RT (Two-Family) Zone Review in Grandview-Woodland and Mount Pleasant: Open House June 21 (Wed)

CoV Grandview-Woodland logoAn important notice going out to people who have subscribed to a City newsletter.

RT (Two-Family) Zone Review in Grandview-Woodland and Mount Pleasant

As guided by the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan, the City has been working with the community to develop new zoning to provide more incentives for character home retention and to increase housing opportunities in the historic Grandview neighbourhood.

Similarly, to implement the Mount Pleasant Community Plan, an RT Zone Review was recently launched in that community with similar objectives. In recognition of the significant overlap in the context and objectives of these two planning programs, they have been combined to produce a common and consistent approach for changes to the RT Zones.

An open house is being held to share the draft RT (two-family) regulations with the Mount Pleasant community. It takes place at the following time and location:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
5 to 8 pm
Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street)

The material will be similar to what was shared with the Grandview-Woodland community in May 2017. If you missed the recent open houses [link to presentation boards in Grandview-Woodland and are interested in this program you may wish to attend to learn more.

If you cannot attend, you can view the display boards on the Mt. Pleasant RT Zone Review webpage as of June 22.  If you have any questions, please email us at grandviewplan@vancouver.ca.

Continue reading

City seeks public input to shape new housing strategy: Meet June 17 (Sat), take online survey by June 23

CoV schedule housing reset 2017

In March 2017, Vancouver City Council approved “emerging directions” to help form the City’s new housing strategy, “a new approach to delivering housing affordability for local residents now and into the future.” Now the City seeks public feedback, on the schedule indicated in the above graphic. A report back to Council is expected in July, and the final “Housing Vancouver Strategy” is to be in fall/winter 2017. Policy implications and impacts on neighbourhoods could be enormous, so early public input is crucial. It would be interesting if someone would create a table comparing the proposed new housing strategy with the old housing strategy.

Provide feedback on the proposed new priorities and actions

CoV says We are looking for all Vancouver residents to provide feedback on the proposed new priorities and actions, which will focus on building the right supply of housing across the city. Feedback received will help form our new 10-year housing and homelessness strategy, Housing Vancouver. Residents from across the city, renters, home owners, seniors, youth and families, are invited to discuss how housing affordability affects their lives and to explore how proposed new priorities could shape a new approach to housing.”

How to learn more and give feedback:

  • Answer an online survey: The city has two online surveys open until June 23, 2017 (one for residents and one for non-residents — former residents and school/work commuters)
  • Attend the public dialogue event, “The Big Conversation – The Future of Housing in Vancouver” on June 17 (Saturday) 10 am to 1:30 pm, Vancouver Curling Club at Hillcrest Centre. Registration required.
  • Follow the topic on Twitter with hashtag #HousingVan

For more information, plus links to the surveys and registration for the event, please click here:
http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/housing-and-homelessness.aspx

The June 17 even registration requires self-identification in one of four categories (renter/co-op member; owner; living at home with family or in student housing; struggling — e.g. temporary housing, a shelter, couch surfing, or homeless). As of June 15 one category is sold out, one is on wait list, and two are still open.

If a reader takes the survey, we would love to hear your comments/thoughts on it. citizenYVR@gmail.com

With the overall proposals and design of questions, are there any glaring gaps or biases? Watch the adjectives being used by City staff. Are there any pitfalls with what is being proposed? What is being missed in the City staff thinking? (For example, creating thousands of new official rental units by stopping the ruthless crackdown on unauthorized rentals and actually helping owners deal with code issues to get them authorized, expanding the secondary suite rental program, reducing cruel treatment in the renovation permit process, cutting inefficiency/incompetency/redundancy/waste in development/building permit departments, and more)

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EXCERPT FROM “City invites public to join the big conversation to help shape new housing strategy” May 26 2017 Continue reading

Open houses for Cambie Corridor Phase 3: June 15 (Thurs), June 17 (Sat)

COV cambie-corridor-phase-3-landing

Image credit: City of Vancouver

(Updated, with text of media release from City of Vancouver at bottom, PLUS Vancouver Courier article.)

