Vancouver’s 25-year strategy for all pools, final consultation NOW

Kitsilano PoolVanSplash – Aquatics Strategy, a 25 year “vision” for aquatics in Vancouver.

Some people know about it, but many Vancouverites will be hearing about this or paying attention for the first time. Even if they heard of “VanSplash,” chances are that many people had no idea of its contents or its vast implications. The Vancouver Parks Board, is in the final stages of consultation on a long-term strategy for its pools and aquatics.

The last drop-in open house is set for Monday, October 2, 2017 from 4 to 7 pm at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre (Vancouver Aquatic Centre, 1050 Beach Ave) and an online survey is open until October 8.

Plans and strategies for pools actually have huge implications for many reasons. The health and fitness of citizens. Recreation. Quality of life and livability of neighbourhoods. Learning opportunities. Competitive sports. Traffic flows. The regional economy. Hundreds of millions of dollars of public money in capital and operating budgets. And much, much more.  Everyone would be wise to have a good look now, review the materials, ask questions, and comment. Also, ask about the consultation process. The head of one major water sports association said that there was one meeting a year ago in which staff took notes of comments after an oral presentation, but other than that there was no correspondence or delving into details of the sports clubs’ needs. Just complete silence.

Will the proposals meet the real needs of our city and neighbourhoods? For example, staff are proposing to close the Vancouver Aquatic Centre in the West End and open a “spa” at a new location. The West End and downtown has a burgeoning population, especially many families with children.

Below is some information from the City, followed by links to recent media coverage.  Continue reading

City of Vancouver rezoning applications snapshot, 1-Oct-2017

As a free public service we take a monthly snapshot of the City of Vancouver’s Rezoning Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website.

A  tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two  handy online maps (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications). They are typically right up to date:
https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/rezapps.html

Below is the snapshot of the rezoning applications as of October 1, 2017. Listed here are 74 “proposed” rezonings; 57 “approved”; 37 “enacted”;9 “open houses”; 5 items “referred to public hearing”; 1 “withdrawn”; and 4 “updated.”

The open houses and public hearings deserve special attention as they are important chances for the public to obtain information and give feedback.

If you see any of the rezoning applications that deserve public scrutiny, please feel free to send us an e-mail (citizenYVR@gmail.com) with your concerns and we’ll see if we can look into it further. Or let the media know of your concern.

This list below is simply copied from the City’s Rezoning Centre website. There is no guarantee that the City’s links will continue working over time, so you are advised to download anything important. For the current official list, click: http://former.vancouver.ca/rezapps/. Note that the Archives link carries links to past rezonings from 2011 onward.

Download this list we saved in PDF format:
CoV Rezoning Applications snapshot 1-Oct-2017

Continue reading

City of Vancouver development applications snapshot, 1-Oct-2017

A tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two handy online maps (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications): https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Development Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website.

Our count for 1-Oct-2017 shows 36 “DE” applications and 178 “DP” applications (excluding 4 MMRU – Medical Marijuana-Related Use Development Applications). That 178 is way up from 137 in August. Of the DE & DP numbers, 16 are “concurrent with rezoning.” The “Centerm Port Expansion Project” is still listed without a number. Three applications are “revised,” one is “on hold,” and 1 is “unscheduled from the Development Permit Board.” Some may have also had a change of address, a mysterious and tricky practice.

Anyone interested in these projects is also encouraged to periodically check the Urban Design Panel (UDP) and Development Permit Board (DPB) schedules, as many projects appear before them as part of the approval pipeline. Check often, as sometimes their agendas appear publicly online as little as one hour before the meeting. Upcoming UDP meetings are October 2 (for the Westbank/First Baptist Church 57 storey tower at 969 Burrard & 1019-1045 Nelson, 1668-1684 Alberni, 728-796 Main,  2715 West 12th) and October 18, and November 1, 15, and 19. Upcoming DPB dates are October 30, November 14 and 27, and December 11. Note that several originally-scheduled DPB meetings have been cancelled. Download the official DPB list (as of Oct 1, the version online is dated 14-Sept-2017. We have copied the text at the bottom of this post.):
http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/current-development-applications-development-permit-board.pdf

Consider writing Mayor and Council asking them to make Development Applications archives available online. The City website provides a list of archived Rezoning Applications (here) going back to 2011, so why not full information on past Development Applications too?

For current (at time of viewing) full list of applications online, click: http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/.
For our PDF version saved October 1, 2017:

For reference, we’ve reproduced the full list of development applications as of today:
CoV Development Applications snapshot 1-Oct-2017

Continue reading

Parks and recreation system under threat, targeted for development: Op ed by Elizabeth Murphy, Vancouver Sun, 29-Sept-2017

 

ElizabethMurphyThis opinion piece by Elizabeth Murphy appeared in the Vancouver Sun on September 29, 2017.

Here are some selected quotes:

The manufactured consent coming out of the city and Park Board bureaucratic machines has intensified over the last month as they take aim at the parks and recreation systems.

…The community centre associations and the independently elected Park Board stand in the way of the city’s access to these lands for a similar housing fate as now being considered for Britannia.

… So here we have it. The future use of our public community spaces — open parks and recreation areas are treated as empty lots waiting for housing development.

