Archive for the ‘Open Letters’ Category

Gladstone Secondary

with 2 comments

 
The following letter about the possible closure of Gladstone Secondary was sent to the Vancouver School Board on 19 September 2016. For things you can do see the appended letter sent out by MLA Adrian Dix.

 
To: Mike Lombardi (VSB Chair)
Joy Alexander, Patti Bacchus, Fraser Ballantyne, Janet Fraser, Penny Noble, Christopher Richardson, Stacy Robertson, Allan Wong, Timme Zhao (VSB Trustees)

 
As residents of the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre, we are concerned about the impact that the closure of Gladstone Secondary School would have on Norquay. An extensive recent City of Vancouver planning process has defined this area as an integrated new community.

The basic vision for the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre is for a complete community: a place where people have housing choices that meet their needs, where there are local shops and services that provide the goods of daily life, where there are public spaces and places for people to meet and engage in community life, and where people can move easily and without a car to access places to work, play, and shop. (Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan, Section 2.2, p. 14. Approved by Council November 2010.)

Norquay has not traditionally included the concentration of amenities and services that many neighbourhood shopping areas can boast. We have no library, no community centre or neighbourhood house, no swimming pool or ice rink.

But Gladstone Secondary School is located only 1 block north of the Norquay boundary. Most of Norquay lies within the Gladstone catchment area, where 71% of Gladstone students live.

 
gladstonemap-1
 

The school acts as an important cohesive force in the Norquay community in several ways.

1.  Teens connect with other teens in their neighbourhood when they attend school classes and extra-curricular activities.

2.  Most Norquay students in the Gladstone catchment area live close enough to walk to school. They become more familiar with their neighbourhood en route.

3.  Families of students connect with other families in their neighbourhood through their involvement in school activities.

4.  Community space is available for meetings and other activities. Together with Norquay’s elementary schools (Norquay and Cunningham), Gladstone provides the only community space in the neighbourhood.

The Norquay Plan strongly encourages new housing types for families. Five thousand new residents are expected to move into the neighbourhood during its 30-year lifespan, a population increase of 50%. By rough estimate, more than 2000 of these expected new residents will be living in Norquay by 2020.

If Gladstone is closed, most Norquay secondary students will live in the extreme southwest corner of the new Windermere catchment area, too far away to walk to school. The Renfrew Ravine and the SkyTrain are barriers that limit access routes to Windermere from Norquay, and make the school feel even farther away than it appears to be on a map. Windermere can never be an effective focal point for Norquay.

We believe that Norquay needs the presence of Gladstone Secondary School to function as a “complete community.” We ask that you remove Gladstone from the list of schools to be considered for closure.
Sincerely,

Jeanette and Joseph Jones
 

 
 
Letter from Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix

19 September 2016

Dear Gladstone, Bruce and Carleton Supporter,

This is a crucial week for the future of Gladstone Secondary, Graham Bruce Elementary and Carleton Elementary. Next Monday September 26th at 7pm, the Vancouver Board of Education will be voting on whether to move our schools and others on the list onto the next stage of the school closure process. It is our first chance to remove Gladstone, Bruce and Carleton from the list and it is very important that we have a huge turnout.

What can you do?

1.  Attend the VSB meeting on Sept 26th! Bring signs and make your voices heard. Location: Charles Tupper Secondary (419 East 24th Ave), starting at 7 pm.

2.  Write a letter to trustees (by email). Their emails can be found here. There are many arguments that can be made for all the schools, please read the following three op-eds for more information on Gladstone, Bruce and Carleton.)

3.  Sign the Petition. Close to 13,000 people have signed so far!

4.  Take a lawn sign.

In response to the VSB’s staff report, we will be working with parents and students to write a detailed report and release it to the trustees and public by Thurs, Sept 22. Our report will address detailed issues of enrolment (current and future), catchments, development, programs, the vulnerability of school populations, traffic, child care and importance of these schools in the community. We will also be working to meet with trustees face-to-face to make our case.

Here is the schedule of other action items this week:

Tuesday September 20th, 2016 afternoon at Vancouver City Hall: The City Council will be voting on a motion opposing school closures.

Tuesday September 20th, 7 pm: A major rezoning and increase in density as part of the Joyce-Collingwood Precinct Plan will be voted on by Vancouver City Council. This has significant implications for the Graham Bruce, Grenfell and Carleton catchments.

Wednesday September 21st, Gladstone students/parents organizing meeting at Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House, at 3:30pm. It’s immediately followed by a student-only “presentation skills” session led by Mimi Nguyen of Cedar Cottage.

Thursday September 22nd, Door-to-door petition and letter-writing drive to Save Gladstone. Starting at 4 pm from Nanaimo Skytrain Station.

Thursday/Friday September 22nd-23rd – Presentation of detailed responses, petition and letters to Trustees.

Sunday September 25th – Petition drive and preparation for meeting on Monday September 26th. Location to be determined.

Monday September 26th – VSB School Closure Meeting, Charles Tupper Secondary, 7 pm (419 East 24th Ave).

There are also many other petitioning and organizing meetings all week. Please stay tuned. And we need all of you at Charles Tupper on Monday!

Adrian

Adrian Dix, MLA Vancouver-Kingsway
5022 Joyce St, Vancouver, BC V5R 4G6 | Phone: 604-660-0314 | Fax: 604-660-1131
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

20 September 2016 at 9:00 am

Hate Speaker

 
 
Gregor Robertson Upholds Hate Speaker

An Open Letter to Vancouver’s Mayor and Council

 
On 23 June 2016, while acting as chair of the public hearing on REZONING: 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue, Gregor Robertson upheld and validated a speaker who (1) uttered repeated descriptions of “elderly” persons with contempt (2) advocated discrimination against those persons as a class.

 
robertson
 

 
 
Cover Letter

To:    Mayor and Council;  Councillors Individually;
       Sadhu Johnston, City Manager
From:  Joseph Jones
Re:    Gregor Robertson Upholds Hate Speaker
Date:  30 June 2016  [Email Time Stamp: Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 10:17 AM]

Find attached in pdf a detailed, focused, concise, depersonalized account of
the ageist hate speech that occurred at public hearing before Council on
23 June 2016. The hate speech was validated by the chair of the public hearing,
and has had wider effect. The letter concludes with specific request for remedy.
I look forward to receiving a written response from Mayor and Council. After
the upcoming long weekend, the first seven pages of the pdf material will be
made public as an open letter.

