As the Vancouver City Council narrows down a plan that will transform the Heights District into an urban core over the next 20 years, many of those who already live in the surrounding area are frustrated.
They’re frustrated that the plan could fundamentally change the character of their peaceful 80-year-old residential neighborhoods. They’re frustrated by a perception that city leaders are considering the needs of future residents and housing developers over the needs of people who already live there.
And as city planners have taken steps over the last year to address their concerns and scale back the plan — increasing parking space quotas at the fringes of the district, imposing landscaping and setback requirements for new buildings, extending the deadline for public comment and even eliminating plots of land from the district entirely — the fundamental problem remains.
The current residents didn’t sign up for this.
“What we see is an urban development in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood,” leaders of the Northcrest Neighborhood Association wrote in a letter to the city council last week. The Northcrest neighborhood directly borders the north edge of the district.
“It is one thing to buy a home in the city; quite another to have a city built next to your home.”