WEN NEWS: Beach Towers Hearing Feb 19; Community Plan meeting Feb 26

The WEN News went out today. Here is a copy, unformatted. To receive these by e-mail please click “subscribe” button on our home page.

WEN NEWS
Feb. 17, 2013
Greetings!

 This is a quick update from West End Neighbours.

A public hearing on the next STIR rezoning (Beach Towers, on Beach and on Harwood) resumes Feb 19. In addition, the City is holding an open house on Feb 26 about “housing in the West End,” which will present important information on the direction City Hall likely to take with our community plan.

 Please note the guided tour TODAY, at Beach Towers to demonstrate the impacts of the proposed rezoning.

Finally, an open house by Westbank (of 1401 Comox fame) for a major tower next to the Granville Bridge will be held on Feb 21.

Meanwhile West Enders are noticing a lot more going on, with the impacts of spot rezonings and major construction continuing at Bidwell and Davie, and now at Comox and Broughton, plus work on the Comox Greenway, and water main work.

The community plan process will guide the quality of life in the West End for the next several decades. Please be sure to stay involved!

West End Neighbours

Beach Towers, major spot rezoning, Public Hearing resumes, Tuesday, Feb 19 at City Hall
NOTE: Sunday (Feb 17) at 2pm, neighbours will hold a guided tourof the Beach Towers area to demonstrate impacts of the proposed rezoning. Meet at corner of Harwood and Cardero.
This project is another major one for the West End.
The Public Hearing for the proposed rezoning and “infill” development at Beach Towers resumes at 6 pm on February 19, 2013 at City Hall.
  • The first night of the hearing was on Feb 5, and at least 50 more speakers await their chance.
  • We encourage West Enders to read up, then write or speak to Council (mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca).
  • You can still sign up to speak by writing publichearing@vancouver.ca or calling 604-829-4238.
  • On the night of the Hearing, WEN plan to post updates on the speaker number on our top web page.
  • For more information please visit our website and for imageshere. See also Beachtowers.ca by local residents.
  • Click here to watch video of the first night, plus read official documents and written correspondence the City has received so far, mostly opposed, some supporting the rezoning.
Comment: On Feb 5, Randy Helten spoke to City Council at the public hearing, displaying the WEN petition, signed by 13,000, calling for a halt to spot rezonings and asking for a comprehensive plan first. This proposal is a spot rezoning. And the community planning process is still in mid-stream. Meanwhile, besides various opinions around building design and impacts, residents around Bidwell/Davie and Comox/Broughton are discovering the impacts on their own lives of major demolition/construction work — six days a week, for two or more years. City Council appears to completely discount these impacts on existing renters and residents.

West End Community Plan —  Info Session on Housing in the West End, Feb 26, 2013
Official Information Session on Housing in West End
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
5:30 to 8 pm
Coast Plaza Hotel, 1763 Comox St
Comox Room
This event is the next step in the official process. It is being organized by the City of Vancouver to report back on what they are hearing from the community and “housing providers.” From now until this summer is probably the most important part of the planning process — as formal policies are being developed.
WEN encourage West Enders to attend. This event was planned in a drop-in format, but WEN will urge the City to also make a 30 minute presentation have a 30-minute open discussion so that people get to hear each others’ comments and questions, as the City has hosted no such events since the planning process began. Stay tuned. We also hope that the two “Liaison Councillors” (Clr Tim Stevenson and Clr Adriane Carr) have been invited.
Official City web page on the West End community planning process:
We have also been communicating with the Joe Fortes Library to encourage the branch to develop a complete package of information on the West End community plan. They are working on this now, apparently. It would be a big help for West Enders to learn about the process and issues. Next time you’re in, you might ask staff if the materials are ready.

Westbank Rezoning Application – 1412-1460 Howe Street, 1410 and 1429 Granville Street, and 710 Pacific Street, OPEN HOUSE Feb 21 
The City is processing another major application for a rezoning near the West End. This one is by Westbank (same proponent as 1401 Comox — now 1061 Broughton). The location is just at the off-ramp of the Granville Bridge.
Here are the details
  • Howe Street sites: a 52-storey (497 ft.) residential tower with 407 residential units and a 10-storey podium containing retail and 95 residential units (market rental).
  • Granville and Pacific Street sites: 6-storey buildings (up to 106 ft.) providing retail and office uses.
  • Official rezoning website here.
Much of this property is reported to be actually owned by the City, so the public needs to observe how negotiations proceed with Westbank, which also happened to be a major political campaign contributor to the majority party in the 2011 civic election.

Call for Donations and Volunteers
 WEN’s work in the neighbourhood requires many volunteer hours AND volunteer funding. WEN has no access to public funds or grant money, so our activities are funded through people like you. If you can contribute something to help fund WEN’s work, please use the “make a donation” button on the website at:www.westendneighbours.wordpress.com/how-to/donate-to-wen/

You can be confident that donated funds will be put to good use in raising awareness of planning development issues in the West End and helping to ensure our West End neighbourhood continues to be a great place to live, work, and play.

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Who are West End Neighbours?  A group of volunteers dedicated to preserving the quality of life of our neighbours and the unique and distinctive character and heritage of our neighbourhood. Our inspiration and support comes from people in the community, especially the  13,000 who have signed our petition, including renters, owners and business people from all walks of life and all ages: working people, young families, seniors, children and youth, etc.

  The West End is currently facing spot rezoning applications for buildings with major departures from height, floor space, and design permitted under current zoning and the existing community plan. They will have a major long-term impact on our neighbourhood, and the City is failing to look at the big picture of the West End’s residents’ needs. We need to challenge these rezoning applications and ask what we envision for our community into the future.

  You are receiving this e-mail because you provided your e-mail address to one of our activities or petitions. Thank you for your interest.

 More news to come soon!  Thank you, neighbour!

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