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City of Vancouver Files Response to Kitsilano Coalition’s Petition

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In October 2022, Kitsilano Coalition filed a legal Petition in BC Supreme Court. The Petition seeks judicial review of the City of Vancouver’s “in principle” approval of the application to rezone Arbutus and West 7/8th for a low barrier “supportive” housing tower of 129 single-occupancy studio units.

In December 2022, the City filed its Response to the Petition and its opposition to the filing by Kitsilano Coalition. See the full response here.

This effectively signals the City’s intention to have this heard in the BC Supreme Court  

The City response asserts the public hearing was procedurally fair and that the City Council’s approval of the rezoning application was reasonable. It argues that the public had sufficient opportunity to comment on the rezoning application at the public hearing; that Kitsilano Coalition has no standing to say that City Council’s participation in the public hearing was restricted; and that the applicant and City disclosed all documents to the public, that were relevant to the rezoning application.

The City makes these claims although then Mayor Kennedy Stewart, as Chair of the public hearing, limited important information, that Councillors and the public received from the rezoning applicant. Councillors were limited in asking questions of the operator and unable to make fully informed comments about the operations and tenanting of the proposed building.

The City acknowledges that the July 2020 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City, BC Housing, and CMHC was not disclosed to the public. However, it now says the MOU did not need to be disclosed because it is “irrelevant” to the rezoning. The City makes this assertion, in spite of there being numerous references to the MOU at the public hearing, including statements that under the MOU’s terms and conditions, funding could disappear if this site was not approved, and certain amendments could not be made to the rezoning proposal.

Kitsilano Coalition has no choice but to continue with its legal Petition to ensure the City acts fairly and transparently in its decision-making process for this rezoning.  This is important not only for this site but in the interests of transparency and fairness in the government process in general.

We anticipate that Kitsilano Coalition’s Petition will be scheduled for hearing in BC Supreme Court in the coming months. As an organization entirely funded by contributions from the community, Kitsilano Coalition needs your financial support NOW to continue its legal activities against the City. We expect we will need $15K in addition to fund these legal costs fully in preparing for trial. Please contribute by visiting our contributions page. Funds are to support our legal costs and Kitsilano Coalition is run by volunteers who take no payment. We thank you for your support.