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Vancouver Chinatown condo project hearing resumes with nearly 100 wanting to speak

VANCOUVER — A hearing to determine the fate of a controversial condo project in Vancouver’s Chinatown has resumed with nearly 100 speakers on the list to appear.

People on both sides of the debate about the proposed nine-storey building at 105 Keefer Street are speaking at a meeting of the city’s development permit board, scheduled to run from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Critics of the proposal for 111 residential and commercial units say it ignores the needs of the neighbourhood because it contains only market-rate condos and no social housing units.

The City of Vancouver says 76 people signed up to speak at the last hearing on May 30, but the board was only able to hear from 48 before time ran out.

The remaining 28 people are set to appear at Monday’s hearing, in addition to another 68 who have since signed up.

In a written statement, the City of Vancouver says the development permit board will make a decision once everyone who signed up has had a chance to speak, and more hearings will be scheduled if necessary.

The project has been in the works since Beedie Holdings Ltd., bought the land 10 years ago.

The city rejected the proposal in 2017 but the B.C. Supreme Court last year ordered the board to reconsider.

Speakers at the first hearing were overwhelmingly opposed to the project, but some Chinatown groups including the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and the Chinese Cultural Centre say they support the project for its potential to increase foot traffic to Chinatown, reversing their positions from six years ago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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