On September 27, 2013, City Council voted to extend the planning processes for the communities of Grandview Woodland and Marpole. Council voted to maintain the original schedule for the West End planning process.
Things appear to be set to go very quickly from here on for the West End. The City’s Planning Department is ready to release the draft plan, with Council expected to consider the adoption of the plan in early November.
The schedule as we understand it appears to be as follows:
- The West End Community Plan will be released to the public during the week of October 21.
- Five “Learning Sessions” for each of 25 registrants are scheduled October 25 to 29. IMPORTANT – limited spaces. Check here to sign up online (see right side of web page)
- Online posting of the Planning Department’s report to Council on the adoption of the community plan is anticipated for approximately October 31.
- Consideration by Council might be on November 5.
- Zoning changes to accompany the plan are proposed to be referred to a Public Hearing, likely early in 2014.
Commentary by WEN: Many details of the proposed 30-year plan have yet to be made public. The City has not yet provided information about possible changes to zoning. How can City staff complete a robust public consultation exercise, summarize input received, and incorporate it into a Report to Council that needs to be complete sometime prior to October 31? Staff have not yet released input from the general “plan directions” Open Houses in June, so the public has no way yet to know how public input has been incorporated. The proposed “Learning Sessions” are not presented as seeking public input, only as a chance to learn and ask questions. Staff have suggested that residents can instead share their comments directly with Council at the time of consideration of the community plan.
Though we await further confirmation, it appears the opportunity for public input into the West End plan has already ended. Residents are left with the only option being to write or speak to Council at time of consideration of the plan adoption.
In recent Council discussions, Planning Department staff stated that West End residents support the “plan directions” that were presented at open houses in June 2013, but as mentioned above, to date, the results of the June consultation efforts have nor been released.
During consideration of extensions to the planning process timelines, media paid much attention to the other neighbourhoods but gave virtually no coverage of issues in the West End. In September, West End Neighbours asked Council for fairness matching other neighbourhoods, an extension to the plan, and improvements in the process, but the request was rejected. Note that the West End has the largest population of the four neighbourhoods — DTES 18,000, Grandview over 27,000, Marpole about 24,000, West End about 45,000 – and the West End plan proposes to add up to 9,000 additional residents, in new towers of up to 70 storeys in some locations.
This report of our August 28 public forum, attended by about 250 people, articulates many concerns and unanswered questions about the plan.
A recent e-mail notice (Oct 17, 2013) from the City’s West End planning team is provided further below.
More information will be forthcoming. Please check our website for updates.
Official City page:
Text of West End Planning Team e-mail message October 17, 2013
We wanted to provide you with some updates about the West End community planning process.
The registration information for our upcoming “Learning Sessions” is now available on our webpage here. These sessions will provide an opportunity to learn about the draft plan, understand how it will help shape the future of the community, and ask questions. The draft plan will be uploaded onto our webpage prior to these sessions for review. Hard copies of the draft plan will also be available at Joe Fortes Library, West End Seniors Network and Gordon Neighbourhood House.
We also have an interactive map and short video available on our webpage that provides an overview of how the plan will help address long term demand for job space, new housing opportunities, and the provision of public amenities over the next 30+ years.
Thank you for your continued interest and help in shaping the draft West End Community Plan.
West End Planning Team
ABOUT THE WEST END COMMUNITY PLAN
In April 2012, the City initiated a new Community Planning process for the West End. When completed, the plan will provide long-range guidance on a variety of issues – including housing, transportation, parks and public space, social issues, arts, culture, heritage and more. The new plan will replace the older West End Commercial Policy Plan (1986) and West End Residential Areas Policy Plan (1987).
For information on our planning work to date, upcoming events and opportunities for public involvement, please stay in touch via the following means:
Web & List-serv sign-up: vancouver.ca/westendplan