Archive for November 2015
to the Joyce-Collingwood Station Precinct Review
The following report is posted with permission of Joyce Area Residents Association,
directly as images and also downloadable as pdf file.
— PRESS RELEASE —
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Joyce Area Residents Association says City Plans
for Joyce Collingwood are Cause for Concern
Vancouver, British Columbia (November 30, 2015)
The newly formed Joyce Area Residents Association (JARA), hosted two Community Information Nights this past week (November 26 & 28, 2015) as an alternative venue to review the JoyceCollingwood Station Precinct Review. All three options of the review would increase new tower heights in the area from 17 to as much as 35 storeys. This rapid change would displace much of the existing community by increasing rents and forcing lowincome families to relocate. Previously, the City was allowing for a mere two weeks of comments from the community before JARA released a petition to request for further consultation. The comment period was then extended to November 29.
The Community Information Nights were multilingual, creative, kidfriendly and participatory. Attendees commented on their fears concerning incoming development and their visions for the future of the neighbourhood. Longtime residents, homeowners and business owners highlighted their concerns about displacement and forced relocation, increasing unaffordability and the lack of genuine, community consultation.
Chanel Ly, a 23 year old resident and JARA organizer asks, “What is the plan for the people who are living here? Many business owners were shocked that the plan featured condos built where they are already operating. Development needs to meet the needs of the existing neighbourhood. We need the City to assess the social impacts of incoming development.”
Following the event, JARA compiled a report of the two Community Information Nights entitled, “Community Response to the JoyceCollingwood Station Precinct Review” and sent it to the Vancouver City Council early Monday morning. The group is awaiting a reply from the City while they are still in communication with residents and local business owners.
Arielle dela Cruz Yip, another JARA organizer says, “We hope the City will work closely with us to determine policies and protections that serve the current residents and retailers. Development should not dictate drastic changes in the community. Those most impacted by development in the community need to have a genuine seat at the table.”
For more information, please contact:
Joyce Area Residents Association
Vancouver, British Columbia
Phone: Chanel Ly / 7788893088
for Joyce Precinct Review
The following formal comment on Joyce Precinct Review has been forwarded to City of Vancouver.
Re: Joyce Precinct Review
To: Michelle Yip / JoyceStationReview@vancouver.ca
From: Joseph and Jeanette Jones
Date: 28 November 2015
The Joyce Precinct planning lacks legitimacy because of
• Failure to communicate in Chinese
• Contamination of options by an already-submitted development application
• Disregard of Renfrew-Collingwood’s existing Norquay planning
• Inadequate assessment of amenity deficit in the local area
• Discriminatory disparity in allocation of Vancouver population density
Therefore the Joyce Precinct planning needs to go forward by undertaking adequate consultation with a
local-area working group (e.g. Norquay, Downtown Eastside) before presenting further information to the community.
The 20 information panels presented at the 21 October 2015 open house show contempt for the Renfrew-Collingwood community and therefore provide no legitimate basis for further planning.
Lack of Communication — English-only information panels are provided to a diverse ethnic community. At a minimum, all information should always be provided in Chinese for that substantial component.
Misrepresentation — The City of Vancouver web site at http://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/renfrew.aspx presents Renfrew-Collingwood as “primarily a residential area” with “easy access to services and amenities.” Astonishingly, the only introductory planning reference is to adjacent Grandview-Woodland.
Norquay Planning — The reality is shown on panel 7. Right next door to the west, still in Renfrew-Collingwood, lies Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre, still an active process. The document for that mass rezoning of 1912 properties and approximately half a square mile stated:
It should also be noted that by planning for new housing types in the neighbourhood centre,
the existing RS-1 zoning is maintained for the majority of the surrounding areas.
(p. 19, Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan, 4 Nov 2010)
To almost immediately propose to eliminate yet more RS-1 in Renfrew-Collingwood — especially after having facilitated the 2011 assemblage into CD-1 of 33 individual parcels at 5515-5665 Boundary Road, 5448-5666 Ormidale Street and 3690 Vanness Avenue — shows that City of Vancouver regards Renfrew-Collingwood as little more than an ongoing density dump.
Existing Density — Figures show that for 1996-2006, among the 22 Vancouver neighborhoods, Renfrew-Collingwood ranked second only to Downtown in rate of population increase at 17% and in rate of dwelling increase at 26.5%. With 61.6 persons per hectare in 2011 in Renfrew- Collingwood, only six other Vancouver neighborhoods rank as denser: West End, Downtown, Fairview, Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, Kensington-Cedar Cottage (descending order).