Sincerely,

Joseph Jones

 
 
Preliminary

The open version of this letter does not directly name any persons other than Gregor Robertson (in the capacity of his office as chair of a public hearing), Joseph Jones as the writer of this letter, and Councillor Adriane Carr as the only councillor who has specifically addressed the issue of this letter’s concern. A variant version formally submitted to mayor and council on 30 June 2016 differs in no substantial way other than providing an appended key to Twitter substitution codes that is aligned with a listing of the relevant subset of speakers at public hearing held on 23 June 2016. The concern of this letter is not to engage with personalities, nor with the matters of the public hearing, but specifically to address the issue of one particular constellation of ageist public expressions.

 
Summary

The first public hearing on REZONING: 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue, held on 24 May 2016, was “voided” due to unprecedented irregularities. At the 23 June 2016 second public hearing Mayor Gregor Robertson, while acting as chair, upheld a speaker who was demeaning the “elderly” as a group. Subsequent investigation and analysis of both the mainstream and the social media context reveal that what that speaker expressed was not incidental, nor was it an isolated attitude. About an hour after being validated by Robertson, the offending speaker declared on Twitter that older people “need to die off.” Subsequent Twitter comment included instances of applause for the offender, and aggressive personal challenges to and dismissals of my two at-the-time Twitter comments on the use of hate speech. Those two Twitter observations were not addressed to any individual other than Gregor Robertson. Two CBC interviews with the offending individual (of which there are written, video, and audio records), both before and after the public hearing incident, served to propagate the speaker’s use of ageist invective.

 
What Is Hate Speech?

The balance between free speech and hate speech often presents thorny issues to courts that have to deal with particular cases. The relevant legislation outlined in Exhibit A clearly says that age is a covered “identifiable group” and that such a group is not to be subjected to discrimination, hatred, or contempt. In general, public discourse seems to show far greater sensitivity toward parallel covered groups, such as those identifiable by disability, origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

 
The Incidents at the Public Hearing

Discussion of the following incidents relates to transcriptions in Exhibit B.

Speaker 17 complained about how “these debates are dominated by older residents.” Suppose Speaker 17 had used, instead of “older,” an adjective like one of the following: Chinese, Muslim, gay. If an effective chair had reprimanded this off-topic inappropriate language at the outset, perhaps that message would have inhibited the more outrageous speaker who followed.

Speaker 22 on two occasions — at a separation of about one minute, with distinct escalations in content and tone — disparaged “elderly” speakers and called on Council to “ignore” them. Beyond inappropriately going off-topic to single out a particular age group, the speaker selected an exaggerated and pejorative term. Again, suppose the term had been not just Chinese, Muslim, gay, etc., but a more contemptuous expression. Would the chair have tolerated that?

Only after the second occurrence did I audibly interrupt the speaker with the phrase “hate speech.” Robertson responded: “Please respect the speaker — everyone else is.” After a pause, the audience erupted in brief general outcry. The speaker then continued. This was my only utterance toward any public speaker that evening. In the circumstance, I believe that what I did was restrained and justified. Prior to taking action, I observed distress in facial expressions among older persons in the audience.

 
The Twitter Context

Exhibit C provides in chronological order the content of 26 numbered tweets emanating from 10 tweeters between 8:20 pm on 23 June 2016 and 11:05 pm on 24 June 2016. The selection assembles a core of evidence on what took place during the public hearing and immediately following. The freewheeling ethos of Twitter is not at issue here. This particular social media context elucidates what was happening at the public hearing, and shows some of the consequences of the chair’s lax attitude toward hate speech.

Exhibit C supports the following points:

1.  Six of the tweets demonstrate emergence of a particular lobby group that intercommunicated before, during, and after the public hearing. That group has expressed intentions to continue with the same type of intervention into future public hearings, focusing not on the specifics of particular rezoning applications, but simply on the provision of secured rental housing in whatever form at whatever public cost.
02   06   21   22   24   25   (3 by ddd : 2 by aaa : 1 by iii)

2.  Nine of the tweets express ageist sentiments.
01   03   05   07   08   10   15   20   23   (3 by eee : 2 by aaa : 1 each by bbb, ccc, ddd, hhh)

3.  Three of the tweets manifest a strong degree of vituperation.
05   08   26   (2 by eee : 1 by ccc)

4.  Four of the tweets applaud Speaker 22. The later three of these tweets offer affirmation subsequent to considerations of what might have amounted to hate speech.
04   22   24   25   (1 each by aaa, bbb, ddd, iii)

5.  Two of the tweets aggressively deride the complaint about hate speech.
20   26   (1 each by ddd, eee)

6.  Speaker 22 further indulges in sexist jeer at the notion of hate speech amounting to anything more than free speech.
26   (1 by eee)

 
Aftermath

At the 28 June 2016 discussion and vote, three Vision Vancouver councillors deplored “divisiveness.” This sort of vague reference to turmoil at the event serves oppression by suggesting that conflict should not exist. Worse, this fuzziness masks and excuses the component of the conflict that qualifies as hate speech. In contrast, Councillor Adriane Carr itemized specifics, including age, but then failed to distinguish ageist hate speech from other forms of verbal conflict. Such a lack of distinction also serves oppression, albeit to a lesser degree.

 
Actions Requested as Remedy

1.  That public hearing chair Gregor Robertson issue a formal statement recognizing the serious nature and implications of this instance of failure to reprimand immediately the use of ageist language in Council proceedings.

2.  That Council as part of the same formal statement offer specific assurance that its meeting chairs will exercise full vigilance in monitoring for ageist language in the future.

3.  That Council initiate a standard brief protocol to announce, at the outset of every public hearing and at the outset of every potentially contentious public-speaker item at ordinary meetings, that speech disparaging persons under ANY of the hate speech categories — age, color, disability mental or physical, ethnic origin or ancestry, family status, marital status, national origin or place of origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation — will not be tolerated in any degree whatsoever.

Explanatory: The above alphabetic listing for “hate speech categories” combines the lists of terms found in Exhibit A, setting the local British Columbia language first where there are parallels.

 
Joseph Jones 30 June 2016
 

 
Exhibit A — Hate Speech Legislation

 
The basics are set forth in the Criminal Code of Canada under Sections 318 and 319 titled Hate Propaganda

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-71.html#h-92

318 (4) defines identifiable group as “any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability.”

Comment: A key term in 318 (4) is “age.”

 
Under the subtitle Wilful Promotion of Hatred is stated the following:

319 (2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private
        conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable
        group is guilty of
        (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term
            not exceeding two years; or
        (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

 
 
Under the subtitle Defences is listed the following defence that would be most likely in the circumstance addressed:

    (3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2) (c) if
        the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion
        of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed
        them to be true;

 
Comment: A key phrase in 319 (3) (c) is “on reasonable grounds.”

