We began collecting signatures for this petition in late 2009 and reached well over 13,000 (by 2013), through outreach efforts by highly motivated volunteers at meetings, community events and street-corner information tables. It was submitted to Council twice as the numbers grew. Here is the text:
WEST END: “NO REZONING WITHOUT A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN” PETITION
As a Vancouver citizen and West End resident:
- I support current zoning provisions in the West End that permit a maximum building height of 18.3 meters (60 feet or 6 storeys), request that they be maintained for future developments in the West End, and that the current Zoning District Plan for the West End be upheld.
- I request in the event of considering general or site-specific land use and/or West End zoning changes, that these include meaningful consultation with residents, protect existing neighbourhood liveability, and respect/maintain the character of the neighbourhood. We need a comprehensive plan, not site-by-site rezoning.
Epilogue: The petition had a huge impact in reaching out to the community, connecting people, raising the issues, and ultimately was a major factor in City Council’s decision to start an updated community planning process. Once the official process began, it was directed entirely by the City’s Planning Department. WEN members participated actively in the process, and WEN wrote to City Council numerous times raising concerns and problems with the process and the content. In the end, WEN wrote Council urging it not to adopt the West End Community Plan but to send it back for revisions and meaningful consultation. Council adopted the plan on November 20, 2013, followed by mass “pre-zoning” of large sections of the West End in January 2014.