Mayor keeps eye on Vancouver’s vacant home tax proposal

Richmond News

Mayor Malcolm Brodie appeared doubtful a home vacancy tax would work in Richmond but said he will monitor the progress of a pitch made by his Vancouver counterpart, Gregor Robertson, to address empty residences.

Robertson has asked the provincial government’s Ministry of Finance for special taxation measures to mitigate the effects of empty homes driving down the vacancy rate in a city already feeling the pinch of unprecedented housing unaffordability.

Brodie said he didn’t think empty homes in Richmond are as much of a problem as they are perceived to be in Vancouver.

“I don’t have data. My perception is, in terms of various combinations of observations, we have less of an issue than Vancouver. But that’s just simply my opinion on it,” said Brodie.

Still, he acknowledged empty homes are a problem, and Richmond should look at any possible solutions. …

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Metro Vancouver opposes 10-lane Massey Bridge

Surrey Leader

Metro Vancouver’s regional board says it can’t support the province’s $3.5-billion plan to replace the Massey Tunnel, at least not the proposed 10-lane bridge.

Regional district politicians have released an assessment critical of the project, arguing the proposed bridge will have a dramatic impact on regional growth, steer more people into cars instead of public transit, and ultimately increase not decrease congestion. …

Stone says it will actually result in an overall net increase in ALR land in Delta and Richmond when the project is finished, because it will result in the return of unused highway right-of-way for farming.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie disputes that, saying he believes farmland that is added to the ALR is likely to be inferior to what is removed.

“They talk about changing the on and off ramps so that there will be some property reclaimed by the adjacent farmers,” Brodie said. “We’ll have to wait and see how much of that and is actually usable. We are still very concerned about agricultural impacts.” …

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All dressed up, but no progress for Richmond daycare

They got all dressed up for nothing, but the people behind a move to plant a daycare inside a vacant Onni Imperial Landing building know it was a party they had to attend.

Mike and Agnes Lewis, towing a small army of parent customers and a few kids, faced mayor and council Monday afternoon at city hall to appeal a previous refusal of Generation Daycare’s business licence application for the Steveston waterfront site.

Their application to relocate to the controversial Onni development from their soon-to-demolished site on nearby Trites Road was denied on the grounds it didn’t meet the mixed maritime use (MMU) zoning’s definition of “education.” …

“We are only here to discuss the business licence refusal, nothing else,” insisted Mayor Malcolm Brodie before everyone had settled into their seats.

Coun. Carol Day was the first to ask “Can we table the appeal until after the rezoning?”

“No,” said Brodie, “it’s a yes or a no to the question today.” …

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Richmond’s mayor watching for impacts of Vancouver’s plans for tax on vacant homes

News 1130

Cities across the region will be watching the effects of a tax on vacant homes in Vancouver, but will they be following suit?

The mayor of Richmond isn’t ruling out a similar scheme, but he has a few concerns.

Malcolm Brodie questions how you define a vacant property, how you monitor the situation, and how you find out the motivations of a buyer.

“It could be very clear if you know all the facts. But it’s also very easy to have unintended consequences and not know all the facts when what you see on the surface seems to be fairly clear.”

He’ll be watching to see if the tax actually makes a difference.

“I just don’t know how you’re going to impelement it. But I will look to the experience of Vancouver and we in Richmond will take a look at it once it’s farther along,” he tells us.

“Time is an issue here, as well, because the parties are wanting to do something very quickly. I don’t think something like this should be done basically as a quick reaction to a situation. I think it should be fully thought through. The consequences should be known and the details of implementation should be fully considered.”

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Special Olympics BC honour Batara with Achievement Award

Richmond News

The recognition continues to pour in for Magnus Batara.

Coming on the heels of being named the Richmond News Sportsperson of the Year at last month’s 17th annual Richmond Sports Awards, Batara is the recipient of Special Olympics B.C.’s 2016 Athletic Achievement Award.

The 23-year-old dazzled in the pool at last summer’s Special Olmpics World Games in Los Angeles, winning four goal medals.

He touched the wall first in the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke, as well as to 100 butterfly. He added a fourth gold as a member of Canada’s 4×100 medley relay team. …

Mayor Malcolm Brodie presents Magnus Batara the Special Olympics B.C. Athletic Achievement Award, reflecting his outstanding season in the pool, that included winning four gold medals at the Special Olympics World Games.

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Mayor puts Steveston daycare on the ‘spot’ for Onni rezoning

Richmond News

The long-running saga between the City of Richmond and developer Onni took an unexpected twist on Monday.

Last week, the Richmond News reported how Generation Daycare’s bid to relocate into one of Onni’s controversial and vacant Imperial Landing buildings was all but beaten by the current mixed maritime use (MMU) zoning at the Steveston waterfront site.

The daycare — which is being evicted on Sept. 30 from its current Trites Road location after its landlord applied to rezone to build homes — and its desperate parent customers were set to appeal in person to mayor and council at a special hearing next week.

However, at Monday afternoon’s general purposes committee at city hall, Mayor Malcolm Brodie brought forward a referral for city staff to look at the possibility of a “spot rezoning” at the Imperial Landing site, which will allow the daycare to move in.

The mayor’s referral, which was not on the committee’s agenda, was supported unanimously by council, including Coun. Harold Steves, who last week was adamant he wouldn’t support any broad-based rezoning of the site, even if it cleared the way for the much-needed daycare.

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Richmond mayor shocked at murder of well-known developer

Vancouver Sun

Richmond politicians expressed shock and concern Monday after the brazen fatal shooting of local developer Amar Singh Sandhu.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie said Sandhu was an “active member of the community.”

“We were really shocked and saddened by the shooting death of Amar Sandhu,” he said. “We’re just very sorry for Amar and his family and friends.”

Brodie confirmed that Sandhu was a regular at the mayor’s fundraising dinners. …

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King Of The Sea; Kaiwu Maru To Visit Richmond In 2017

604 Now

Japan’s Kaiwa Maru, among the world’s largest tall ships will set sail for Richmond in 2017.

Known as the King of the Sea, the four-masted, naval training training ship is just over 100 metres (360-feet) in length, with a main mast that towers in at 43.5 metres (143 feet) tall.

The ship is scheduled to return to Steveston’s harbour on May 3, 2017, just in time for the city’s year-long celebrations for Canada Day.

The ship will arrive carrying a crew of 200 Japanese sail and maritime training cadets, and remain docked at Garry Point Park until her departure on May 8, 2017.

“The Kaiwo Maru is a spectacular tall ship and we’re honoured that she will be making a rare international voyage to visit Richmond to help celebrate our nation’s 150th birthday,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. …

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