Amid talk of a major redesign of the City of Vancouver website (see further below), we post here a snapshot of the busy Rezoning Centre web page (http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/) today, August 1, 2012. Here on the left, you see about a third of the actual page. Download in PDF: Rezoning Centre, Rezoning Applications, snapshot, 1-Aug-2012. As of August 1, 2012, you will find 35 rezonings proposed, 30 approved, and 9 enacted. Millions to billions of dollars are at play. Watch as you move around the city and you will see the many big yellow rezoning signs on display.
ACTION: Write email@example.com to urge them to promise that City Hall will remain accountable for past decisions by ensuring all records currently available online will continue to be easily accessible on the web, particularly past and present rezoning/development applications, meeting documents, staff presentations, applicant presentations, all video archives, etc.
This Rezoning Centre page is just one of many that track and archive the important information upon which our City Hall makes its decisions on behalf of the public. Much of this information is of material significance and part of the public record. Further below, as examples, we provide a photo gallery of screenshots of two major rezonings now in the pipeline — one at 1401 Comox (Westbank Projects Corp., Peterson Investment Group, Henriquez Partners Architects Rezoning Application, 1401 Comox Street 1-Aug-2012) approved on June 27, and another one at 320 Granville Street (applicant is Via Architecture, and they say owner is Carrera Management Corporation, though there is speculation that they are fronting for Vancouver Whitecaps owner Greg Kerfoot, Rezoning Application, 320 Granville Street 1-Aug-2012, still proposed). From this you will see the extensive information upon which decisions are made. For accountability and transparency, this information should remain easily accessible to the public for many years to come.
Now we turn to the topic of the City of Vancouver’s website redesign project. This just came to our attention from a post dated July 31, 2012, on renowned journalist and blogger Frances Bula’s “State of Vancouver” blog today.
Excerpt: I’m hearing from multiple people that the city is about to launch a revised website that removes thousands of pages that are now available. There is also some chatter of giving new or slightly different names to various neighbourhoods….For all who care, you should go on the site now and get screenshots of the pages you tend to visit the most, so that you can contrast and compare with what’s available after….I know that I, personally, count on being able to access a couple of things. One is the planning/development section where I can get details of all rezonings and major projects, including complete access to every document submitted by the applicant. The other is the finance department and its financial documents. But I hear that a lot of information now available about neighbourhoods may also be disappearing.
Ms. Bula followed this up later with an update, quoting Laurie Best, Director, City Of Vancouver, Web Redevelopment Project. Ms. Best says that the revision is to make it easier for people to find information they seek, and says that a “snapshot” of the entire current website will continue to be available. But she doesn’t provide details.
Stay tuned for updates.