Petition against tower on Emery Barnes Park, 508 Helmcken Open House Wednesday, Nov 25th

508 Helmcken elevationThe Community Association of New Yaletown (CANY) is asking Vancouver citizens to Tell the City you are still opposed to a tower on Emery Barnes Park.  They have posted a petition (on Also, people can give the City input on the proposed tower beside Emery Barnes Park at an Open House today or via email. (A development permit review is expected in February 2016.)

CANY has fought this project in B.C. Supreme Court, and has garnered thousands of supporters opposed to the 35 storey tower Brenhill Developments proposes to build on what had been promised to become publicly-owned park land downtown in the City of Vancouver. The outcomes so far could further erode public trust in the local government and even the legal system.

An Open House has been organized by the Planning Department to show the updated plans for a 320 foot (97m) tower at 508 Helmcken:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 4pm – 7:30pm 609 Helmcken Street (The Gathering Place)

Additional public input can be provided until December 18, 2015. Drawings and further details of the proposed tower are available on the City’s webpage. The property address has been changed to 1111 Richards Street.

The updated proposal has a density of 16.68 FSR, 35 floors, and 236 parking stalls. Market rental units would be contained on levels 2 to 10, while market condos are proposed for floors 11 to 35. A private school and retail uses are planned for the ground floor.

CANY writes that anyone can send an email to the City via staff (You may wish to cc the Mayor and City Council, or perhaps even give them a call.) CANY hopes people will include a subject line saying: “I am opposed to Development Application DE419710 1111 Richards/508 Helmcken.” They also say “Feel free to include personal comments, but know that they are not read or taken into consideration by the City.” (And include your first and last name, and street address if possible.)


Artist’s concept of original proposal.

Below are some updates from CANY on this whole ordeal, verbatim (with bold by CHW for emphasis).


As you may know, the Community Association of New Yaletown won its case against the City of Vancouver in BC Supreme Court. This ruling struck down the the bylaws and halted the developments at 508 Helmcken and 1099 Richards.

Unfortunately, both the City and Brenhill Developments appealed that decision, and the original decision was struck down. Even before that ruling, the City of Vancouver moved to enact new bylaws to enable the developments to proceed.

CANY responded by filing for our case to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. We have now learned that leave was not granted by SCC. This means that we have reached the end of the road as far as a legal challenge is concerned.

Thank you all for your time, energy, ideas, and financial contributions in support of CANY’s efforts to require a fair process including community input into the City’s decision-making process.

While we lost the legal battle, we can claim some measure of success. Both City Manager Penny Ballem and General Manager of Planning Brian Jackson [who pushed this deal through under a shroud of secrecy] are no longer employed by the City of Vancouver. [One was fired, one quit, but in pushing through this rezoning and development, both were undoubtedly acting under instructions from their former political masters.] We can hope that the City has learned that a confrontational, non-collaborative approach to land use planning is not productive, and that more open-minded leaders will take their place.

As always, we are always looking for more volunteers to assist with various neighbourhood improvement projects. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or suggestions

Community Association of New Yaletown


Monumental battle over? Or just a pause? Council approves 508 Helmcken re-rezoning in 6-3 split vote, races to approve bylaw in 23 hours. What about Court of Appeal hearing?
April 15, 2015

Court of Appeal ruling on 508 Helmcken lawsuit Thurs, April 23 – Earlier decision overturned, Court sides with City and developer
April 22, 2015

Brenhill judgment could undermine faith in “system” — “Citizens must seek change through political process” say the judges re CANY (New Yaletown) appeal vs City of Vancouver & Brenhill
May 21, 2015

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