Jericho Lands planning program launch 2-Mar-2019 (Sat) for 30-hectare site development

Jericho Lands boundaries and ownership Jan 2019 COV

Information from the City of Vancouver website, 25-Feb-2019. See the link for more information, including chronology.

Saturday, March 2, 2019
12 noon to 1 pm: Ceremonial Welcome
1 pm to 4 pm: Open House
Jericho Hill Gym (4180 West 4th Ave)
Details: https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/jericho-lands.aspx

Second Open House
Thursday, March 7, 2019
4:30 to 7:30 pm
Jericho Hill Pool and Gymnasium, 4180 W 4th Avenue

Jericho Lands Planning Program

The Jericho Lands are a 36-hectare (90 acre) area in Vancouver’s West Point Grey neighbourhood bounded by W 4th Ave, Highbury St, W 8th Ave, and Discovery St. The site is within the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (MST) and owned by the MST Nations and Canada Land Company (CLC).

The Jericho Lands will go through a comprehensive planning program:

  • Ways to advance collective work toward reconciliation
  • Creating a complete community with a range of housing options with different income levels and tenures
  • Providing new housing within walking distance of existing and future frequent transit routes, including a potential Skytrain extension to UBC
  • Providing shops, services, childcare, and employment space to support the new community and the rest of the city
  • Recognizing and celebrating cultural and heritage assets
  • Creating new parks and open spaces, and a comprehensive package of other community amenities to be determined through the planning process

Additional comments: Continue reading

The Housing Crisis and the Vancouver Subway Fight: The right way to stop the UBC subway from being built is to demand governments act to end the Housing Crisis (Lewis Villegas)

We copy here with permission, this article entitled “The Housing Crisis and the Vancouver Subway Fight” (original article here), by Lewis Villegas (@lewvil), a thoughtful commentator on transportation and development in the region.

He expands the discussion way beyond the proposed Broadway Subway and its extension to UBC to look at various transit and development options, for the entire region. A must read for everyone in the entire Lower Mainland as far as Chilliwack!

To whet your appetite, we start with conclusions. And we bring two images up here to the top, comparing what transportation can be delivered with one subway vs tram and other options.

… It is difficult to put this in simpler language: By switching to Modern Tram we build 12x more track for the same dollar, or buck. That extra track still carries 2.35x more passengers than skytrain. For the same buck! Oh… And the resulting ‘urbanism’ is better….

… The UBC subway will build more of the WRONG kind of housing supply, deepening the Housing Crisis and pushing our city and region closer to the brink.

 

Villegas9 bang-4-buck

Villegas12 tram-municipalities

 

****************** Continue reading

Petition aims to save five grass playing fields in Vancouver parks, stop conversion to synthetic turf, and keep fields accessible to all

Park Comparison artificial turf vs grass

Vancouver citizens have launched a petition to “Save Our Neighbourhood Parks.”

Link to Change.org online sign-ons is here.  

Download page to collect signatures: Save Vancouver parks grass fields petition Jan 2019

Here is the short description of “Keep our Parks Green, Healthy, and Accessible to All

The Vancouver Park Board is proposing to install five new lit synthetic turf fields adding to 12 existing artificial fields in Vancouver. This is apparently coming soon the the Park Board for a decision. The proposed locations are

  • Clinton Park,
  • Beaconsfield Park,
  • Hillcrest Park,
  • Kitsilano Secondary School and
  • Churchill Secondary School.

The petition raises the following concerns about artificial turf fields.

Costly synthetic fields prioritize paid-users, while the larger community comes second. We believe that fields must be accessible and open for everybody’s health and enjoyment.

• The environmental and health impacts are considerable and include, but are not limited to:

  1. off-gassing and toxins that children and others will inhale or come into contact with (Vancouver’s Public Health and Chief Medical Heath Officer recommends that players wash after contact with synthetic fields);
  2. microplastics that can wash into our waterways and migrate into our environment; massive amounts of additional landfill from expired turf (10 year lifespan), and increased stormwater run-off;
  3. loss of natural greenspaces that serve as carbon sinks, maintain good air quality and regulate temperature. Trees, plants, soil, insects, birds, animals and humans benefit from grass.

The new synthetic field proposal is inconsistent with the Park Board’s mission statement to “provide, preserve, and advocate for parks to benefit all people, communities and the environment.” [See statement below from Vancouver’s Director of Planning, 2016.]

The petition concludes, in a fast-growing city like Vancouver every inch of green space is precious. We all deserve to enjoy safe and healthy natural parks kept free from known toxins, carcinogens and plastic.

Say NO to the Park Board in replacing grass with plastic. Say NO to fencing off playing fields on public land.

More info:

Facebook Page: Save our Neighbourhood Parks
Contact: clintonpark2018@gmail.com Continue reading

Development applications snapshot 1-Feb-2019

For an explanation of our monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Rezoning Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website. The list contains valuable information on each application, and indicates scheduled “open houses” and Public Hearings. Spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested.

