In an otherwise uneventful civic election in Richmond, a first-time candidate – Carol Day – got elected.  When it came to the most controversial issues of housing and development, here was her platform:

Housing And Development Action Plan

RITE Richmond is taking the lead on affordable housing and development and city council candidates Carol Day and Michael Wolfe will push for action on this.

Under our leadership, new developments will go through an improved civic engagement process. We will ensure a fair process for local citizens to accept any changes (i.e. scale and pace) that will affect their neighbourhoods. The  Day-Wolfe team will:

  1. Insist on better communication with existing home owners, by broadening the area required for consultation, and mailing out letters written in simple language that clearly explain the process and opportunities to challenge a rezoning application.

  2. Inform how a citizen can access information through regular channels and through the freedom of information act

  3. Work with developers to create more affordable options for first time buyers, and develop special zoning for homes that are built with more modest finishes, smaller size and simpler designs. This back-to-basics approach could include houses under 1,000 sq ft on smaller lots and potentially duplex or four-plex options.

  4. Offer zoning concessions for developers who build smaller homes, and sell to buyers that are certified to be lower income. These homes should accommodate families, seniors and people with disabilities.

  5. Communicate meaningfully with community groups that band together to oppose a development, and be willing to consider alternatives and revisions to the application to the rezoning application. We will hold special meetings with grass roots groups prior to committee meetings and council meetings

  6. Create new rezoning opportunities not available in Richmond; an example could be “down-zoning”, which allows for a specific area in a neighbourhood to limit the size of new homes to maintain the character of a mini-neighbourhood.  The model could be the down-zoning option available in the Corporation of Delta.  Residents can request down-zoning through a series of procedures that ensure fairness and proper protocol.

  7. Work with developers to create new opportunities that enhance the existing neighbourhoods.

  8. Work alongside developers to hear their creative options that could allow for new kinds of density that could have less impact on existing neighbourhoods.

  9. Encourage staff to listen to new ideas from developers, and think outside the box.  When necessary, change zoning to allow for projects that will enhance existing neighbourhoods.

  10. Work with YVR to encourage them to allow for low interest loans to homeowners in Burkeville to support the residents that wish to alleviate noise due to airport operations, by making home improvements that could include soundproofing. The loans could cover triple glazed windows, attic and wall insulation and other improvements.

  11. Invite councillors to attend meetings with the public that involve changes to property zoning or road changes.  Examples could be construction of new fire halls, changes in road rerouting, and new infrastructures.

  12. Instruct staff to study the benefits vs. cost of a Vacancy tax for homes that remain empty for more than 6 months.   Study whether such a tax could be used towards infrastructure.

  13. Instruct staff to research the possibility of a foreign ownership tax and see if this would be a federal-only or provincial-only option.  Once this information is available to the City, decide whether lobbying the provincial or federal government for changes would be prudent.

See more here. 


Can any PT readers in Richmond report on the impact of Carol Day’s election and the results so far – Nos. 4, 6 and 12 in particular?