Brian Jackson provided a number of updates to the Vancouver City Planning Commission (VCPC) at a meeting on July 30, 2014. Brian Jackson’s official title is the General Manger, Planning and Development Services at the City of Vancouver; however, he also fulfills the role of the Director of Planning.
Mr. Jackson charted the general direction that he sees planning going forward over the next year (assuming, of course, that the current regime stays in power in City Hall). We’ve included a video below of Jackson’s presentation (16 minutes) followed by questions from the VCPC.
Jackson noted that the Grandview-Woodland plan process is still ongoing with the formation of the Citizens’ Assembly. The plans for Marpole, the West End and the Downtown Eastside were completed over the past year. As well, implementation plans for Norquay and Mount Pleasant were approved by the Council majority. Policy statements for Pearson Dogwood and Great Northern Way were also completed.
Jackson noted that the City has received a record number of development applications thus far in 2014, and that many new application inquiries have been received for Marpole and the Downtown Eastside. The new waste diversion policy for tear-down houses in pre-1940s houses and the updated tree bylaw have also been implemented.
New planning initiatives for the City include studying a section of South False Creek from Olympic Village to Granville Island. This includes part of the area with co-ops and buildings with leases (many of which were built in the 1970s). A study for the Eastern Core and Flats area from Main Street to Clark is in the works. Jackson also touched on the Cambie Corridor Phase 3 plan that would broaden area covered by the plan. Part of the plan would be to provide more of a transition from the 6-storey zones to single family zones (i.e. upzone and create a transition zone). Cambie 3 may include area wide rezoning. More than 35 projects have already been approved, are in the approval pipeline or are under construction in the existing Cambie corridor plan.
The possible removal of the viaducts will be studied; Jackson revealed that the City has begun negotiations with the landowners in the area (Concord, PAVCO, CMT), with a report back later in 2015. Planning work around Nanaimo and 29th Avenue Skytrain stations will begin for “development opportunities” and he claimed that the community itself is very interested in taking a look at what could happen around these stations.
During the question and answer segment, questions about the status of the Jericho Lands and the RCMP lands were raised. Jackson revealed that both of these sites are ready to be transferred to the Canada Lands Company for development (Jackson has already held discussions with the Canada Lands Company).
The City will not study the Broadway corridor until there is funding in place for a Broadway subway. If funding is not secured and if a future transit referendum fails, the City would just continue “along the status quo” and built up Broadway under current zoning.
The work for the Heritage Action Plan is primarily being done with private sector consultants, with approximately $400,000 going to consultant fees. The heritage report is due back next year.
The West 41st Avenue Oakridge “Bus Barns site” policy will continue and is expected back in 2015. Jackson also anticipates that a rezoning process for the Pearson Dogwood will also begin. The rezoning proposal for the Little Mountain site has apparently been submitted; plans are place for public consultation during the fall or early next year.