 
The British Columbia provincial Human Rights Code [RSBC 1996] Chapter 210 offers similar description under the title Discriminatory Publication:

7 (1) A person must not publish, issue or display, or cause to be published,
      issued or displayed, any statement, publication, notice, sign, symbol,
      emblem or other representation that

      (a) indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate against
          a person or a group or class of persons, or

      (b) is likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to
          hatred or contempt because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of
          origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental
          disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of that person or that
          group or class of persons.

   (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a private communication, a communication
       intended to be private or a communication related to an activity
       otherwise permitted by this Code.

 
http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96210_01#section7
 

 
Exhibit B — Ageist Comments at 24 June 2016 Public Hearing

 
2:08:51 to 2:08:54

Speaker 17: How much of these debates are dominated by older residents

 
2:53:20 to 2:53:25

Speaker 22: This is so clearly a sense of elderly ownership or cheap rental entitlement and young people just trying to make a living

 
2:54:22 to 2:54:40

Speaker 22: I strongly urge you to absolutely — and I mean this — absolutely ignore the concerns of entitled elderly people ruining the future of our city —

Jones: Hate speech [interjection]

[pause]

Robertson: Please respect the speaker — everyone else is

Speaker 22: Absolutely —

[General outcry]
 

 
Exhibit C — Numbered Selection of Tweets in Chronological Order

 
The two following notes are added to the public version of this open letter:

Except for @jonesj and @MayorGregor, three-letter substitution codes have been consistently assigned to all tweeters involved. The issue is a chair’s validation of use of hate speech, not the existence
of identifiable personalities.

Structure of tweets  =  Assigned sequence number  |  Tweeter  |  Date and Time of Tweet  |  Tweet Content

 
01 @aaa 23 June 8:20 pm Most of us YIMBYs are in the antechamber now, marveling at the age split. If you’re under 50 you’re For. #vanpoli [photo]

02 @aaa 23 June 8:55 pm Inaugural meeting of Vancouver YIMBY group. @ddd @jjj @ggg @kkk @lll and @eee

03 @bbb 23 June 8:57 pm Really gripping #VanRE #bcpoli Clearly gen Y affordability vs boomers want density status quo.

04 @bbb 23 June 9:06 pm Wow was that @eee at the hearing? FANTASTIC!

05 @ccc 23 June 10:30 pm 18 is the minimum age for voting. Starting to think there should be a maximum age. How about life expectancy minus 18 years?

06 @ddd 23 June 10:36 pm @aaa @bbb @mmm @nnn @jjj Yeah, this was the best I’ve seen. Thanks everyone for coming out!

07 @eee 23 June 11:11 pm @ddd @ooo It’s 55yr/old+ NIMBYS vs. <40yr/old YIMBYs. YIMBYs wear plaid and have a vision.

08 @eee 23 June 11:13 pm @ddd @ooo YIMBYs are the future. NIMBYs need to die off #YVRYIMBY #VanRE

09 @jonesj 23 June 11:32 pm Several speakers at 3365 Commercial public hearing veered into ageist hate speech while 50+ @mayorgregor … just sat there #eastvan #vanpoli

10 @eee 23 June 11:32 pm NIMBYS in Vancouver are all 55yrs/old+. YIMBYs are all <40yrs/old. We are the future. Become a #YVRYIMBY y’all! #VanRE

11 @fff 23 June 11:46 pm @jonesj R you kidding hate speech and no one said anything

12 @jonesj 23 June 11:57 pm @fff No kidding. Not quite. I shouted «hate speech» at worst offender. Chair Gregor reprimanded no one.

13 @ggg 24 June 8:30 am @jonesj @MayorGregor please be specific

14 @ddd 24 June 8:35 am @jonesj @fff Can you provide a specific example of hate speech? Noting the avg age of the "less housing!" crowd doesn't count.

15 @hhh 24 June 8:54 am @ppp A lot more supporters at this hearing than the 1st go round. Under 40s sick of NIMBYs forcing young people to leave the city.

16 @jonesj 24 June 9:06 am @ggg @MayorGregor See video when available

17 @jonesj 24 June 9:09 am @ddd @fff See video when available

18 @ddd 24 June 9:10 am @jonesj @fff I was there, I spoke, didn’t hear any hate speech.

19 @ggg 24 June 9:43 am @jonesj @MayorGregor I was there and have no idea what you’re talking about. Maybe I missed it? Just asking for an example or two.

20 @ddd 24 June 10:54 am @jonesj ~2:54 on vid. You called “the concerns of entitled elderly people (are) ruining the future of our city” hate speech? Hahahaha

21 @ddd 24 June 11:02 am @aaa @jjj @ggg @kkk @lll @eee Vid’s up. [Speaker 22]’s speech 2:52

22 @ddd 24 June 11:02 am @aaa @jjj @ggg @kkk @lll @eee Spoiler: it’s fantastic

23 @aaa 24 June 12:16 pm @qqq @eee @ccc Those against the proposal last night were focused on keeping their remaining ~20 years the same.

24 @iii 24 June 1:17 pm @ddd @aaa @jjj @ggg @kkk @lll @eee Amazing [Speaker 22], thank you!

25 @aaa 24 June 1:19 pm @iii @ddd @jjj @ggg @kkk @lll @eee yeah he’s [Speaker 22] an awesome speaker!

26 @eee 24 June 11:05 pm @ddd @jonesj that was epic. Been laughing ’bout that all day. Man the fuck up Mr. Heckler [emoticon]. Freedom of speech FTW.
 

 
Supplemental Exhibit  —  Not Part of Open Letter Version

 
This material consisted mainly of an eighteen-line table correlating

Number of Tweets in Exhibit C
Masking Code  =  Twitter Identity
Position on Speakers List with Name (9 of 18)
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

4 July 2016 at 8:35 am

Bars on the Street

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Bad Message: Density Means Increased Danger

 
The following letter has been sent to our Norquay mailing list. We believe that it identifies an important issue that has implications not only for Norquay, but for all RM-9 zones across Vancouver.

The City of Vancouver is trying to minimize the number of new zones. Rather than writing an entirely new set of zoning regulations and guidelines for each new zone, planning staff where possible are adding a few tweaks to existing regulations and identifying the new zone by a letter behind the number. Hence, RM-9/9N in Marpole, RM-9A-9AN in Norquay, and the proposed RM-9B/9BN in the Joyce Precinct. Any precedent set in one zone will affect all of these zones, as well as any future RM-9 zones. In the same way, precedent set by Norquay in the RM-7/7N zone would affect the proposed RM-7A/7AN zone in the Joyce Precinct.

