Eye on Norquay

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Archive for June 2018

Submission to Park Board

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Re Draft Capital Plan 2019-2022

20 June 2018

We unfortunately were unable to attend the June 12 consultation session, as we were out of town at that point. However, we have looked at the Park Board Draft Capital Plan 2019-2022 and we submit our comment in writing.

We are disappointed to see that the renewal of General Brock Park is not included in the Draft Capital Plan. Under the 2013 Norquay Village Neighbourhood Public Benefits Strategy:

         General Brock Park is considered to be the first priority
         for upgrading in the first 10 years of the Strategy (p. 9)

Time is running out for the City of Vancouver to live up to its commitment.

General Brock Park is the closest neighbourhood park for the largest number of residents in new developments resulting from the 2010 Norquay Plan. Nearby major projects recently completed, under construction, or approved include:

Location                Status                   Number of Units

2239 Kingsway           Completed 2011            94 units

2300 Kingsway           Completed 2013           346 units

2220 Kingsway           Completion in 2018       404 units

2395-2443 Kingsway      Approved Sept 2016       126 units

2153-2199 Kingsway      Approved May 2017        101 units

In addition, 77 units of family housing in Norquay’s new RT and RM zones as well as many duplexes are in process or already completed in the area. All of this development is within 400 metres of this park.

General Brock Park was established in 1977 and has had only minimal upgrades since that time. It is inadequate to serve the needs of existing and new Norquay residents. It provides a large open green space, some paved (sinking) walkways, and a small playground suitable for preschool children, but very little else.

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 low-rise 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 are looking to play, exercise, garden, and socialize. We are looking for picnic tables, exercise and play equipment for all ages, access to nature, and open space where we can run and play.

We recognize that the Norquay Plan and the Public Benefits Strategy provide for the acquisition of four parcels on Wenonah Street in order to incorporate them into the park. The Park Board is to be commended for the work they have done to purchase two of these four properties. However, the remaining two properties may well be unavailable for purchase for many years to come. Renewal of Brock Park cannot be put off until that opportunity occurs. We suggest a modular redesign, which could incorporate the four Wenonah Street properties when the Park Board is able to assemble all of them.

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 needs to be included in the 2019-2022 Capital Plan.

Jeanette and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

20 June 2018 at 8:19 pm

Posted in Open Letters