To Top It Off

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For a long time, the final item on the extensive Norquay timeline has read:

        Uncertain:  Planning for the SkyTrain area of Norquay that planners excluded on 2 Nov 2009

Background:  Norquay planning officially “kicked off” in March 2006. After years of engagement, the Director of Planning sailed into a 2 November 2009 meeting to declare that the northern section of Norquay would no longer exist. That carve-out disrespected quite a few Norquay Working Group participants. In one instant, Vancouver city planning trashed their months of investment in working on a plan and threw their future into limbo. This is what Vancouver calls planning. Norquay residents call it abuse.

     The November 2009 Norquay Exclusion Outlined in Red

Note:  A mapping of the original core Norquay “neighbourhood centre” plus its various accretions can be found at ]

Until now, the only inkling we’ve had of this murky future has been these few highlighted words in the closing sentence of Community Plans: Next Steps, a report that went to Council on 25 September 2013 [1]:

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)

Thanks to a CityHallWatch video record [2], Eye on Norquay is able to provide the following easy-access transcript of a second inkling. On 30 July 2014 Brian Jackson (General Manager, Planning and Development Services, City of Vancouver) spoke to Vancouver City Planning Commission [3] for sixteen minutes [0:00 to 15:58]. His overview of recent and upcoming City of Vancouver planning activities included two segments specific to Norquay.

     Brian Jackson  (credit: CityHallWatch)

Brian Jackson   0:44 to 1:22

But in addition to the three large areas that we’ve approved — or that Council has approved [as?] we recommended, we can’t forget we also did the implementation strategy for Norquay — we finished that, we finished the Mount Pleasant implementation strategy, we did a new policy statement for Pearson Dogwood, we did a new policy statement slash structure plan for Great Northern Way. So it’s been an incredible year as far as policy is concerned. All of this is taking place in 2014, which is going to prove to be our busiest year ever in terms of development applications.

Comment —  The implementation strategy for Norquay was created by planning staff with no resident involvement, other than a one-time opportunity to react to what staff cooked up. Norquay Working Group was terminated on 3 February 2011, and promised new groups for public benefits strategy and for public realm planning were never allowed to form. Meanwhile, the parallel implementation strategy for Mount Pleasant crammed a planning staff agenda down the throats of a very unhappy implementation committee. These were probably the last such resident “involvements” that Vancouver city planning will ever allow. (Also notice Jackson’s rhetoric: the backtrack from saying that planning did the approving, and the language surrounding mention of Norquay — “we can’t forget” and the redundancy of “we finished that.”)

Brian Jackson   14:04 to 14:40

And then, to top it off, our other proposal is for doing some station area planning around two of the Millennium Line stations at 29th and Nanaimo which have development opportunities, and the community itself is very interested in taking a look at what could happen around the immediate station area. So, I’m mentioning that last, because we’ve got a lot on our plate, and it may take us a while to get to those last things, so those things are looking like they’re mid to late 2015.

Comment —  Far closer to the truth:  the “community itself” dreads a second all-take-no-give planning incursion — except perhaps for developers who have assembled land or profiteers who expect to cash out and escape. “What could happen”? Surely not tall towers! But right now the “plate” is filled with seeing just how tall a tower can be forced onto the Safeway site in northern Cedar Cottage as part of the technically adjacent Grandview Woodland plan.

•   •   •   •   •   •   

[1]  Community Plans: Next Steps  (25 Sept 2013)

[2]  Brian Jackson’s status report to Vancouver City Planning Commission

[3]  Vancouver City Planning Commission — Agenda, 30 July 2014

See also:

Brian Jackson charts future path at Vancouver City Planning Commission meeting
CityHallWatch posting of 6 August 2014


Written by eyeonnorquay

8 August 2014 at 8:29 pm

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