2015-2018 Capital Plan
In 2011, extensive participation in City of Vancouver capital planning process (see Norquay Residents Submission to 2012-2014 Draft Capital Plan) resulted in allocations for zero improvements specific to the 2010 Norquay Plan.
Three years onward, the next capital plan is set to run to 2018. If Norquay gets nothing in the current round of capital planning, it is hard to believe that we will ever see any significant local improvements that mitigate our unwanted mass rezoning.
What looks more and more like all-take-no-give density dumping would prove a confirmed fact. Under such conditions, why would any sane neighborhood ever welcome “additional planning”?
During 2014, Jeanette Jones has taken a lead in trying to get engaged with the 2015-2018 Capital Plan. Spending plans solidify out of the public eye, and then emerge as theoretically tweakable concrete at a late-in-the-process “open house.” To make a useful submission within such framework is a painful slog.
Come out August 28 or September 4 and see whether there is anything planned for Norquay. Taking into account planning and priorities and actual Norquay growth, Jeanette has already made the best timely case she could for Norquay to get a downpayment on all the big promises. If you can’t make one of the two open houses, at least send in a brief response saying that significant allocation must go to Norquay.
Also see at CityHallWatch:
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Here is the 24 May 2014 comment that Jeanette Jones supplied to City of Vancouver — slightly revised for this August 2014 posting, with photo captions added.
Capital Plan Proposal for Brock Park
I have lived in the vicinity of Brock Park for over four decades. When we first moved into the area the park was fairly new and well used. Our three daughters spent many happy hours of their childhoods in the playground with their friends. A cricket team played in the park on Sundays during warm weather. Other teams played soccer. Informal games of soccer, catch, and frisbee took place often. A post and chain fence separated the park from lanes along three sides.
Since then, I have watched the park steadily deteriorate. An underground stream that runs beneath the park contributes to a playing field that is so uneven and full of holes that only dogs would try to run there [photos 1-2-3-4 below]. The cricket team left years ago. No one who values their ankles would play games of any kind on the grass, and the soccer goalposts have long since disappeared. An asphalt path built about twenty years ago provides a place for people to walk for exercise, but the path is now cracked and sagging [photo 5 below]. The posts rotted and the fencing was removed. Quite a few residents of houses that surround the park now use park as their extra parking space [photo 6 below]. A brushy area around the stump of a cottonwood tree that was removed a couple of years ago has become a magnet for garbage dumping [photo 7 below]. The only part of the park that is used regularly for recreation is the playground, which is less attractive now than it was thirty years ago. There are still no washrooms.
In the meantime, many new people have moved into the area around Brock Park. A recently built development at 2300 Kingsway together with the already approved Kensington Gardens at 2220 Kingsway add up to about 800 dwelling units. This already accounts for about 20% of the 5000 new residents that city staff have projected to live in all of Norquay by 2040. In addition, a 4-storey 94-unit apartment building has been completed at 2239 Kingsway. Behind are eight new single family houses and a small “four storey apartment” with four units on Galt Street between Kingsway and Brock Park. (Taken together, these developments occupy the two-acre site of the London Guard Motel.) All of this development is within 400 meters of Brock Park.
The Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan adopted by Council in 2010 provides for new, denser housing forms to replace single family houses. Two large duplexes have almost been completed on Brock Street just east of Nanaimo. A development application for duplex plus infill under the new RT-11 zoning has just been approved for 4517 Nanaimo Street, a property that backs onto Brock Park. The appearance of other nearby sites suggests that redevelopment is imminent. The area near Brock Park is the first part of Norquay to experience multiple major and smaller developments.
Increasing densification of the area does not only bring many new residents. It also transfers many activities that have traditionally taken place in backyards to city parks. The new housing forms (duplex, rowhouse, stacked townhouse, small houses on shared lots) leave very little room for open space on the property. City parks are becoming the “shared backyard” where residents look to play, exercise, garden, and socialize. We expect picnic tables, exercise and play equipment for all ages, landscaping, and open space where we can run and play.
The Norquay Public Benefits Strategy (Report to Council of 22 April 2013) defines this priority:
Given its location nearer areas with anticipated greater population growth, General Brock Park
is considered to be the first priority for upgrading in the first 10 years of the Strategy. (p. 9-10)
The Strategy assigns $2M to the “renewal of existing facilities and infrastructure” in Brock Park, Slocan Park, and Earles Park (Appendix A, Item D). The area near Brock Park is experiencing far more rapid development than the areas around the other two parks in Norquay — indeed, more than most other areas of the city at the present time — and it seems likely to continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
The City of Vancouver has repeatedly assured Norquay residents that development of parks will accompany the development of new housing. The renewal of Brock Park must be included in the 2015-2018 Capital Plan.
No. 1 — Baby Sinkhole. Break a Leg!
No. 2 — Fit for a Dog?
No. 3 — Even the Park Board Mower Avoids This Iron
No. 4 — Plywood Treatment for Bog Spot
No. 5 — Greenwash Could Call This “Rewilding”?
No. 6 — “Park” It Is!
No. 7 — They Cut Down Our Big Tree & Then … Did Nothing