Please redistribute this letter to your community networks.

 
•   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •
 

••• Feel free to redistribute this email •••

 
Dear Friends of Norquay,

Two years ago, a precedent-setting development application proposed to fill a front yard with outside stairways to the second storey of the first stacked townhouse development in Norquay’s RM-7 zone. Thanks to letters of opposition from within Norquay and across the City, this proposal was turned around. All of the 20+ stacked townhouse development proposals that Norquay has seen since that time have interior stairways to the upper storeys. Let’s do it again!

The first application under Norquay’s new RM-9A zoning — for 4 storey apartment in the Kingsway transition zone — has been posted on the City of Vancouver Development Application web site. Implementations of a new housing type require close scrutiny, because damaging precedent can be set. Not all details are specified in zoning schedules. Information about this project for 4894 Slocan Street can be seen at:

        http://development.vancouver.ca/pc4894slocan/index.htm

We are particularly concerned that the applicant is proposing to lock off the entry courtyard behind a “secured gate.” [Shown in the site plan.] The required wide entry courtyard leading to the building entrance is one of the more attractive features of apartment buildings in RM-9 zones. One stated intent of this building form is “to encourage activation of residential street life.” [RM-9, RM-9A, RM-9N and RM-9AN Guidelines, Section 1.1(a)] To set up a locked barrier between this building and the City sidewalk on Slocan Street would do the opposite. This unfriendly and unneighbourly feature has no precedent in any comparable building project in Norquay.

The zoning regulations and guidelines do not expressly prohibit the “secured gate.” A large public outcry against the proposal is the only way to stop this unwelcome precedent being set not only in Norquay, but in all current and future RM-9 zones across the City. RM-9 type zoning has also been applied to Marpole, is proposed for Joyce Station area, and seems probable for Grandview-Woodland. This is a template zoning, with unspecified details likely to spread to all areas.

Please send your comments as soon as possible to:

        vaughan.kopy@vancouver.ca

Official deadline for comment is June 17, 2016, but comments are accepted and considered until the decision date. We expect that the decision on this first RM-9A application will take some time. Although we see the locked-off entry courtyard as the most urgent issue, we encourage you to include any other feedback you would like to give on this application. Our already submitted comment can be seen at:

        https://eyeonnorquay.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/4894-slocan-street/

 
Yours for a better Norquay,

Jeanette and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

10 June 2016 at 3:32 pm

Posted in News, Open Letters

Six Letters

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Comments to City of Vancouver on
Development Proposed for 3365 Commercial
Made
Prior to Referral to Public Hearing

 
The following six letters 2015-2016 show how little attention City of Vancouver planners paid to extensive, timely, reasoned comment. And perhaps how much planner arms were twisted in the back room by developer-funded civic parties. The 24 May 2016 gong show public hearing on 3365 Commercial did not have to happen. We know that these six letters are only a fraction of the correspondence that the City received from individuals, and from groups such as Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours (CCAN) and Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods. This case study exposes City of Vancouver claims to engagement and consultation as amounting to little more than cynical misdirection.
 

1 of 6 2015 June 1 Jeanette Jones to Rezoning Planner
     
2 of 6 2015 June 1 Joseph Jones to Rezoning Planner
     
3 of 6 2016 January 9 Jeanette Jones to Rezoning Planner & Assistant Director of Planning
     
4 of 6 2016 January 27 Jeanette & Joseph Jones to Heritage Commission
     
5 of 6 2016 April 15 Jeanette & Joseph Jones to City Manager & City Clerk
     
6 of 6 2016 April 18 Jeanette & Joseph Jones to Mayor & Council
                                                       



 



 

From:      Jeanette Jones (xxx)
To:        yardley.mcneill@vancouver.ca;
Date:      Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 9:57 PM
Subject:   Comment on Rezoning Application for 3365 Commercial Drive and
           1695-1775 East 18th Avenue

 

 
Comment on Rezoning Application for 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue

 
This application should not be approved in its current form for the following reasons:

 
1.  The building form does not meet the criteria set out in the Interim Rezoning Policy. The IRP states that “mid-rise forms up to a maximum of 6 storeys” may be considered if they front on arterials. In this case, a 6-storey building is proposed to front on Commercial Drive. “Within approximately 100 metres of an arterial street” (i.e. behind the apartment building), the IRP permits “ground-oriented forms up to a maximum of 3.5 storeys, which is generally sufficient height to include small house/duplexes, traditional row houses, stacked townhouses, and courtyard row houses.” The intent of the IRP is “to encourage innovation and enable real examples of ground- oriented affordable housing types to be tested for potential wider application that will provide on- going housing opportunities.”

Until now, the phrase “ground-oriented forms” has been understood to mean the housing types listed above. In the case of this application, I was told at the Open House that three of the ground floor units in the 4-storey wing have ground-level entries, although only one unit is shown on the floor plan. In any case, the City seems to be implying that the presence of a few ground floor units with ground-level entries makes the entire 23-unit 4-storey wing fronting on 18th Avenue a “ground-oriented building form.” Planners have referenced examples in other parts of the City.

This is a false comparison. Yes, there are multi-storey apartment buildings in Vancouver where there are a few ground floor units with private, ground-level entries that could be called “ground-oriented units.” But these units do not define the building form. An apartment building does not become a ground-oriented building form because it contains a few units that have private ground-level entries. It does not meet requirements where City policy specifies that ground-oriented housing types should be built. The 4-storey wing of the apartment building proposed in this application needs to be removed. All housing units behind the 6-storey building fronting on Commercial should be small house/duplexes, traditional row houses, stacked townhouses, or courtyard row houses, just as the IRP specifies. Otherwise there will be fewer, not more, examples of “ground-oriented affordable housing types” built under the IRP. This would defeat the clearly stated intent of the policy.

 
2.  The 6-storey apartment building is too tall and massive for this site. The height and mass are excessive for a building in the RS-2 zone. The building should be shorter. Failing this, the 5th and 6th storeys should be set back at least 10 feet from the building edge. The building design should be improved to reduce the massing, and to add interest and variety.

 
3.  The 6-storey building is set too close to the property line. The setback is only .2 metres on Commercial and .91 metres on East 18th Avenue. This is not enough. A greater setback would enable landscaping to soften the impact of the building, and make it fit in better with the surrounding residences.

