Westbank/Peterson begin demolition inside St John’s Church (1401 Comox)

[Revised 18:11] Monday, April 11, 2011 at 9 am, workers were heard smashing wood inside St John’s Church. We learned on Thursday that the City had issued a demolition permit. We understand that workers are starting demolition inside the church this week, with permission to work 7:30 am to 8 pm on weekdays, and 10 am to 8 pm on Saturdays.

  • Only the demolition permit has been issued.
  • The issuance of the demolition permit does NOT mean that a 22 storey tower will be built. Public opposition to rezoning this site for a 22 storey tower remains as strong as ever. Without a public hearing – during which the full scale of opposition will be heard – the rezoning can NOT be approved and the proposed tower cannot be built. The public hearing has not even been scheduled — in fact, there has not even been an open house to present the revised proposal for the site.
  • WEN continues to challenge the very basis of the STIR program, which was approved in 2009 without any public input and created based on input from an invitation-only meeting attended mainly by developers, including Westbank and Henriquez (architect in this project). STIR gives large incentives and benefits to build expensive rental apartments, and is the only basis for this proposed rezoning for a 22-storey tower on this site.
  • Over 11,000 people have signed the West End petition “no rezoning without a comprehensive plan,” (for the West End) which continues to be the basis of WEN activities at the moment.
  • The West End Mayor’s Advisory Committee, with members hand-picked by the Mayor and Clrs Reimer and Stevenson, apparently met in a closed meeting with the proposed developer of this site from 5:30 to 6 pm on April 7. ACTION: (1) Write the Mayor (after all, this is his committee) and ask for immediate public reporting of the full details of this meeting. (2) Attend future meetings of WEMAC (see details on their website). (3) Contact members of WEMAC directly and ask them for details of WEMAC activities. (4) Ask the Mayor to move his committee’s meetings to the West End to make it easier for residents to attend.
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