Statement From No Tower Coalition

Neighbourhood concern is gaining momentum in Grandview-Woodland against a proposed condo tower at the corner of Commercial Drive and Venables Street.

Door-to-door canvassing, leafleting, and an information table at Grandview Park, in the heart of the Drive, are having a big impact on the campaign. Today, our No Tower petitions (online and on paper) have passed the thousand mark. No Tower signs are appearing on homes and businesses in the neighbourhood.

Recent media coverage of our concerns appeared in The Vancouver Province, 24 Hours and Metro News last week, and in the Vancouver Courier today. Meanwhile, the No Tower Coalition has responded to misleading comments in those reports made by Daniel Boffo of Boffo Properties, suggesting the development will provide “affordable” housing.

The No Tower Coalition strongly disagrees, noting that the development proposal as it stands, would provide primarily market housing — 150 market-priced condominiums.

The so-called affordable housing referenced by Boffo would in fact be supportive housing for special needs individuals with mental health issues and would not alleviate the housing affordability crisis in Grandview-Woodland.

The coalition reiterates that services for people with mental illness are part of Canada’s social safety net and should be publicly funded, in ways that do not have such a negative community impact.

Giving private developers inappropriate density and height bonuses in exchange for providing necessary mental health services would set a dangerous precedent and should not be allowed. We are encouraged by the support of the eminent Vancouver architect and developer Michael Geller for this position.

The coalition is also critical of Boffo Properties for failing to put their plans clearly on the table. Daniel Boffo has referenced a tower with a possible fifteen storeys, twelve storeys, or even twenty storeys, at various times in the recent past. The coalition calls on Boffo officials to come forward and publicly disclose their exact plans to the community.