“My dad is a boomer and ex city planner. My parents would have a spaz attack if they found out we were buying houses in this market. They’ve been talking about the bubble for years.”

“My dad is a boomer and was a city planner for years. He left his job because of the insane amount of corruption within the department and because council was mostly made up of developers, real estate agents and the like. He couldn’t make a difference any way he tried and basically had a meltdown in the end.
My parents have a good retirement plan that does not include equity in any way. They would also have a spaz attack if they found out we were buying houses in this market. They’ve been talking about the bubble for years.”

pips at VREAA 13 Sep 2012 10:53am

Some boomers see very clearly what has happened in the RE market in Vancouver, and have prepared accordingly.
Most, not so.
– vreaa

And with regard to city planning, see this comment from Snats, in response to ‘pips’:
“I have a masters in urban planning. While in graduate school I interned at a city and worked there a year afterward.
Since then, my professional track as been about me trying to distance myself from that stuff as quickly and throroughly as possible. Luckily I also studied real estate development at the same time which helped me move into the private sector.
Modern city planning is generally a collection of ideological positions about density and the morality of cars with very few hard facts or data to back it up. Planners tend to cite each other as sources, and if you follow the trail of expertise, there is not much at the end of it.
In my city, it is amazing the extent to which current planning dogma and developer/large property owner interests have become completely aligned. Planners are absolutley convinced they are “doing good” for the public while we subsidize development in any number of ways with tax payer dollars.”

23 responses to ““My dad is a boomer and ex city planner. My parents would have a spaz attack if they found out we were buying houses in this market. They’ve been talking about the bubble for years.”

  1. Speaking of SpazAttacks… here’s some more WeekEnd fun and a BonusQuote!…

    “It’s a sea of blah. Expensive blah—I once looked at a teardown in [GuessTheTown] that smelled like urine and was made of cinder block. It was on the market for $1.5 million and there was a bidding war for it. We had [such] a great time looking for a house in L.A., especially after living up north.” – Sonya Merrill, Ex-Google executive who moved to L.A. with her husband, Douglas, former Google CIO

    [WSJ] – Tech Titans Hit the Beach: As Silicon Valley moguls go on a home-buying spree in Los Angeles, they’re reshaping the real-estate landscape.

    …”More than 600 tech start-ups have sprung up in L.A. over the last few years, according to Represent.LA, an open-source project that tracks the growth of start-up communities, bringing with them engineers and executives looking for housing. The narrow, 3-mile strip of land that runs from Santa Monica through Venice, and is now stretching down to Playa Vista, has been dubbed “Silicon Beach” due to the heavy concentration of Internet companies and executives there.

    Prices have gone up dramatically on this beachfront strip. Previously known for an edgy vibe, the area has grown increasingly upscale with the arrival of gourmet restaurants and mainstream stores. In Santa Monica, the median price of homes jumped 16% in the first eight months of 2012 compared with 2011, after a 9% decline over the same period the year before, according to Multiple Listing Service data compiled by Paul Habibi, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Venice’s median home price in the first eight months of 2012 broke the $1 million barrier, rising to $1,012,000 from $899,000 in the first eight months of 2011.”…

    http://tinyurl.com/9xqsjjw

    [NoteToEd: Hmm.. Venice Beach or EastVan CrackShack?…Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. NoteToSelf: Screw the SeriesDevDeal… Must design/progress new app!]

  2. Carioca Canuck

    The former mayor of Calgary, Dave Bronconnier, was a RE developer before he became mayor. He is soulless, bland, and generic bag of skin on a bone structure with no redeeming interactive social qualities that would make him appear to be a desireable candidate for anything, let alone leading a city of 1 million people.

    But, he was a RE developer. When the rules changed and people had to disclose where their campaign money came from, his benefactors were pretty obvious.

    The reaon that the criminals, liars, cheats, thieves, and frauds that inhabit the “REIC” endlessly seem to always get their way, and never get prosecuted, is because behind every single politician is a RE developer with their wallet open.

