Development applications snapshot 1-Apr-2020

1503Kingsway

For an explanation of our monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/

ALERT from City: “Due to the COVID-19 situation, site signs have not been requested to be placed on site. In the interest of keeping everyone which might be affected by the development informed, please also forward this notification notice to the tenants/occupants of the site.”

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a separate monthly snapshot on the first day of the month of the Rezoning Applications and Development Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website. The rezoning list contains valuable information on each application, and indicates scheduled “open houses” and Public Hearings. The development list shows applications currently in progress as well as upcoming Development Permit Board meetings. Please spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested.

A tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two handy online maps (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications):  https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/

Download the full list of development applications we created in PDF format, here:
CoV development applications snapshot 1-Apr-2020

For the most up-to-date official list of applications, click the City’s website: vancouver.ca/devapps/.

SPECIAL NOTE AS OF 1-Apr-2020. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many city functions and processes have been disrupted. Council has decided to postpone the referral to Public Hearing for some rezoning applications. The City is considering other ways of holding these meetingsStay tuned! (Related article: Development limbo? Vancouver delays referral to public hearings of rezonings due to health concerns, Carlito Pablo, The Straight, 1-Apr-2020)

Below is the list as of 1-Apr-2020, from the City website. Continue reading

Rezoning applications snapshot 1-Apr-2020

Above: Example of a Rezoning Application notice board

For an explanation of the CityHallWatch monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Rezoning Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website on the first day of every month. The list contains valuable information on each application, and indicates scheduled “open houses” and Public Hearings. Please spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested. Our archive goes back years and is not available anywhere else.

A tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two handy online maps regularly updated (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications): https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/

Download the full list of rezoning applications as of the first of this month, which we created in PDF format:
CoV rezoning applications snapshot 1-Apr-2020

For the most up-to-date and official list of applications on the City website, please click: vancouver.ca/rezapps/.

SPECIAL NOTE AS OF 1-Apr-2020. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many city functions and processes have been disrupted. Council has decided to postpone the referral to Public Hearing for some rezoning applications. The City is considering other ways of holding these meetings. Stay tuned! (Related article: Development limbo? Vancouver delays referral to public hearings of rezonings due to health concerns, Carlito Pablo, The Straight, 1-Apr-2020)

Below is the City’s list as of 1-Apr-2020. Continue reading

March 31, 2020 Special Council Meeting: City should NOT proceed with Public Hearings during COVID-19 emergency

This COVID-19 crisis is a difficult time for everyone. The City of Vancouver and Province of B.C. are on emergency status.

CityHallWatch takes the position that no Public Hearings on major developments should be scheduled at this time. That means there should be no “referrals” to Public Hearings. The “referral” is when Council reviews staff documents for a development and officially sets the wheels in motion to move to a Public Hearing very quickly.

But referrals to Public Hearings are exactly what the City’s planning staff are recommending on March 31.

We urge concerned groups and residents to write Mayor and Councillor today urging them NOT to accept the city staff recommendations for “referrals” to Public Hearings while the COVID-19 emergency continues. Links on how to reach Major and Council are here.

Civic reporter Francis Bula tweeted this: “Paul Mochrie, deputy city manager for Vancouver, said they’re looking at moving to virtual public hearings and doing everything they can to keep building approvals going.”

 

While businesses are shut and residents are encouraged to stay home, this is not the time for the municipal government to exploit the emergency situation to dramatically shift how democratic processes work at City Hall. Pushing the Public Hearing forward now would not be acting in good faith. And the planning department pushing for these to go forward would be exhibiting egregious behavior.

The Special Council agenda for Tuesday, March 31, 2020 is copied below. It includes some controversial rezonings, including one for a 28 storey tower at the former Denny’s site on the corner of Birch and Broadway. (Fresh article: Affordable housing does not mean affordable for everyone: City of Vancouver report, by Carlito Pablo, The Straight, on 30-Mar-2020)

Below is an illustration of how quickly City staff intend this to go ahead to Public Hearing, subject to approval of the “referral” recommendation by Mayor and Council.

CoV 31-Mar-2020 referrals lead to Public Hearings

Electronic council meetings may be a useful step for physical distancing, to enable decisions on the most urgent business while the City is under emergency orders. But this situation should not be exploited by the City to set precedents that could continue into more normal times.

For reference, the meeting agenda is reproduced below: Continue reading

City shuts down Tim Hortons in Downtown Eastside over Covid-19 bylaw violations

The Tim Hortons at Abbott and West Pender Street has been ordered shut for three days by the City of Vancouver. This is the only reported case of the City using its powers to shut down a business under the emergency powers that were enacted on March 19th. The order to suspend the business license claims that social distancing requirements on the premises were not kept, and that more than 10 customers were in the premises at one time. This business must stay shut until March 30th. The City of Vancouver website claims that nearly 7,000 establishments were checked for emergency bylaw compliance. Here’s the order to close this business:

The order to restrict the number of customers to 10 persons and to prohibit customers from eating in the establishment is reproduced below: Continue reading

Special City Council Meeting March 23rd: Enhanced Enforcement of bylaw on COVID-19, maximum $50,000 fine

[Update: Vancouver City Council unanimously passed the enhanced enforcement bylaw with an amendment to include monthly reports related to fines and enforcements issued under this bylaw]

The agenda for a Vancouver City Council Special Meeting was posted after 10 pm on Sunday, March 22nd. Mayor Stewart made the announcement about the meeting after 4 pm on Sunday. This special meeting will begin at 10 am on Monday, March 23rd. Speakers to the motion have until 9 am to sign up. Council will also go in-camera to discuss ‘labour relations or other employee relations.’ There are no other actions planned for this meeting.

The proposed enhanced enforcement bylaw will allow fines up to $50,000 to be levied. It will also also add a new ticket offence section for fines up to $1,000 for the failure to obey a police officer, chief license inspector or fire chief. The proposed changes come in response to concerns that social distancing guidelines for individuals and other provisions for businesses to control the COVID-19 pandemic were not being followed.

For reference, we’ve reproduced the agenda for the Special Council Meeting further below. Just for the record, here are some additional thoughts and questions.

Unanimous approval (at ~11:10am)

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, what is the City doing to house, feed and clothe the homeless? The emergency declaration gives the City the power to act. What is the City doing to help renters who are potentially facing eviction from failing to make their rents on April 1st (after losing their jobs as a result of the crisis)? What is the City doing to help small businesses that have been forced to shut down?

It is also worth noting that it’s not only the Mayor who can call meetings. If six of the Councillors agree, they can call a meeting and set the agenda.

Bylaw was passed with amendment

With the “Enhanced Enforcement” of this bylaw, City Council  is authorizing three bureaucrats to act in this emergency (see text). What measures are in place for accountability, oversight, transparency, review, and reporting?

Continue reading

Closed until further notice. Small businesses suspend operations all over Vancouver. Who is paying the price and what can the City do?

 

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Many small businesses have shut their doors in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. Vancouver shopping districts are a virtual ghost town.

There are very obvious huge human costs to this. Employees who are laid off may have difficulty paying rents. Finding alternate work will be almost impossible in this labour climate, as long as the crisis lasts. The supply chains that depend on the small businesses are interrupted, which in turn will affect the livelihood of more people. The velocity of money crawls to a halt, and the economy nosedives. Will many small businesses even be able to weather the storm by closing operations for an extended period of time?

What can the City of Vancouver do to assist? More importantly, what will the City do that can have a tangible effect on the lives that are directly affected by this unprecedented crisis?

Continue reading