Archive for October 2012
Norquay resident Aaron Spires lives half a block away from 2220 Kingsway. He’s been in the neighborhood for two years. This past weekend he told Eye on Norquay that he did not receive the yellow notification card for the September 20 open house that is a part of the development permit application process. If he had known about the open house, he would have attended.
One good test of the truth of City of Vancouver (CoV) assertions is the existence of specific contrary cases. The new CoV web site proclaims:
The City of Vancouver is committed to making sure that neighbours are informed about proposed developments in their neighbourhood, and that they have opportunities to provide input.
Spires also noticed that the yellow development permit application sign first appeared at the back of the site on East 30th Avenue. The photo accompanying this story shows that the obscurity of the original location was increased by CoV vehicles and materials. The additional signage on Gladstone Street and Kingsway went up only after a formal complaint was lodged with Vancouver city planners.
As previously reported, the large site remained bare of notification for months following the 9 June 2012 application, the notification became apparent less than two weeks ahead of the open house, and the notification failed to convey any advertisement of the open house, which it easily could have done.
The conclusions are that the developer and the city planners wanted as little “input” as possible from local residents, and managed the “process” to minimize the notification.
The yellow card received by Eye on Norquay states that the “notification area” boundaries for a rough surrounding square were Victoria Drive, East 28th Avenue, Nanaimo Street, and East 33rd Avenue.
If Aaron Spires received no notification, how legitimate are the efforts of CoV to communicate with local residents?
Consider also the scale of the proposal — for one of the three largest remaining sites in Norquay — and the failure to notify most of the residents of Norquay. Was all the planning for a comprehensive “neighbourhood centre” just a pretext for mass rezoning and enhancing the profitability of sites like 2220 Kingsway for the large developers that fund the political campaigns of the Vision-NPA axis?