Petition against tower on Emery Barnes Park, 508 Helmcken Open House Wednesday, Nov 25th

508 Helmcken elevationThe Community Association of New Yaletown (CANY) is asking Vancouver citizens to Tell the City you are still opposed to a tower on Emery Barnes Park.  They have posted a petition (on Also, people can give the City input on the proposed tower beside Emery Barnes Park at an Open House today or via email. (A development permit review is expected in February 2016.)

CANY has fought this project in B.C. Supreme Court, and has garnered thousands of supporters opposed to the 35 storey tower Brenhill Developments proposes to build on what had been promised to become publicly-owned park land downtown in the City of Vancouver. The outcomes so far could further public trust in the local government and even the legal system.

An Open House has been organized by the Planning Department to show the updated plans for a 320 foot (97m) tower at 508 Helmcken:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 4pm – 7:30pm 609 Helmcken Street (The Gathering Place)

Additional public input can be provided until December 18, 2015. Drawings and further details of the proposed tower are available on the City’s webpage. The property address has been changed to 1111 Richards Street.

The updated proposal has a density of 16.68 FSR, 35 floors, and 236 parking stalls. Market rental units would be contained on levels 2 to 10, while market condos are proposed for floors 11 to 35. A private school and retail uses are planned for the ground floor.

CANY writes that anyone can send an email to the City Continue reading

Langara Gardens Open Houses: Nov 26 (Thurs) & Dec 1 (Tues)

langara gardens cov study area
The City of Vancouver is organizing two Open Houses to reveal their plans for the future of Langara Gardens. The City’s invitation card mentions “tenant relocation”, “density”, “building types and heights”; this appears to clearly suggest that the redevelopment of all or parts of the site is being considered. The Open House events will be held at the following times:

Thursday, November 26, 2015: 6pm – 8pm (General Public), 621 W 57th Ave (Langara Gardens Social Lounge)
Thursday, November 26, 2015: 4pm – 6pm (Langara Residents Only), 621 W 57th Ave
Tuesday, December 1, 2015: 5pm – 8pm (General Public), 6706 Alberta (Langara Golf Course Clubhouse)

Langara gardensParticipants will be allowed to fill out feedback forms and to get more information about the City’s and developer’s plans for the site. There is no further information about the land use direction for the Policy Statement on the City’s website as of this writing, apart from the ambiguous panels shown at a previous April 2015 Open House. Updates on the planning process will be posted on the following link:

Vancouver has lost a significant number of affordable rental housing units to redevelopment. One such example is the rezoning of nearby Marine Gardens, also located on Cambie Street (noise impacts from construction have also been substantial). Further details on Marine Gardens can be found in the posts “Paradise (to be) Lost: Marine Gardens Townhouse Community” (Aug 7, 2015) and Marine Gardens: park to be rezoned as tower. The redevelopment of Heather Place and of 7350 Fraser Street also resulted in the net loss of affordable rental units. Will the plans for Langara Gardens also include the redevelopment of affordable housing units to make way for additional towers in the area? Stay tuned.
Langara Gardens Langara Gardens

Public Hearing Tuesday, November 24: 12-storey highrise 1837 Main & 2nd, 8029 Fraser, 6729 Cambie, eastside Expo line parking reductions and more

1837-1847 Main Street rezoningThe Public Hearing set for November 24, 2015 includes three rezonings, three heritage designations and parking requirement changes.

The first item up at the 6pm Public Hearing reduces parking requirements to 0.65 spaces per unit on 8 different CD-1 zones. These CD-1s are in the vicinity of the 29th Avenue and Nanaimo Skytrain Stations. The current requirements are in the range of 1 to 1.5 parking spaces per unit.

The Heritage Designations items (2-3) include the additions of three properties to the ‘Class C’ classification of the Heritage Register. These properties are at 3760 Quebec, 3780 Quebec, and 1846 West 14th Avenue (a HRA).

The fifth item, 1837-1847 Main Street, is a major 12-storey rezoning between East 2nd and 3rd Avenues. The original Mount Pleasant Community Plan allowed for new buildings of up to 6 storeys on Main Street between 2nd and 7th Avenue. Planners subsequently decided to increase the height to 12-storeys and allowed for spot zoning instead of an area wide rezoning (the lot is currently zoned as light industrial). The project has a FSR of 5.5, 226 market units and 30 non-market units (as CAC). A total of 297 parking units are proposed in the Aquilini-backed project.

The rezoning of 8029-8031 Fraser Street proposes a total of 37 market rental units, in a 52′ (16m) tall building with a FSR of 2.65. One of the key concerns raised in a letter of opposition is the lack of affordable housing units. The proposed rents are very high for South Vancouver (rents for 593 sq. ft one bedroom units are proposed at $1319 a month).

The proposal at 6729-6769 Cambie Street calls for the development a 6-storey apartment building and townhouses to contain a total of 56 units and have a FSR of 2.49. The site is across from the Langara Golf Course, south of 50th Avenue.

For reference, we’ve reproduced the agenda for the public hearing below: Continue reading

Alternative Open House (Renfrew-Collingwood Nov 26 & 28)

Reblogged with kind permission from Eye on Norquay:

Eye on Norquay has been hearing recently from a new East Vancouver group called Renfrew-Collingwood Residents. Their activism relates to an area directly adjacent to and east of Norquay. Most of the Norquay Plan area also falls within Renfrew-Collingwood.