 
4.  More trees should be retained. At a minimum, the fir and hemlock trees (#1677 and #1678) identified by the arborist as being in “normal” condition should be kept. There should be sufficient space allowed for the root balls of the grove of trees at the corner of Commercial and East 18th Avenue so that those trees survive undamaged.

 
5.  The “heritage” house should be removed. The house has little heritage value at present. It will have virtually none after it has had its interior gutted and its exterior finishes replaced, and has been moved from its present location onto a new foundation elsewhere on the site.

 
Jeanette Jones

June 1, 2015



 



 

From:      Joseph Jones 
To:        yardley.mcneill@vancouver.ca
Date:      Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 3:24 PM
Subject:   Comment on 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue

 

 
To: Yardley McNeill, Rezoning Planner, yardley.mcneill@vancouver.ca
From: Joseph Jones
Date: 1 June 2015

 
Please confirm that this comment on the 21 May 2015 open house for development proposed for the above address has been received and put on record.

1.  Comments are listed here in order of decreasing expectation that they will have any impact on the specific development proposal or on City of Vancouver planning practices. This means that comment numbered two seems most likely to result in revision to the proposal, etc.

2.  Under Interim Rezoning Policy, it seems inappropriate to permit development encroachment along East 18th Avenue into a long-established RS area through mere fact of parcel contiguity. The parcel fronting Commercial Drive should constitute the single locus for application of IRP. The East 18th Avenue parcels should emphasize ground-oriented access to dwellings and should give preference to rowhouse form.

3.  The retention of cypress trees at the corner is highly desirable. Extensive discussion with the project arborist at the open house underlies the following recommendations. As presently structured, the development adjacent to the retained trees will result in a root loss of approximately 30%, significantly impairing the longevity of the five trees proposed for retention. Therefore the physical structure fronting Commercial Drive should be modified to mitigate root loss and to enhance that area’s provision of water and nutrients. Slight additional setback of the building should be coupled with more extensive foundation setback to accommodate existing root structure. Cantilever with design to channel rainwater under the sheltered portion should provide a viable option, especially considering the large benefit already conferred on the developer in the form of requiring no commercial space on ground floor. As necessary to achieve this additional root space, commensurate reduction in underground parking would be acceptable. The existing grove of cypress trees amounts to a major amenity. Since absolutely nothing will be coming back to the neighborhood from this proposed development, impact on already enjoyed amenity should minimized as much as possible.

4.  The weakest, smallest cypress should be removed immediately to enhance the viability of the remaining four. The arborist does not anticipate a healthy future for the runt. With slight additional setback, one additional tree to the north that is scheduled for removal could be retained.

5.  The setback from Commercial Drive appears to be insufficient. At an absolute minimum, it should equal that of the Porter STIR project to the immediate south of the site.

6.  It is not apparent that the development or the neighborhood will benefit at all from the extreme relocation and retention of a highly dubious “heritage” facade. This supposed heritage element should in no way benefit the developer in terms of increased FSR or height or transfer allowances.

7.  It seems clear that the City of Vancouver via the Property Endowment Fund is prepared to sell its parcel of land to Cressey and to extract value from the neighborhood with no return whatsoever to the affected location.

8.  This IRP proposal appears to be the fifth that has been entertained by the City of Vancouver since the 2012 inception of an obviously failed policy. It does not go unnoticed that the only IRP rejection so far has occurred on the far west side of Vancouver. Even worse, this particular IRP project is the third to land in Kensington-Cedar Cottage, and lies within less than ten blocks of an IRP site on Knight Street that eliminated existing affordable apartment housing and clearly fudged on the criterion of adjacency to a shopping district. The density dumping and amenity extraction that City of Vancouver fosters in KCC is execrable planning and serves a blatantly classist agenda.

9.  There is evidence that Cressey is an exploitative and abusive landlord. It is unfortunate that the City of Vancouver would permit these operators to concentrate in one local area and to subsidize them handsomely.



 



 

From:      Jeanette Jones (xxx)
To:        yardley.mcneill@vancouver.ca;
Cc:        kent.munro@vancouver.ca; 
Date:      Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 9:34 PM
Subject:   Comment on Rezoning Application for 3365 Commercial Drive and
           1695-1775 East 18th Avenue, Revisions of December 3, 2015

 
 
Comment on Rezoning Application for 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue
Revisions of December 3, 2015

 
The changes to the application proposed in the revisions of December 3, 2015 do not adequately address the issues raised in my comments of June 1, 2015 on the original application. These comments are reproduced below, followed by a current response in blue.

This application should not be approved in its current form for the following reasons:

 
1.  The building form does not meet the criteria set out in the Interim Rezoning Policy. The IRP states that “mid-rise forms up to a maximum of 6 storeys” may be considered if they front on arterials. In this case, a 6-storey building is proposed to front on Commercial Drive. “Within approximately 100 metres of an arterial street” (i.e. behind the apartment building), the IRP permits “ground-oriented forms up to a maximum of 3.5 storeys, which is generally sufficient height to include small house/duplexes, traditional row houses, stacked townhouses, and courtyard row houses.” The intent of the IRP is “to encourage innovation and enable real examples of ground- oriented affordable housing types to be tested for potential wider application that will provide on- going housing opportunities.”

Until now, the phrase “ground-oriented forms” has been understood to mean the housing types listed above. In the case of this application, I was told at the Open House that three of the ground floor units in the 4-storey wing have ground-level entries, although only one unit is shown on the floor plan. In any case, the City seems to be implying that the presence of a few ground floor units with ground-level entries makes the entire 23-unit 4-storey wing fronting on 18th Avenue a “ground-oriented building form.” Planners have referenced examples in other parts of the City.

This is a false comparison. Yes, there are multi-storey apartment buildings in Vancouver where there are a few ground floor units with private, ground-level entries that could be called “ground-oriented units.” But these units do not define the building form. An apartment building does not become a ground-oriented building form because it contains a few units that have private ground-level entries. It does not meet requirements where City policy specifies that ground-oriented housing types should be built. The 4-storey wing of the apartment building proposed in this application needs to be removed. All housing units behind the 6-storey building fronting on Commercial should be small house/duplexes, traditional row houses, stacked townhouses, or courtyard row houses, just as the IRP specifies. Otherwise there will be fewer, not more, examples of “ground-oriented affordable housing types” built under the IRP. This would defeat the clearly stated intent of the policy.

