Since the province and BC Transit and TransLink embarked on light-metro only construction in the region 30 years ago, the public have been told over and over again that higher densities were a must. Made redundant industrial lands (made redundant by municipal politicians rezoning land) were rezoned to higher density residential housing along the Expo Line route, compelling light industrial operations to move to Surrey and beyond. This meant, for many moving into the new housing, a car was a must to commute to work as the SkyTrain metro system did not serve the new industrial precincts. With densification car usage tended to increased.
What did happen, of course, were windfall profits for the owners of the lands rezoned.
The Evergreen Line is another example of politicians and municipal planners mania for densification, where the proposed Evergreen Line ia being sold as a public transit panacea for the massive high density developments taking place, yet many of the commuters in the Tri-Cities are going to where SkyTrain doesn’t. What of course is happening again, is windfall profits for land developers who had low density residential and industrial lands rezoned to much higher value high density condominiums and apartments.
Now its Cambie Street’s turn with the newly opened RAV/Canada line where lower density commercial and industrial properties are being assembled for much higher density use, again making large windfall profits to the owners.
What is very strange, is that the highest residential densities in Canada are located in Vancouver’s West End, which is ill-served by transit and not even even serviced by a metro route.
The question must be asked, especially with the SkyTrain/subway lobby with the now demand for a SkyTrain subway to UBC: “Is the demand for SkyTrain subway to UBC, nothing more than a $4 billion ruse to rezone residential and commercial properties to much higher densities, to create windfall profits for developers?”
Density should’t be Cambie corridor focus, prof says
By Matthew Burrows
A professor with UBC’s centre for human settlements wants to see more public discussion about “the benefits of a more compact urban form” along the Cambie corridor.
“I think we need to get away…[from] just using this word density,” Lawrence Frank told a special meeting of council’s planning and environment committee on January 22. “From a ridership and transportation perspective, density alone does you nothing; it actually can cause you a lot of trouble. So, we need obviously to focus on the complementary land uses.”
Council unanimously approved seven planning principles and an interim rezoning policy for the Cambie corridor. The guiding principles appear to be on the right track, according to Frank. However, he added that he wanted to see “follow-up work done” to bring forward strategies for accommodating “young, middle-aged, and elderly” Vancouverites with varying incomes.
This sentiment was echoed by COPE councillor Ellen Woodsworth.
“It’s important that we get affordable housing along the nodes of densification on Cambie Corridor,” Woodsworth told the Straight via cellphone.