Disgruntled Developers and Residents Have Vancouver Planning Chief Talking Transparency

Just two months into his job as Vancouver's Chief Planner, Brian Jackson is responding to a growing backlash from developers and residents unhappy about an opaque system for determining and implementing community benefits.

Vancouver's ad hoc system for determining community benefits in exchange for increased density of development, which seemed to serve the city fine over the past two decades as industrial lands downtown were redeveloped, is no longer working for residents or developers, reports Frances Bula. At a recent meeting at the Urban Development Institute, Jackson promised developers that the city would be more transparent in defining community benefits required of developers, and talked of setting up a joint task force with the Institute to identify ways to reduce negotiation times.  

"As well," writes Bula, "the task force will work to ensure that most community benefits go back into the projects from which the developer contributions are coming. And the city will establish defined heights and densities for new buildings in whole areas rather than individual projects."

"Mr. Jackson, who started his job in September, six months after the previous director of planning was fired, also begged developers to help the city communicate more with residents. He said city staff are being drowned out by residents’ new capacity to get their message across through social media when they oppose a particular project."

“'We are being out-tweeted, out-Facebooked and out-blogged,' Mr. Jackson said, on the eve of a rally at City Hall by residents unhappy about developments in Dunbar, Oakridge, the West End, the Downtown Eastside and elsewhere."

Full Story: Vancouver planning chief promises clarity

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00