When can New Yaletown and other areas to contribute to Downtown Area Development Plan?

NewYaletownMapQuestion: When will residents from New Yaletown and other areas Downtown have an opportunity to contribute to the Downtown Official Development Plan amendments that staff are proposing to Council?

That is one of many questions we would like to see answered. Many issues are percolating and the fallout and political positioning continue after the landmark Supreme Court decision by Mr. Justice McEwan in Community Association of New Yaletown v. The City of Vancouver, 2015 BCSC 117. (See “Vancouver development process unfair, Illegal”: CANY on Supreme Court ruling.)

CoV Downtown District Map 1 - Areas, 4-Feb-2015

CoV Downtown District Map 1 – Areas, 4-Feb-2015

The West End, Downtown Eastside, Marpole and other neighbourhoods had formal opportunities for community input into changes to their neighbourhoods in community planning processes (though much of that input was ignored or disregarded by City staff) and the Grandview Woodland process is now under way.

However, New Yaletown and other areas of Downtown have had no such opportunity for input. Amendments proposed by City staff for the Downtown Official Development Plan, which staff are now refining, were prepared without any input from the community whatsoever. Mr. Jackson intended for the changes to go straight to Public Hearing as drafted by staff. Council fortunately sent the draft back to staff for more work. But when will the community have a chance to review the contents and make meaningful input, with the potential to actually influence the content, before text is finalized for a Public Hearing?

The City’s own Engaged City policies call for broad community input by each neighbourhood.

For more reading on this topic, see the incisive review by Allen Garr, in the Vancouver Courier, 5-Feb-2015:  Sloppy city hall led to Yaletown ruling.

Here is what Mr. Jackson said in this article regarding the Marine Gardens development proposal going to Public Hearing February 24, 2015:

Controversial Cambie corridor development not affected by Yaletown ruling

…Vancouver’s director of planning Brian Jackson …. “The judge was quite narrow in his recommendation and the rationale for why the bylaws were squashed,” Jackson said. One bylaw was squashed because the city didn’t give adequate notice to enough people and the second was killed because there wasn’t enough information about the public-private land exchange, Jackson said. “This certainly does not apply in this instance,” he said.

Meanwhile, some Councillors are trying to spin the message. Here is a letter by Councillor Kerry Jang printed in the Vancouver Sun.

Biggest losers are low-income residents
Re: Judge halts land swap between city and developer, Jan. 28
The biggest losers in the B.C. Supreme Court decision to quash a new development in Yaletown are the low-income residents living at Jubilee House. The project approved by city council in 2013 enabled replacement housing for the aging Jubilee House, to make sure low-income residents, especially seniors, could remain in the neighbourhood. These low and fixed income residents are now in limbo.
Councillor Kerry JangWhether it was new social housing in Yaletown, mixed social and market housing in Strathcona, or the first new rental housing in the West End in a decade, Vision Vancouver councillors have steadfastly shown our willingness to support projects that add the kind of housing our city desperately needs. I anticipate that the project will come back to council for a full public hearing. At that time, council will once again thoughtfully consider the land use and public policy objectives. I look forward to the opportunity to find solutions to the complex public policy issues we face as a city.
Councillor, City of Vancouver

Councillor Jang fails to mention that the City permitted the place to become run-down, that the building is less than 30 years old, and that there is actually no net increase in social housing units in the proposed new development.

We also received this comment from a local resident: Kerry Jang was part of the all-Vision majority that actively supported, and voted for, the process that the judge ruled illegal. He, along with city staff and the Vision majority, was an active participant in this unfair, illegal process. Any delay in replacing the existing housing is due entirely to the flawed process that Councillor Jang now laments.



One thought on “When can New Yaletown and other areas to contribute to Downtown Area Development Plan?

  1. Regarding public consultation on the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan, during the 2 years of plan development workshops with the community and subsequent open houses city planners never informed the Cedar Cottage residents residing south of Broadway (and officially in Kensington-Cedar Cottage Community) that their neighbourhood was included in the plan. Similar to CANY, Cedar Cottage was hijacked into a community planning without residents’ knowledge and subject to some of the highest increases in proposed density under the plan.

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