Renfrew Ravine Linear Park
In return for huge changes — including mass rezoning of 1900 single-family homes, an accelerated rate of redevelopment, and doubling-tripling-quadrupling of existing building heights along Kingsway — the 2010 Norquay Plan promised a variety of improvements for our impacted area.
The two biggest promises were
Delivery of an already-long-promised Renfrew Ravine Linear Park
Provision of significant indoor and outdoor new community space on the three-acre 2400 Motel site
These two promises occupied most of the agenda at the 16 June 2014 Norquay Village Plan Public Realm Workshop. Eye on Norquay has already reported on that event.
Here is what the Norquay Plan says on page 15 about the anticipated park:
Renfrew Ravine Linear Park.
There is an opportunity to extend the Renfrew Ravine Park south to create a green pedestrian connection between Slocan Park/29th Avenue and Kingsway. This connection, which runs along an existing Metro sewer right-of-way, will be created as adjacent properties redevelop. In the shorter term, the creation of new pocket parks, community garden spaces, and mid-block pedestrian connections, will be incremental steps toward the long-term objective of a complete linear park. This new park is also well-located to help the City achieve its city-wide objective (and Greenest City target) of increasing access to nature for all residents.
Since adoption of the plan, one of the greatest battles fought so far by Norquay residents resulted in modifications of the development proposal for 2699 Kingsway. Among other things, the plaza width for a gateway to Renfrew Ravine Linear Park was increased by a factor ranging from 45% to over 120%.
Renfrew Ravine Linear Park offers a prime example of a City of Vancouver nasty trick: make a promise, fail to deliver, and then use the same promise over again. The good thing is that the City of Vancouver has already acquired about 7/9ths of the land required, probably at the more reasonable prices that prevailed over a decade ago. The bad thing is that the City of Vancouver has delivered so little on a very old promise tied to SkyTrain development (especially 29th Avenue station area) in the 1980s. The only evidence of delivery is one recently installed community garden.
The foregoing is all backstory to repeating the number one message that came out of the June 16 Workshop:
Don’t Sell Off Any CoV Land
This posting, and this repetition, respond to Workshop materials that City of Vancouver posted to the web afterward.
It has been worrisome to discover in the record a so-called consultant presentation consisting of 13 slides.
How can this package prepared by PWL Landscape architects be called a “presentation,”
when it was never presented to workshop participants?
The twelfth slide has caused us some concern:
The nine numbers in circles located across the right-side graphic read, left to right:
/ 20′ / 20′ / 23′ / 15′ / 20′ / 30′ / 29.5′ / 20′ / 29′ /
We’re hoping that these figures represent nothing more than the technicality of easement that runs across the properties for the underground pipeline that carries the waters of what used to be that section of Still Creek. The City of Vancouver has not yet responded to our questions about these numbers.