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/

Download the full list of development applications we created in PDF format:
CoV development applications snapshot 1-Feb-2019

For a current list of applications, click: vancouver.ca/devapps/.

Below is the list as of February 1, 2019.

Continue reading

Rezoning applications snapshot 1-Feb-2019

For an explanation of our monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Rezoning Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website. The list contains valuable information on each application, and indicates scheduled “open houses” and Public Hearings. Spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested. There are about 70 proposed, over 70 approved, and several open houses coming up.

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/

Download the full list of development applications we created in PDF format:
CoV rezoning applications snapshot 1-Feb-2019

For a current list of applications, click: vancouver.ca/devapps/.

Below is the list as of February 1, 2019. Continue reading

Not so fast: CVN coalition asks Mayor & Council NOT to endorse staff recommendation for multi-billion dollar SkyTrain to UBC (30-Jan-2019)

cover of mcelhanney report rail to ubc jan 2019

Cover of McElhanney transit study

At the Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities on January 30, 2019 (Wed), Vancouver city staff will present a report to City Council entitled “Rapid Transit from Arbutus Street to UBC.”

The report was just made public on January 25. Senior city staff are recommending that the Mayor and Council “endorse a SkyTrain extension from Arbutus Street to UBC.”

This is a multi-billion dollar decision with huge implications for Vancouver decades ahead, highly premature, and based on questionable numbers.

The 11-member City Council of whom nine are there for the first time, would be very smart NOT TO ACCEPT the staff recommendations, and instead only to RECEIVE the report for information purposes. Many of the assertions made by the consultant and staff deserve further review. Any member of the public who feels this is an important topic is encouraged to share their views with Council by speaking or writing. See meeting agenda for details.

The Vancouver Coalition of Neighbourhoods (CVN) wrote to Council on January 25 asking Council to accept the report for information only, not to endorse it or accept its recommendations (see the link CVN’s letter, 10-point excerpt also provided below) .

In the staff report, General Manager of Engineering Services (Gerry Dobrovolny) and General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability (Gil Kelly) recommend:

A. THAT Council endorse a SkyTrain extension from Arbutus Street to UBC.
B. THAT Council direct staff to work with partners to advance the design development including public consultation to determine station locations, vertical and horizontal alignment.
C. THAT staff write a letter to the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation (“Mayors’ Council”) to inform them of Council’s support for the selection of SkyTrain and further design and consultation on alignment.

Two related documents are available online for this meeting.

“Rapid Transit from Arbutus Street to UBC” (staff report, Jan 15, 2019) https://council.vancouver.ca/20190130/documents/pspc1.pdf

Appendix C (“Rail to UBC Rapid Transit Study: Alternatives Analysis Summary and Update” (McElhanney Consulting Services) Jan 2019 ): https://council.vancouver.ca/20190130/documents/pspc1-AppendixC.pdf

There are many problems with the  consultant report and staff recommendations. Many of the numbers, statements, technical details, and assumptions used to justify the staff’s conclusions are questionable and could collapse under close review. They deserve independent review and verification.

The Broadway Subway plan was a pillar of Vision Vancouver policy, though public support was never explicitly provided. But Vision was obliterated from City Council in the October 2018 civic election after ten years of absolute majority, which could also be seen in part as a rejection of the Broadway Subway idea. But notably, Vision did some high-profile firings of staff during its years in power and installed staff who were compliant with their policies. Those staff are now trying to implement Vision policies though their former masters are gone.

If Council approves the staff recommendation to endorse a SkyTrain extension from Arbutus Street to UBC, it will predetermine the planning outcomes and make a citywide plan (just now beginning) moot.

Council should be receiving this report for information only and not be implementing it as policy. Expect the City staff to fight any delays.

But our elected Mayor and Council are responsible to taxpayers and the public and would be well-advised to take their time to have the facts properly tested and validated.

The consultant report should not be used as the sole basis for approving a major policy direction in advance of public consultation on a citywide plan.

Here is an excerpt of the CVN letter: Continue reading

Meet Your City Councillors: GWAC meeting on role of neighbourhood residents’ councils (Mon, 14-Jan-2019, 7pm)

gwac meeting 14-jan-2019Grandview Woodland Area Council is one of the longest surviving neighbourhood association. Their first public meeting of the year may interest many neighbourhood groups, especially as Vancouver enters a city wide planning process.

Public Meeting: Monday, January 14th, start 7 pm
Location: Ice Rink Mezzanine (Britannia Ice Rink), 1661 Parker Street, Vancouver
Topic: Meet New Vancouver City Councillors and discuss the role of neighbourhood residents’ councils

The Grandview Woodland area recently underwent a planning process and GWAC is actively staying on top of things. They recently also inquired with the City about “the pace of change” policy expressed in the Grandview Woodland Community Plan (GWCP), asking how many projects have been built within the parameters stated in the Plan. They also asked how many more are in the planning stages and how many conform to the Plan’s “pace of change” policy. GWAC is expecting answers early in the new year.