CityHallWatch is making an urgent appeal to all citizens to head out to City Hall to support the Arbutus Ridge community, which is threatened by a problematic development, and to scrutinize the workings of the Development Permit Board (City employees)(CityHallWatch review of DPB governance), which will determine the fate of a development application by Cressey Development, at 2118 West 15th. One of the top conclusions of the CityHallWatch Future of Vancouver forum on October 20 was that neighbourhoods need to support each other the face of a failure of City Hall and developers to respect communities. [Update: the DPB board approved the development with conditions that include a lower height of 4 storeys, details to follow]
Development Permit Board (and Advisory Panel) Meeting
Monday, October 22 at 3 pm
City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue
1st Floor, Town Hall Meeting Room
We’ve compiled a few video clips from the Oct 9, 2012 DPB meeting. In the following video Mel Lehan hands over a petition to save the bowling alley signed by 10,000 people and he explains his opposition to the proposed development:
Speeches by Geraldine Schwartz and Desmond Berghofer are below:
The community has spoken out passionately and articulately against the development, calling on City Hall to protect the community interests in a bowling alley and theatre. They say that there has been a failure to respect the the community needs and wishes. Media have covered the story.
- “Vancouver city hall is breaking its social contract with citizens” Vancouver Sun Opinion Editorial (October 19, 2012)
- “It’s a matter of bucks versus bowling in condo, lanes showdown“ Vancouver Sun (October 20, 2012)
- Local resident, professional psychologies wrote Mayor and Council, “A Call for Human Compassion re the Arbutus Ridge Development“
- CityHallWatch report of October 9 DPB meeting: http://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/decision-arbutus-ridge-deferred-to-oct-22/ Detailed analysis, with excerpt: “The closing comments from the three voting members of the DP Board seemed to indicate that there may be grounds for refusing granting approval for the development.”
- CityHallWatch believes that the public needs to ramp up its scrutiny of all politically-appointed (or politically-influenced) City committees, panels, boards and advisory bodies, and organizations receiving City funds. This is a huge, interlocking system of interests — and in many cases the public interest is cut out of the deal. The Development Permit Board is one link in the chain and it wields considerable power. We have started to shine a spotlight on that body. Read more about the inner workings and pressures affecting members of the Development Permit Board. http://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/development-permit-board-dpb/
- The density requested by the proponent is 2.56 FSR, the maximum allowed under C-2 zoning is 2.5 FSR. It might be out of the DP Board’s jurisdiction to approve this application as it exceeds the maximum permitted density. They are also calculating the density over a site that doesn’t exist as the proposal includes a piece of city-owned land that would have to be sold, pending Council approval (p.6 “For this report, the site area and associated FSR include the future purchased portion of Arbutus Street.”, p.19 “a 7’ by 220’ portion of Arbutus Street lying directly adjacent the site”)
Official City description of meeting.
2118 West 15th Avenue:
To develop this site with a five-story, mixed-use building containing commercial units on the ground floor with 52 residential units above, all over three levels of underground parking with vehicle access from the lane.