September 24 & 25
Exhausted Norquay residents understandably feel tempted to think that the City of Vancouver steamroller has already flattened their neighborhood and their hopes, and that no further action will make any difference at all. This is what the politicians and their developer masters intend to happen.
Despite strong and repeated demonstrations of opposition, the City of Vancouver forced Norquay planning to conclusions unwanted by the majority of those who engaged and spoke.
The results that have come in so far for Norquay indicate that even that hard-fought planning is being continuously and contemptuously disrespected. Look at one specific example. Much of the “public space” that was set as a precondition for extra density handed over to the developer at 2220 Kingsway is dissipating into entrance to a grocery store, a privatized restaurant patio, and extensive perimeter grating dedicated to air exhaust.
More generally, as the City of Vancouver dumps ever more density into Norquay, it fails to honor its commitments to make commensurate improvements — even at the paltry level of providing specified garbage cans and other street furniture.
Let the picture following remind readers that City Hall has been ignoring ordinary residents since September 2007, when Norquay discontent meshed with broader opposition to EcoDensity™ in a large rally in front of City Hall.
What promises to be the largest-yet convergence of Vancouver resident dissatisfaction will occur on Tuesday September 24 at 5:45 pm. The circumstances have just been elaborated by CityHallWatch in a posting entitled
The specific occasion for the demonstration is the Community Plans: Next Steps report to be considered at City Council on the following morning.
The focus of the report is current simultaneous “planning” for four distinct communities: Downtown Eastside, West End, Marpole, and Grandview-Woodland. All of these local communities are standing up and pushing back against the kind of heartless exploitation that has already attacked Kingsway & Knight (2004), Norquay (2010), and Mount Pleasant (2010). The pattern of abuse is becoming apparent to more and more people.
The new Community Plans: Next Steps report concludes on a note that should send a chill straight into the hearts of Norquay Working Group members who reside in the northern sector near the SkyTrain line:
Staff also note that significantly extending more than one planning process would impact the Planning and Development Services Department’s ability to deliver on other Council priorities for area planning, including Cambie Corridor Phase 3, Broadway Corridor, the Eastern Core, South East False Creek, North East False Creek and other Station Areas (such as Nanaimo and 29th Avenue). (p. 15) [emphasis added]
On 2 November 2009, after three and a half years of participation, these residents were told out of the blue that their area would be excluded from further Norquay planning and deferred to a future planning project. It looks like that future is getting a lot closer.
This is how the City of Vancouver
engages jerks around those who seek to participate.
* * * * * *
Comment below was distributed to a number of persons on the evening that the incendiary City of Vancouver Community Plans: Next Steps became available.
Watch the City of Vancouver unveil its crafty strategy, only one day after four local communities and others find common ground [this refers to a meeting of a coalition of about over 15 neighbourhoods that met on 16 September 2013 for a major discussion on the ills of city planning and what to do about it] and look toward a September 24 convergence on their widely despised City Hall politicians.
Ram the “planning” through for DTES and West End, which probably have the sharpest internal divisions. Back off slightly on the nascent Marpole upsurge — but only slightly. Isolate the most resistant and best resourced local community, Grandview-Woodland — especially because it is the area that has taken the lead in bringing all affected areas into common forums.
“Done” communities will tend to fall away. So ASAP take out the two easiest to do in. Separate the remaining two widely in time. First one, then the other. Also the two most distant from each other on the ground.
Maybe even let Grandview-Woodland slide off to somewhere after the 2014 municipal election, since the voting map shows that area as one of the strongest for Vision Vancouver.
Count on not-delayed or less-delayed local areas to feel resentment toward the area that has been most active and has taken a lead.
From page 15 of the just-released report:
(1) Proceed to conclusion without delay for the Downtown Eastside and West End plans
(2) Provide a short extension and make significant revisions to the draft Marpole Plan
(3) Extend the Grandview – Woodland process to create a Citizens’ Assembly for further consideration of some of the challenging issues unique to this planning area [with funding of $275,000]