Council and Park Board Preview Jan 18-21, 2021: Civic election changes, Park Board “Aquatics” strategy, Code of Conduct for Advisory Panels, corner stores, and more

The week of January 18, 2021, one Park Board meeting, two Council meetings and two Public Hearings are scheduled.

Below is a quick preview of items that grab our attention. We may add more comments and links later. Further below are the actual agendas of the meetings as of Thursday the prior week. Please go to the official links for the up-to-date agendas.

The Regular Park Board meeting of Monday, January 18th will review a staff presentation on the Vancouver Aquatics Strategy, which may shed more light on the future plans for both indoor and outdoor pools. There’s also a Climate Emergency Response report and the usual General Manager’s Report on the response to the ongoing pandemic.

The Regular City Council Meeting for Tuesday, January 19th includes a report with staff-initiated recommendations about the civic election. It is very important. Changes would include lengthening the start of the nomination period to 87 days and increasing the number signatures for Council and Mayoral candidate nomination forms. The report also recommends keeping the random ballot order used in 2018 (for more details, see our post on this topic here). Some changes can be done unilaterally by Council vote, but others require a process of asking the provincial government to amend the Vancouver Charter. Some Councillors may be inspired to propose amendments for wards and proportional representation, etc.. CityHallWatch believes that any significant changes to Vancouver’s election system should involve prior public consultation and even a referendum of some form.

A presentation on the 2021 Assessment Roll will provide more details about the changes in property values in Vancouver. Cultural grants for 2021 and the DTES Special Enterprise Pilot Project reports will be reviewed (both require 2/3 majority vote). There is a report for subdividing 7520 Balaclava Street near the Fraser River in the ALR for single-family lots, a move that staff are not recommending go forward. It is extremely rare to see City staff not recommending that developments go ahead, so this one is worth studying. A number of amendments to guidelines and policies are recommended.

A total of 7 referral reports have been included, meaning that City staff are recommending Council move the items ahead to Public Hearings. Once something gets on the conveyor belt to a Public Hearing it is extremely rare for any significant changes to happen to the application, so if you or your community have concerns about any items, the best time to raise them for Council discussion is now, before Council votes on the referral.

Among the recommended referrals to advance to Public Hearing:

  • Rezoning of an 11-storey tower in Chinatown at 728-796 Main Street (the Brickhouse site at Union).
  • Rezoning for a 9-storey tower at 1766 Frances Street in a location where the City’s community plan allows for 6-storeys.
  • Rezoning at 1015 East Hastings, a proposal that has segregated entrances and elevators for market and affordable housing components in a proposed 14-storey building, beside a railway corridor.
  • A proposal at 3084 West 4th Avenue and Balaclava for a 6-storey building on a small lot. We are hearing that it may be premature to send this to a Public Hearing already, and more time may be needed to look at options.

Councillor DeGenova will introduce a motion on notice called Turning the Key: Encouraging Affordable Home Ownership in the City of Vancouver while Councillor Wiebe is bringing forward A Community Safety and Well being Framework motion.

The first Public Hearing of the week is on Tuesday, January 19th, beginning at 6pm, and considering four items:

  • A proposal for 810 Kingsway with 108 market rental units in a 6-storey building and a FSR of 3.65 will be considered.
  • A 6-storey building at 2246-2268 East Broadway with 57 strata units. A CAC of $730,568 is proposed, but staff would sequester it for future allocation.
  • At 441-475 West 42nd Avenue, an 18-storey tower is proposed with a total of 124 rental units (189ft / 57.7m, 6.7 FSR, 43 parking spots, MIRHP program).
  • At 5740 Cambie Street, a 27-storey strata tower is proposed (133 units) and a 14-storey rental tower (80 units). Commercial uses are planned at grade along with office space in a 4-storey podium. A total of 283 parking spaces would be included. A non-profit organization (NPO) hub space (14,500 sq. ft.) valued at $12 million would be provided turn-key to the City as CAC.

