(Updated) It took multiple requests (all rejected), and finally, virtually the use of legal force against the City of Vancouver — with an inquiry using Freedom of Information regulations. A sharp citizen finally obtained some of the City’s data files for a 3D model showing possible future scenarios for the West End of Vancouver. If you have thoughts after seeing this, you may wish to write to Mayor and Council. See contact information here.
The public hearing for massive changes to the West End zoning schedules was held on January 23, 2014. See below images for short report. Despite the majority of public correspondence and speakers AGAINST, Council rushed the vote on the spot.
The majority vote by Vision Vancouver passed amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law; the RM-5, RM-5A, RM-5B and RM5C (residential) District Schedule; the C-5 and C-6 (commercial) District Schedule; the Downtown Official Development Plan and the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan. The West End Community Plan was approved by Council on November 20, 2013. These amendments were made to update the district schedules to match the new plan. See documents and video here [Update – 23-Jan-2023: it appears the video has been deleted, no longer available online] – https://council.vancouver.ca/20140123/phea20140123ag.htm.
Building a complex model like this in this post is not easy task and it does not come cheap. Though the City probably spent tens of thousands of dollars on 3D modelling for the West End, such images were basically kept from the public during the entire planning process for the West End Community Plan. The WECP is intended to guide development here for the next thirty years, and a 25% increase in population, meaning an additional approx. 10,000 people, by about 2043.
Only one 3D view was shown to the public, for a few scant moments of the “helicopter view” at the “learning sessions” in November 2013. That was really the first time the City showed images of what was really in store with the WECP.
The community would have been much better informed had the City shown visually what planners had in mind if the proposed amendments end up being implemented and built out.
The City never did provide any more than that one 3D image. So a talented volunteer did the work.
Below are 14 images a skilled volunteer worked hard to extract from the data over the past 48 hours. Click on each image to expand and see the file name, which indicates location. More images, and maybe a movie, will be coming in future days. Stay tuned! Thirteen images below.
After hearing a handful of speakers, the majority opposed to the rezoning, and with the Mayor scrambling to the procedures bylaw to find a way, any way, to prevent West End Neighbours from speaking to Council, the vote was rushed to a conclusion within minutes. At about 9:30 pm, the vote was done. All Vision Vancouver members again voted as a bloc in favour of the zoning changes, using their absolute majority. Opposition NPA Councillor Affleck and Ball, and Green Councillor Adriane Carr voted against — calling for more time. End of story. Next is the aftermath.