Council and Park Board Preview May 2-4th: Point Grey Road, Sunshine list, Floating signs, Love locks sculpture and more

City Hall

Vancouver City Council has meetings scheduled for May 3rd and 4th, while the Park Board is set to meet on Monday, May 2nd.

The topic of the ‘love locks’ is returning to Park Board in the form of a report on a final recommendation for a sculpture in QE Park. A report on South False Creek Seawall Park Upgrades and Tree Replacement will be considered by Park Board, and a contract for the replacement of synthetic turf fields in Oak Meadows and Kerrisdale Parks will be reviewed. A motion on notice for a water conservation measure to reactivate an unused reservoir at VanDusen botanical gardens will be put forward.

The Regular Council meeting on Tuesday, May 3rd includes a bylaw amendment to enable the regulation of floating signs. Additional dates for public hearings may be added to the Council schedule (May 24, June 21 and July 19); this likely indicates that a couple of contentious items will be up for review over the next few months. The City’s Statement of Financial Information for 2015 will be reviewed; this document includes the ‘sunshine list’ that shows the salaries of city employees who earned over $75,000 last year. A total of $473,342,037 of the City’s budget was allocated to salaries last year and $679,585,490 was spent on suppliers. The City also has $943 million in long-term debt and over $1.3 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

The Committee meeting on Wednesday, May 4th includes the Phase 2 of the Point Grey Road Seaside Completion project. As well, a South False Creek ‘Seaside Greenway’ design from the Burrard Bridge to the Cambie Bridge will be reviewed. Council will also examine primary liquor licences at 1161 West Georgia Street (3rd Floor Bar/nightclub) and at 2390 West 10th Avenue (Meraloma Club).

For reference, the full meeting agendas are reproduced below: Continue reading

569 Great Northern Way – DPB decision today (May 2) 3 pm

565 Great Northern Way

A long 100′ office tower will block views of the mountains from Mount Pleasant

569 Great Northern Way image, DPB, 2-May-2016The Development Permit Board (DPB) will review an application for development at 569 Great Northern Way. This is the site where we noted Massive clear cut along Great Northern Way (March 25, 2015) even before this development is officially permitted, despite Vancouver City Hall’s “Urban Forest Strategy,” and just before the much-promoted “Vancouver Tree Week.” This development will have impacts on views for buildings to the south.

Development Permit Board
May 2, 2016 (Monday), starting 3 pm
Town Hall Meeting Room, City Hall

Previously addressed, 565 Great Northern Way, the site is part of the broader Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC) redevelopment, and directly south of the future Emily Carr University (ECUAD). It is bounded by the future extension to Carolina Street on the east, and future GNWC development sites to the west, and is proposed to have connections through to the future Great Northern Way campus. (As an aside, developers’ changes of addresses certainly makes it harder for citizens searching to track the history of specific sites and developments. This switch from 565 to 569 is one example. The project is also an example of privatization of part of a site that could have been used for educational purposes).

Official details:

GREAT NORTHERN WAY – DE419971 – ZONE CD-1
(COMPLETE APPLICATION)
Applicant: Perkins & Will Canada Architects
Property Owner: PCI Developments Corporation
Request: To develop on this site a seven-storey office building, a one-storey retail building and a new public plaza, all having access to three levels of underground parking.
Staff: Troy Tenney and Tim Potter

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Snapshot of development applications, 1-May-2016

565 Great Northern Way

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Development Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website.

Our count of “DE” numbers for May 1, 2016 shows 98 items listed (down from 129 last month and excluding 12 medical marijuana-related applications). Of the total, 13 are “concurrent with rezoning,” which could mean they are being fast-tracked under Rental 100. Two are revised, one is on hold, and some may have also had a change of address.

The City has recently introduced a new category of Development Applications for Medical Marijuana-Related Uses. The City’s website shows a total of 12 official applications today (up from 11 last month). Separately, over 60 shops are in mid process at the Board of Variance to appeal rejections. Some of them have been rejected.

(We also take rezoning application snapshots. Search for “rezoning” and “snapshot” in the CityHallWatch search field.) If you are concerned about an application and would like to publicize it or get more info, send us an e-mail at citizenyvr@gmail.com, and we might be able to look deeper. The following information is simply copied as text from the City’s site. Many links will stop working over time. For current list, click:
http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/.

Click here for the list in PDF format: CoV Development Applications snapshot, 1-May-2016

If you as a citizen would like to do one small thing to make the City more accountable, consider writing Mayor and Council asking them to make Development Applications archives available online. The City website provides a list of archived Rezoning Applications (here) going back to 2011, so why not full information on past Development Applications too?

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Snapshot of rezoning applications, 1-May-2016

rezoning sign 2805 East HastingsAs a free public service we take a monthly snapshot of Rezoning Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website.

Below is the snapshot from May 1, 2016. Listed here are 50 “proposed” (same as April 2), 43 “approved” (same as April 2), 8 “enacted” (up from 4 on April 2), 4 “open houses” mentioned (though 2 are already past), 7 “public hearings” mentioned (up from 3), and 3 “withdrawn” (same as April 2).

