1995 June City Council approves CityPlan to guide planning for 9 Vancouver neighbourhoods over next 20-30 years. Directions are to “create or strengthen neighbourhood centres in all neighbourhoods” and to “increase housing variety.” Through Community Visions “each community is to implement CityPlan directions in a way and at a scale and pace that suits the community.”
2002 Jan Community Vision process begins in Renfrew-Collingwood. Norquay Village identified as a possible neighbourhood centre. Some support shown for new housing types; specific types and locations considered “uncertain.” “Most of the area that is now single family housing … should be kept that way.”
2002 July City Council adopts Neighbourhood Centres Delivery Program Terms of Reference to implement Community Visions Directions for Shopping Areas and New Housing Types.
2004 Mar 23 Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision approved by City Council in tandem with Hastings-Sunrise as 5/6 out of 9 total. [The last Community Vision is approved for West Point Grey on 23 Sept 2010. Extended struggle over the second neighbourhood centre for Norquay has uncanny parallel with extended struggle over this final Community Vision. Both processes run from early 2006 to late 2010.]
2004 July 8 City Council adopts Kingsway and Knight Neighbourhood Centre Housing Area Plan that results in the mass rezoning of 1600 single-family properties. The shopping area planning falls by the wayside and is never completed, leaving the area wide open to a hodge-podge of future spot rezonings under various housing incentives that bring no further amenity to the area.
2005 Nov 21 City Council approves document that initiates planning for Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre at “Nanaimo and Kingsway” [see next item below].
2006 Jan 24 City Council approves rezoning of 2300 Kingsway at Nanaimo (Eldorado Motel site) for a 22 storey tower as a “special site.”
2006 Mar 25 Planning begins for Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre. March 25 Open House #1 kick-off event is followed by formation of a Norquay Working Group (subdivided into housing area and shopping area) and presentation of community workshops.
2006 June 30 City of Vancouver Co-Directors of Planning Larry Beasley and Ann McAfee retire.
2006 July 20 City of Vancouver appoints Brent Toderian as new Director of Planning.
2007 May/June Draft Plan and survey distributed to Norquay residents. Survey eventually demonstrates strong community opposition to plan, but is deemed invalid. Basic objections to plan rapidly emerge: (a) the area proposed for rezoning includes 2400 houses and is 4 to 5 times larger than specified in the Vision, (b) about half of the area is designated for courtyard rowhouse, a new housing type unsupported by the Vision, (c) planning for the area along Kingsway is deferred to a later separate process, (d) there are no accompanying plans to deal with parking, traffic or amenities.
2007 June 14/16 Open House #2 (two sessions) to present draft plan for Norquay generates much stiff questioning.
2007 June Norquay Neighbours formed as a community action group after Open House #2.
2007 June 20 Cut-off date for return of survey response to Norquay draft plan.
2007 June 23 Dozens of Norquay residents demonstrate outside the EcoDensity Forum held at Eric Hamber Secondary School.
2007 July 3/4 Norquay Neighbours picket City Hall to call attention to property tax impacts of neighbourhood centre rezoning at Kingsway & Knight.
2007 July Norquay Neighbours establishes web site.
2007 July 12 Report to Council titled Future Neighbourhood Centres Planning shows that city planners are implementing EcoDensity in Norquay far ahead of any approved policy basis.
2007 July 24 City Council approves an unusual retroactive bylaw amendment to deal with property tax impacts of Kingsway & Knight rezoning.
2007 Sept –
2010 Aug
2007 Aug: Human rights complaint filed against City of Vancouver re communication of 2007 draft plan for Norquay. 2009 Oct: City of Vancouver required to respond. 2010 Aug: Complaint dismissed on technicality of representation of affected class.
2007 Sept 18 Citywide rally at City Hall against the Norquay plan.
2007 Oct 19 Community forum on Norquay planning at Collingwood Neighbourhood House attracts a standing-room-only crowd on a rainy Friday evening. Panel includes four candidates for City Council.
