WEN letter to Council (9-June-2020): Opposed to 2538 Birch Street referral to Public Hearing, and increased Public Hearings schedule

WEN sent the following letter to Mayor and Council on June 8, 2020.

City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: June 9, 2020 Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20200609/regu20200609ag.htm
– Changes to 2020 Council Meetings Schedule

Click to access comm1.pdf

– CD-1 Amendment: 2538 Birch Street (formerly 1296 West Broadway – Denny’s site)

Click to access rr1.pdf

Regarding the Council agenda for June 9, 2020, West End Neighbours (WEN) is opposed to (1) the proposed increase in Public Hearings, and (2) the controversial rezoning of 2538 Birch Street going forward as a referral to Public Hearing at this time.

Virtual electronic Council meetings and Public Hearings attempted to date by Vancouver City Council have shown that the technology is not reliable and the electronic process has many shortcomings. Relevant parts of the Vancouver Charter have been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this situation should not be exploited to the disadvantage of the public.

The proposed increase in Public Hearings in July will put an undue strain on everyone involved and diminish trust in the system.

Regarding the proposed rezoning at 2538 Birch Street , this is a controversial project that would set a major precedent for the Broadway Corridor. If it does go to Public Hearing, it should be scheduled once civic processes have returned to normal and the temporary suspension of parts of the Vancouver Charter have ended.

Sincerely,
Virginia Richards,
Director, West End Neighbours (WEN)

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