Little Mountain Film – Crowd-funding campaign til June 23 for documentary maker David Vaisbord

Little Mountain Film trailer top imageThe Little Mountain Film will be a documentary that follows the stories of three Little Mountain families and their fight to save their homes from demolition.

It is a powerful and important story with universal messages. It needs to be told. The project has been a work of passion of “hyper-local” documentary maker David Vaisbord, who now has hundreds of hours of video footage taken over the past several years of the story of Little Mountain in Vancouver. We urge readers to check out the following links and consider supporting the final stages for the making of this documentary.

For more about the project, including a film trailer, and to make an online donation, go to Indiegogo:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/little-mountain-film Continue reading

New Research: Community Overwhelmingly Opposes Little Mountain Plan

New research, released January 29, 2013, by the Riley Park South Cambie Community Visions Committee, “clearly shows overwhelming opposition to the city’s development plan for the Little Mountain Social Housing site.” For more information, please visit  rpscvisions.ca or vanopolis.ca. See bottom of page for files. Download the actual report by Eliana Chia here in PDF format. Read the “Area Residents Reject Province and City Plans for Little Mountain Re-development” two-page synopsis here (now in MS Word .doc format).

The news release is copied below for convenience of readers.

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Great news on Little Mountain Housing breakthrough! But public needs answers on due process, transparency. And can units be built without rezoning?

(Updated) The news that low-income tenants at Little Mountain will not be evicted is a huge relief. We hope the news is all true. But, the public must wait to learn, at what cost was the deal made? Gregor Robertson’s Mayor’s Office (rather than the City’s official media office — though we’ve found a release by the Province of BC.) today, October 25, 2012, issued a press release on his blog entitled, “Social housing to move forward at Little Mountain; tenants can remain on site.” It states that a deal has been reached to prevent the eviction of the tenants occupying the last remaining building at Little Mountain Housing (see our earlier articles here and here). Quoting from the press release:

“Mayor Gregor Robertson says it is good news that social housing at Little Mountain will go ahead, and that a deal has been reached to let the remaining tenants stay on site.

The B.C. government, the City of Vancouver and Holborn Properties have signed an agreement that will allow up to 50 social housing units to be built right away at Little Mountain, prior to the completion of the rezoning process.”

This is great news that the last remaining tenants have have averted eviction, and celebration is in order for that. But the public and media need to know more of the details before they can rest assured that the deal is a good one for the tenants and the people of Vancouver. The statements issued by the Mayor’s Office bring up several key questions. How can units be built ‘right away’ if no rezoning has taken place? The release states that “The City will subdivide the lot and expedite permits to help fast-track the social housing.” This clue suggests two scenarios, as the deal involves plans to divide the property. Either a rezoning will be required to isolate a parcel destined for 50 housing units, or they would have to be built under current zoning (RM-3A Multiple Dwelling at floor space ratio of 1.0). So here’s the catch — if a rezoning is the intent of the agreement, a Public Hearing is required. Can the Mayor’s Office make a public commitment to the outcome of a Public Hearing (even for a very worth cause)? What precedents are being set here? Have all our elected officials at City Hall been briefed of the details and did the express support for the deal before the Mayor made the announcement? Has the Mayor followed due process? Of course building under current zoning would not require a public hearing or Council approval, but current zoning limits development there to a density of 1.0 FSR. We’ve reproduced the zoning map below for reference:

Open questions: What is the story behind the scenes? Did BC Housing and Holborn artificially create a crisis using the threat of eviction, which gave them and the City of Vancouver the chance to appear like heroes Continue reading

Little Mountain Project: Documentary filmmaker David Vaisbord untangles the web

The premature destruction of this large social housing complex in Vancouver and the ongoing saga about the community and the site’s fate deserve attention now and will for some time to come. Offshore investors, egos, political influence and spin, bureaucratic bungling, mainstream media blindspots and incompetence, and more, are some of the factors determining the flow of the ongoing saga of the Little Mountain housing development. The project returns to Vancouver City Council this Wednesday (June 27, 2012) when the committee on Planning, Transportation and Environment reviews the Little Mountain Policy Statement. http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20120627/ptec20120627ag.htm

Independent documentary filmmaker and member of the Little Mountain community David Vaisbord has made it a personal project to document this story. Since he began in 2008 the project has been in continuous evolution and production. Continue reading

Little Mountain saga (continued) Urbanist Ned Jacobs comments on Community Advisory Group statement

Note: This article is a continuation of CityHallWatch ongoing coverage of this story. See cloud tag at right for previous coverage. Also highly recommended: littlemountainproject.com

Commentary on the Little Mountain Community Advisory Group Policy Statement (Ned Jacobs)

In many respects, the Little Mountain Community Advisory Group (CAG) statement and recommendations (download PDF Little Mountain Cmnty Adv Grp, Comments, June 2012) are consistent with those of planning staff, but they differ in regard to overall density and building heights. Continue reading

Heads up! Controversial Shannon Mews (Wall Financial, Granville St), Little Mountain (Holborn Properties, E. 37 St) at Urban Design Panel May 9

Vancouver’s Urban Design Panel meets this Wednesday on May 9. Of special note are two controversial projects, Shannon Mews (item 2) and Little Mountain (item 5) below. Interested citizens and groups are encouraged to attend. See the UDP website for a background about the UDP and procedures. http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/udp/2012/Agenda/May9.html

Urban Design Panel
Agenda Continue reading

New video of “Little Mountain” development Open House (Jan 26 & 28) now on line, link here.

Video documentary David Vaisbord has prepared a video of the developer’s Open House for the controversial Little Mountain development project near Queen Elizabeth Park. The community has until February 10 to submit comments on the application. David provides a link to the form from his website:  littlemountainproject.com. More information follows:  Continue reading