2008 Jan 16 Letter and article in Vancouver Courier result in release of June 2007 Norquay survey results (showing strong opposition to draft plan) — after city planners ignore multiple requests for the data starting Nov 2007.
2008 Feb 26 Norquay Neighbours holds citywide rally at City Hall.
2008 Feb–Apr EcoDensity public hearing runs for seven evenings (Feb 26/27, Mar 3/4/13, Apr 2/3). Individuals from across Vancouver who are concerned about manipulative top-down city planning make personal connections.
2008 June 10 Norquay Neighbours holds citywide rally at City Hall.
2008 Aug 27 Norquay Neighbours sends two observers to Urban Design Panel consideration of 2300 Kingsway. Two major concerns: inappropriate lime-green vertical accent on building, absence of promised grocery store. Director of Planning expresses liking for the green, and excuses grocery store as “not a requirement” (even though that feature played a prominent role in the rezoning presentation to City Council).
2008 Fall Planning staff meet twice with phase-one Norquay Working Group. New planner in charge.
2008 Nov 15 Vancouver municipal election decimates NPA control. Vision Vancouver gains control with Mayor and seven councillors. Unhappiness with EcoDensity is clearly a major factor.
2008 Nov 29 Planners hold Open House #3 to restart the process. Residents sign up for Community Workshops and second phase of NorquayWorking Group (NWG).
2008 Dec 3 Norquay Neighbours holds community meeting after newsletter distributed to all households.
2008 Dec 9 Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver holds public event at Heritage Hall; Mayor Gregor Robertson and seven of ten city councillors present.
2009 Jan Norquay Neighbours ceases to exist as a single functioning group. Some choose to participate in Norquay Working Group, and others not. The Norquay Neighbours web site goes static.
2009 Jan–July Five Community Workshops, two information meetings and eight NWG meetings are held between January and July. Many NWG members grow frustrated by lack of transparency and continuity. Community input is not respected, and city staff seem to be pursuing their own agenda.
2009 May–June Planning staff meets twice with Chinese residents of Norquay, who oppose broad densification in Norquay.
2009 June 22 After NWG members make fruitless attempts through six meetings to work on a comprehensive plan for Norquay Village, five NWG members meet on their own and then try without success at meeting seven to present their plan to the rest of NWG. Urban designer planner leaves for new job.
2009 July 9 At the last in the series of NWG meetings, planners state: “This is not a democratic process … consensus is not a goal of the process … we were only collecting ideas.” Fifteen minutes at the very end of the meeting is permitted for presentation of the NWG plan prepared outside the “process.” A substantial majority of NWG members present sign to support the plan, and the plan is left with planning staff. (A senior planner steps in to oversee this meeting.)
2009 June 16 City Council approves EcoDensity initiative for citywide full-sized basements on RS zoned lots. This makes possible two legal dwelling units per lot.
2009 July 21/23 City Council approves EcoDensity initiative for citywide laneway housing on RS zoned lots. This makes possible three legal dwelling units per lot   a density equivalent to most of the new housing types proposed for Norquay.
2009 Summer
& ongoing
Most of the NWG members who sign to support the plan continue to meet on their own for discussion of Norquay planning. This group is a majority of active NWG members.
2009 Nov 2 A new team of planners meets twice with NWG and tells them that “plan options” will be formulated by staff working alone for presentation directly to the community. Director of Planning announces that a large area along the SkyTrain corridor is being removed from the Norquay process after three and a half years of planning — to be dealt with separately in the future. Many NWG members live in that now-excluded area. One further NWG meeting on Nov 16.
2009 Nov 26 Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver holds forum: Summit of Neighbourhoods on Planning and Consultation in Vancouver (Riley Park Community Centre).
2010 Jan 27 Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver holds forum: Planning from the Grass Roots (Kensington Community Centre).
