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Our New Mayor and City Councillors need to hear you

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The new Mayor and City Councillors need to hear your request to reset the West 7/8th and Arbutus rezoning.

Since filing the legal Petition, and the Oct 15th election, there has been a significant change in the City Council at the City of Vancouver. Ken Sim has replaced Kennedy Stewart as Mayor, and Sim’s ABC party has a supermajority on Council, securing eight of its 11 seats.

Our community’s turnout at the public hearing, by way of speakers and correspondence, was unprecedented. Nearly 300 people registered to speak, and over 75% spoke in opposition to the rezoning. Those in opposition – including retired members of the judiciary and those with homelessness, mental health and addictions expertise and lived experience – provided numerous reasons and fact-based research for why the rezoning application should be rejected, and what a better model would look like for occupants and neighbours. 

Our community’s turnout has helped raise awareness about the flaws of current “supportive” housing models that the City, BC Housing and Province seek to implement at West 7/8th and Arbutus and elsewhere.  This dialogue also helped shift the public discourse on mental health, addiction, and public safety.

With the legal Petition now filed with the BC Supreme Court and with a change in City Council and increased public awareness about “supportive” housing, we have our greatest opportunity yet to reset the West 7/8th and Arbutus rezoning. However, we need your help to do this.

Ask City Council to reset the rezoning application

Write a letter to the Mayor and City Council urging them to reset the rezoning application. If you previously sent a letter to Council in opposition to the rezoning, you can resend your original letter and update it with one or all of the following brief asks:

  • Make efforts to have the City’s legal department consent to the orders sought by Kitsilano Coalition in its Petition;
  • Rescind the resolution; or
  • Vote against enacting the bylaw for the rezoning 

The building is a flawed “supportive” housing model for the numerous reasons raised at the public hearing.  As well, the City did not follow the rules of procedural fairness and natural justice at the public hearing. For example, important and accurate information was not disclosed to the public and to City Councillors prior to and during the public hearing. Because of this:

  • City Councillors were restricted from asking relevant questions;
  • Documents were withheld, like the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Vancouver, BC Housing, and Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC).  The MOU was a central factor driving the decision to rezone West 7/8th and Arbutus as a low-barrier building of 129 single-occupancy studio units, but the public did not have an opportunity to comment on it; and
  • The language of the MOU does not support statements made by BC Housing representatives, City staff, Kennedy Stewart, or others at the public hearing that only 50% of the building units would be shelter rate units; that BC Housing’s funding and the MOU permitted only single-occupancy studio units excluding families; and that the funding for the project would disappear if the rezoning was not approved or was sent back to City staff for revision

If you require help with your letter to the Mayor and City Council, please email

Included below is a sample of a letter written by a community member that you can consider when writing your letter.

Kitsilano Coalition is run entirely by volunteers and needs your support financially to pursue these legal activities.  We are entirely funded by contributions from the community, and we require additional funds to continue, as the legal activities unfold.  Please contribute by visiting our contributions page.  All contributions are appreciated and will be focussed on these activities.

Email the following ABC Mayor & Councillors

Ken Sim -
Rebecca Bligh -
Lisa Dominato -
Sarah Kirby Yung -
Mike Klassen -
Peter Meiszner -
Brian Montague -
Lenny Zhou -


Dear Mayor and Council:

Congratulations on our election results, and best wishes for your new term in government.

I wrote to the previous council several months ago expressing my strong opposition to the low-barrier, “supportive” housing model proposed by BC Housing and the City for West 7/8th and Arbutus rezoning.

I watched the public hearing and was shocked at how attempts were made to limit the scope of the public hearing to prevent the public from speaking and Councillors from asking questions to the applicant. Also, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) disclosed after the public hearing does not support statements made at the public hearing.  Specifically

  •  The MOU indicates the 50% shelter and 50% low-income tenants are misleading and that 100% of the units will be rented at shelter rate
  • The MOU provides that the funding for this building is not restricted to single adults only and contemplates a mix of unit sizes and families
  • The MOU states that clinical supports (e.g. medical supports, addiction recovery services) will not be provided on-site, as was suggested by the applicant
  • There is no basis to the narrative that funding for the project would disappear to the City if the rezoning was not approved.

I believe this Council wishes to ensure transparency in its process and make decisions based on accurate information that is equally available to Council and the public. This did not occur at the public hearing. The rezoning approval is NOT in the best interest of the community or the proposed residents of the building. I am hopeful that this new council will listen to the community’s calls for an improved housing model that will better serve the needs of the occupants of the building and its surrounding neighbourhood. 

I urge you to reset the rezoning application by having the City’s legal department consent to the orders sought by Kitsilano Coalition in its Petition or rescind the resolution or vote against enacting the rezoning bylaw.

Thank you,