    • UBCGhettodweller

      The effects of the Bronconnier years are so obvious in Calgary. It’ll take another term of Nenshi to even partially remediate the damage. At least Calgarians see that there is some serious need for urban planning change. Less can be said of the BPOE cult on the west coast.

    • In Richmond last few terms when there was a disclosure of the campaign sources, we could see that almost 100% of financing came from the RE sector or its associated companies with our multiple terms mayor being 100% financed by the RE. We have some council members representing local parties but we also have the ones that claim to be independent – these ones are 100% financed by the RE and ARE independent from the voters. The local papers and streets are flooded with their posts and pics, money do buy publicity and name recognition.

  3. This is an interesting post. I have frequently wondered about these city council types and listen to CKNW where they talk about how/what the city of Vancouver is becoming… (tiny streets coming to a street near you) and the many other stupid things that seem to come out of that city hall building. Never do they talk about the closing of the Coast Guard base, nor talk about what seems important to the city. It is all about laneway housing, affordable housing, tiny streets, (by the way, cost into these the plumbing and wiring and tearing up streets and the rest) <>

    Now here is a post about what really happens … no-one is there to better the city and it sounds like they all have there own visions to help line their own pockets. Bill Goode is told by callers that there is corruption in politics, he always says where is the proof??? Mr. Goode… open your rose coloured eyes.

  4. this anecdote reads like humanity choking on its own vomit.

  5. Planners are absolutley convinced they are “doing good” for the public while we subsidize development in any number of ways with tax payer dollars.”
    ——————
    Sound like Lloyd Blankfein telling journalists Goldman Sachs is doing “God’s Work”… Whatever it takes to keep the self-delusion going.

  6. hmmph, my dad is a boozer.

  7. “Planners tend to cite each other as sources, and if you follow the trail of expertise, there is not much at the end of it”

    Ouch. Entire areas of study are founded on little more. I’d like to think some practicality and other data act as inputs to the discussion.

  8. Renters Revenge

    You mean development planners can be corrupted? Who woulda thunk!

  9. Renters Revenge

    Could “vancouverism” be a fraud perpetuated against the publics’ best interest?

  10. Terminalcitygirl

    I think many former Vancouver mayors, councillors, and legislators have been property developers. They are all over the public trough.

  11. Here in Seattle there is Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Costco, Jones Soda, Starbucks and a company that every real estate board in Canada would prefer that you never ever ever know exists. http://www.zillow.com

    All of these companies were founded in Seattle. There are dozens of others that have their US base here like Nintendo, Expedia and Holland America Line,

    How is it Seattle just 3 hours away from Vancouver can produce the people and capital to create and run such great engines of capitalism and in Vancouver its like greedy rats flipping their homes and telling themselves its the best place on Earth.

    My reading of the situation is simply that the level of cognitive dissonance and delusion is just absolutely beyond comprehension.

    • UBCGhettodweller

      This is exactly why I hope to end up in Seattle/LA/San Diego for a post-doc position. Anywhere but sticking around Vancouver.

      Douglas Coupland’s “Everythings Gone Green” and “jPod” are excellent examples of how no one does anything real in Vancouver. People who haven’t lived here think it’s farce when it really is fact.

  12. oh. and I just looked at a beautiful 580 sq foot first floor studio in Capitol Hill about a 10 minute walk to downtown for $179,000 dollars.

    please Vancouver. explain yourself. never mind. the market and its natural forces will deliver the explanation to you in a hurricane like catastrophe soon enough

  13. “Planners tend to cite each other as sources, and if you follow the trail of expertise, there is not much at the end of it”

    No there isn’t. But it does always lead back to here. When you hear the terms “sustainable development”, “sustainable growth” or terms like “smart growth”, these are terms and ideologies drafted by the United Nations who is teaching institutions and regional bodies of government that densification is the way forward.

    This all started in the late 70s. Read: The Vancouver Declaration On Human Settlements

    Here’s a snippet of the report.

    This is the mantra seen again and again by city members and bureaucrats; a shortage of land, global warming, urban densification, etc. Here’s a recent article that states:

    “Suburban life is looking less and less attractive. High gas prices and growing traffic congestion make car commuting a drag. Smaller families have made the quest for the open spaces and sprawling houses of the suburbs less urgent.”