I do not know how to state this point more clearly. The proposed 4-storey wing that fronts on East 18th Avenue still violates both the intent and the form of development/location criteria of the Interim Rezoning Policy. It does not provide a suitable “transition zone between higher density arterial streets and single family areas.” The additional setback of the 4th storey does not bring the height of the building down to the 3.5 storey maximum specified by the IRP. If the City of Vancouver is determined to allow 4-storey apartment building form in this location, a detailed rationale for this decision needs to be provided in the Report to Council that will accompany the final recommendation of the Planning Department.

 
2.  The 6-storey apartment building is too tall and massive for this site. The height and mass are excessive for a building in the RS-2 zone. The building should be shorter. Failing this, the 5th and 6th storeys should be set back at least 10 feet from the building edge. The building design should be improved to reduce the massing, and to add interest and variety.

The height of this building has not been reduced. Any additional setback of upper storeys seems to be confined to the back of the building. There is no substantial reduction in the mass of the building as seen from the street.

 
3.  The 6-storey building is set too close to the property line. The setback is only .2 metres on Commercial and .91 metres on East 18th Avenue. This is not enough. A greater setback would enable landscaping to soften the impact of the building, and make it fit in better with the surrounding residences.

The setback seems unchanged for either building. Front yards in Marpole’s new RM-9/RM-9N zone have a depth of 4.9 metres. In Norquay’s new RM-9A/RM-9AN zone, they have a depth of 3.7 metres (Guidelines, Section 4.4.1). This should be a minimum setback for 100% residential apartment buildings, especially when they front on residential streets.

 
4.  More trees should be retained. At a minimum, the fir and hemlock trees (#1677 and #1678) identified by the arborist as being in “normal” condition should be kept. There should be sufficient space allowed for the root balls of the grove of trees at the corner of Commercial and East 18th Avenue so that those trees survive undamaged.

It does not look as if the two specified trees are being retained. Changes to the 6-storey building seem to reduce rather than expand the space allowed for the root balls of the grove of trees at the corner of Commercial and East 18th Avenue. The community considers these trees the true “heritage value” of this site.

 
5.  The “heritage” house should be removed. The house has little heritage value at present. It will have virtually none after it has had its interior gutted and its exterior finishes replaced, and has been moved from its present location onto a new foundation elsewhere on the site.

I have heard only one person from the neighbourhood speak in favour of retaining this house. The Heritage Commission has stated that its value (minimal at best) is conditional on its remaining in its current location. None of the costs of retaining and moving this house should be included in the applicant’s pro forma. No additional density should be granted for dubious “heritage retention.”

 
Jeanette Jones

June 1, 2015
January 8, 2016



 



 

From:	   Jeanette Jones (xxx)
To:        heritage.commission@vancouver.ca; james.boldt@vancouver.ca;
Date:      Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 7:10 AM
Subject:   Comment on 3365 Commercial Drive

 
 
To: Members of the Vancouver Heritage Commission
cc: James Boldt, Heritage Planner

We would like to comment on the revised rezoning application submitted on December 3, 2015 for 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 E. 18th Avenue.

At its May 4, 2015 meeting, the Vancouver Heritage Commission voted no on supporting the original application of March 12, 2015. That application proposed to relocate and rehabilitate this house. The no vote responded to “the relocation of the house, its new siting, and its condition.” The minutes of the meeting state “the Commission is willing to consider a revised application that would address the position of the heritage house on the site with a reduced, more compatible infill project adjacent.”

We anticipate that the revised application may soon come before the Heritage Commission.

We do not support the relocation and rehabilitation of this house for the following reasons:

1.  The community does not believe that the heritage value of this house can justify the expense of relocating and rehabilitating it. None of the approximately 50 residents who attended a meeting of the Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours last summer included the retention of this house in their personal list of interests associated with this application.

2.  The earlier concerns expressed by the Commission have not been addressed by the revised application. Specifically,

(a) Relocation of the house. The Statement of Significance (SOS) states that “3365 Commercial Drive is valued as one of the last examples of the semi-rural, residential heritage of the surrounding area” (p. 2). Its main value will be lost if the house is moved and the “semi-rural” setting is developed.

(b) Siting of the house. The revised application has not changed the new siting of the house. It still proposes to relocate the house very close to a street. Its current location is well back from the street among large trees, as can be see in the pictures on p. 10-11 of the SOS.

(c) Condition of the house. The house has been poorly maintained, and little effort has been put into protecting its heritage value.

3.  The revised “infill project adjacent” remains incompatible with the heritage house. The townhouse building has been reconfigured and moved further away from the heritage house, resulting in more open space between the buildings. But the infill project still consists of a modernist, box-shaped, flat-roofed building that jars with the heritage house rather than complementing it. The design of the apartment buildings containing the 110 rental units is even more incompatible with the heritage house.

The SOS gave the house only 26 points out of a possible 100. The Commission later upgraded this to 31 points. Even when considered in its current location, this house garnered barely enough points to justify putting it on the Commission’s “C” list. We do not believe that any incentives should be given to the developer to preserve and relocate the heritage house at 3365 Commercial Drive.

 
Jeanette and Joseph Jones



 



 

From:      Jeanette Jones 
To:        sadhu.johnston@vancouver.ca;
Cc:        janice.mackenzie@vancouver.ca;
Date:      Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 12:53 PM
Subject:   Council agenda item for april 19: 3365 Commercial rezoning

 
To: Sadhu Johnston, City Manager
cc: Janice MacKenzie, City Clerk

Please remove Policy Report #4 (CD-1 Rezoning — 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue) from the agenda for the Council meeting of April 19, 2016. This rezoning application includes a significant heritage component. At its meeting on May 4, 2015 the Heritage Commission stated that “The Vancouver Heritage Commission does not support the application to relocate and rehabilitate 3365 Commercial Drive due to the relocation of the house, its new siting and its condition,” and said that they would be willing to consider a revised application. A revised application was submitted to CoV by the developer in December 2015, but staff has not sent that application to the Heritage Commission for reevaluation. The application should not proceed to Council until the Commission has had a chance to review the revisions, which we believe do not adequately address the concerns expressed in the initial evaluation of May 4, 2015. The evaluation of the Commission is essential information that needs to be given to Council before they can make a decision on this application.

 
Jeanette and Joseph Jones



 



 

From:      Jeanette Jones 
To:        gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca;
           clraffleck@vancouver.ca;
           clrball@vancouver.ca;
           clrcar@vancouver.ca;
           clrdegenova@vancouver.ca;
           clrdeal@vancouver.ca;
           clrjang@vancouver.ca;
           clrlouie@vancouver.ca;
           clrmegs@vancouver.ca;
           clrreimer@vancouver.ca;
           clrstevenson@vancouver.ca;
Date:      Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 12:30 AM
Subject:   Policy Report #4: 3365 Commercial Drive

 
 
To: Mayor and Councilors of the City of Vancouver
Re: Policy Report #4 to Council for 3365 Commercial Drive

We ask that you do not refer to Public Hearing Policy Report #4 (CD-1 Rezoning — 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue) at the Council meeting scheduled for April 19, 2016.

