Summary of candidates debate in Mount Pleasant (October 20, 2014)

Crowd Heritage Hall

Heritage Hall was completely packed for a Vancouver City Council Candidates’ debate held on October 20th, 2014.

We’d like to thank Miranda Nelson of the Straight for moderating the debate. A big thanks also goes out to all candidates who participated: Councillor George Affleck (NPA), Pete Fry (Green), Keith Higgins (COPE), Ken Low (NPA), Councillor Adriane Carr (Green), Nicholas Chernen (Cedar), Councillor Raymond Louie (Vision) and Tim Louis (COPE).

We will post additional photos and videos of the event. The first half of the debate consisted of  crowd-sourced questions. Questions from the floor were answered during the second half of the debate.

moderator and panel for Oct 20 Candidates debate

The following crowd-sourced questions were posed to the candidates:

A. Questions (First 3 to be answered by each candidate, 90 seconds):

A1. Form of development

UBC Professor Patrick Condon has stated that the population of Vancouver could be doubled by building only 4 storeys or lower along arterials.

Question: What is your view on the form of development for the City? (Should highrise towers be limited to the downtown core? Or should the tower form of development be used in neighbourhoods across Vancouver?)

A2. Public safety, property crime

The Surrey election is all about public safety. But in Vancouver, official statistics and the perception of crime may appear to be lower. Nonetheless, we received the following question from Mount Pleasant:

“What about safety in our neighbourhood? There have been numerous break-ins, assaults and thefts in stores and businesses. We worked hard for 10 years to rid the area of crime, but now it is back.”

Question: If elected, what will you do about property crime, bike theft, shoplifting and vandalism?

A3. Spot rezonings

Increasing density in a neighbourhood is often a lively and contentious issue. And debates about density are often about the building form (high rise, medium rise, low rise, etc.) that will be used to increase density.

Question: Should residents of neighbourhoods, such as Mount Pleasant, be given more choice in the way density is increased? If elected will you commit to stopping the practice of “spot rezoning”, particularly when it contravenes the content, intent and spirit of neighbourhood plans?

[RAMP addition: Several blocks from here a spot rezoning is proposed — at Kingsway and 11th Avenue — that was not contemplated under the Mount Pleasant Community Plan.

Question: What is your opinion of Council policies such as Rental 100 and the Interim Rezoning Policy that can override existing zoning and community plans?]

B. Questions for every second candidate (one from each party)

B1. Campaign finance disclosure (quick response)

The main mayoral candidates in Toronto announced that they will voluntarily release the list of their donors prior to their municipal election.

Questions: Do you think this example should be followed in Vancouver? (Yes or no.) As a show of good faith, will you (and/or your party) promise to release any of your campaign finance data BEFORE this election, even though it is not required by law? (Yes or no.)

[RAMP note: Legislation only requires election financial disclosure 90 days after the election.]

B2. Preservation of heritage homes and character homes

“I live in Kitsilano, and I am very unhappy about the demolition of perfectly good houses in my area. Some blocks have 4 to 5 houses demolished. We are losing our heritage in Kits, losing the community feeling with all of the empty houses and of course the ridiculous prices to buy, forcing long time residents to move away.”

Question: If elected would you work towards stopping the demolitions and consider saving the Hollywood Theatre and other cultural heritage assets?

[RAMP note: Mount Pleasant is also losing old homes. For example a 100-year-old building across from Guelph Park at 348 East 7th Avenue was demolished recently without a review by the City. This house was not on heritage register]

B3. The Downtown Historic Railway (question from “Friends of the Olympic Line”)

The City of Vancouver invested 8.5 million dollars in the lead-up to the 2010 Winter Olympics for the Demonstration Streetcar from Granville Island to the Canada Line. This was three quarters of the investment needed to complete an operable community-connector streetcar service from Granville Island to Science World.

In the City’s proposed 2015-2018 Capital Plan, $400,000 of funding for “renewal of transit infrastructure” has been earmarked for “decommissioning” this Downtown Historic Railway. Many people believe there is considerable potential for a community streetcar service connecting False Creek Village’s 15,000 residents and surrounding Vancouver neighborhoods.