The City Finance and Services committee meeting for Wednesday, January 20th begins with a proposed Code of Conduct that would apply to members of Council and Advisory Board Members (the existing Code of Conduct would continue to apply to staff). It’s worth noting that the proposed Code of Conduct could potentially muzzle members of Advisory Boards and place limitations on City Councillors on their work (for example, by having interactions with staff go through the City Manager). To enforce this proposed new code of conduct, staff are recommending hiring an Integrity Commissioner on retainer. This is a very important topic. See our post on this topic here: Vancouver’s Code of Conduct Policy: Proposed changes need further review and revisions to better include staff accountability.

Motions on notice for improved street lighting and protecting people with mobility issues when elevators break down, will be heard. Contracts for excavation and for a sewage and rainwater management plan will be considered.

The second Public Hearing of the week is set to start at 6pm on Thursday, January 21. Some very important items are up for decisions, and again we point out that the titles of the items do not represent the significance of what is being proposed, so you need to read the documents to grasp the import.

On the first item, entitled “Employment Lands and Economy Review Quick Start Actions: Mount Pleasant I-1 Amendment and New I-1C District Schedule,” staff would like Council to amend the Industrial Zoning on the south side of 2nd Avenue in Mount Pleasant (between Quebec and Yukon St) to allow for a greater heights and density. Specifically, heights of 152.5 ft / 46.5m (which could translate to about 15 storeys in height) and a doubling of the allowed density to a FSR of 6 is recommended. CityHallWatch notes that there was no public consultation process done at all for these specific changes, and it is not really clear where the proposals originated from. There could be significant impacts on the streetscape, as the following photos show the differences between 2nd and 1st Avenue (photos at 9am on January 13th). It’s not too difficult to imagine the impact that higher buildings on the south side (left side of the photos) of 2nd Avenue would have on solar access.

The second item on the Public Hearing agenda is a proposal to allow more flexibility in the ground floor uses in the DTES Oppenheimer District ODP. This would concern allowing community services in storefronts.

Third item, staff are looking at making amendments to the Artist Live Work studios by taking out a number of restrictions in a number of industrial zones across the City. Regarding such proposed changes, there may be impacts on land lift. It’s also sometimes difficult to enforce that artist live work units are actually used by artists and not as general residential. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to tighten up definitions and to have some bylaw enforcement on artist live work spaces, in order to ensure that these units are used for the intended purpose.

The fourth and final item on the Public Hearing agenda concerns expanding “neighbourhood” stores in residential areas. The proposed changes appear to be striking down limitations that restrict or prevent the construction of new “corner” stores. However, it is not really clear what kinds of practical limits would be put in place to govern what kinds of stores are built in the future and where they can go (as opposed to mid-sized supermarkets, chain stores with high commercial ceilings). Expanding the number of friendly neighbourhood “corner stores” may seem like a positive idea, but much depends on the actual details. We sense that there is not enough information in the documentation, and neither Council nor the public have enough to go on here. Have a close look at the specific wording and use of the words “corner store” in the general description, but “neighbourhood store” in the actual bylaw text being proposed by City staff. In one interpretation, this bylaw if approved could mean mixed residential + commercial buildings several storeys high could be given nearly blanket approval in residential areas across Vancouver, far from actual street corner lots. See additional background about this topic in our previous post:
Heads up! Under guise of ‘support for neighbourhood grocery stores’ City staff propose new commercial developments in residential zones (Council agenda 24-Nov-2020).

For reference, the meeting agendas have been reproduced below:

Park Board: https://parkboardmeetings.vancouver.ca/2021/20210118/index.htm

NOTICE OF MEETING

BOARD OF PARKS AND RECREATION

  REGULAR BOARD e-MEETING –  

AGENDA

NOTE:  Members of the public are encouraged to watch meetings online as the Park Board Administration Building is currently restricted to staff access only to ensure COVID-19 health protocols are maintained

Date: Monday, January 18, 2021

Time: 6:30pm

Place: via video conference & Park Board – Boardroom, 2099 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4
*******

Printable AgendaPDF

PLEASE NOTE:  Regular Board meeting items are not available for speaker registration. To hear from delegations on a topic, the Board may refer the item to a future Committee meeting.

