May 2nd: Bike Lanes + More. Transportation Changes in Grandview

Come join the discussion with City representatives on proposed changes to transportation in Grandview-Woodland. Bike lanes, the removal of the viaducts, traffic calming and more.

A presentation by Lon LaClaire, Manager – Strategic Transportation Planning at the City of Vancouver will be followed by a discussion of proposed changes for the neighbourhood. All are welcome

Monday, May 2nd at 7pm
Canuck Family Education Centre at Britannia
1655 William Street (north side of Grandview Park, half a block off Commercial Drive)


April 18, 2016 – Letter: Policy Report to Council for 3365 Commercial Drive is Premature

Mayor & Council of the City of Vancouver, City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue,
Vancouver, British Columbia V5Y 1V4 April 18, 2016

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councilors,

Re: Policy Report to Council for 3365 Commercial Drive is Premature

The Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) agrees with Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours (CCAN), a fellow member group of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods, regarding this proposal.

We ask that you do not refer Policy Report #4 (CD-1 Rezoning – 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695- 1775 East 18th Avenue) to Public Hearing at the Council meeting scheduled for April 19, 2016.

This rezoning application includes a significant heritage component. At its meeting on May 4, 2015 the Vancouver Heritage Commission stated:

THAT the Vancouver Heritage Commission does not support the application to relocate and rehabilitate 3365 Commercial Drive due to the relocation of the house, its new siting and its condition;

FURTHER THAT the Commission is willing to consider a revised application that would address the position of the heritage house on the site with a reduced, more compatible infill project adjacent.

A revised application was submitted to the City of Vancouver by the developer in December 2015, but staff failed to send that application to the Heritage Commission for reevaluation. While the “infill project adjacent” has been slightly reduced in the revised application, we do not believe that this single change adequately addresses the concerns expressed in the initial evaluation of May 4, 2015. The relocation and the condition of the house have not been addressed at all; the siting has been addressed only minimally.

This application should not proceed to Council until the Vancouver Heritage Commission has reviewed the revisions. The evaluation of the Commission is essential information that needs to be provided to Council before a legitimate decision can be made to refer the application to Public Hearing.


Dorothy Barkley, Chair

Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC)

April 17, 2015 – Letter: Grandview-Woodland Area Council Recommends a 10-year Moratorium on Spot Rezoning

April 17, 2015

Dr. Rachel Magnusson

Chair, Citizens’ Assembly on the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan

Submitted via e-mail

Subject: Grandview-Woodland Area Council Recommends a 10-year Moratorium on Spot Rezoning

Dear Dr. Magnusson,

At the monthly meeting of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council on Monday, April 13, GWAC unanimously passed a motion recommending a moratorium on spot rezoning in Grandview-Woodland for 10 years.

During the discussion of the motion, speakers noted that in other neighbourhoods, such as Mount Pleasant, spot rezoning has been used by the city to circumvent local area plans and introduce development projects very different than those envisaged by community plans. Such spot rezoning has undermined the effectiveness and intent of community plans. Speakers also commented that spot rezoning has often been used to permit large condominium tower projects and that, once a Grandview- Woodland Community Plan is in place, spot zoning should not be used to permit such projects where the plan does not allow for them.

The Citizens’ Assembly’s final report and recommendations have not been issued yet, so obviously GWAC has no position on whether it supports or not the report and any or all of the recommendations it may contain. However, it is GWAC’s view, that once a community plan has been adopted by the City, after the extensive Assembly process and the numerous public consultation meetings within the community, the City should not then invalidate the adopted Community Plan in an ad-hoc manner by the use of spot-zoning. Such an outcome would be extremely disrespectful of the extensive work put in by the members of the Citizens’ Assembly, as well as to other members of the community who have provided input by attending city community planning workshops, through written submissions, or in other ways.

The explicit intent of the motion was that it be conveyed to you and, through you, to all of the members of the Citizens’ Assembly, and to strongly urge the Citizens’ Assembly to include a strong direction for such a moratorium in its final report and plan to the city.


