulnerable residents and small businesses.
The CRAP proposes drastically increasing building heights (up to 150 feet tall, or 14 stories) and building frontages (up to 200 feet wide), while gutting the existing public consultation process of open houses and public hearings. If the CRAP passes City Council, projects like the 12-story 105 Keefer condo development would not be required to undergo zoning review or public consultation at all.
Instead of approving the CRAP, the City should implement policies to honour the history of Chinatown by ensuring that the neighbourhood remains permanently affordable and welcoming to seniors, workers, and low-income people of all backgrounds.
Sign this letter to tell Mayor Gregor Robertson, City Council, and City staff to:
- Reject the mass rezoning plan (“CRAP)” for Chinatown;
- Commit to engaging the existing community, especially low-income residents and small businesses, in preparing a new area plan for Chinatown that will stop further gentrification and displacement; and
- Implement policies put forward by Chinatown residents, including the demands of Chinatown Concern Group.
Chinatown Concern Group’s demands:
- Do not permit any more market-rate developments in Chinatown until the number of new social housing units being developed in the neighbourhood matches the number of new market-rate housing units
- Zone Chinatown as a single, unified district
- Designate Chinatown as a Heritage Conservation Area
- Require that at least 50% of the gross floor area of new developments in Chinatown be for social housing
- Define social housing in Chinatown as units rented at no more than the maximum welfare or pension shelter allowance or 30% of OAS/GIS income
- Limit building heights to a maximum of 50 feet tall (with 100% social housing projects considered separately)
- Limit building frontages to a maximum of 50 feet wide (with not-for-profit developments considered separately)
- Meet the community demands for 105 Keefer Street:
- Reject the rezoning application by Beedie Living
- Direct the City to acquire the 105 Keefer Street site in partnership with the Provincial and Federal governments
- Provide 100% social housing on the site, with rents not to exceed the maximum welfare or pension shelter allowance or 30% of OAS/GIS income
- Provide an intergenerational, multi-use community space, with an emphasis on serving seniors
- Support culturally appropriate Chinatown retail through business-friendly policies such as property tax deductions or other subsidies
- Prohibit chain stores (such as has been done in San Francisco Chinatown)