Vancouver Reverses Course, Limits Condos

In a policy shift, the Vancouver City Council voted to limit the number of new condos being built downtown in order to preserve room for office space.
May 7, 2009, 10am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Council voted on Tuesday night to limit residential development within 17 square blocks of what is considered the central business district, centred around the intersection of Burrard Street and West Georgia Street. City staff said there will still be some mixed-use development allowed in about one-third of the space.

The move counters what has been called the livable city model developed by city planners over the past decade to encourage residential condominium construction inside the business district, a model of development that was copied by other cities around the world.

Coun. Raymond Louie said the regulations affect only about 15 per cent of the downtown peninsula and shouldn't change the feeling of life on streets downtown.

"What we've done is stabilize the speculation or reduce the speculation in the central business district, so that office space can be more affordable, because we do need to have a good mix of jobs and people living in the downtown core rather than just having people living or working in the area," said Louie."

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Published on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 in CBC News
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