ROLL CALL

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

IN CAMERA MEETINGS
THAT the Board will go into meetings, prior to the next Regular Board meeting, which are closed to the public, pursuant to Section 165.2(1) of the Vancouver Charter, to discuss matters related to paragraphs:

(k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of an activity, work or facility that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the Board, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the City and Park Board if they were held in public.

ADOPTION OF MINUTES Regular Board Meeting – Tuesday, December 8, 2020

CHAIR’S REPORT
COMMUNICATIONS

DEFERRED ITEMS

1. Climate Emergency Response, Green Operations, and Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (for information)

STAFF PRESENTATIONS  

1. Vancouver Aquatics Strategy & Blue Flag – Report Back (for information)

3. General Manager’s Report (for information)

NOTICE OF MOTIONS

OTHER BUSINESS ENQUIRIES

* * * * * *

NEXT MEETINGS

Committee & Regular Board meetings: Monday, February 8, 2021

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https://council.vancouver.ca/20210119/regu20210119ag.htm

Council agenda
January 19, 2021

Updated: January 14, 2021

Date and location

Tuesday, January 19, 2021  9:30 am

Council Chamber, Third Floor, City Hall

PLEASE NOTE:

Following updated guidance issued on December 4, 2020, and extended on January 7, 2021, in-person participation for local government meetings and public hearings is not permitted under the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Order on Gatherings and Events.

Get involved and stay informed

Send comments to Council

Note Tip: Send your comments by the day before the meeting so Council has time to review them.

Sign up to speak about an agenda item by 8:30am. Requests to speak must be received no later than one hour prior to the scheduled start time of the meeting.

Request to speakWatch the live broadcast  Get updates on Twitter

Questions about this agenda?

ROLL CALL

IN CAMERA MEETING

THAT Council will go into meetings later this week which are closed to the public, pursuant to Section 165.2(1) of the Vancouver Charter, to discuss matters related to paragraphs:

(a) personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the city or another position appointed by the city;

(c) labour relations or other employee relations;

(e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the Council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the city;

(i) the receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;

(k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of an activity, work or facility that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the Council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the city if they were held in public.

ADOPTION OF MINUTES

1. Special Council (Considering Options for Emergency COVID-19 Relief for Unsheltered Vancouver Residents) – October 8, 2020

2. Special Council (2021 Budget) – December 1, 2 and 3, 2020

3. Auditor General Recruitment Committee – December 4, 2020

4. Public Hearing – December 8, 2020

5. Council (Policy and Strategic Priorities) – December 9, 2020

6. Council – December 8 and 10, 2020

7. Public Hearing – December 2 and 10, 2020

8. Auditor General Committee – December 11, 2020

9. Auditor General Recruitment Committee – December 15, 2020

10. Auditor General Recruitment Committee – January 8, 2021

MATTERS ADOPTED ON CONSENT

PRESENTATIONS

1. 2021 Assessment Roll

BC Assessment Authority to provide annual presentation.

2. Report Back on the Random Order Ballot Model Used in the 2018 Vancouver Election

Rosemary Hagiwara, Acting City Clerk, to provide a presentation on this matter.

REPORTS

1. Downtown Eastside Special Enterprise Pilot Program

Recommendation B requires two-thirds affirmative votes of all Council members under Section 206(1) of the Vancouver Charter.

2. 2021 Cultural Grants (Operating, Annual Assistance, Arts Capacity, Indigenous

Recommendations A to E require two-thirds affirmative votes of all Council members under Section 206(1) of the Vancouver Charter.

