What will Vancouver look like in the future? Many players and interests influence City Council’s decisions. CityHallWatch aims to balance the game by giving citizens the confidence and tools to engage City Hall effectively. Read more here.
This brief report is for future reference. It covers the City’s Open House on Vancouver’s Regional Context Statement – Official Development Plan, held 4 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, May 16. The RCS-ODP supposedly has a time window of about thirty years, which would bring Vancouver to 2043. That’s a long time. For posterity, we are recording events as they unfold. In the future, maybe some dots will connect and more will become clear. Professionals and students of urban planning around the world may some day be shocked to see the state of public engagement and consultation in Vancouver in the twenty-first century.
Panels from the Open House are now online on the City website (about 4MB in PDF, posted the day after the open house). The panels do not add much new information beyond the staff report that went to Council April 23 (see PDF of staff report including cover and actual RCS-ODP). Public comments will be accepted online until May 23. The Public Hearing is set for June 11, 2013. In previous posts, we have expressed concerns about the process and content of the RCS-ODP, soon to become enshrined as legislation governing urban development in Vancouver for decades to come.
Here is a photo showing dots where participants live. All 22 of them, from a city of just over 600,000 people. Very few people knew about this event.
By closing time at 8 pm, only 24 people had registered on the sign-in sheets. Continue reading
Nothing to see here folks…move along….move along…
[One of the functions of CityHallWatch is to put information together for later reference. The flow of information here is just one little snapshot of things going on. Is this typical in Vancouver, the Metro Vancouver region, and our province as a whole? Read on...]
DOT ONE: “The MLA, The Mayor And A Sweetheart Deal” (Mark Hasiuk, Contributing Columnist for The Province, in Huffington Post, 13-May-2013)
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/mark-hasiuk/bc-liberal-housing-vancouver_b_3267632.html Continue reading
(15-May-2013 — Please see our recent story about the Regional Context Statement – Official Development Plan for which Open House is May 16, Public Hearing June 11, plus background information.) (Update 17-May: See our separate report of this date. Unsurprisingly, public turnout at the Open House was sparse. Still today, media coverage is zero.)
Today’s post is just for the record at this point in time. CityHallWatch continues tracking mainstream media attention for Vancouver’s Regional Context Statement – Official Development Plan. In the future, this will all take on more significance. We have documented that until just hours ago, not even the City of Vancouver’s official web page dedicated to the RCS mentioned the Open House, though today it is there, apparently “back-dated.” Until today, mainstream media attention to the RCS was at absolute zero. A Google search for “regional context statement” and “Vancouver” turns up posts by MetroVanWatch and CityHallWatch prominently, but limited coverage otherwise. The City of Vancouver is quietly moving to adopt a 30-year Official Development Plan. Is the failure to cover this a media blindspot or a media blackout? Is this phenomenon intentional or due to incompetence? Is it conspiracy or confusion?
Over the past few years, we have observed and documented some oddities in information disclosure and public consultation relating to the Metro Vancouver’s 30-year Regional Growth Strategy. Johnny Carline, the former head of Metro Vancouver used false claims of legislative restrictions and bluffing to block public contact to board members. A supposed computer glitch in the City of Surrey appears to have cheated citizens from having adequate notice before the RGS went to City Council in 2011. What else has gone on unnoticed?
Below is a summary of newspaper and web-based coverage to today, for the key words “regional context statement” and “Vancouver.”
The Committee on City Finances and Services on Thursday, May 16, will decide on a staff proposal on Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan Implementation – Public Benefits Strategy and Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy (download PDF). CityHallWatch sees this as an important document for not only that neighbourhood, but for all of Vancouver. What happens in Norquay is a sign of what the forces working at City Hall have in store for many other neighbourhoods. Below we summarize points from the staff report, and then share an independent response kindly provided by Jeanette Jones of Eye on Norquay. Continue reading
(Vancouver , May 13, 2013) With a letter to leaders of the four main parties in the May 14 provincial election, CityHallWatch today launched a petition for municipal election campaign finance reform, entitled “Get Big Money Out of Civic Politics!” CityHallWatch calls upon all civic electoral organizations to take up these reforms voluntarily, and invites individuals, as well as electoral and non-electoral civic groups, to endorse the petition.
If you happened to see our CityHallWatch advertisement about the “Official Development Plan” today in the Vancouver Courier, here is what it’s all about — a process moving quickly and quietly forward to guide our city’s development for the next thirty years. We would like people to be aware that there is the official story, and then there’s the back story. The implications of the back story are vast.
On May 16 the City of Vancouver will hold one single open house, and on June 11 a Public Hearing on this topic.
Official city information on this topic is here:
Official information on the overarching “Regional Growth Strategy” is here:
Everything might seem fine to people who look at the surface. But look deeper and you will see serious problems. The public process could be described as a sham, and the implications are much wider and deeper than most people could imagine. Continue reading
The City of Vancouver has scheduled two information sessions for the purpose of receiving comments on proposed improvements to the Adanac Bikeway. The following sessions will be held in a drop-in format:
- Saturday May 11, 11am – 1pm
612 Main Street (UBC Learning Exchange)
- Wednesday May 15, 4 – 6pm
100-221 East Georgia Street (221A Gallery)
Further information on the proposed changes are available on the city’s website here and an online questionnaire can be filled out until May 21st. Continue reading