Amenity Deficit — In light of the foregoing, it seems preposterous for panel 19 to assert that “Joyce-Collingwood is generally well-served by existing and planned facilities.” Consider those other denser neighborhoods and what they offer in their immediate areas. Renfrew-Collingwood is clearly already overpopulated and underserved in comparison.
Contaminated Options — The legitimacy of this pretense at planning is also compromised by a curiously similar set of three options into which the local community has had no genuine input. Only two points need to be made about the options:
1. Option 3 embeds an existing blockbuster development application for 5050 Joyce Street. This is reactivity, not planning.
2. The highlighted statement on the first options panel (panel 8) defines the information and the process as pure jello:
The following options are not exclusive options. Based on responses, staff will create a preferred option
that may include components of each option.
These words could easily translate as: Staff will pick and choose from positive comment solicited from developer interests through our open house and then aggregate those into our preferred option to maximize both height and density.
November 26 Alternative Open House
The first of two alternative open houses on Joyce Station Precinct planning took place at Collingwood Neighbourhood House on Thursday evening. The next will be held at the same location on Saturday 28 November 2015 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
The event showed genuine concern to achieve effective communication across significant ethnic, cultural, and linguistic boundaries. Organizers happily posed for the photograph above, but asked that other participants be excluded from visual recording.
Here is the main panel presented in both English and Chinese:
Here are two sets of fact sheets about the affected area:
One Big Question
A glance through the complex online materials from the City of Vancouver’s 15 October 2015 open house raises this big question: How can honest area planning happen AFTER planners have already accepted a rezoning proposal from Westbank for a 29-storey tower at 5050 Joyce Street? This blockbuster initiative has been built into their own “option no. 3” on panel 11:
Panel 8 compounds concern with an upfront assertion of planners’ intention to pick-and-choose: “The following options are not exclusive options. Based on responses, staff will create a preferred option that may include components of each option.” Translation: City of Vancouver has gone on a fishing expedition for height and density, and will compound any expression of approval into maximum take-out. (Since developers and their agents routinely put in comment forms at open houses, expressions of approval will certainly be found.)
To make things even worse, the City of Vancouver proclaims on panel 19:
Joyce-Collingwood is generally well-served by existing and planned facilities
and proposes little to no community payback for yet more density-dumping into Renfrew-Collingwood. So far the mass rezoning for the nearby large Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan — in the very same neighborhood — has resulted in no significant benefits.
When the City of Vancouver fails to follow its own development application protocols, and then fails to acknowledge and correct its own shortcoming in a timely fashion, worries compound. It feels like your neighborhood has become an impervious machine to serve anything-goes developers. Here is a case of a double fail. We now await response to a follow-up communication to administration at City of Vancouver. UPDATE: Same-day response was added at 5:00 pm to Correspondence section below as email # 3.
On Friday 13 November 2015 the City of Vancouver posted two new Norquay RT-11 development applications to its Development Application Information Web Page:
4521 Nanaimo Street — DE419732
5391 Slocan Street — DE419733
Before a development application gets posted to the web site, the developer is supposed to provide the City of Vancouver with a photograph that confirms display of a development application sign on the site proposed for development. (This and other such information may provide grist for a future posting on How to Monitor.)
Here are the photos that Eye on Norquay took of the two sites on Wednesday 18 November 2015.
Zero development application signage on site …
4521 Nanaimo Street
5391 Slocan Street
Email # 1 —
Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 10:22 AM To: Project Coordinator On Friday, November 13, two new development applications were posted on the CoV web site: DE419732 (4521 Nanaimo Street) and DE419733 (5391 Slocan Street). Both these applications are for duplex plus infill developments under RT-11 zoning. As can be seen in the photos above, there is no sign posted at either site. My understanding has been that the applicant is required to send CoV a photo of the posted site sign before the application goes up on the CoV web site. Has this practice changed? Please ask the applicant to post the site sign as soon as possible. The deadline for comment should be adjusted to a date two weeks after the sign is posted. It is important to give opportunity for comment to neighbourhood residents who do not live within the notification area. Jeanette Jones
Email # 2 —
Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 8:17 AM To: Project Coordinator Cc: Supervisor, Processing Centre Development On Thursday, November 19 I sent the email below regarding the absence of site signs at the development sites for these two applications. I have not yet received a reply, and as of 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 23 no site signs have been posted. Could you please confirm by forwarding me a copy of the relevant photos that the site signs have been posted? The deadline for comments given in the notification letters is November 27, three days from now. This date should be changed to a date two weeks after the signs are posted. Thank you. Jeanette Jones
Email # 3 — City of Vancouver response
Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 11:15 AM To: Jeanette Jones Thank you for bring this error to my attention. I am just in the process of preparing the sign information. Once we receive confirmation that the signs are up, we will adjust the notification deadline on the website. I will also let you know. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Eye on Norquay has been hearing recently from a new East Vancouver group called Renfrew-Collingwood Residents. Their activism relates to an area directly adjacent to and east of Norquay. Most of the Norquay Plan area also falls within Renfrew-Collingwood.