Jan 30 / Feb 2
Planners present Open House #4 (two sessions). NWG has no input into, or foreknowledge of, what is displayed. On Jan 25 NWG receives a sudden surprise “invitation” to show its July 2009 plan in parallel with the planners.
2010 Feb 12–28 2010 Winter Olympic Games held in Vancouver.
2010 Apr 22 A team of seven from city planning meet with twelve from NWG. 180 attended Open Houses, 68 diverse written comments. Planners mainly go over process, housing types, and color-coded area map. Six to eight storey buildings projected for all of Kingsway. Only one residential area left as RS-1. No discussion of 2400 Motel site at neighbourhood centre. Planners to consider another NWG meeting.
2010 Apr 29 Norquay Working Group and Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver hold Citizens Forum on Norquay Village and Planning Neighbourhood Centres (Alpen Club, 4875 Victoria Drive).
2010 May 10 Five city planning staff meet with eleven from NWG.
2010 May 20 Further NWG meeting. No minutes provided by planners. Not recorded in report to Council.
2010 June 12/14/16 City planners use Open House #5 (three sessions) to present their own “preferred plan options.”
2010 Sept 22 City planners present their Norquay plan to the Urban Design Panel (UDP) for informal review. Some NWG members learn of meeting and observe, without invitation. UDP concludes that Norquay plan is “not there yet” in terms of being “great placemaking.”
2010 Sept 23 After three months of no communication, Norquay planner announces NWG meeting for Sept 30. NWG asks for two weeks notice. Meeting is rescheduled to Oct 7.
2010 Sept 28 Members of NWG issue Report on Urban Design Panel Response to City Planner Presentation of Norquay Village Planning on 22 Sept 2010.
2010 Oct 4 Members of NWG send Open Letter to Mayor and Council about Planning for Norquay Village with three attachments, detailing what UDP had to say about Norquay plan.
2010 Oct City solicits consultants report at cost of $10,000. As a result, city planners prepare three “consideration” items to incentivize developers to accompany the recommendations that the plan has already generated.
2010 Oct 7 Planners meet with NWG about plan going to Council. A large and nervous team of planners fails to communicate about a new consultants report until the two-hour meeting is almost over.
2010 Oct 18 Planners flip-flop. After having insisted on no further meeting, they schedule a second meeting, for which they bring in a facilitator. Director of Planning appears for the first time since 2 Nov 2009 (at that meeting he had stated that NWG would see a lot of him).
2010 Nov 4 Norquay plan goes to City Council. Minutes record “23 speakers; eight of whom spoke in general support and 15 who spoke in opposition to some or all of the recommendations and expressed concerns.” No account is given of written communications received. COPE councillors David Cadman and Ellen Woodsworth oppose the plan; majority Vision Vancouver with NPA approve both the plan and the three last-minute “considerations.” Multiple reports come in of planners in Council chamber soliciting and interacting with speakers who support their plan.
2010 Nov 18 Context: City Council adopts a Mount Pleasant Community Plan, effectively abandoning the “neighbourhood centres” process that was to implement CityPlan. The next main moves against community-based planning are a 20 January 2011 specification for Downtown Eastside planning and 28 July 2011 specifications for concurrent planning in Grandview-Woodland, Marpole, and West End.
2011 Feb 3 Three planners meet with nine NWG members — on Chinese New Year in a neighborhood that is 48% Chinese [typical cultural insensitivity]. Open Houses announced for Feb 19 and 21. No preview given of content. NWG told that its status as working group is “over.” Current lead planner expects to cease working with Norquay plan by end of April; other two planners never seen before in Norquay.
2011 Feb 19/21 City planners use Open House #6 (two sessions) to display to the community their three already approved “considerations” to satisfy a technicality of required “consultation.” Residents told that sign-up for two new working groups (on public realm and public benefits strategy) mentioned at February 3 meeting will not happen.