3. 7520 Balaclava Street – Proposed Agricultural Land Reserve Subdivision

4. Miscellaneous Amendments – Guidelines, Policies and Parking By-law

REFERRAL REPORTS

1. Miscellaneous Amendments – Zoning and Development By-law and Sign By-law

2. Miscellaneous Amendments – Guidelines, Policies and Parking By-law – MOVED to R4

3. CD-1 Rezoning: 728-796 Main Street

4. Rezoning: 607-621 West 28th Avenue

5. CD-1 Rezoning: 1015 East Hastings Street

6. CD-1 Rezoning: 3084 West 4th Avenue and 2010 Balaclava Street

7. CD-1 Rezoning: 1766 Frances Street

BY-LAWS

1. A By-law to amend the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan

2. A By-law to amend various District Schedules of the Zoning and Development By-law to reflect an amendment to the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan

3. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 regarding Zero Emissions Building Features

4. A By-law to amend License By-law No. 4450 regarding shopping bag fee increases

5. A By-law to amend Gas Fitting By-law No. 3507 regarding 2021 Fees

6. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law to rezone an area to CD-1 re: 582 588 West King Edward Avenue
(Councillors Carr and Hardwick absent for this item at Public Hearing)

7. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law to rezone an area to CD-1 re: 1956–1990 Stainsbury Avenue
(All Council members present at Public Hearing)

8. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law to rezone an area to CD-1 re: 3600 East Hastings Street
(All Council members eligible to vote on this item)

9. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law to rezone an area to CD-1 re: 2601 2619 East Hastings Street
(Councillors Carr and Hardwick absent for this item at Public Hearing)

10. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law to rezone an area from RS-1 to RM-8AN re: 976 West 52nd Avenue and 6822-6868 Oak Street
(Councillor Hardwick absent for this item at Public Hearing)

11. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law to rezone an area from RS-1 to RM-8A re: 643-683 West 31st Avenue
(Councillors Carr and Hardwick absent for this item at Public Hearing)

12. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law to rezone an area to CD-1 re: 2209 2249 East Broadway
(Councillors Carr, De Genova and Mayor Stewart absent for this item at Public Hearing)

13. A By-law to designate certain real property as protected heritage property re: 6825 West Boulevard (Twiss Residence)

14. A By-law to enact a Housing Agreement for 3350 Marine Way

15. A By-law to enact a Housing Agreement for 1074–1078 Cardero Street

16. A By-law to enact a Housing Agreement for 524 Powell Street

17. A By-law to enact a Housing Agreement for 5055 Joyce Street

18. A By-law to enact a Housing Agreement for 1188 Burnaby Street and repeal By-law No. 12201

19. A By-law to amend Sign By-law re: 3435 East Hastings Street
(Councillor Dominato absent for this item at Public Hearing)

20. A By-law to amend Noise Control By-law re: 3435 East Hastings Street

21. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law to rezone an area to CD-1 re: 1002 Station and 250-310 Prior Street

22. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 regarding a consequential amendment to the I-3 District Schedule with regard to the CD-1 rezoning of 1002 Station Street and 250-310 Prior Street
Subject to the approval of By-law 21

23. A By-law to amend Regional Context Statement Official Development Plan By-law No. 10789 regarding land use in the New St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus
Subject to the approval of By-law 21

MOTIONS

A. Administrative Motions

1. Approval of Form of Development – 5027 Boundary Road

B. Council Members’ Motions

1. Requests for Leaves of Absence

2. Turning the Key: Encouraging Affordable Home Ownership in the City of Vancouver

3. A Community Safety and Well being Framework (corrected)

NOTICE OF COUNCIL MEMBERS’ MOTIONS

NEW BUSINESS

ENQUIRIES AND OTHER MATTERS

* * * * *

Download the agenda

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Public Hearing: https://council.vancouver.ca/20210119/phea20210119ag.htm

Public Hearing
January 19, 2021

Last Update: January 14, 2021

Date and location

Tuesday, January 19, 2021  6 pm

Council Chamber, Third Floor, City Hall

Get involved and stay informed

Tip: Send your comments by the day before the meeting so Council has time to review them.

Send comments to Council

Sign up to speak about an agenda item:

  • Register by phone at 604-829-4238 between 5:30pm and 6pm on the day of the public hearing, or 30 minutes before the hearing starts at City Hall. Find out more
  • Online by 5:00pm on the day of meeting

If you miss the deadline, listen to the livestream of the meeting and follow the Chairs phone in instructions when the meeting Chair calls three times for any other speakers after all registered speakers are heard.

