06/21/2013 02:15 EDT | Updated 08/20/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver residents reject thin streets plan

Some homeowners in Vancouver's Marpole area are opposed to the city's plan to pilot the so-called 'thin streets' programme in their neighbourhood.

Planners want to run a pilot project on Ash Street between 59th Avenue and 64th Avenue that would see city-owned cross streets cut in half so that affordable housing could be built on the land.

The programme is part of Mayor Gregor Robertson's plans to create up to 20,000 new affordable housing lots. The plan calls for pilot projects in three neighborhoods.

The pilot project is scheduled to run on Ash Street in Marpole first, but homeowner Wayne Soon is against the idea.

"I think if you rezone it, the livability of the neighborhood will decrease," he said.

Others say thin streets mean less parking, more people and disappearing views.

"What's going to happen is instead of staring at a beautiful wide street that is tree-lined all the way across, we are going to be staring at someone's brick wall," said Nizar Assanie, who owns a corner lot.

The city is holding open houses for Marpole residents starting this Saturday, and according to city planner Matt Shillito they will be seeking community feedback.

"This isn't a done deal. This is an idea that we are piloting as part of the community plan for Marpole as it emerges. We want to get people's feedback."

Assanie said his neighbourhood is mobilizing to let the city planners know how they feel.