Metro Vancouver vs Coquitlam: Critical meetings June 14 & 16 on Regional Growth Strategy

MetroVanWatch has learned that what may be the most important meetings in the entire region this year will begin this week. Metro Vancouver begins non-binding arbitration for dispute resolution with Coquitlam on serious concerns about the Regional Growth Strategy. MetroVanWatch provides detailed coverage the issues.The RGS is the most important document ever produced by Metro Vancouver (the GVRD), has a time frame of 30 years, and will affect every aspect of land-use decisions in our region. We will try to report as the process proceeds. (Vision Vancouver rejected requests to hold a meeting for the public before Vancouver voted to accept the RGS on March 3.)

Initial meetings (both open to the public) for Metro Vancouver vs Coquitlam dispute resolution process on the Regional Growth Strategy:
June 14, 2011 (Tuesday), 1 to 5 pm, at Coquitlam Council Chambers, 3000 Guildford Way, Coquitlam. Here, Coquitlam will present its case. Very important meeting.
June 16, 2011 (Thursday), 1 to 5 pm, at Metro Vancouver Board Room, 4330 Kingsway, Burnaby

Victoria tells Metro Van to seek non-binding dispute resolution with Coquitlam on RGS

This article appeared online in the Vancouver Sun.
Metro Vancouver regional growth strategy tied up once again
(Vancouver Sun, 1 May 2011) Selected excerpts are below. Read full article here:
http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/growthspurts/archive/2011/05/01/metro-vancouver-regional-growth-strategy-tied-up-once-again.aspx . More coverage on the RGS is at www.MetroVanWatch.ca.

Metro Vancouver’s long-awaited regional growth strategy looks like it could be delayed again. 

  • The province has declared that the regional district must seek a 60-day non-binding resolution process to resolve concerns with the of Coquitlam, which means the process could become a political hot potato ahead of municipal elections in November.
  • Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, who had pushed to have binding arbitration to deal with the issue, warns the move could place the plan in jeopardy because it will be placed in the hands of new councils and board members. Even if Metro reaches agreement with Coquitlam, the plan must be sent back to municipalities for another 60-day approval process….
  • …But Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said the plan isn’t consistent across the region and gives too much control to the Metro Vancouver board.

Regional Growth Strategy update: Metro Van Directors ask Victoria to use “hammer” (binding arbitration) to force Coquitlam’s acceptance

On Friday, with some dissenting votes, the Metro Van board of directors decided to ask Victoria to use binding arbitration to force Coquitlam to accept the Regional Growth Strategy, a bylaw intended to guide growth in the region to 2040. More details are on www.MetroVanWatch.ca, which will be updated more soon.

MetroVanWatch responds to RGS-defender, Vancouver Clr Reimer

MetroVanWatch responds below to the words of an RGS-defender, Councillor (Andrea Reimer).  Clr. Reimer is on the Metro Vancouver Board, one of the six Board members (all six being Vision Vancouver) representing Vancouver citizens, is the Vancouver delegate to Metro’s Regional Planning Committee, and was the Vancouver delegate to the Public Hearing Process. Vancouver is the most powerful municipality in the weighted voting system of Metro, with over 23% of the vote. What she says probably represents the dominant view of Vision Vancouver, which commands absolute power in Vancouver Council. Clr Reimer uses similar messaging in response to challenges to the RGS and its process. For these reasons, we felt it important to share some MetroVanWatch analysis and perspective. Some points of this exercise: (1) The issues are big and complex, but we are all willing to learn. (2) We do think Vancouver citizens deserve a timely, well-advertised, public meeting (or several) before our elected officials make the irreversible decision to accept the RGS (which Vision plans to do on 3 March). (3) A 2 pm committee meeting on a working day is not the right forum to give Vancouver citizens their first opportunity for public input on Vancouver soil since the real text of the RGS Bylaw took shape last fall. (The closest was in Burnaby, and it was attended only by a handful of people.) Continue reading

Metro Vancouver’s “Regional Growth Strategy”: An EERIE silence

The last chance for formal public input into a major plan to guide development of 22 municipalities in B.C.’s Lower Mainland for the next thirty years ended at a public hearing on December 2, 2010, at the Metro Vancouver offices in Burnaby. About 12 speakers spoke (the majority being UBC students, faculty or administration, who rallied against the plan for issues relating to UBC). (Twelve is more than two nights earlier in North Van, with four speakers!) Several speakers called for another Public Hearing to be held in Vancouver, to give residents in Metro Vancouver’s most populous municipality a fair chance to speak. Let’s see what happens with that. Residents of Burnaby were not conspicuous. A few letters were hand delivered. Chris Demarco, regional planner for Metro Vancouver, announced that the revised plan would likely go to the Metro Board in January. So that’s it. There is an eerie silence in the public domain on this major policy. Try searching Google News for “Regional Growth Strategy” and “Metro Vancouver” and you will find a whopping total of six hits. What gives? After all is said and done, is this process something that all stakeholders (the public, politicians, public servants, developers, unions, TransLink, Metro Vancouver, and others) will be proud of? Will the low level of public involvement and “buy-in” in the plan come back to haunt everyone through to 2040? Is this process a model of the best consultation processes in the world? Time will tell.