Three meetings of City Council are scheduled on April 28th and 29th, 2015. There is also a Park Board meeting planned for Monday, April 27th (see our previous report on the Park Board meeting here).
The most controversial item on the Regular Council meeting agenda on April 28th is the report on regulating medical marijuana retail outlets. If the report is accepted, Council will hold a Public Hearing on changes to zoning bylaws in order to permit marijuana shops in commercial districts. An additional 6 dates are recommended to be added for potential Public Hearings in May and June of 2015.
Council will consider requiring new large developments to have a compulsory connection to a neighbourhood energy system in Northeast False Creek and in Chinatown. The main corporate beneficiary of this move is Creative Energy Canada Platforms Corp., a firm that was quietly bought by Ian Gillespie of Westbank Projects as reported in the Vancouver Sun (Jeff Lee, February 24, 2014). Westbank is a financial backer of Vision Vancouver. Creative Energy may have a monopoly on providing centralized district energy in certain parts of the City as a result of proposed changes by Council.
The 2014 Statement of Financial Information is mandated by the province; it will also be reviewed by Council on Tuesday. This document contains a list of City employees earning over $75,000, a consolidated financial statement, and a list of suppliers with contracts that exceeded $25,000 in value. Policy reports for rezoning applications at 4956 Cambie (6-storeys), 5648 Victoria Drive (6-storeys), 3819 Boundary Rd (4-storeys) will be reviewed and likely sent to public hearing. Liquor License amendments to Farmers’ Markets and changes to ground level retail at the Telus Garden CD-1 are also proposed in staff policy reports. A motion on notice related to the proposed relocation of St. Paul’s Hospital is also on the agenda.
A raft of zoning bylaw amendments are proposed for the Public Hearing on Tuesday, April 28th. The Granville Slopes, Dowtown Eastside (DEOD) and Downtown Official development plans will be affected (include more FSR exclusions, less sun, relaxations to side and rear yard setbacks). Heritage Revitalization Agreements for 2546 West 3rd Avenue and 1836 West 12th Avenue are also on the agenda.
The Planning Committee meeting for Wednesday, April 29th includes the approval of a contract to award Telus a 5-year contract to supply public Wi-Fi at 43 locations in the City. Telus is a financial backer of Vision Vancouver. This contract can be extended to up to a 20-year term. The Annual Procurement Report 2014 has details on large contracts and sole source purchases. The distribution of 2015 Property Taxes will also be discussed (54.1 residential vs. 45.9 non-residential).
There will also be a Digital Strategy Update by Jessie Adcock, Chief Digital Officer at the Committee meeting. The report is not yet available online. It may be worth noting that parts of the City’s website are inaccessible to search engines for indexing; a simple fix would allow search engines to link to City staff reports. There are also issues with the City’s reluctance to share internal digital data; here’s an example:
— Chad Skelton (@chadskelton) April 23, 2015
For reference, we’ve reproduced the agendas for the upcoming meetings below: Continue reading