Did you notice them last night? The green lights in the tower windows of protesting residents seemed to shine more brightly under the rising moon, perhaps in anticipation of today. Below is a compilation of information in anticipation of that decision.
[Update at 1 pm: It looks like Concord Pacific won this round. See “Court sides with developer in battle over future False Creek park” by Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun, 4-Mar-2015). Excerpt: The B.C. Supreme Court says the City of Vancouver did nothing wrong in allowing Concord Pacific to continue using a future park on False Creek for commercial purposes. In a ruling issued Wednesday, Justice Robert Sewell dismissed an application by the False Creek Residents Association to overturn the extension of temporary development permit the city gave to Concord Pacific while it completes adjacent developments. He also ruled against the FCRA’s application for a declaration that any use of the area, known as Sub-area 9, must conform to its zoning, which restricts uses to park and ancillary uses…]
The outcome of one of the numerous citizen-initiated court challenges against our municipal government is expected today, March 4, 2015. Justice Robert Sewell of the B.C. Supreme Court is expected to hand down his decision on the battle between the False Creek Residents’ Association (FCRA) and the City of Vancouver, with developer Concord Pacific also muscling into the process and even demanding costs be reimbursed if it wins.
This particular legal action is one important skirmish in a bigger battle by FCRA to get a park that was promised 25 years ago for this community. The action was launched on May 22, 2014, when FCRA applied for a “judicial review,” asking the court to rule on whether the City of Vancouver could continue to allow Concord Pacific to operate its commercial ventures on land zoned for exclusive park use. Representing FCRA is lawyer Bob Kasting.
After ten years of frustration and no results despite dealing in good faith with three consecutive mayors, three councils, and three directors of planning, FCRA felt compelled to take the plunge in 2014 and start this legal action. FCRA challenged the City’s decisions to continue to allow both the “temporary” development permits for Concord Pacific’s sales centre, and the on-going commercial activity on Lot 9 (the lot is actually designated as a park in the Official Development Plan for the area and in the BC Place/Expo District Zoning bylaw).
Perhaps core themes here are (1) developer-funded politicians giving favourable treatment to their funders (developers), giving them huge increases in urban density, while failing to provide commensurate improvements in parks and amenities for society, and (2) the government-enabled privatization of public space.
The “Green Light District” campaign was launched by the FCRA in mid-February 2014. Still ongoing, the campaign’s goal is to raise awareness of the fact that a 9-acre park that was promised to the residents over 25 years ago has still yet to be delivered. Residents are literally turning on ‘the green lights’ to send a message that they finally want to see a go ahead for their park.
Below are photos, a basic summary, and links to useful information and media coverage. Continue reading