The conversion of 98 units of rental to hotel use will be reviewed at City Hall by the Development Permit Board meeting on
June 15 June 22, 2015. This is the second time the DPB will be reviewing this proposal. In 2011, former Director of Planning Brent Toderian voted against the rental to hotel use conversion, along with former DP voting members David McLellan and Peter Judd. Since that time, McLellan and Judd have both retired and Toderian was let go by the City. [Update: City Staff informed interested residents via email on June 15th around 4:30 pm that the “Development Permit Board meeting has been rescheduled to Monday June 22 at 3:00 at the Town Hall in the Main City Hall building”]
The Carmana Plaza at 1128 Alberni Street has been operating illegally for many years as a hotel — in full view of the City of Vancouver and with the full knowledge of staff. Senior planner Kevin McNaney made misleading statements to MetroNews in an article published on May 11, 2015 and claimed that the City didn’t know that the rental units were being illegally used as hotel rooms (for further details, please see: City claims ignorance on Carmana Plaza permit violation (rentals as hotel). Public correction needed? CityHallWatch, May 12, 2015).
The current voting members of the DP Board are Brian Jackson (General Manager, Planning and Development), Sadhu Johnston (Deputy City Manager) and Jerry Dobrovolny (Director of Transportation). Will the DB Board vote to approve the same rental to hotel room conversion that was rejected in 2011?
The staff report and recommendations for 1128 Alberni were not available on the City’s website as of this writing (9:45am June 15, 2015). However, we have a copy of the report that was obtained via email late on Friday afternoon: CoV DPB, staff report, 1128 Alberni, DE418950, for 15-June-2015 (People should note that this report is dated May 20. Why did City Hall postpone its public release? Also, public input was being accepted to the end of the day on May 20. How could the report be complete before all public input was received?)
Are some applicants more equal than others? The Carmana Plaza has operated illegally as a hotel for approximately 10 years. Are certain corporations permitted to break bylaws with impunity? Is preserving rental stock in the West End truly a City priority? Will the DP Board reward the applicant and approve the rental to hotel use conversion? Stay tuned.