In late July the City of Vancouver held three information sessions on the 2012-2014 Draft Capital Plan. Two Norquay residents attended the first one on July 21, held at City Hall during the daytime. About 16 people who were not staff showed up. A strong contingent spoke up for the Mount Pleasant outdoor pool.
One piece of information flashed out as bright as a police cruiser light in a rearview mirror. See it for yourself on page 13 of 2011-2021 Capital Strategic Outlook. Look for the bright red circle.
Current tax-supported debt charges as a percentage of operating expenditures are approaching high at 9.7% in the base case.
What you really do not want to miss is that teensy little footnote buried at the bottom of the page:
Does not include South East False Creek Village debt.
In other words, the 2010 Winter Olympic turkey is coming home to roost. Two of the main functions that the Olympic parasite performs on its host are:
• To create a mania for blowout spending that directs massive rapid benefits to certain favored sectors
• To leave a legacy of debt overhang that will constrain options for a generation
Developer Jack Poole famously declared: “If the Olympic bid wasn’t happening we would have to invent something.” Bob Rennie waxed enthusiastic over his “$6 billion ad buy.” [ More available on this topic — read Follow the Money — Understand the Olympic Scam. ]
Eye on Norquay had a special interest in poking around the 2012-2014 Capital Plan to find those benefits and amenities that are supposed to repay the Norquay community for getting taken out by an unwanted mass rezoning. Remember all those open houses with pretty pictures and big promises? (No … big is not that pancake makeup plastered over the Kingsway truck route: planters down the median, redesigned garbage cans, fancified lampposts, etc). Guess what is coming to Norquay in the next three years? Zilch plus zip equals zero. Unless some Norquay goodie lies concealed deep within the capital plan. Or somehow can be extracted at this late stage.
Maybe planner strategizing for those Norquay benefits gets really complicated. Like taking so long they hope you forget any benefits were ever supposed to arrive? Example: the Renfrew Ravine Linear Park that has not materialized after twenty or thirty years. After all, no delivery means getting to make the same promise again. And maybe even again!
Funny how planning for the Norquay mass rezoning seems to move right along. Not to mention that already approved rezoning for a twelve-storey building at 2699 Kingsway — where the developer application jumped into the hopper before the “plan” that allowed it was ever approved. And never mind the density already dumped into Norquay without much amenity while local retail has declined.
For whatever it may prove to be worth, there is at least one Norquay submission to the 2012-2014 Capital Plan. Five pages. When planners won’t put in for the local community, volunteer residents have to step up.