The West End may be getting a new community planning process next year. As of July 21, the City’s website carried the staff report (dated July 15) containing recommendations to Vancouver City Council about how to carry out consultations and develop new community plans in several neighbourhoods of Vancouver, including Grandview-Woodland, Marpole, and the West End. This report has big implications for the West End and in fact, for every neighbourhood in Vancouver (see below). In the context of WEN’s “No Rezoning without a Comprehensive Plan” petition (now signed by over 12,500 people), this initiative by City staff is very important and deserves your attention. The documents are available online and will be reviewed by Council at 2 pm on Thursday,
WEN encourages you to read the documents, and to write to email@example.com if you have comments, with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also wish to speak to council. The meeting will be webcast by the City. Time permitting, we will provide further analysis before the meeting.
Standing Committee on Planning and Environment, City Hall
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Item 1. (b) Vancouver’s Next Community Plans
Grandview-Woodland Area Council has done a nice summary of the situation here.
Planning in Vancouver needs to balance many interests, respect heritage and existing policies, while also accommodating change for the future. Land use decisions affect every aspect of livability and life in our city, and also affect billions of dollars of investment and future private profits. Citizens need to be aware of what is going on and have a say in how these processes are determined.
Page 11 of the document contains the following text (bolding is ours, for emphasis).
“City-wide Plan – A first step
Community plans operate within a policy hierarchy which includes provincial/regional and city-wide policy. It is also evident that planning at multiple geographical scales simultaneously is critical to tackling the challenges facing the city and addressing new issues as they emerge. In this context, staff notes that there are compelling reasons to begin work on a city-wide land use and physical plan in the near future. These reasons include:
* The statutory requirement to provide the City’s response to the new Regional Growth Strategy (known as a Regional Context Statement) within two years of adoption of the strategy.
[WEN Comment: We note this reference to the requirement for Vancouver to comply with the RGS. The final version of the RGS was adopted with virtually no public attention by Vancouver taxpayers and citizens. But its implications are huge. ]
* The need to coordinate land use planning with other city-wide initiatives which are either recently completed or ongoing, such as the Transportation Plan 2040, Housing and Homelessness Strategy, Greenest City Action Plan, Economic Development Strategy, etc.
* The desire to create, for the first time, a coherent physical plan for the whole city to provide a clear and resilient framework to guide land use and development decisions.
Staff anticipate reporting to Council in early 2012 with a proposed strategy for the preparation of a city-wide plan, including information on the recommended scope of work, timing, and resourcing. Staff would ensure that such a program is carefully coordinated with ongoing community planning initiatives, including the next community plans, and that all planning at different scales informs and aligns with each other. As noted above, as a first step towards this coordination staff will distil from existing Council-adopted policy documents (CityPlan, Greenest City, EcoDensity, etc) a set of draft city-wide principles to guide the next community plans. It is anticipated that these principles would be considered and possibly enhanced as an early phase in the city-wide plan process.”