Ten Long Years – A Decade Plus of Vancouver Local Area Planning

The following article is reproduced with kind permission from Eye on Norquay:

As 2015 comes to an end, Eye on Norquay offers up this retrospective — one little history lesson to pin a lot of isolated bits across the framework-of-torture that serves planning hell. Politicians and planners prefer to operate with bits … and especially their analogues, silos and spots. Except when a “plan” makes it possible to grab more, give less, go bigger, and execute faster.

tenlongyears-2

Besides all that, without an occasional “plan” dress-up, the rest of Vancouver’s development would have to stand naked as a silly opportunistic jumble.

 yrs-mos     
          
             Kingsway & Knight Neighbourhood Centre
   2-00      July 2002 to July 2004 (plan)   October 2005 (zoning)
          
             Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre
   4-07      April 2006 to November 2010 (plan)  •   April 2013 (zoning)
             May 2013 (benefits strategy)
          
             West Point Grey Community Vision
   4-08      January 2006 to September 2010
          
             Mount Pleasant
   3-07      April 2007 to November 2010 (plan)
             October 2013 (implementation package)
          
             Cambie Corridor
   1-10      July 2009 to May 2011 (plan)
             April 2015 to ---- [phase 3]
          
             Downtown Eastside
             September 2005 ... August 2011 to March 2014 (plan)
          
             West End
   2-04      July 2011 to November 2013 (plan)  •  January 2014 (zoning)
          
             Marpole
   2-09      July 2011 to April 2014 (plan)  •   May 2014 (zoning)

             Shaughnessy
   1-03      June 2014 to September 2015 (heritage conservation area)
          
             Grandview-Woodland
   4-04+     July 2011 to ????

The timeline above provides a framework for tales of the local areas that have suffered recent onslaught by City of Vancouver “planning.” Let a Q & A approach test your knowledge of the strung out and the done in.

Who got strung out the longest?

Grandview-Woodland will soon overtake Norquay. Downtown Eastside, whose tortuous path is an exemplar of obfuscation, occupies a class all by itself.

Who wrung the clearest concessions out of City Council?

Marpole — likely the poorest and most vulnerable westside local area. Two other westside areas receive mention in the timeline because their areas were dealt with as a whole — not because they underwent anything like a mass rezoning for denser and faster redevelopment.

Where has City of Vancouver grabbed the most the fastest?

Cambie Corridor, no contest. First and foremost, the “corridor” concept served to simultaneously overwhelm three distinct local areas: Riley Park-South Cambie, Oakridge, Marpole. (Those first two have (had?) community visions, for whatever those exercises are now worth.)

Who got the most “consulted”?

Downtown Eastside. See also “strung out” question above. The City of Vancouver delights to boast in its report to Council (p. 7) of intensive engagement with the LAPP Committee with members investing over 470 hours of volunteer time. [Between the lines: Ask a dis-membered former LAPPster how it feels to be “consulted.”]

Whose “plan” has been most disrespected so far?

Probably Mount Pleasant — consider only (1) the override of extreme nonsupport for Rize-Alliance at Broadway and Kingsway (2) the impending encroachment of Westbank-Hootsuite on industrial land at Main/Quebec and 4th/5th Avenue.

Who stands out for NOT being present?

Most of the “community vision” areas, since the City of Vancouver did a 180 during Norquay planning — and left fifteen years of CityPlan smothered in mothballs. Six of these community vision areas (1998-2010) became hands-off to any subsequent local area planning of the mass-rezone variety: Dunbar (1998), Victoria-Fraserview/Killarney (2002), Sunset (2002), Hastings-Sunrise (2004), Arbutus Ridge/Kerrisdale/Shaughnessy (2005), West Point Grey (2010). Even so, significant portions of three primarily eastside areas got steamrolled: Kensington-Cedar Cottage (1998), Renfrew-Collingwood (2004), Riley Park/South Cambie (2005).

Vancouver’s non-mass-rezoned areas contain the great majority of the remaining 68,282 RS (single-family) zoned properties. The value divergence upward for these properties becomes ever more apparent. The two “neighbourhood centre” mass rezonings of 1577 and 1912 properties blitzed immigrant working-class areas in the heart of East Vancouver.

Who suffers the biggest density dump?

West End by a mile. “New planning” for yet more density-dumping has landed on the doorstep of a local area that in 2011 sported a person-per-hectare figure of 218. Downtown had 146. Shaughnessy had 20. The Vancouver average was 53.

Who only pretended to get planned?

Kingsway & Knight. King Edward Village concurrently blockbusted the heart of the area, separated from the planning process. The eventual mass rezoning affected 1577 properties. Meanwhile, the “shopping area” part fell off the back of the planning wagon that was racing uphill toward Norquay. Populate your nightmares with what may happen at the Rona site, since future development for the entire commercial part of the first “neighbourhood centre” was never defined.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s