‘Technicality’ delays temporary modular housing motion

OneCity Coun. Christine Boyle wants council to consider allowing such housing in single-family zones

A motion by OneCity Coun Christine Boyle asking that council consider exploring the idea of allowing temporary modular housing as an option in single-family and duplex zones was temporarily derailed earlier this week.

It was deemed out of order because portions of it made reference to work that’s already underway.

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Boyle said she’s not dissuaded by the decision and plans to modify her motion and bring it back to council Sept. 10, the first meeting after summer break.

She said the ruling was based on a “technicality” and the intent and bulk of the motion is in order.

“I’m not deterred by this decision. Our homeless neighbours across the city deserve homes, and I will keep working toward that,” she told the Courier in an email.

Modular housing is currently allowed as a temporary use in CD-1 — comprehensive development district — zones.

The motion, which Boyle called “Every Neighbourhood for Everyone,” proposed staff explore and report back on opportunities to deliver modular housing on RS- and RT-zoned parcels on private or city-owned land that are appropriate for that use. If staff uncovered opportunities, their subsequent report was to include any policy tools, changes to the Vancouver Charter and/or new rezoning policies that would be required.

But Boyle’s motion also included clauses that proposed staff continue to explore, through the city-wide plan and through implementation of other city housing strategies, additional possibilities for creating homes for low and moderate income families and individuals in all city neighbourhoods, and that the mayor continue to lobby the provincial and federal governments for funding to address homelessness.

It was those portions of the motion that proved problematic.

NPA Coun. De Genova raised a point of order, saying if something’s already being done, it’s redundant.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart ruled the motion out of order after explaining there are seven reasons why a motion may be out of order, including if instructs council to do things it’s already doing through a council vote.



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