One of the biggest initiatives of the current Vancouver city council's term has been approved.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart and six councillors voted in favour of the 30-year Broadway Plan, which aims to provide many more housing units in the area bounded by Vine Street, 16th Avenue, Clark Drive, and 1st Avenue.
The plan calls for boosting the population in this area from 78,000 today to 128,000.
Under the Broadway Plan, the number of homes in the area would rise from over 50,000 today to more than 80,000 by 2050.
The number of jobs in this zone would increase from 84,400 today to up to 126,400 by 2050.
This would be accomplished through densification.
The only councillors who voted against the plan were the NPA's Melissa De Genova, COPE's Jean Swanson, TEAM for a Livable Vancouver's Colleen Hardwick, and the Greens' Michael Wiebe.
The impetus for redeveloping the area is the addition of a new rapid-transit line from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street, which is expected to be completed in 2025. It will have six stations.
The plan came under criticism for endorsing a great deal of privately operated public spaces in lieu of new public parks. This area is already considered park-deficient by the city's standards.
Opponents also raised concerns about the impact of the Broadway Plan on existing tenants who will be forced out of their homes as their buildings are redeveloped.
Mayor Stewart, on the other hand, has claimed that the plan includes the strongest tenant protections in Canada. It includes the following for tenants who lose their homes because their apartment blocks are being redeveloped:
* paid relocation to a temporary rental with a top-up keeping interim rents the same;
* the right of first refusal to return to the new project;
* and rent at 20 percent below whichever is lower—the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's citywide average or the existing rent.
“The Broadway Plan will help tens of thousands more people live close to their jobs and ensure Vancouver continues to be Canada’s hottest economy,” Stewart said in a news release.
Below, you can read what some people are saying about the vote over social media.