The new City of Vancouver (CoV) web site offers up this vagueness about how prospective developers are required to inform the local communities that their new undertakings would impact:
Informing the public
Soon after you apply for rezoning, you will be asked to install a yellow information sign on your site to alert the public to the application (details of sign requirements are provided by staff).
Staff will also mail a letter to registered property owners within approximately two blocks of the site, to further inform them of the application.
Depending on the response to the sign and mail outs, the rezoning planner may hold an open house in the community to provide information about the application, and get the opinions of surrounding property owners and residents.
This mush seems to leave lots of leeway as to whether the developer and/or the planners provide adequate or any notice to the surrounding community. Soon? Asked and not required? Letter mail-out when? Only depending on the response? Most striking in this statement is the absence of timelines. [Don’t you wish CoV would take the same approach to your property tax payment timeline?] This fuzziness seems designed to facilitate the fly-under-the-radar surprise-attack strategies that typify Vancouver planning and development.
The case of 2220 Kingsway provides one timeline testbed.
8 June 2012 — Development application submitted to the CoV
21 June 2012 — Brief Planning Update notice posted to the web by the CoV
6 July 2012 — Development application materials posted to the CoV web site
21 August 2012 — Still no yellow information sign at 2220 Kingway
When is “soon”? What does is mean to “ask” the developer — rather than to require?
For more on the topic of inadequate public notice — especially in the form of development application signage — see the recent posting to CityHallWatch that inspires this investigation and monitoring.