Opinion: Letters to The Vancouver Sun.

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Re: Douglas Todd ‘Surviving’ Vancouver, in more ways than one.

I’m not a native of Vancouver but my spouse was born in east Vancouver in 1950 and lived in the city exclusively for 30 more years. Todd’s article about Michael Kluckner’s views on how much Vancouver has changed over past decades was interesting but also a very sad tale.

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You would need a couple more pages of space to include other key elements that have also played a role aside from the “offshore income” crowd — i.e. the disregard of heritage and history as represented in unique period architecture, the lack of respect for neighbourhoods with charm and character, rubber-stamp approvals on bland highrise development, zoning changes to allow single-family homes to convert to Airbnb status, eliminating a much needed rental market.

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So many people have dropped the ball in so many ways over such a long time. The trend to call out these issues and try to mitigate the damage will probably cause even more damage.

City planners are never going to be able to reverse things and bring back what has been lost. We’re left with photographs and watercolours.

You can bet the nostalgia for what once was will grow into all sorts of business opportunities as money has always seemed to be at the heart of the matter.


 G. Holden, Ladner

Steveston’s beloved character will be obliterated by proposed mass upzoning

Re: Todd: Will B.C.’s blanket upzoning ‘destroy’ Steveston, Metro’s ‘best neighbourhood’?

Yes, Steveston’s beloved character will be obliterated by the proposed mass upzoning. We in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood are facing the same indignity. Between Broadway, 12th Avenue and Yukon and Main streets we have more than 50 properties on the Heritage Registry, with 19 of them designated heritage buildings.

Into this historic neighbourhood, Havn Developments Ltd. wants to erect an 18-storey tower. This would completely destroy the heritage integrity of the community. It’s entirely unacceptable to everyone who lives here.

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My family and I have been working since 1973 to restore a number of Victorian and Edwardian houses that are now protected heritage buildings. To think that an 18-storey tower is an appropriate addition to this environment is an insult to a lifetime of effort by many people to create something that should be valued and protected by the city.

If we don’t lock arms in opposition, we will witness the destruction of Steveston, Mount Pleasant and many other neighbourhoods.

John Davis, Vancouver

Re: Dan Fumano: Vancouver spending more on police but cutting civilian oversight

I suggest looking at the other independent municipal police boards as well. Unless there have been significant changes since I served on a police board, there are very few pay stipends to board members.

At that time, it appeared to me that the boards that received stipends and had expense accounts were spending money that wasn’t necessary, as the work as a police board member could be done on a volunteer basis with reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses.

Those that chose to receive stipends evolved to adopt beliefs that the work deserved significant pay, thus adding considerable expense to board operations. Boards have significant roles — mainly setting policy and holding administration accountable.

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The day-to-day operations is the responsibility of the police chief and administration.

To serve as a board member need not be lucrative.

Mind you, I have seen the same evolution occur with city councils. At one time being a councillor was seen to be community service and the stipends were small. Over time the role has evolved to be full-time work with significant pay, and even benefits and pensions.

Yet the cities are administered by professionals.

In my opinion there is no need for full-time councillors.

It seems that we, the taxpayers, are being led to pay for an ever-increasing layer of governance that I believe is unnecessary.

Tarry Grieve, Port Moody 

Re: Fumano: Vancouver developers colouring outside the lines advancing ‘non-compliant’ projects

Thanks for the article on 121-129 West 11th Ave., bringing attention to the city trying to push this building into a neighbourhood of lovely homes. Why choose this site for an 18-storey building? Why not keep these buildings on main arterials where they belong?

Other developments in this area have been in keeping with the development zoning guidelines already in place. Why should this developer get a special zoning change?

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Also, will city hall listen to the people that live in this neighbourhood? I wonder why they don’t give us a place to voice our concerns. Perhaps they don’t care — sure seems that they don’t.

L. Boucher

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