Saturday, November 17, 2012

So where are we going to live next? My talk to Probus

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to speak to the Vancouver Chapter of Probus, a club that includes many retired and semi-retired Vancouver businessmen and community leaders. It meets the second Tuesday of every month in the Vancouver Planetarium where they usually fill the theatre for a guest speaker.  I was invited to speak almost a year ago by Don Hudson, a former executive with Eatons and past president of many community organizations who sadly was not in attendance due to some recent surgery. (The lengths some people will go to to avoid one of my talks!)

I'm told there were about 300 in attendance this week, including many friends and acquaintances. I was delighted to see Bruce Buchanan, past President and Vice-Chair of BC Packers, a former client with whom I worked on the planning and disposition of BC Packers Steveston property and the Celtic Shipyard (today Deering Island) in the 1980's, and Phillip Owen who served on Vancouver Council and as Mayor when some of the housing projects I presented were approved.

The theme of my talk was the range of housing options that are available, and should be available for 'empty nesters' and seniors who are ready to downsize, but not yet ready to downgrade!  I talked about smaller houses on smaller lots, laneway housing, duplexes and townhouses, and different types of apartments

Below is a link to the presentation.  If you are uncomfortable with a picture of grown men dressed like Sasha Cohen in Borat, you may want to miss the fifth slide! always comments are welcomed


Anonymous said...

Many of the options presented are very attractive. As long time Oakridge residents, with our kids moving out, our "2 bedroom bungalow" is just about the right size and we do enjoy our 54 x 126 lot. It does seem like we are now being labelled as pariah in this city - in this age of forever increasing density it seems after paying taxes for 35 years - we are not entitled to our little corner of Vancouver. Have you seen the proposal for Oakridge. After residents responded that 21 stories was too tall in 2006/7, developers have now presented us with a plan for 45 stories. How depressing. I guess there will be no more suntanning in our backyard.
D & G Brooks West 45th Ave.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I also live near Oakridge Centre and I have no issue with the density being proposed there. It is a transit node and we need that sort of density at that site. But perhaps that density needs to be spread out more uniformly at the site to avoid towers over looking people's backyards as the commenter above pointed out. Although I think the placement of the tallest towers was chosen to minimize a lot of that.

That being said I really believe that what is missing most in this city is a good supply of the gentle density that Mr. Geller has illustrated in his presentation. We were lucky enough to buy a single family home 10 yrs ago when prices were lower. My co-workers who are 10 yrs younger don't have that luxury. They are forced with the option of living in an apartment in the city or a townhouse/house in the burbs. Many of them would choose to live in a rowhome in Vancouver if any existed on a quiet street.

My wife and I only have one child and we feel like our house is too big for our needs. People are having smaller families these days and not everyone wants to be a landlord. Also most young families don't have the down payment saved up to buy a massive house with 3 suites which is becoming the new normal in Vancouver. The housing stock needs to adjust to the new reality. Allowing more of these gentle density types of housing can help young middle class families stay in the city as well as provide an option for down-sizing empty nesters. If done in the right way the livability of our neighbourhoods can also be preserved and in my cases enhanced.

Anonymous said...

most young families don't have the down payment saved up to buy a massive house with 3 suites which is becoming the new normal in Vancouver

Yes, that is the problem of the current city's policies, (laneway house...) and you don't see appetite to resolve it (that is by allowing this 54x126 feet lot to be divided).

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