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Letter: Spot zoning for Burnaby rental towers would make area unaffordable

Is this development proposal in the wrong location?
00 bcgeu
A rendering of a development proposal by the BCGEU.


Re: BCGEU housing proposal for Palm Avenue, NOW News

There is a significant difference between the BC Teachers’ Federation housing plan in Vancouver and the BC Government Employees Union housing plan in Burnaby. 

First of all, the housing plan for the BCTF is on Commercial Drive, a major artery in Vancouver. The housing plan in Burnaby is at the end of a secluded cul de sac one block east of Royal Oak (a major artery) in Burnaby.   

The BCTF's plan is to demolish an existing three-storey building and replace it with a four-storey building.  

However, in Burnaby the area is currently industrial but zoned for three- to six-storey multifamily residential. The plan here is to build a 15- and 18-storey highrise atop a three-story office tower.

The BCTF have been candid about what their intentions are. Part of the building will be school board offices and there will be 27 units available for new teachers.  However, with the BCGEU are they really going to offer below-market rent to the impoverished or is it just for union members? The BCTF is entering the housing market small with 27 units. 

However, in Burnaby the BCGEU wants to build 292 units. The BCGEU are entering a housing development market where they have had no experience with. This could be a financial disaster. Also by the City of Burnaby allowing spot zoning for the BCGEU, the value of land in this area will escalate and any future housing in this area will be unaffordable.

Donna Polos, Burnaby