“Marpole Area Residents Assn” statement

MARA – Speaking to Andrea Reimer’s Motion regarding Planning Options
Speaker: Jo-Anne Pringle
November 4, 2010. Download: MARA Speaking to Council – Nov 4-10

I am speaking today on behalf of the Marpole Area Residents Alliance.

I’d like to thank Council for initiating a process for looking at planning options for more than one community at a time and would like to speak to a couple of specifics in the current Motion put forward by Andrea Reimer.

We know that the Marpole Plan is 31 years old and that Marpole currently has three Rezoning Applications and there are a number of other envisioned developments that are expected to be coming online in the near future.

The residents of Marpole have been calling loudly for planning through correspondence & feedback forms to the City, interviews through the media and at community meetings, and with so many developments proposed or envisioned for our neighbourhood certainly the time is right for the fullness of neighbourhood planning to take place. But whether we have a Community Plan, a Community Vision or some other new model of planning, we don’t know, because we don’t yet know just what the options are.

But we do ask that the community be consulted – with respect to planning options, and that we be fully included in helping to design the Terms of Reference for any planning for our community.

We do feel that we, other communities and Planning Staff would benefit greatly from having the opportunity to collaboratively review the planning process for the most recent planning for Mount Pleasant and Norquay and that reviewing their planning and looking at what worked, what didn’t, and what could be done better or more effectively
should form part of the research that staff uses to Report to Council on the directive included in the last line of this Motion – which asks for information relating to “changes to the process used to develop the additional neighbourhood plans”.

To speak to budget constraints and current resources – we are concerned that planning conducted without adequate resources will result in a poor quality, water down plan. So providing adequate resources, and not stretching the current staff too thin needs serious consideration. I would like to highlight that “quality planning” is of the essence.

And lastly with respect to timelines for neighbourhood plans to be initiated – it is unclear how the initiation of planning in neighbourhoods with existing Rezoning Applications would play out. It is essential that a meaningful neighbourhood planning process, guide development & Rezoning Applications and that the planning process and the outcomes of the plan not be guided by Rezoning Applications.

We look forward to staff’s Report to Council on this matter; and I thank you for giving our community an opportunity to address this Motion.

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