Living in West Kits? An Introduction to the West Kitsilano Residents’ Association

Living in West Kits? An Introduction to the West Kitsilano Residents’ Association
RDD Admin

One of the main benefits of living in the West Kitsilano area is the people and groups who are dedicated to maintaining the cultural significance of this unique neighbourhood. So much attention and care is given to make every resident feel connected to something special. With this in mind, the West Kitsilano Residents' Association was formed to give its participants a voice in keeping their neighbourhood engaged with important issues. Their volunteer base reaches out with information and activism to encourage as much input as possible so every Kits resident feels that are contributing to the overall feel of this special neighbourhood. They are a volunteer-run, non-partisan, non-profit advocacy organization whose sole purpose is to serve the needs of its members.

The Main Goals for West Kitsilano

In a general sense, the goal of  the West Kitsilano Residents' Association is to retain the unique character and personality of the area. They do this by encouraging city resources to be spent on the growth and development of green space, including street trees and parkettes, and encouraging affordable housing in the form of rental suites in existing buildings. Rather than simply allowing the growing density to take over, they seek to integrate housing and its residents by using current zoning requirements. Special attention is also given to small businesses along transportation routes to keep foot traffic flowing and shops thriving. The effect of these goals is to enhance both the long-term liveability in the area and also the benefits to property value to real estate owners.

Creating an Eco-Friendly Neighbourhood

Care for environmental issues and sustainability are key concerns for the association. As a greater population enters the zone, there are threats to the natural beauty that has made the area so popular. This is why a balance is needed to ensure that all residents feel an ownership over not only their property, but also the property of others and the pristine public streets. The association is made up of activists, and they seek to improve the relationship that businesses have with their environment as well.

The Future Plans for West Kitsilano

One of the major issues facing West Kitsilano is the development of a proposed rapid transit system along the central Broadway corridor. Such a project could have a significant impact on the local character of the community and the unique commercial districts that line Broadway and the surrounding streets. Activism is currently underway to preserve this character by ensuring that heritage buildings remain as untouched as possible. For example, the landmark Hollywood movie theatre was almost lost to development over the past 10 years. Through the hard work of their volunteer base, the association managed to sway City Hall by rallying their supporters to save the old theatre.

If you're planning on living in the West Kitsilano area, you should be aware that there are strong community organizations that are actively working to retain the feel and look of the Kits area. By joining them as a volunteer or simply as an interested party, you can show your support for the interesting and engaging work that is being done.