SHPOA Voices - What our members say

New Initiative - New Taxes

Recently, I received an email from the city's media contingent asking me to take a survey and "share my thoughts" on what is supposedly a dire and imminent threat to our city.  Here is the text of the email:

"Share your thoughts on sea level rise!

" Hi Jonathan,
"As a coastal city, Vancouver will be impacted by sea level rise. Around the world, sea level rise and flood-related events are causing damage to coastal communities.
"We are planning for this now, to prevent the worst impacts of future flooding and to avoid major costs down the road. 
"To start we'd like to understand your awareness and knowledge around sea level rise and its impacts on Vancouver. Your feedback will help the City better plan and prepare to address the issue.
"Share your thoughts in this short 7 minute survey!"

This breathless solicitation for meaningless input from completely uninformed people... Read more... 

Member feedback on the Character Home Zoning Review

I certainly understand what the city council is trying to do, but I feel they are taking the easy way out,  as well as taking away the rights of the home owners.  It seems to me that they are trying to solve this issue from the wrong end.  They should provide an architectural guide line just the way they provide a building code that must be adhered to when building a home. This is a simple way of approaching the issue ( and somewhat fairer to the homeowners) rather the convoluted way they are currently approaching it .

When I was at one of the open houses I mentioned this proposal to one of the participants. The answer I got was that it would be too difficult to do. His mind was made up. I felt that they were trying to convince rather than listen.

Gerry MacPherson

We believe that the implementation of this program will result in a decreased value of the properties that will fall under the character home program. Many older homes which would be deemed character houses are not designed for today's open plan lifestyle choices and it would be much better to take them down so that they could have floor plans appropriate for today way of life. If the zoning review is successful city hall employees will arbitrarily decide who is and who is not included in the Character house program and the appel procedure (if any) will be costly. There is no doubt that the survey was designed intentionally in order to facilitate the responses in favour of the program to push the zoning bylaw successfully. We are of course against the Character Home zoning program.

Pierre & Nonie Augereau

Some of us are older, and not used to online surveys. Having lived in my 2nd Shaughnessy home over 50 years, I do not need to be told what I can and cannot do with my property. Keep up the pressure, this affects everyone, it is wrong!

Jean Robertson

We are completely against the Character Home Zoning program. The 3 main reasons are:

1.  Forcing homeowners to preserve pre-40s homes or face prohibitive building restrictions means a lot of tear downs will be left alone to rot lowering the character of the neighbourhood. Save the gorgeous houses only by giving homeowners an incentive to designate the house as a heritage home. Make it easy to tear down the ugly old beaters or the neighbourhood will look like a scary movie scene with a bunch of haunted houses;

2. Allowing densification in exchange for keeping the pre-40s house means the character of the neighbourhoods will be severely compromised. Extra buildings should not be stacked into the neighbourhood. The charm of the neighbourhood is the lot sizes with beautiful heritage style old and new homes; and 

3. This zoning policy will severely compromise housing prices in the neighbourhood. Many buyers will shy away from the neighbourhood if they are severely restricted in what they can do with their home.

At the end of this public review process, we all know the Mayor and his party will do what they want and ignore public input.

Wes and Penny Mussio 

and here are some links to letters on the subject...

Age is not “Character”

Old wooden homes, no matter how well maintained or even improved, pose a HEALTH HAZARD. Over time wood deteriorates and harbours MOULD and SPORES.Evidence of this is found by the prevalence of respiratory disorders throughout the City and the presence of noxious odours emanating from older homes. These smells are most noteworthy when the house has been closed up while its occupants have been vacationing. Upon return the smell can be overwhelming. Also these odours are most obvious when passing a demolition site, where all the old timber is exposed to the atmosphere. Read more...


To Mayor and Council
I live in Shaughnessy and I am opposed to the Character Home Zoning Review plan put forward by City staff at the Open Houses in November - December 2016. I am not in favour of requiring homeowners to maintain old houses that may not be appropriate for their living needs. Read more...

Dear SHPOA board,
Thank you for drawing to our attention on the Zoning Review. As a result of your newsletter, I have attended the open house, initiated discussions amongst friends and in our own family. My feeling about the new zoning plan is complex. Read more...

I am opposed to the zoning changes described in the Character Home Zoning Review. As with the First Shaughnessy Heritage Conservation Area Official Development Plan, the City is forcing property owners to subsidize its housing agenda, which is fundamentally unjust. Read more...

Mr. Mayor, councillors, 
        I would like to express my opposition to The City of Vancouver's strategy to preserve pre-1940's houses. While I do not object to the preservation of such houses that have legitimate historic or architectural value, I do not believe that houses deemed to have 'character' alone should be the object of a civic retention effort. Read more... 

Dear Mayor and Councillors,

RE:  CHARACTER HOME ZONING REVIEW  “CHZR” PLAN

I am a resident of Shaughnessy and I strongly oppose the CHZR plan, as set out by COV staff at the Open Houses in November and December 2016. 

Allowing densification as an incentive to keep an old house will destroy the character and charm of the single family neighbourhoods in 2nd and 3rd Shaughnessy and green spaces will be lost.  The houses that are densified will have to be brought up to code, the fact is the whole interior of the house is likely to be “blown out” due to COV requirements.  The zoning will very likely lead to some older homes falling into disrepair and discourage renewal of the neighbourhoodsRead more... 

"Our" Governments' War on Homeowners in FSD and Across Vancouver

The Canadian dream of home ownership and the time honoured rules by which many of us have conducted our economic affairs are based on the notions that a Canadian's best investment is a home and that home ownership rewards owners with both personal and financial benefits.  Many of us have owned our homes in Vancouver for decades, some even through generations.  Others have purchased more recently. Most of us have faithfully paid our property taxes, serviced our mortgages, (including during times while interest rates were much higher than today), invested in the renovation and the maintenance of our properties, and generally supported our neighbors and our neighbourhoods.  In FSD, we have taken pride in living in a particularly beautiful and gracious neighbourhood.  Like many other City neighbourhoods, it has been a place where one could buy a home or property, enjoy living in it, invest in improvements and reasonably expect capital protection and growth over the long term. Read more...