A recent council candidate with Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver says she’s not yet sure how city planning director Brent Toderian’s exit from city hall will affect local planning in the near future.
“Well, it all depends on who they hire and it all depends on why they are firing him,” Elizabeth Murphy told the Georgia Straight by phone. “I guess my concern is whether or not this council really cares about the opposition that he has created in the community or if this is just because of some of the conflicts he has had with some of the development community.”
The City of Vancouver issued a news release on January 31 stating: “Today, City Council endorsed and confirmed that Brent Toderian will be moving on from the position of Director of Planning at the City of Vancouver.”
An international search will be conducted for a new director, according to the release.
Murphy already has one suggestion for the chosen successor. “First of all, I think we need to look at what the existing zone capacity of the city is,” Murphy said, “and what we can do for sustainability and future growth within what we have already, and to objectively determine what we need to go forward. And, also, for him to work with the communities rather than working against them is, I think, an important thing.”
Regarding the so-called community amenity contributions, which the city assesses developers as part of a negotiated set of agreements related to rezoning proposals, Murphy said: “I think that we have to reassess how amenities are provided and how much development is actually costing the city in terms of servicing all of the people that we are bringing in through these new developments, and how that it is going to be provided.”
Murphy also said the city has created citywide policies such as EcoDensity and the Short Term Incentive for Rental program, also known as STIR, but did not at the same time take into account the unique characteristics and needs of each individual community.
“What the city needs to do is to look at things more holistically,” she said. “That’s a big part of sustainability: looking at all the aspects of it.”