Important open houses:

Thursday, June 15
4:00-8:00pm
Oakridge Centre Auditorium, 650 West 41st Ave

Saturday, June 17
11:00am – 5:00pm
Oakridge Centre Auditorium, 650 West 41st Ave
These two events will provide the same content at two time options.

online questionnaire: vancouver.ca/cambiecorridor

The following info is excerpted from City of Vancouver website. Click here for much more information.
http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/cambie-corridor-plan.aspx

Cambie Corridor Planning Program

Join the conversation – Spring 2017 open house
Join the conversation and continue to help us shape the future of the Corridor through our online consultation (May through June) and our Cambie Corridor – 2017 spring open houses.

These events will be a chance to discuss and provide feedback on all of the draft plan directions presented over the spring and learn about planning for the Oakridge Municipal Town Centre area.

How we’ll use your feedback
Following the open houses, we will use your feedback to modify and refine the final, comprehensive Cambie Corridor Plan, which we are targeting to present to City Council for consideration in late fall 2017/early 2018. Continue reading

City Council rejects rezoning application for 12-storey Beedie tower at 105 Keefer in Vancouver’s Chinatown

CoV 105 Keefer vote chart 13-June-2017

Final vote of 11 members of Vancouver City Council for 105 Keefer in Chinatown

Keep the following Tweet for the history books.

Hundreds of thousands of words have been written and spoken on this rezoning application. The opposition movement for this 12-storey tower proposal probably volunteered tens of thousands of hours of personal time, while the organized effort to lobby council for approval was probably tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the end, on the 11-person City Council, eight (8) council members voted in opposition, and three (3) in support. Despite the rejection of the 12-storey proposal, the Beedie Group still has the potential to go ahead and seek development approval for a nine-story building here.  So a whole new process needs to begin now with discussions about the best and most respectful use of that site.

History was made today in a number of ways. People have put this battle in the context of Chinatown’s fight against highways in the 1970s, which ended up defining Vancouver we see today. Another historic happening was the split vote within the ruling party. In the ten years (2008 to 2017) since Vision Vancouver has held absolute power at City Hall, it has been extremely rare to see even one of the Vision members on City Council NOT vote with the party. (It seems quite possible that coordinated vote decisions are typically being made secretly, and possibly illegally, in caucus.) Another historic happening was an actual rejection of a major development application. We will have to dig far and deep to find any record of Vancouver City Council under the current regime ever rejecting a rezoning application, large or small. 105 Keefer rezoning sign

Surely there will be a major amount of follow-up reporting in local, national and international media and even textbooks about this historic decision today. We will post some links here in the coming days.  Continue reading

Northeast False Creek Area Plan Workshop: UDP meeting (Wednesday, June 14)

nefc-area Image COV 2017Of interest.

http://vancouver.ca/your-government/urban-design-panel.aspx

June 14, 2017 (Wednesday), starting 3 pm
Place: Town Hall Meeting Room, Vancouver City Hall
Project: Northeast False Creek Area Plan Workshop
Description: The Northeast False Creek Area Plan is a transformative project that will result in one of Vancouver’s most significant city-building opportunities in a generation. As the last remaining piece of large undeveloped land in the downtown along the False Creek waterfront, Northeast False Creek provides an opportunity to embrace the rich culture and history of the area, local assets, and access to water and to create a new vibrant and resilient community that represents a step forward in city-building. Topics for workshop discussion include:
– Northeast False Creek Draft Plan
– Streetscape Design
– Park Concept Design
– Development Sites:
– Sub-area 6B (Canadian Metropolitan Properties/James K. M. Cheng Architects)
– Sub-area 6C (Concord Pacific/Civitas Architecture)
– Sub-area 10C (PavCo/Stantec Architecture)
– Sub-area 6D (City of Vancouver/Perkins + Will)

Review: First
Staff: Holly Sovdi, Patricia St. Michel, Cynthia Lau, Peter Cohen & Catarina Gomes
Further information about the project, consultation outcomes and key documents
can be found at vancouver.ca/nefc.

Grandview-Woodland plaza concept: Citizen writes City council & planners regarding “significant change being proposed”

CoV grandview woodland plaza location 9-Jun-2017

Image from CoV materials presented June 7th.