Question: What is your opinion of the idea of dismantling of the Historic Railway?

Comments Off on Summary of candidates debate in Mount Pleasant (October 20, 2014) Posted in Uncategorized

Council candidates debate October 20th in Mount Pleasant

Debate October 20, 2014
Please join us for a City Council candidates’ debate.

Date: Monday, October 20, 2014, starting at 6:45pm
Place: Heritage Hall (Main Street and 15th Avenue)

The debate will be moderated by Miranda Nelson of the Straight.

Participants: Heather Deal & Raymond Louie (Vision Vancouver), George Affleck & Ken Low (NPA), Adriane Carr & Pete Fry (Green Party), Tim Louis & Keith Higgins (COPE) and Nicholas Chernen (Cedar Party).

The format will be similar to our last debate in 2011. The focus will be on neighbourhood planning and other topics that City Hall sets policy over. Ask the candidates “what’s their plan for your neighbourhood?”

Come join the debate and ask questions. This is a free event. There will be an open microphone to take questions from the audience during the second half of the debate. Refreshments will be provided. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Questions for the first half of the debate will be crowd sourced. Please send your questions to questions@rampvancouver.com by 1pm, Sunday October 19th.

Poster: full page colour, two per page handout, four per page handout, black & white full page flyer, four per page black & white handout

Comments Off on Council candidates debate October 20th in Mount Pleasant Posted in Uncategorized

The Revolt Against Vancouverism

lewisnvillegas

1t3sw2

“Vancouverism”

Google Image Commons

Time magazine called it “Hong-couver” in the 1990s. Between Expo 1986 and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics planning in Vancouver took a turn for the worse building a tower-and-podium typology many hoped would make the city ‘world class’. However, as tower developers drive into the neighborhoods in search of cheap land a different Vancouver is being loudly proclaimed.

View original post 1,461 more words

Comments Off on The Revolt Against Vancouverism Posted in Uncategorized

Open House August 13th on new supportive housing building at 675-691 East Broadway

Fraser and Broadway
A new supportive housing facility located at Fraser Street and East Broadway is nearing completion. The Vancouver Native Housing Society is hosting an Open House on Wednesday, August 13th between 5 and 7pm to provide information to members of the public. The Open House will be held at 285 East 5th Avenue (at Scotia / Native Education College) in Rooms 103 & 104.

The following invitation was sent out by the Vancouver Native Housing Society: Continue reading

Comments Off on Open House August 13th on new supportive housing building at 675-691 East Broadway Posted in Uncategorized

Revised Rize 21-storeys. Review at City Hall on Monday, July 14th

Kingsway side Tower on East 10th
The massive Rize development proposed for Mount Pleasant will be reviewed at the Development Permit Board on Monday, July 14th. The Development Permit Board meetings are held in the main City Hall building at 453 West 12th Avenue on the 1st Floor in the “Town Hall” Meeting room. This room is located in the north side or “wing” of the main building.

Speakers are allowed up to 5 minutes each, in a process very similar to a Council meeting. Speakers must be signed up before the meeting begins. To register to speak, please send an email to lorna.harvey@vancouver.ca or call 604-873-7469. Tip: Ask for your speaker number. This could be your last chance to speak at City Hall about the proposed development.

The City of Vancouver has posted a staff report on the Rize at the following link: 285 East 10th Avenue (The Rize) and the City has made a limited number of drawings available on this webpage: 285 East 10th Avenue – Revised Application – DE416894

The meeting will begin at 3pm with the review of 235 Kingsway. We don’t know how long that will take. The Rize review will probably get started around 5pm.

Don’t be fooled by the large signs by Rize Alliance Kingsway Properties around Broadway and Kingsway advertising “The Independent” tower. City Council has NOT yet even approved the development on this site. The rezoning has not been enacted. No development permit has been issued. We still have many concerns about the process and details of this development and its impacts on Mount Pleasant.

