(Updated – note that this topic has been Referred to 22-Oct-2019. So concerned parties have time to sign up to write to Council, though no additional speakers can sign up.) This a significant topic that goes before Vancouver City Council today. We have obtained a copy of a letter from the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) to Council, the text of which is shared below, with bold text to highlight some points.
CVN points out that the current document by staff is not consistent with previous decisions by Council. CVN is calling for “neighbourhood-based planning processes” and is “hopeful that the community’s requests are implemented rather than a transit corridor land use planning processes.” Their intent is that the Broadway Plan principles not be approved at all, and instead the City should use the City-wide Plan for all the areas, including the Broadway Plan Study Area and the “area west of Vine.”
“Broadway Plan – Phase 1 Engagement and Proposed Guiding Principles”
Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20191002/documents/cfsc2.pdf .
TEXT OF CVN letter to Vancouver City Council, 2-Oct-2019, Re: Broadway Plan – Phase 1 Engagement and Proposed Guiding Principles:
“The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is opposed to the proposed Broadway Plan principles.
As we have stated previously, we support neighbourhood-based land use planning processes through the City-wide Plan, not corridor-based planning. The current proposal for the Broadway Plan doesn’t meet that criteria.
We also previously raised concerns about the phase 2 extension to UBC should be planned through the City-wide Plan not the Broadway Plan, but in this report it includes the area covering Kitsilano and West Point Grey as part of the Broadway Plan.
This is in conflict with previous reports on the interim rezoning policy so we do not support this.
We continue to advocate for collaborative neighbourhood-based planning processes and are hopeful that the community’s requests are implemented rather than a transit corridor land use planning processes.
Please do not approve this planning principles and instead refer this to the City-wide Plan through neighbourhood-based processes, and not through the Broadway Plan corridor process.”
Commentary by CityHallWatch
The contention here centers around fundamental planning principles. CVN is calling for “neighbourhood-based planning processes” while some voices (e.g., planners) want a “transit corridor land use planning process.” These are fundamentally very different, and would lead to very different consultation processes, opportunities for public input, accountability, and the future physical and social design of these areas.
In previous decisions, City Council decided that Kitsilano and West Point Grey would indeed be part of a City-wide Planning process, NOT the Broadway Corridor plan. However, Figure 1 throws in some ambiguity, which creates wiggle room for planners. Note that the two neighbourhoods are not clearly labelled on the map but referred to only as “Broadway area west of Vine.”
The staff report clearly states “The area around Broadway west of Vine Street, to UBC, is expected to be part of the City-wide Plan process.”
So far so good, and that is consistent with previous City Council decisions.
However, it goes on with the “wiggle” words, “… and/or a future area planning process that puts land use policies in place for this area.”
This is emblematic of how what appear to be innocuous changes in text of Council documents can end up having huge implications when policies are developed and construction ensues. And it shows how important it is for citizens, residents, and neighbourhoods to remain vigilant and involved in what goes on at City Hall.
Additional info and references documenting the Council’s official decisions.
Minutes Feb. 27, 2019
Item 8 as approved includes:
1. On January 29, 2019, Vancouver City Council approved the technology for a 7 km Broadway Subway Project extension to UBC: A Rail Rapid Transit (RRT / SkyTrain) from Arbutus to UBC;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council refer the Emergency Interim Zoning Policy for Broadway Corridor motion as amended and as set out below, to staff on a priority basis to report back to Council by the end of April 2019, with interim zoning policy options for consideration, including legal considerations.
A. THAT Council direct staff to identify the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano and West Point Grey for interim rezoning policies and speculation mitigation for the upcoming City-wide plan and local area planning initiatives, except for the MST-owned land area as identified in the concurrent Jericho Lands Policy Planning Program.
E. THAT land use in the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano and West Point Grey be planned through collaborative neighbourhood-based and City-wide planning processes, not through transit corridor planning such as the Broadway Planning process.
But then the following report was approved on April 23, 2019:
Includes revised wording to motion:
E. THAT land use in the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano (west of Vine Street) and West Point Grey be planned through future collaborative neighbourhood-based and city-wide planning processes.