City taking too much or not enough?

Geeze, you Vancouverites are never happy.  Now the city of Vancouver is being accused of taking too much profit on Cambie for development rezonings.

The city uses the money — an average of 75 per cent of the profits resulting from rezonings — for community amenities like parks and seniors’ centres.

“We need to strike a balance. Everybody needs to get a piece of this or we aren’t going to get on with development,” Sullivan said. “Right now I’d call it paralyzed.”

But city planner Brent Toderian said realtors and homeowners are setting unrealistically high prices for their properties, making it hard for development proposals to work financially.

He said the city’s long-standing practice of taking on average 75 per cent of the profit or “land lift” from rezonings to pay for parks and other public services shouldn’t be sacrificed because homeowners set unreasonable prices that developers then pay.

“[Community amenities are] a cost that a reasonable seller and a reasonable buyer have to include in the purchase. But what I’m hearing is going on in the Cambie corridor is that there are some exorbitant prices being asked for the land,” he said. “Developers are trying to explain they have to pay development cost levies and community amenity contributions as a part of rezoning, and many homeowners and realtors are saying they don’t care.”

So is the city taking too much money and killing development?  It’s funny because just down the hill is the Vancouver Olympic Village which has partly become very expensive low income housing.
There’s certainly no problem with the city taking too much profit there.. just a bunch of debt and the apparent inability to sell these units to recoup cost.
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Best place on meth

Also, if anyone out there is struggling with their mortgage payments and would like to rent out one of their rooms for some extra cash, please respond here:

Best place on meth

If anyone out there is struggling with their mortgage payments and wants to make an easy $80 for doing absolutely nothing please call:


CBC has another real estate advertisement disguised as journalism: "Canada's housing market among the world's best"

Reminds me of an article from the Onion back in the late 90s, "Stock Market 'Best Since 1928', Say Investors"

Bob the immigrant

I have to ask anyone who thinks 'immigration will save us'… Do you see any difference in the latest BC census between 2006 (dark blue) and 2001 (red line)? The only diference i see is everyone's 5 years older…that and maybe a few people died.

Savvy Investor

@Supraboy: Classic novice investor mistakes:

1. Buying assets AFTER they've had their run.

2. Not knowing when to cash out.



What? Did someone just fart?

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To all you geniuses out there, instead of focusing on real estate, you kids better load up oil, gold, silver, copper, and agricultural stocks. 2011 will be a banner year for commodities as the US economy recovers. You can all forget about real estate as prices will continue to rise. Rather than hoarding cash under the bed, you morons better load up some equities to hedge yourself against inflation. GDP expected to grow more than 3% in the US next year. Money will trickle into canada pumping up prices across the board.

fixie guy

18 jesse Says: "He is stating the City should take less because parks and community centres aren’t in a property bubble."

He's exercising his fiduciary responsibility to lie for the bottom line. The Cambie corridor's price structure is in part due to the very amenities they want 'leveraged' for their profit. "Greedy home owners are cutting into our profits." The civic environment is in strange territory when anyone feels justified saying that in public.


@chip: Weed price crash sounds pretty good to me dude! But I don't think anyones' gonna listen to that old sack o' crap.


@Patiently Waiting: "This is between the home-owners and developers, and too bad if the developers overpay"

Agreed but this developer is complaining that the City wants a take as a % of sales price, not necessarily that landowners are being greedy (which they are and I say good on them). He is stating the City should take less because parks and community centres aren't in a property bubble.

There's a little postage stamp-sized bit of irony in there.


@space889: Well put. I was implying there must be a hidden agenda, thanks for exposing it.

Patiently Waiting

LOL just re-read the article and realized its the city complaining about home-owner asking prices. That is also silly. This is between the home-owners and developers, and too bad if the developers overpay.

Patiently Waiting

To hear these developers complain about greed is a bit much to take. Why should homeowners take less than what they can get? For a middle class elderly couple, this money would make for a decent retirement (even means less burden for taxpayers eventually). They will only get the windfall once so make the most of it. I mean why the hell would they subsidize developers?

I really doubt Vision will cave-in on this. There is still COPE on the left to pick-up angry anti-development voters.


@space889: "Greedy homeowners here are just an excuse in my view. "

Bingo. These are spec builders. They are taking the risk by buying the land, holding it and developing it, and punting the output to homeowners. They either really do have thin margins and are being squeezed by building costs, they are unprepared to buy land on spec and try to sell later at what could be lower land prices, or are just being greedy.

Spec building is a tough racket: there is significant risk due to fluctuating land costs.



“Wow, $300/month for a million dollar condo… they are getting a sweet deal, right on! Renting > Owning, again.”

I fail to see how having cerebral palsy is a “sweet deal”.

WTF? Am I missing something here?



"Wow, $300/month for a million dollar condo… they are getting a sweet deal, right on! Renting > Owning, again."

I fail to see how having cerebral palsy is a "sweet deal".


If the City didn't take the 75% after rezoning there would be much more corruption in the process. Rezoning is a gift and someone is going to get the money. It may as well be the City.

Without the levies there would be too much money at stake so insiders would take over the land prior to announcement of the rezoning. At least when the City takes 75% it makes it less likely this will happen.

Remember John Les and his Chilliwack ALR redevelopment properties? I bet Chilliwack doesn't impose a 75% levy. So instead of Chilliwack getting the money the civic leaders get it.

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Why the hell is there an 11-year wait for wheelchair-accessible apartments?

This greedy real-estate obsessed city has the most fucked up priorities I’ve ever seen anywhere.


@IT__Pro: Or rather more likely the developers are just using this as an excuse to raise their profit margins. Notice they want to move toward a fixed fee model. This means for more valuable and higher sales priced projects would yield so much more profits than they would get now. Especially if they manage to increase density on the land they are building on. With the current model, as the profitability of a project increases so does the city's take. Under a fixed fee model, any increase in profits above the fee would all be developers. Greedy homeowners here are just an excuse in my view. The developers can simply say to the homeowners take it or leave it as we are paying you more than what you would normally sale the house for anyways. If you don't sell, we… Read more »


@blueskies: "the market price is equal to what the market will bear"

Exactly right…so if the city took less of a cut, the land ownners would raise their price and the developers wouldn't be any further ahead.


Spot The Speculators #22 –

"The realtor himself owns four, rented out, and plans to sell and retire with the equity a few years from now."


Supper dumper

@jesse: you must be mistaken. This is Vancouver, it's different here. It's pretty hard to tell at this point where the sun rises, but it's likely in the west, possibly the north.

But in the east? No way. We're not Detroit after all.


Will Pat Robertson trigger the collapse of BC house prices?

Pat Robertson: Time To Legalize Marijuana


Wow, $300/month for a million dollar condo… they are getting a sweet deal, right on! Renting > Owning, again.