Should a sign on the street be considered to be “public consultation”? The referral report for 1695 Main Street to be considered at the Council meeting on September 18th states that the sign and a letter of notification to property owners is all of the public consultation that took place. No public Open House was held and there was no attempt to contact community groups to seek input. This CD-1 rezoning is actually a ‘re-rezoning’ of a previous CD-1 designation given to the site. The applicant seeks to increase the FSR of 3.5 (the intended maximum under the SEFC ODP) to 4.08 and to add an additional two storeys and increase the height of the building from 13 storeys to 15 storeys. The Southeast False Creek Official Development Plan (SEFC ODP) also shows optimal building heights of 12, 6 and 8 storeys for the site. People should look more closely at this case and ask, “Who is looking after the public interest?”
The developer of the site, Onni Group provided Vision Vancouver a $1900 campaign contribution in 2011 (via Onni Property MGT Services Ltd).
Buried near the back of the referral report, Appendix E Page 1 (CD-1 Text Amendment – 1695 Main Street) states the following:
Public Input: A notification letter was sent to property owners within the notification area on March 15, 2012 and a rezoning information sign was posted on the site on or near March 14, 2012. No comments were received.
Is the city almost giving away density? Has there been adequate consultation? Additional photos and a screenshot of the SEFC ODP are below:
On the topic of consultation and notification, CityHallWatch has just this week learned from senior planning staff that “City Council has asked us to review and update our processes and the work to do that is currently underway.” CityHallWatch is now working to learn more about this review process and will encourage public involvement. Stay tuned.