Myths about the city's plan to allow 12 and 15 story towers in Chinatown

Myths about the city’s plan to allow 12 and 15 story condo towers in Chinatown
March 14, 2011

Myth:  Rent from subsidized rental units in Chinese Society buildings can be used to “provide the Societies with funding for their programming and assure their financial stability and cultural relevance.”  (from Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee letter to Council)

Fact:  Subsidized housing units don’t make a profit.

Myth:  Money from Community Amenity Contributions made by tower developers will be a substantial help to Societies who want to renovate their housing and for other uses in Chinatown.

Fact:  The community doesn’t know how much revenue the Community Amenity Contributions could be.  If Council agrees to the staff recommendations, developers will be allowed to “land” density from all over the city into Chinatown.  When this happens, the “landing of density” will be considered the amenity and reduce what is available for housing and other uses.

Myth:  All of Chinatown is behind the proposed zoning and policy changes. 

Fact:  Over 1700 low income residents live in or near Chinatown.  Many of them say they have not been consulted about the rezoning and policy changes.  They oppose the condo towers because of the ripple effects of higher rents for SROs, apartments and businesses they use.

Myth:  Adding condo towers will help “revitalize” Chinatown.

Fact: The Director of Planning told a meeting at the Landmark Hotel in January that he didn’t know if this would happen; that other factors were involved.