(Updated June 28, 2011) This below is an independent CityHallWatch report on a project of great importance for our city, Vancouver. See elsewhere on CityHallWatch for coverage of this project. We are also concerned about the City’s performance relating to policies (“Vancouver Views,” building heights, protected view corridors) and processes (public consultation, role of advisory panel, etc.) that have brought this application to this point, and feel that it deserves more public scrutiny. We go into considerable detail below, because we feel the detail is important. Two meetings by the “Urban Design Panel” (UDP) to review the application were an important part of this process (April 20, then this one). Our report on this second meeting follows, with some observations at the end. Continue reading
[Update on 17 June] An Urban Design Panel meeting was scheduled to be held on June 15th at 4pm. It was abruptly cancelled. We learned from the City Clerk’s office, that was rescheduled to start at 12 noon on Thursday, June 16th. CityHallWatch wrote to the City (copies to several departments, members of the UDP and to the VCPC) with a complaint and calling for it to be rescheduled with adequate public notice. (See letter below.) As of today, we did not even receive an acknowledgment of receipt from anyone at all. But the UDP website now says the meeting was set for 4 pm on June 16. We will try to report further.
The two items on the agenda would have been the Burrard Gateway proposal and 1050 Expo Boulevard. Members of the public only found out that the meeting had been cancelled by showing up at City Hall; the UDP web section on the city’s web site still lists the meeting on this screen capture Wednesday evening.
The last UDP meeting that discussed the 1290 Burrard Street item was very well attended by the public on April 20th. At that time the 8 members of the expanded UDP voted AGAINST the motion, hence the majority of the UDP did not see the potential for excellence to be reached with the submitted design at that time. Letter to City follows.