Request to speak

Watch the live broadcast Get updates on Twitter

Questions about this agenda?

1. CD-1 Rezoning: 810 Kingsway

2. CD-1 Rezoning: 2246-2268 East Broadway

3. CD-1 Rezoning: 441-475 West 42nd Avenue

4. CD-1 Rezoning: 5740 Cambie Street

Download the agenda

* * * * * *

City Finance and Services: https://council.vancouver.ca/20210120/cfsc20210120ag.htm

Standing Committee on City Finance and Services agenda
January 20, 2021

Updated January 14, 2021

Date and location

Wednesday, January 20, 2021  9:30 am

Council Chamber, Third Floor, City Hall

PLEASE NOTE:

Following updated guidance issued on December 4, 2020 and extended on January 7, 2021, in-person participation for local government meetings and public hearings is currently not permitted under the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Order on Gatherings and Events.

Get involved and stay informed

Send comments to Council

Note Tip: Send your comments by the day before the meeting so Council has time to review them.

Sign up to speak about an agenda item by 8:30am. Requests to speak must be received no later than one hour prior to the scheduled start time of the meeting.

Request to speak  Watch the live broadcast  Get updates on Twitter

Questions about this agenda?

ROLL CALL

MATTERS ADOPTED ON CONSENT

AGENDA ITEMS

1. The Code of Conduct for Council Members and Advisory Board Members (BY-LAW No. _____)

2. Contract Award for General Excavated Materials Sorting, Loading and Hauling

3. Contract Award for PS20200434 – Provision of a Sewage and Rainwater Management Plan (“SRMP”) for Vancouver

4. Ensuring That People with Health and Mobility Issues Have Protection and Support When Elevators Break Down (Member’s Motion B.2)

At the Council meeting on December 8 and 10, 2020, Council referred the above-noted motion to the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meeting on January 20, 2021, for debate and decision and to hear from speakers.

Note: Speaker Registration for this item closed on December 8, 2020 at 8:30 am.

5. Improving Street Lighting in Vancouver (Member’s Motion B.3)

At the Council meeting on December 8 and 10, 2020, Council referred the above-noted motion to the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meeting on January 20, 2021, for debate and decision and to hear from speakers.

Note: Speaker Registration for this item closed on December 8, 2020 at 8:30 am.

* * * * *

NOTICE

A Council meeting will be convened immediately following the Standing Committee meeting.

COUNCIL MEETING
AGENDA

ROLL CALL

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

1. Standing Committee of Council on City Finance and Services
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Approval of recommendations and actions.

Download the agenda

* * * * * *

https://council.vancouver.ca/20210121/phea20210121ag.htm

Public Hearing
January 21, 2021

Updated: January 13, 2020

Date and location

Thursday, January 21, 2021  6 pm

Council Chamber, Third Floor, City Hall

Get involved and stay informed

Tip: Send your comments by the day before the meeting so Council has time to review them.

Send comments to Council

Sign up to speak about an agenda item:

  • Register by phone at 604-829-4238 between 5:30pm and 6pm on the day of the public hearing, or 30 minutes before the hearing starts at City Hall. Find out more
  • Online by 5:00pm on the day of meeting

If you miss the deadline, listen to the livestream of the meeting and follow the Chairs phone in instructions when the meeting Chair calls three times for any other speakers after all registered speakers are heard.

Request to speak

Watch the live broadcast  Get updates on Twitter

1. Employment Lands and Economy Review Quick Start Actions: Mount Pleasant I-1 Amendment and New I-1C District Schedule

2. Employment Lands and Economy Review Quick Start Actions: Downtown-Eastside/Oppenheimer District Official Development Plan Text Amendment – Retail Continuity Policy Review for Flexibility of Ground Floor Uses

3. Employment Lands and Economy Review Quick Start Actions: Zoning and Development By-law Amendments to Remove Barriers to New Work-Only Artist Studios in Industrial Areas

4. Employment Lands and Economy Review Quick Start Actions: Initial Zoning and Development By-law Amendments to Support Neighbourhood Grocery Stores

Download the agenda  PDF

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