2011 Apr 7 City planners host an Open House for a specific development project on the Wally’s site at 2699 Kingsway to present an application to rezone from C-2 to CD-1 for FSR 3.8 in two buildings of 4 and 12 storeys, 129 dwelling units, and 151 parking spaces. The developer hosted an Open House on 23 March 2011, with one day’s notice of that given to some residents of Norquay. City planners and the developer then take the project proposal before the Urban Design Panel on 4 May 2011.
2011 Apr 30 City planners use a single “information session” on Rezoning for New Housing Types (in effect, Open House #7) to display fifteen panels about three types: RT-11 Small House/Duplex, Traditional Rowhouse, and Stacked Townhouse (Triplex). The preceding Easter long weekend means that no more than 8 working days of notice was provided for the meeting.
2011 May 4 STIR project just outside Norquay (2730 East 41st Avenue / 5711 Rhodes Street) squeaks past one-time review at Urban Design Panel with 6 to 4 approval. The garish, cheap, dark, ugly, out-of-scale building seems unlikely to support the ground-floor retail.
2011 July 12 Public hearing on 2699 Kingsway includes stiff opposition from Norquay residents during a three-hour review. Key issues include design failure at a key place-making site, severe shadowing of the adjacent neighborhood, and no payback through CACs to the community for great increases in scale and density. Although the 52 comment forms strongly suggest “ballot-stuffing” by developer interests, Council turns a blind eye to the anomaly.
2011 July 20 Norquay residents demonstrate at opening ceremonies for renovated Norquay Park. Faced with a possible vocal disruption of the event, no official speakers echo earlier claims that this regular capital plan renewal has come as a “benefit” of mass rezoning.
2011 July 21 Norquay residents attend the first of three information sessions on the 2012-2014 Draft Capital Plan. Despite November 2010 approval of an extensive mass rezoning, the draft budget shows no evidence of any improvements designated for Norquay. A follow-up submission has no apparent effect.
2011 July 28 Context: City Council endorses concurrent planning for three separate local communities: Grandview-Woodland, Marpole, and West End. The Downtown Eastside Local Area Planning Process (LAPP) that emerged from a 20 January 2011 debacle at City Council later came to be represented as a fourth concurrent undertaking.
2011 Sept 13 The single developer-sponsored open house on the rezoning proposed for 2298 Galt Street generates a scene of strong community opposition, described by one well-versed observer as a “riot.” Causes include lack of transparency by site developer in previous planning and marketing, and already severe local problems with parking which have not been addressed.
2011 Nov 1 Just prior to the upcoming municipal election, Council approves a massive rezoning of three acres east of Norquay in the Boundary-Ormidale-Vanness triangle for 1114 market condo units in three towers of 28-30 stories. The project has been in the pipeline for years. There is no provision for affordable housing, even though city land is involved. No respect is shown for the scheduled future “neighbourhood centre” at Kingsway and Joyce.
2011 Nov 19 Norquay sees a low level of voter turnout in the municipal election, and the developer-funded Vision-NPA axis that has abused Norquay will continue to dominate City Council until 2014.
2012 Jan City of Vancouver fires Director of Planning Brent Toderian.
2012 Feb-Apr On 24 Feb 2012 Vancouver planners announce two Norquay open houses for April on (1) zoning for three of the four new housing types (2) a public benefits strategy. On 30 April 2012 Vancouver planners advise Norquay that this “consultation” is postponed indefinitely. Further notices of deferral are issued on September 11 and November 30. Dates for the open houses are announced on two weeks notice near the beginning of January 2013.
2012 June-July City of Vancouver releases information on a rezoning application for the 2.3 acre property occupied by Canadian Tire at 2220 Kingsway, one of the three very large sites along the Norquay stretch of Kingsway that are still projected for major redevelopment.
2012 July-Dec City of Vancouver makes various street improvements along Kingway to road surface, curbs, sidewalks, streetlamps, stoplights, crossing signals, pedestrian crossings, and median dividers. Presented as a streetscape reward to Norquay, this renovation looks more like routine maintenance, since much of the Vancouver stretch of Kingsway receives similar treatment.