Below is the text of a letter Vancouver resident David Carman sent to council, mayor and city planners on June 9, 2017 with his observations after attending the “Grandview-Woodland Plaza Exploration” open house the previous evening at the Croatian Cultural Centre about potential development of the Safeway site at 1780 East Broadway, at Commercial Drive.

By way of background, after a grueling and contentious process, Vancouver City Council adopted the Grandview Woodland Community Plan in July 2016. It appears that the developer is proposing significant changes to what Council approved for this site and City planners are complying, trying to get public consensus for the new concept.

The only public notice we are aware of prior to the June 8 “plaza exploration” event was a colourfully-worded May 30 blog post by Jak King, entitled “Urgent: Potential Commercial & Broadway Sellout!” He followed up after the meeting with “The Plaza at Commercial & Broadway.”

On the City website, the event is explained like this: “We have been approached by a development team (developer, architect, and property owner) about a potential redevelopment of the Safeway site located at 1780 East Broadway, at Commercial Drive.
The Grandview-Woodland Community Plan sets a requirement to provide a new at-grade public plaza on the site (see section 6.7.1, page 112-113 of the updated version). Presentation materials from the open house information displays are available by download (7.7 MB): http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/grandview-woodland-plaza-discussion-information-displays.pdf.

Click here for the City’s official web page on the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan.

Below is the letter, published here with the author’s approval.

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My name is David Carman and I attended the Grandview-Woodland Plaza Exploration on June 7th. In addition to learning about the new plaza proposal I wanted to get information about the rationale behind the significant change being proposed. Other than a desire to “Heal the Divide”, no other information was provided in this regard on the display boards.

During the controlled question period it was revealed that the impetus for the proposed switch in location was unsurprisingly driven by the fact that the main tenant (Safeway) and main developer (Westbank) were not on board with having the public plaza built on their site. They apparently wish to see the plaza moved from their private property and placed elsewhere – in this case onto city owned land.

Considering the amount of time, preparation and planning I can imagine would have gone into the original plaza proposal I was very surprised to learn of this suggested change. Surely to have proceeded with a plaza plan of such magnitude – a plaza considered by some to be the anchor point of the entire Grandview-Woodland Plan – in-depth consultation and buy-in from the tenant and developer would have been required. I discussed this matter after the presentation with a member of the city planning staff, Yardley McNeill. Ms. McNeill was either unaware of or not forthcoming about any previous consultation planning staff may or may not have had with the tenant/developer and said the proposed change came “totally out of the blue”. Continue reading

City of Vancouver stops using e-mail access to reach “Mayor and Council,” switches to online form

city-council-2014-large(Update on 13-Jun-2017. Asked by Clr Melissa de Genova near the end of a City Council meeting about this topic of the e-mail address termination, City Manager Sadhu Johnston replied that he was not aware of it having been done, but would check into it and report back.)

As of today, people are noticing that e-mails to Vancouver’s Mayor and ten Councillors (mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca) are no longer going to get through. This follows a similar pattern with the shift from general e-mail access to an online form last September (see ““info@vancouver.ca” e-mail address discontinued as City shifts to icon-based screen online“).

Here is the message that comes back if you write to “mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca”:

Mayor and Council Correspondence
This email account is no longer being monitored.
To contact Mayor and Council, please submit your comments through the online form.

Mayor and Council no longer monitored 8-Jun-2017

The link goes to here:
http://vancouver.ca/your-government/contact-council.aspx

As far as we know, no one at the City has provided any explanation of the rationale for this decision, or who made it, and whether or not there was any consideration of the pros and cons. Some people will argue that e-mail was certainly a convenient way of sending comments and information to Mayor and Council. Some may find the online form more convenient.

Comments, anyone? An early observation is the 3500 character limit on the text, about two pages of text. Also, by going with the online form, do people have a copy of what they sent? Some responses below our post here indicate the downside of removing the e-mail option.

The <mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca has for years been a popular way to reach the Mayor and Councillors with one e-mail.

There are of course other ways to reach Mayor and Council — by phone, direct e-mail to each individual, an in-person meeting, and yes, even by regular “snail” mail. See our list of contact information here: Contact Mayor/Council, School Board, Park Board
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/contact-officials/

NEW ONLINE FORM PAGE Continue reading