The Development Permit Board (DPB) has the power to approve or reject this proposed design, or to impose conditions.

Rize_tower_model_pics

There have been a number of proposed changes to the design since the Public Hearing that ended on April 17, 2012. The tower is now 21-storeys tall vs. 19-storeys (with a slight increase in overall height), 258 residential units are proposed (instead of 241) and there are a total of 399 underground parking spaces on 4 levels. The previous scheme had 3 levels of underground parking with 320 parking spaces.

During the course of the Public Hearing, many references to a ‘food co-op’ were made; the food co-op has been shelved. The design still proposes having large trucks use Watson street for deliveries. Many of the conditions set by City Council during the Public Hearing have not been addressed. The changes proposed by Rize diverge from the application that was reviewed by City Council at the Public Hearing. As such, this new proposal should really be reviewed at a new Public Hearing.

There is an alternate option for accommodating growth in Mount Pleasant, all within low and mid-rise forms that ensure livability and affordability.

The photos included here are of the applicant’s models of their latest proposal.

top_of_Rize_tower Watson side

Comments Off on Revised Rize 21-storeys. Review at City Hall on Monday, July 14th Posted in Uncategorized

July 7th community meeting on Rize and 235 Kingsway development proposals

Rize tower modelPlease come join us at a planning session for all Mount Pleasant residents and other stakeholders at St Patrick’s Church.

Date: Monday, July 7, 2014
Time: 7:00 to 8:45 PM
Venue: St Patrick’s Church, corner of Main Street and 13th Avenue (2881 Main Street)
Refreshments and drinks provided
Doors open at 6:45pm

In preparation for a meeting at City Hall scheduled for July 14, we will be providing updates about the current status of the Rize proposal. As well, a separate development proposal for a 6-storey building at 235 Kingsway, due south of the Best Western Hotel, will also be reviewed. Find out how you can speak to at this important upcoming meeting.

The City of Vancouver and the developers held an Open House on April 14th and showed the latest incarnation of the Rize-Alliance Kingsway Properties tower proposal for the block bounded by Broadway, Kingsway, 10th Avenue, and Watson Street. RAMP will be presenting an analysis of their updated plans.

The now proposed 21-storey tower (up from 19) would have 258 condo units (up from 241) and 399 parking spaces (up from 320).

Little about the Rize does not go up!

The project had been scheduled to go before the Development Permit Board on Monday, July 14, reportedly as a condition of the rezoning (the meeting has been rescheduled from June 30th).  Continue reading

Comments Off on July 7th community meeting on Rize and 235 Kingsway development proposals Posted in Uncategorized

Architectural Heritage and Human Scale Urbanism Walk, May 4, 2014 (Jane’s Walk)

Heritage and Urbanism Walk 2014
Join us for an Architectural Heritage and Human Scale Urbanism Walk in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver’s original suburb.

Time: Sunday, May 4, 1 pm – 3 pm
Place (start): 101 East 7th, in front of Quebec Manor

Find out about the urban design principles that shaped the evolution of this historic neighbourhood. In addition to visiting landmark buildings such as the 102 year-old Quebec Manor, the Lee Building and the Wenonah Apartments, other points of interest include apartment blocks on Quebec Street and rowhouses on 10th Avenue. This year we’ll concentrate on Heritage just West of Main. The tour will conclude at a local coffee shop – please feel free to join us after the walk!

Additional details for this walk are posted on the official Jane’s Walk website.

Walk leader: Urban Design Specialist Lewis N. Villegas is a resident of Mount Pleasant. He has studied the history and evolution of the neighbourhood over the years, and has explored how urban design principles apply to Mount Pleasant. Lewis Villegas is a guest speaker and lecturer appearing at a number of events such as the City Shaping Growth and Land Use Workshop in North Vancouver.

Start location Heritage Heart of Mt Pleasant
Route Continue reading

Comments Off on Architectural Heritage and Human Scale Urbanism Walk, May 4, 2014 (Jane’s Walk) Posted in Uncategorized