A Little Simpler
The comment copied below, about the 15 June 2015 posting Slapdash Negligence, came in to Eye on Norquay on 18 August 2015. (Also see our 8 July 2015 assessment of the application at 5441 Wales Street.)
Heather Submitted on 2015/08/18 at 1:20 pm Hi, Can you explain a little simpler what this means. I live at 5XXX Wales Street. The development notification sign was taken down the other week. I’m not sure what this means since I thought they were required to be up for six months. My landlord's very vague with his answers, my next step was going to be to phone the city for an explanation. Thanks,
Back from end-of-August slacking off, Eye on Norquay has just been reviewing the problem-riddled file for 5441 Wales Street. Here’s a 4 September 2015 photo of the site:
NO DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION SIGN !
Note to Heather: “Explain a little simpler” rarely seems to be an option when dealing with City of Vancouver planning and development. After years of slogging, we routinely encounter new twists. A cynic might say that City of Vancouver likes it that way, because obscurity and complexity help to fence out everybody except planners and the developers. We hope you have phoned the city and received an explanation. Now we also want an explanation. Back to this situation, which we pursue.
Shortly after distribution of the 8 July 2015 revision of the deficient 12 June 2015 application letter, Eye on Norquay observed a revised application sign posted at the site. That sign obviously is not there now, and almost certainly the sign had already disappeared by “the other week” before Heather’s August 18 comment. Based on considerable experience with watching the development application pipeline, it seems unlikely that this development application would have been approved at that point — and improbable that the application has yet been approved, since the information is still posted as of 4 September 2015.
What follows, hopefully, is a public lesson in how to get an answer to this question. At this point, the missing sign offers area residents no way to contact anybody. (Best of luck with old 311, that so often sends a questioner off to eternal voice mail limbo. Why bother with that?)
In the meantime, any persons concerned about 5441 Wales Street should understand that comment on a particular development application will be received and considered up to the point where the application is approved.
The City of Vancouver development application web site for 5441 Wales Street provides the best first-level contact information: an email address and telephone for the project coordinator.
Eye on Norquay is sending the following email to that address, and requesting a response by email, to be posted below when received.
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Dear Project Coordinator for 5441 Wales Street — DE418819
There appear to be multiple and ongoing problems with this development application. The specific current problem seems to be the absence of the required development application sign at the site. As well as we can determine, the sign has been missing at least since early to mid-August. See the 4 September 2015 Eye on Norquay posting for details.
This circumstance seems unacceptable, since that signage offers a primary way for affected individuals nearby to understand what is happening to their neighborhood. It could be argued that the development application becomes illegitimate without the signage.
Please look into this situation. It seems appropriate that the City of Vancouver would
• suspend temporarily further consideration of the application
• instruct the developer to provide the signage
• require evidence from the developer that this has been done
• inform us that this negligence has ceased
We look forward to posting an email response at Eye on Norquay. In the unlikely event that the application was approved, and signage was no longer required after early to mid-August, we could accept that as a reasonable explanation.
There needs to be a more systematic means for Vancouver residents to track the progress of development applications. It seems unprofessional to communicate approval of application simply by disappearing the information from the development application web site.
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Eye on Norquay offers a thank-you to City of Vancouver planning for the prompt and effective communication which follows. This phrase deserves extraction and highlight as a notice to developers that Norquay residents expect protocols to be respected, and is keeping watch on development activities:
Due to their negligence, they will miss their scheduled decision date
date: Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 9:15 AM subject: RE: 5441 Wales Street — DE418819 mailed-by: vancouver.ca I had asked Heather to provide a photo of the missing sign which I did not get. I unfortunately don’t have time to run around checking my signs are installed at all times; however, I will, and have asked that the sign be reinstalled. The sign shall be installed until a decision is made, and due to their negligence, they will miss their scheduled decision date. A two week period will be required, sign installed, before a decision date is scheduled.
[ The foregoing material was added on 9 September 2015 at 12:50 am ]
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date: Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 3:11 PM subject: Re: 5441 Wales Street — DE418819 mailed-by: gmail.com Thank you for your prompt and appropriate response to my communication of concerns about development signage for 5441 Wales Street — DE418819.
[ The foregoing material was added on 9 September 2015 at 3:20 pm ]
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