… Opening up these large historic sites to housing will mean the public open spaces and amenities that make the city livable will be encroached upon just when increased density throughout the city puts more demand on their use. Many neighbourhoods are already underserved for parks and amenities. This would make it worse.

.. This is the context for the current negotiations with community centre associations (CCAs) for a new operating agreement.

… Hardball antics by staff or the board are not necessary nor helpful. Centralized control on Park Board land is mainly so the city can implement its shifting priorities.

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Parks and recreation system under threat
(Elizabeth Murphy, Vancouver Sun, 29-Sept-2017)

The manufactured consent coming out of the city and Park Board bureaucratic machines has intensified over the last month as they take aim at the parks and recreation systems.

Britannia Community Services Centre is being targeted for housing. Meanwhile, community centre associations are being forced into a new agreement many consider a shotgun marriage that undermines independent community involvement in programming in favour of centralized controls. The community centre associations and the independently elected Park Board stand in the way of the city’s access to these lands for a similar housing fate as now being considered for Britannia. Continue reading

Walking Tour of Habitat Forum site (Jericho) by Friends of the Vancouver City Archives, featuring Lindsay Brown, Oct 1 (Sunday)

Habitat 76 flagWe highly recommend this walking tour hosted by Friends of the Vancouver City Archives.

Time and Date: Sun, October 1, 2017 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM PDT

Location: Jericho Beach Park/Jericho Sailing Centre – 1300 Discovery Street – Meet at  parking ticket machine near  entrance of Jericho Sailing Centre

Tickets: $20 online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/walking-tour-of-habitat-forum-site-jericho-tickets-37327406277

This walking tour, led by Lindsay Brown, will visit the site of Habitat Forum at Jericho Beach. While all five of Jericho’s hangars were demolished by 1980, despite public outcry, faint traces of the site remain. The group will discuss the historic events that took place in each spot.

Lindsay Brown is a Vancouver writer, designer and activist. She is author of “Habitat ’76,” an illustrated history of Vancouver’s 1976 UN Habitat Conference on Human Settlements, the world’s first global conference on cities and housing (Black Dog Publishing, 2018). Brown is Director of Communications for Commons BC which creates and collects data visualization of BC’s public resources and also runs Ouno Design, an ongoing design criticism and research project. She has a BA in History from U of T, a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and an MA in Communication from Simon Fraser University.

Funds raised support the work to describe the 10,000 Habitat images donated to the City of Vancouver Archives.

To learn more about the records of Habitat Forum, please visit http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/habitat-forum-photographs

City of Vancouver Archives
http://vancouver.ca/archives

Friends of the Vancouver City Archives
https://fovca.com/
Continue reading

WPGRA AGM + Civic by-election Council candidates’ meeting tonight Sept 28 (Thurs) 7 pm

WPGRA meeting 28-Sep-2017

 

West Point Grey Residents Association
North West Point Grey Home Owners Association

Annual General Meeting
&
Vancouver Civic By-Election
Council Candidates’ Meeting

Thursday, September 28, 2017
7:00 p.m.

West Point Grey United Church Hall
4595 West 8th Avenue at Tolmie Street

7:00 p.m. Short business meeting
7:30 p.m. Invited candidates will present their positions and answer prepared questions

Prepared written questions will be read by the moderator. After the meeting, participants will have a chance to personally question a candidate.
The candidates who will be attending are as follows:
BREMNER, Hector (NPA)
CARDONA, Diego (Vision Vancouver)
FRY, Pete (Green Party)
GRAVES, Judy (OneCity)
SWANSON, Jean (Independent).

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Additional note from CityHallWatch. If you are aware of any other candidates’ meetings coming up please e-mail us at citizenYVR@gmail.com and we will put a list together and keep it updated.

 

Public input needed on Vancouver’s 2018 to 2022 City budgets, priorities, transparency. Roadshow dates Oct 18/19 (Wed/Thurs).

Dollar signs, CHWBelow is text of an info bulletin dated today (Sept 27) from the City of Vancouver. How is the City doing for its residents and taxpayers? Are its priorities right? Can you find all the information you deserve and want regarding the budgets?

We encourage individuals as well as neighbourhood associations and community groups of all types to get involved and look at the details that affect them. Does the capital plan miss some priorities? Too much in some areas and not enough in other? Is money being wasted? Are decision-making and reporting processes adequate?

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Multiple opportunities for public to provide input on City budget

The City of Vancouver’s 2018-2022 Budget Outlook<http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/2018-2022-Budget-Outlook-Final.pdf> is ready to view online. There are multiple opportunities for the public to get involved in the engagement process for the City’s 2018 Budget and five-year financial plan.

The 2018-2022 Budget Outlook helps provide context for the budget decisions the City needs to make, with the goal of making the best use of our resources to maintain services while responding to the expanding needs of our growing population.

Focused on setting priorities and taking actions for a better city, the Outlook identifies the following priorities:

* Invest in renewing existing, and adding new, public facilities and infrastructure;
* Manage the challenges of rapid growth and affordability; and
* Focus on equity and creating a resilient, healthy and green community.

The draft 2018 Budget and five-year financial plan will be available online in November. The budget will then be reviewed by City Council and the public before being approved on December 12. Continue reading