Here’s the latest about an alternative open house coming up later this week:
• • • • • •
Hello! Thank you for supporting and sharing our petition. We have gained a small victory — the City has extended the comment period to November 29 and will be meeting with local businesses. An extended comment period is not enough. We need commitment from the City that the existing local community will not be displaced and that our voice will be part of the planning process. We need to continue this momentum. You are invited to our alternative open house and info night [choice of two dates and times] to learn more about the City's proposal and contribute to our own vision for the area! Thursday November 26 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm Saturday November 28 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm Collingwood Neighbourhood House at 5288 Joyce Street Feel free to contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
• • • • • •
The group has earlier circulated notice of this online petition:
The content of the petition is reproduced below for ease of reference and for permanent record:
• • • • • •
We, the undersigned, are against the Joyce-Collingwood Station Precinct Review. We urge the City of Vancouver to pause the precinct review process until comprehensive multilingual consultation with the community has taken place and clear policies are put in place to protect the future of Renfrew-Collingwood, including the vulnerable residents and retailers that we all depend on. We are very concerned about the impacts the developments will bring with such drastic height proposals and we urge the City to conduct a social impact assessment before moving forward. We have the right to remain and the right to decide how our communities will be developed.
This kind of redevelopment is happening across the City of Vancouver with very little efforts being made by governments to consider the needs of local communities. Renfrew-Collingwood is a vibrant neighbourhood made up of many working class immigrant families that we fear will be displaced or negatively impacted. Join us in advocating for accessible consultation processes, policy protections for local residents and retailers, and the building of infrastructure decided by and for the existing community.
Submit your comments by Nov 4!
For more details about the precinct review, see the City’s proposals here:
A 29-storey market condo project is being proposed by Westbank at 5050-5080 Joyce Street and may be approved before the height guidelines are enacted. There are 3 small businesses currently operating on this site that do not want to be displaced. Find out more:
We are organizing on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
… as Partial Answer to “Why Norquay?”
A never-answered question for Norquay residents:
How and why did planners select this particular half of a square mile to become
Vancouver’s second mass-rezoned “neighbourhood centre” under CityPlan?
In the earlier days, probably in 2007, then Director of Planning Brent Toderian blustered something like this as a response: “Why, neighborhoods are lining up for this opportunity!” Subtext: You should consider yourselves fortunate. Fact content: Zero. Reality: Norquay clearly and consistently did the exact opposite of line up.
At the RM-9A open house on 23 September 2015, this same question was overheard being put to a planner by a very unhappy Norquay resident. “Why us?” Still no good answer.
Back in mid-2011, Joseph Jones attempted a Freedom of Information request for
The City of Vancouver offered to accept $540 “to conduct this search” (estimate only!). What sucker would pay that amount for the likelihood of hearing back some combination of (a) the little already found without assistance, or (b) nothing, or (c) shreds of documents redacted into meaningless unreadability? This is one specific example of how City of Vancouver walls off from public scrutiny what it does in the back rooms.
On 17 November 2015, Jens von Bergmann provided a mapping of 2011 Canadian census data that “shows the percentage of the population that are immigrants” — excluding non-permanent residents. The overlay of a Norquay outline onto a screen grab of Vancouver mapping quickly conveys a lot about our area’s immigrant component and our Vancouver context.
If a bomber pilot were assigned the task of trying to take out as much of immigrant Vancouver as possible with one hit, that pilot could hardly do better than to unload on Norquay and hope for wide radius effect.
An immigrant population offers up to the hierarchy of politicians and developers and planners an especially vulnerable target: inexperience with new culture, uncertainty with foreign language, desire to avoid interaction with government, immersion in attempting to establish a new economic life, etc.
A graphic personal story has already been told at Eye on Norquay as Unheard Voices.
Consider this November 2005 justification for selecting Norquay:
It also ranks first in terms of need for public realm and pedestrian safety improvements,
based on a review of data from Neighbourhood Centres across all Vision areas. (p. 2)
Planning for Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre
Ten years onward, the City of Vancouver itself has done almost nothing to enhance the Norquay area. Meanwhile, rapid redevelopment slaps us in the face every day with the value extraction (construction nuisance, profits, fees, sequestered levies, increased property taxes) that mass rezoning has triggered.