If you as a reader see any of these that deserve some public scrutiny, please feel free to send us an e-mail (citizenYVR@gmail.com) with your concerns and we’ll see if we can look into it further.

This list below is simply copied from the City’s Rezoning Centre website. There is no guarantee that the City’s links will continue working over time, so you are advised to download anything important. For the current official list, click: http://former.vancouver.ca/rezapps/. Note that the Archives link carries links to past rezonings from 2011 onward.

Download this list in PDF format: CoV Rezoning Applications snapshot, 1-May-2016
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City Council salaries, employee salaries, suppliers list released in 2015 Financial Report

Vancouver Port Skyline
The City of Vancouver has posted a comprehensive financial statement for 2015. The Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) includes a ‘sunshine list’ that reveals the salaries of employees who earned in excess of $75,000 last year.

The City spent a total of $473,342,037 on salaries last year. Remuneration figures for City Councillors and Park Board Commissioners are included in the report.

An even larger amount of the overall budget, $679,585,490 in total, was spent on suppliers. The report contains a breakdown of suppliers that billed the City for work in excess of $25,000. Other budget allocations on grants and BIA funding are also included. Sole source (no bid) contracts are listed in a separate document, the 2015 Annual Procurement Report.

The City’s balance sheet shows a total of $943 million in long-term debt. On the topic of pension liabilities, the report stated the following:

The most recent valuation for the Municipal Pension Plan as at December 31, 2012, indicated a $1.37 billion funding deficit for basic pension benefits on a going concern basis. The next valuation will be as at December 31, 2015, with results available in 2016.

Remuneration for Vancouver City Council in 2015. Note: this does not include salaries from Metro Vancouver

Remuneration for Vancouver City Council in 2015. Note: this does not include salaries from Metro Vancouver

Emergency Preparedness Week (May 1-7, 2016): Event at TELUS World of Science April 29 & 30

earthquake seismic graphEmergency Preparedness Week takes place May 1 to 7 across Canada to promote and raise awareness of the actions people can take to be prepared for an emergency.

The City of Vancouver today announced that it is partnering with Science World to kick off Emergency Preparedness Week with a free two-day event open to the public.

 

Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30
10am to 4pm both days
TELUS World of Science, 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver

The event will feature interactive booths and displays from local scientists, first responders and emergency preparedness agencies to help citizens prepare for all types of emergencies.

Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western & Pacific, IBC, said “More than 3,000 earthquakes occur in BC every year and, luckily, very few cause damage. But at some point, a big one will hit. It is not a matter of if, but when.”

The event at TELUS World of Science is open to all ages. Test your seismic construction skills on the University of British Columbia BC earthquake shake table. Learn about the City’s Disaster Support Hub initiative. See how an earthquake early warning system works and experience what it is like to feel an earthquake in the IBC Shake Zone earthquake simulator.

For more information visit: scienceworld.ca/lets-celebrate-emergency-preparedness-week.

Follow @CityofVancouver on Twitter during the week to learn important emergency preparedness facts and tips. Hashtags #EPWeek and #Inittogether

For more information on how to prepare an emergency kit, what to include in an emergency plan and how to sign up for an emergency preparedness workshop, visit vancouver.ca/beprepared.

Leaked audio says towers part of First Nations’ Jericho Lands vision (Scoop by Bob Mackin, Vancouver Courier)

jericho lands 8th
Investigative reporter Bob Mackin has scooped a story that has huge implications. Below are excerpts. Please visit the Vancouver Courier for the whole story. You can also listen to the audio recording there (just under 13 minutes). Note especially the types of buildings proposed (all the way up to highrises along 4th Avenue), and that the parties involved have already talked with Mayor Gregor Robertson and city hall bureaucrats about plans.

Leaked audio says towers part of First Nations’ Jericho Lands vision (by Bob Mackin, Vancouver Courier, 27-April-2016)

In a recording that was leaked to the Courier, Squamish Nation Chief Ian Campbell told a March 23 band meeting in North Vancouver that the partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band and Tsleil-Waututh Nation wants to get the Jericho Lands rezoned for townhouses and towers. 

Two weeks before the provincial government announced it sold its part of the Jericho Lands, Squamish Nation Chief Ian Campbell told a band meeting in North Vancouver that the partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band and Tsleil-Waututh Nation wants to get 38.8 acres rezoned for townhouses and towers.

Jericho Lands“This land can yield way more than 140 houses,” Campbell said in a recording of the March 23 meeting that was leaked to the Courier.

The land was valued at $480 million, but the three nations are paying nothing to acquire it. Campbell said the B.C. Liberal government agreed to give them a $96-million accommodation payment and a seven-year loan at two per cent interest. In 2014, the trio combined with Canada Lands Company to acquire the $237-million, 52-acre federal portion of the Jericho Lands.

Campbell explained that achieving higher density would increase the land value and make it easier to gain financing to payoff the provincial loan. He mentioned the potential to build single-detached houses on the top of the property, townhouses down the slope and midrises and highrises along West Fourth Avenue. He told attendees to expect opposition. Continue reading