2012 Aug 8 Context: City of Vancouver launches an entirely redesigned web site with no announcement. A section titled Neighbourhood Planning lists six “active neighbourhood plans” in alphabetical order: Downtown Eastside, Grandview Woodland, Marpole, Mount Pleasant, Norquay, West End. The first “neighbourhood centre” at Kingsway and Knight is no longer considered “active,” even though the shopping area component was never completed.
2012 Aug 27 Brian Jackson starts work as “general manager of planning and development” for City of Vancouver.
2012 Sept Developer open house for 2220 Kingsway on 20 Sept 2012 followed by presentation of 2220 Kingsway project to Urban Design Panel on 26 Sept 2012.
2013 Jan 23/26 City of Vancouver holds Open House #8 (two sessions) on Norquay Plan new housing types and “amenities and benefits” in anticipation of a spring 2013 public hearing to enact specific mass rezoning.
2013 April 9 In the same public hearing, Council (1) approves the RT-11 and RM-7 “new zoning district schedules” that detail three of the new housing types designed to eliminate all single-family zoning in Norquay (2) approves the rezoning of 2.3 acres at 2220 Kingsway for a walled compound surrounding three 14-storey towers. The design of the 2220 Kingsway megaproject was left entirely to the developer, within the broad constraints of FSR and height, and community response had no impact on the “planning.”
2013 May 16 Council approves a Norquay Neighbourhood Public Benefits Strategy which the local community has had no effective role in formulating. During questioning, planning staff clarify that the public space allocated to future development on the 2400 Motel site will be new space and not a mere relocation of existing facilities (neighbourhood house or library). Council also adopts a new Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy for the fourth of the new housing types to be brought into Norquay.
2014 January Eye on Norquay initiates monitoring of new development in Norquay: (1) Outright building of new single-family and duplex (2) Development applications under new RM-7 and RT-11 zoning schedules (3) All major developments along the entire length of Kingsway in Vancouver.
2014 May 22 A prior-to letter from City of Vancouver on development application for 4730 Duchess Street establishes that key provisions of RM-7 zoning will be respected. This application (notification on 3 Feb 2014) was the first under the new schedule, and proposed to situate six stacked townhouse units on an inappropriate shallow lot. One of the conditions is that the development take the form of three traditional rowhouses.
2014 June 16 Norquay Village Plan Public Realm Workshop held at Renfrew Community Centre with about three dozen participants. (Following a three-year hiatus — see February 2011.) The fifth Norquay planner since 2006 makes first appearance: Joyce Uyesugi. Workshop group expresses strong support for near-term delivery on full-scale Renfrew Ravine Linear Park and stresses that no existing city-owned land should be sold off.
2015 July 26 Brian Jackson, after three years in the position of General Manager of Planning and Development Services, suddenly announces his intention to retire at the end of 2015.
2015 Sept 23 City of Vancouver holds open house on new regulations for RM-9A zoning to replace Norquay Village Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy adopted by council on 16 May 2013.
2016 Jan 19 City Council approves RM-9A zoning for Norquay Village Apartment Transition Area.
2016 April City of Vancouver issues Norquay Village Public Realm Plan.
2016 Aug 2 City of Vancouver announces appointment of Gil Kelley as General Manager of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability.
2017 Nov 29 City Council approves Housing Vancouver Strategy (2018 – 2027) and 3-Year Action Plan (2018 – 2020), which identifies as Priority Area 1 to “launch major planning programs near transit hubs and arterials, including … Station Area Planning Programs — Nanaimo Station, 29th Station … [to] begin in 2018.”
2017 Dec 1 City of Vancouver announces intention to locate 50-unit temporary modular housing complex for homeless people at 4410 Kaslo Street near 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station.
  Back to Eye on Norquay       [ Updated 11 December 2017 ]



Written by eyeonnorquay

14 February 2011 at 11:38 pm