This rezoning application includes a significant heritage component. At its meeting on May 4, 2015 the Vancouver Heritage Commission stated:

THAT the Vancouver Heritage Commission does not support the application to relocate and rehabilitate 3365 Commercial Drive due to the relocation of the house, its new siting and its condition;

FURTHER THAT the Commission is willing to consider a revised application that would address the position of the heritage house on the site with a reduced, more compatible infill project adjacent.

The phrase “does not support” is the Heritage Commission’s strongest possible expression of non-support for an application. These words have been used only eight times in the past three years. The expectation of the community (and very likely, of the Heritage Commission itself) has been that a revised application would go back to the Commission for further review.

However, staff failed to send the revised application, submitted by the developer in December 2015, to the Heritage Commission for reevaluation. The Report states that “staff have concluded that the revised proposal addresses the Commission’s concerns … ” (p. 11) The only revisions that have been made to the heritage component of the application are that the massing of the “infill project adjacent” has been slightly reduced and the infill project has been moved a little further toward the back of the site. We do not believe that these small changes adequately address the concerns expressed in the Commission’s initial evaluation of May 4, 2015. The Statement of Significance says that the main value of the house lies in its treed “semi-rural” current location; relocation will destroy most of its heritage value. Only minimal changes have been made to its new siting. The condition of the house remains very poor. Even in its current location, this “heritage house” was given only 26 points in the Statement of Significance, barely enough to assure a place on the “C” list.

This application should not proceed any further until the Vancouver Heritage Commission has reviewed the revisions. The final evaluation of the Heritage Commission needs to be taken into account before Council can make a legitimate decision to refer the application to Public Hearing.

Jeanette and Joseph Jones
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

29 May 2016 at 9:37 pm

3365 Commercial PH

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Letters of Joseph Jones and Jeanette Jones
To Mayor and Council on 20 May 2016

 
The following two letters respond to a proposal to approve rezoning of 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue at public hearing on 24 May 2016. Part of Norquay falls within the boundaries of Kensington-Cedar Cottage, the affected Vancouver neighborhood. Beyond this fact, the proposal would set unacceptable precedent for all of the City of Vancouver.

 
Joseph Jones at 3:33 pm
Public Hearing  —  24 May 2016
3. REZONING: 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue

 
I Joseph Jones OPPOSE the Cressey proposal to develop the northwest corner of Commercial Drive at East 18th Avenue for the following reasons:

 
1.  The various appeals to a grab-bag of supposedly applicable policies fail to stand up to scrutiny. One immediate piece of evidence for the shaky policy foundation is how the development site has been carved up into kludgy and dodgy subareas.

When I speak to Council at the public hearing, I will focus on outlining the dubious history of the Interim Rezoning Policy (effective 4 Oct 2012 | amended 2 Dec 2013 and 19 Apr 2016). A mapping of 2012-2016 IRP sites is provided as appendix to this letter.

 
2.  The off-arterial extension of non-ground-oriented housing form, into the area along East 18th Avenue, fails to respect the Interim Rezoning Policy requirement to provide

Ground-oriented forms up to a maximum of 3½ storeys, which is generally sufficient height to include small house/duplexes, traditional row houses, stacked townhouses and courtyard row houses (p. 2 of Appendix A: Affordable Housing Choices Interim Rezoning Policy
http://council.vancouver.ca/20160420/documents/cfsc2.pdf)

A simulacrum end-run that proposes design “to emulate the rhythm and width of town homes” (p. 9) violates the Interim Rezoning Policy and is not acceptable. This aspect would set precedent for the entire City of Vancouver. A “3½-storey rental block” (p. 10) clearly is not a ground-oriented form.

 
3.  There is almost no local area support for the use of heritage bonusing in this proposal. To this significant degree of non-support add the fact that the limited assessment from the Vancouver Heritage Commission has been unusually negative. Planners have tellingly avoided taking the insufficient revision of the unacceptable proposal back to the Commission. This willful misuse of “heritage” provision amounts to scam.

 
4.  Discussion with the project arborist at an open house made it clear that keeping the “significant stand of five mature Lawson Cypress trees at the corner of the site” (p. 8) would be an empty gesture. With proposed development, the remaining trees would experience a serious 30% loss of root structure. The trees need more room, and the adjacent Lawson Cypress trees in the grove need to be retained. Unless the trees are given more space, a major existing green amenity will be eradicated (both immediately and by rapid death) from the neighborhood by this development proposal.

 
5.  The City of Vancouver proposes to hand over to big Vision-Vancouver-donor Cressey a piece of public land owned since 1939 — “nine percent of the total subject site area” (p. 16). To allow this would amount to extraction of value from the local area with no payback. This has become a depressing and regular pattern for how the City of Vancouver deals with East Vancouver.

Perhaps that money would be applied to the $55 million purchase price for the Arbutus corridor on the favored side of town? Despite already owning most of the land needed to deliver a Renfrew Ravine linear park (connecting Norquay Park with Renfrew Ravine), the City of Vancouver continues to fail to provide any part whatsoever of the amenity package specified under the 2010 Norquay Plan. A large area of East Vancouver is undergoing massive and rapid redevelopment with none of the promised corresponding improvement to public realm.

 
6.  The lengthy process for the site at Commercial and East 18th Avenue has seemed dominated by back room collusion between developer Cressey and the City of Vancouver. Despite extensive efforts made by local area residents to provide input, the end result has incorporated nothing significant from community feedback.

The City of Vancouver insulted a committed group of people with a stealth posting of 3 December 2015 “revisions to the application” — providing no notification to participants. In light of the foregoing comments, consider how little difference the following minor tweaks have made to address severe policy problems:

Revisions to the Application

December 3, 2015: Revised drawings were submitted on December 3, 2015 to address concerns raised by staff and the community. The overall density was reduced from 2.55 FSR to 2.40 FSR with a corresponding reduction in unit count from 118 residential units to 114 residential units. Increased setback and massing changes are proposed to the rental building, a reduction to the size of the proposed infill building on the heritage site, and the location of the underground parking ramp has been moved closer to Commercial Drive. In addition, the Transportation Study has been updated.

http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/3365commercial/index.htm

 
Appendix: Mapping of the Six Proposals under Interim Rezoning Policy 2012-2016

 
irp-2016-map-640
 

 
•   •   •   •   •   •   •

 
Jeanette Jones at 4:49 pm
Re: May 24 Public Hearing Item 3. Rezoning: 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue

 
I am opposed to the Rezoning Application for 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue for two main reasons.