    You’ll notice they always list reasons for building smaller communities, but will never list why gas prices are high or why cities are congested. It’s like Pips said, there’s nothing at the end of it — no facts, no studies, just concepts.

    Everyone needs to be informed on this garbage going on and most importantly, educate others and speak out about it. Our cities will be destroyed if we don’t.

    • Just to show you all how Van’s city council is linked to other organizations.

      Start here: Sustainable Vancouver In the document “Sustainable Vancouver” it states: “The City of Vancouver, in partnership with Clark County and funded by a Washington Department of Trade and Community and Economic Developer Grant ” and “This study, conducted by the Cascadia Region of the United States Green Building Council. ”

      That leads to here: Public Workshop Vancouver: “Attendees are the green building leaders in their community: design professionals, contractors, developers, owners, government officials and employees of public agencies. In short, anyone and everyone who can impact the development of the built environment.”

      Now if you go to their members page and look below on the right, you’ll see an emblem with CGI Commitment Maker. Who’s CGI? Clinton Global Initiative

      I could go on, but I think it’s clear who’s shaping your communities.

    • I never said “there’s nothing at the end of it”, that was someone else.

      I’m not a fan of the second quote as much, because I feel like it’s an overly simple observation of the problem with city planning.
      Densification IS good. You can’t have a city of mansions. Sustainable development IS important. Cities have to be developped in a sustainable way.
      You guys are all complaining about smaller houses going in around Vancouver and too many condos downtown, and that’s fair to a certain extent. But what my dad was fighting like mad was little suburban towns with 10 malls, most of which are deserted. People in town complaining that there’s nowhere to shop, so they take another parcel of land out of the ALR and build a Walmart. Townhouses routinely go up in floodplanes causing serious environmental problems (they are also often put up a 15 to 20 minute drive away from the town center… or one of the town semi-center like areas.) My dad and his coworkers often did detailed reports as to why this kind of development was not sustainable in the least, and the reports often went unnoticed.
      As for planners getting information/perspective from other planners, I do think there’s some validity to it. My dad’s a huge fan of Jane Jacobs, and as much as he’s totally left-wing in his ideas, he’s developped them over many years of working in the field, reading articles and seeing things first hand. He came out of school convinced he knew all the answers, and over a couple decades really mellowed out and was more open minded.
      Maybe I’m reading into everything here really wrong, and maybe I’m rambling a bit, but I think that a lot of people on here are too quick and too absolute with their opinions on what good development policy should be.

      • ” I think that a lot of people on here are too quick and too absolute with their opinions on what good development policy should be”

        I see a city with low density housing that has price-rent ratios multiples of highest and best use. Maybe I’m being obtuse but it simply sounds like land speculation to me, and I agree it’s not an easy problem to solve.

        What gets me about some of the opinions I hear on city planning and real estate in general (mostly on Twitter) is how little listening is done. I’d equate it to a 3-year-old; the only difference is, for the child, you can hold the child’s face and make eye contact and they’ll listen. Adults you can’t even do that.

      • ” People in town complaining that there’s nowhere to shop, so they take another parcel of land out of the ALR and build a Walmart. ”

        That’s the point of it. Suppress small business and build communities around the banks and mega-malls, that way, people are always plugged into the grid and buy personal goods from corporations. That’s what “sustainability” means.

  14. Canadianwatchdog. i agree with your post

    One thing that isn’t in the news anymore is Dubai … remember that mass of confusion, lets build world islands and sell the dream “ocean front property for all” here it is… lets build higher and you get a scenic view for all. this city of ours (yours really, i don’t live in van) is going to be such an ugly spot on the map after the gas is let out of the balloon.

    Will the future be “what were they thinking”.

  15. Sadly with Vision Vancouver at the helm you have the perfect storm: clueless green-worshippers being hoodwinked by developers all in the name of “sustainability”. It’s a self perpetuating, destructive spiral.

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