Here’s the latest about an alternative open house coming up later this week:
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Hello! Thank you for supporting and sharing our petition. We have gained a small victory — the City has extended the comment period to November 29 and will be meeting with local businesses. An extended comment period is not enough. We need commitment from the City that the existing local community will not be displaced and that our voice will be part of the planning process. We need to continue this momentum. You are invited to our alternative open house and info night [choice of two dates and times] to learn more about the City’s proposal and contribute to our own vision for the area! Thursday November 26 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm Saturday November 28 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm Collingwood Neighbourhood House at 5288 Joyce Street Feel free to contact us by emailing rencollspeaks[at] with any questions.

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The group has earlier circulated notice of this online petition:

The content of the petition is reproduced below for ease of reference and for permanent record:
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We, the undersigned, are against the Joyce-Collingwood Station Precinct Review. We urge the City of Vancouver to pause the precinct review process until comprehensive multilingual consultation with the community has taken place and clear policies are put in place to protect the future of Renfrew-Collingwood, including the vulnerable residents and retailers that we all depend on. We are very concerned about the impacts the developments will bring with such drastic height proposals and we urge the City to conduct a social impact assessment before moving forward. We have the right to remain and the right to decide how our communities will be developed.

This kind of redevelopment is happening across the City of Vancouver with very little efforts being made by governments to consider the needs of local communities. Renfrew-Collingwood is a vibrant neighbourhood made up of many working class immigrant families that we fear will be displaced or negatively impacted. Join us in advocating for accessible consultation processes, policy protections for local residents and retailers, and the building of infrastructure decided by and for the existing community. Continue reading

The Boffo Tower: Shame and Embarrassment

Originally posted on Jak's View of Vancouver v.3:

I have in front of me as I type a new flyer put out by the consortium of Boffo Properties and the Kettle in their attempt to sell the neighbours on their proposal  for massive change on Commercial Drive between Venables and Adanac.

The first thought that comes to mind is that this postcard (for it is nothing more) is the developers’ latest attempt to avoid genuine face-to-face community involvement.  I guess when you have all that cash to throw around, the thought of actually meeting with real people seems somehow less attractive than letting your PR company and Canada Post take care of it.

The second thought is: where’s the tower?  The main item in the Kettleboffo proposal is a massive high-rise tower of at least 12 storeys and perhaps more.  But you wouldn’t ever know that from reading the postcard where the tower is never mentioned or alluded…

View original 337 more words

Little Mountain rezoning Open Houses Nov 28 & Dec 3

Little Mountain rezoning plan Nov 2015

The City of Vancouver has announced two Open Houses to present a new rezoning proposal for the 15.3 acre (6.81 ha) site. The site is being developed by Holborn, the firm behind the new Trump Tower. The IBI Group has taken over the role of the lead architect for the project. The Open Houses are scheduled for the following times:

  • Saturday, November 28, 2015, 11am – 3pm (4860 Main St / General Brock Elementary)
  • Thursday, December 3, 2015, 5 – 8pm (4925 Cambie / Holy Name of Jesus Parish)

Approximately 600 residents were displaced in 2009 when 220 affordable housing units were demolished on the Little Mountain Housing site. Only 53 of these units have been replaced in a new 5-storey building that opened in the fall of 2014. Other than this one new building, the site is empty.

A total of 181 units of social housing are still required to be replaced in the site redevelopment plan. The rezoning proposal presents buildings in the 3 to 12 storey range. Another 1,400 units of residential housing are planned for the site. Amenities on the site include a 69-space childcare facility and a relocated Little Mountain Neighbourhood House. A number of mature trees would be removed under the proposed layout and new north-south street would be added to the site (with extensions of E35th and E36th Avenues). Additional plans and details are available on the City’s website.

Trump Meggs HolbornAccording to Vision Vancouver’s 2014 disclosure form, Holborn gave the party a total of $105,000 in campaign contributions. Vision Vancouver holds 7 out of 11 seats on City Council. On the Provincial level, Holborn gave Christy Clark $5,000 towards her leadership race in 2011. The BC NDP received $12,200 total from Holborn since 2010 while the BC Liberals took the lion’s share of the contributions, with $118,500 going to the party’s coffers.

The sale of the lands to Holborn by BC Housing took place back on June 25, 2015 (the property had a book value $87 million). The site rezoning languished last year as the City and the developer were at an impasse over the delivery of amenities. Their differences appear now to have been resolved and the proposal is no longer on hold.

An excellent summary of the history of the site redevelopment project can be found the following post: Little Mountain Synopsis by Ned Jacobs (Jan 27, 2012) Continue reading

Province appoints Special Prosecutor for deleted emails investigation

BC LegislatureJennifer Moreau of  Burnaby Now has posted online a press release on this topic today:

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. The City of Vancouver is undergoing a probe by B.C.’s information and privacy commissioner, and it has come out that Vancouver has similar practices of deleting e-mails, circumventing FOI inquiries.

Ms. Moreau writes:

The province is appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham’s recent report to government. Great news, considering the awful state of our access to information laws in B.C.

When reporters file freedom of information (FOI) requests, they’re often delayed getting back to us, most of the content is greyed out, and sometimes we’re just told there are no records. There are a couple years worth of backlogged complaints. Let’s hope this investigation improves things.


November 19, 2015 15-23

Appointment of Special Prosecutor

Victoria – The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced today that Greg DelBigio, QC has been appointed as a Special Prosecutor to provide legal advice to the R.C.M.P. in relation to an investigation arising out of Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham’s recent report to government.

As disclosed in the report, the Information and Privacy Commissioner referred information to the R.C.M.P. for investigative consideration. This information related to a request for access to records that was made of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the alleged conduct of an individual who was employed as a Ministerial Assistant at the time of the request. Continue reading