 
1.  The 3.5-storey apartment building on East 18th Avenue does not meet the Form of Development/Location criteria set out in the Interim Rezoning Policy.

Within approximately 100 metres of an arterial street (i.e. 1.5 blocks), ground-oriented forms up to a maximum of 3.5 storeys, which is generally sufficient height to include small house/duplexes, traditional row houses, stacked townhouses and courtyard row houses  [Appendix A]

The phrase “ground-oriented forms” is commonly understood to mean the housing types listed above. The list does not include low-rise apartment buildings. In the case of this application, the City of Vancouver is implying that the presence of a few units with ground-level entries makes the entire 23-unit, 3.5-storey apartment building a “ground-oriented building form.” This is contrary to accepted usage and to the Interim Rezoning Policy.

Appendix A of the IRP also states:

The intent of this Interim Rezoning Policy is to encourage innovation and enable real examples of ground-oriented affordable housing types to be tested for potential wider application that will provide on-going housing opportunities.

Building anything other than small house/duplexes, traditional row houses, stacked townhouses or courtyard row houses on East 18th Avenue would defeat the clearly stated intent of the Interim Rezoning Policy. This application is the first under the IRP to include an area off the arterial street. It will set a precedent for future IRP applications across the City of Vancouver.

 
2.  The heritage component of this application does not have the support of the Heritage Commission or of the community.

The Vancouver Heritage Commission at its meeting on May 4, 2015 stated:

THAT the Vancouver Heritage Commission does not support the application to relocate and rehabilitate 3365 Commercial Drive due to the relocation of the house, its new siting and its condition;

FURTHER THAT the Commission is willing to consider a revised application that would address the position of the heritage house on the site with a reduced, more compatible infill project adjacent.

The expectation of the community (and very likely, of the Heritage Commission itself) has been that a revised application would go back to the Commission for further review.

However, staff failed to send the revised application, submitted by the developer in December 2015, to the Heritage Commission for reevaluation. The Staff Report states that “staff have concluded that the revised proposal addresses the Commission’s concerns … ” (p. 11) But the only revisions that have been made to the heritage component of the application are that the massing of the “infill project adjacent” has been slightly reduced and the infill project has been moved a little further toward the back of the site. I do not believe that these small changes adequately address the concerns expressed in the Commission’s initial evaluation of May 4, 2015. Only minimal changes have been made to its new siting. The condition of the house remains very poor. The current treed “semi-rural” location of the “heritage house” is responsible for most of the 26 points it was given in the Statement of Significance, barely enough to assure a place on the “C” list. Moving the house will destroy most of its heritage value.

The community does not believe that the applicant should be given any additional density for moving and rehabilitating this house. The true heritage component of this site is the grove of large trees on the corner of Commercial and East 18th Avenue. These trees remain under threat because the proposed building envelope encroaches on the space needed by their rootballs if the trees are to survive.

I ask that you DO NOT APPROVE this application for the reasons given above.

 
Jeanette Jones
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

20 May 2016 at 10:13 pm

Double Fail

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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
        http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/developmentservices/devapps/pc4521nanaimo/index.htm

        5391 Slocan Street — DE419733
        http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/developmentservices/devapps/pc5391slocan/index.htm

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.)

 
Visual Evidence

Here are the photos that Eye on Norquay took of the two sites on Wednesday 18 November 2015.
Zero development application signage on site …

 
4521nanaimo
 
     4521 Nanaimo Street
 

 
5391slocan
 
     5391 Slocan Street
 

 
Correspondence

 
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.

 

Written by eyeonnorquay

24 November 2015 at 9:19 am

Going Through the Motions

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For response of 27 March 2015, see Brian Jackson Replies.

 
26 March 2015

Open Letter to Brian Jackson
General Manager, Planning and Development Services, City of Vancouver

cc: Penny Ballem, City Manager, City of Vancouver
cc: Gregor Robertson, Mayor, City of Vancouver
cc: Andrea Reimer, Deputy Mayor and Appointee to Vancouver City Planning Commission
cc: Heather Deal, Chair, Standing Committee on Planning, Transportation, and Environment

 
This Open Letter is being posted to Eye on Norquay on the day following email to addressees.

 
One of the four stated priority issues of the City of Vancouver’s Engaged City Task Force is

        Improving the way the City consults with citizens on policy

Consider the following case in light of that “priority.” First, see immediately below exhibit of

Notice of Rezoning Application and Community Open House for 2312-2328 Galt Street

postmarked 19 March 2015 and received 24 March 2015:

 
galt-1
 

 
galt-2
 

Two aspects of this notification demonstrate that the City of Vancouver notion of “engagement” amounts to little more than going through the motions, plodding through a process needed to shove through yet one more Vancouver rezoning application. The subtext: input from residents of Vancouver is NOT WANTED, and we perform this “public consultation” only because we have to.

One —  Mailed-to area residents have been given an effective nine days (seven working days) of notice that the open house will be held.

Two —  The open house is scheduled for Thursday 2 April 2015 from 5 pm to 8 pm. This is the evening that precedes a four-day long weekend, one of the two most concentrated periods of official time-off for everyone in our annual calendar.

Because of lack of adequate notice coupled with the extremely poor timing, I will not be able to go to this open house in our immediate local area. I would have attended with great interest, since this proposed development will establish crucial precedent for Transition Zone policy under the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre mass rezonings of 2010-2013.

In no way do I hold city planners responsible for this state of affairs. It is apparent that they face extreme pressures from the persons who direct them, which is why this comment is directed to you.

On a previous occasion, all of Norquay was subjected to an even greater lack of consideration. What proved to be our last-ever meeting of Norquay Working Group took place on 3 February 2011 — Chinese New Year. The disrespect that City of Vancouver showed to the 48% Chinese population of Norquay at that time was beyond belief. This open house for 2312-2328 Galt Street continues in that same sad tradition.

Will this abuse by City of Vancouver of its residents ever let up?

As persons responsible for City of Vancouver planning, you need to establish overall policy governing timelines for adequate notification and parameters for acceptable event dates.

Sincerely,

Joseph Jones
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

27 March 2015 at 9:38 am

Posted in Open Letters