Jim Fraser,
on behalf of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council

Dorothy D. Barkley, President
Gordie Clapp
Andre Montagliani
Eileen Mosca
Garth Mullins
Craig Ollenburger
David Parent, Treasurer
Nick Pogor
Viki Scully
Rasmus Storjohann
Micah Waskow, Membership and Communications Secretary

September 9, 2013 – Letter: Grandview-Woodland Community Plan

9th September 2013

Brian Jackson
General Manager, Planning and Development Vancouver City Hall

Dear Mr. Jackson:

Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because,

and only when, they are created by everybody.” – Jane Jacobs

Further to the conversations between you, your staff, Directors of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council (GWAC), and other residents of Grandview-Woodland, this letter is our response to your public statements that the processes leading to a new Grandview-Woodland Community Plan need to be and will be re-set.

GWAC, which has taken a prominent leadership role in the discussions on the Plan – with hundreds of residents attending our meetings and more than a thousand signing petitions of support for our position — agrees with you that what might be called the first phase of the Community Plan process was seriously flawed. This letter includes specific recommendations that we believe are of vital importance to ensure that a new Grandview-Woodland Community Plan is achieved in a way that will encourage the greatest level of community support.

We note that this letter discusses process issues only and does not refer to specific program, land-use or zoning proposals outlined in the “Emerging Directions” document.

1. Community Plan Management

Recommendation 1.1: That there be established a Joint Management Group to manage the development of the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan; that the Joint Management Group be comprised of an equal number of participants chosen (a) by City Planning, and (b) by the Grandview-Woodland community at large; and that the chair, with vote, be a Planner.

GWAC believes that the primary failure of the Community Plan process to date has been the lack of coordination between the Planners and the community at large in regard to land-use policies and suggested rezoning policies. We note that no specific mention of land-use or rezoning options were made during any of the workshops and open houses prior to the publication of the “Emerging Directions” document on 1st June 2013.

GWAC believes that this failure was structural and will be avoided in the future by the implementation of a Joint Management Group, in which the community and the Planners jointly manage the process of developing the Community Plan. GWAC notes that a switch from a top-down process to one that is more balanced and consciously designed to ensure bottom-up community participation was a feature of the highly-successful Vancouver planning of the 1970s through the 1990s including City Plan and Community Visions. We believe those successes need to be replicated in the GW Community Plan of 2012-2014.

Responsibilities of the Joint Management Group shall be as outlined in the revised Table 2 of the Terms of Reference (TOR) described below.

Recommendation 1.2: That community-led Working Groups for Community Amenities, Low- Income Housing, and Community Engagement (and possibly other areas) be established, funded and resourced sufficiently to undertake detailed research and policy option development.

We note that Section 8.1 of the TOR specifically discusses the uses and purposes of Working Groups. However, we further note that no Working Groups were created during the first phase of the Grandview- Woodland Community Plan process. GWAC believes this was a significant mistake, and we recommend the creation of community-led Working Groups to undertake detailed research and policy option development that will be fed into the Community Plan process.

These Working Groups must include two groups — Community Amenities and Low-Income Housing – which were barely discussed in the first phase. We also believe there is value in establishing Working Groups for Arts & Culture, Heritage, Transportation, Land Use & Zoning, Parks and Recreation, and Local Economy.

In addition, a further Working Group must be established specifically to engage in outreach to those sections of the Grandview-Woodland population (including but not limited to youth, Chinese, Vietnamese, First Nations, and renters) who have not yet been able to engage in the process to a useful degree. This particular Working Group would take over and supplement the responsibilities of the PACE Group.

Continue reading “September 9, 2013 – Letter: Grandview-Woodland Community Plan”

In Review: Rumours of School Closures Swirl in East Vancouver. Worried Residents Met with VSB Officials on April 4th

GWAC held a forum on the future of our schools on April 4th. Members of the community had an opportunity to receive answers from School Board Trustees about the upcoming budget and about the Long Term Facilities Plan. The meeting minutes are posted below for reference.

Further information and opportunities for public comment are available at the Vancouver School Board’s website.  (Long Term Facilities Plan)   (Budget)

Future of Our Schools Meeting Minutes

Grandview Woodland Area Council

April 4, 2016

The meeting opened with an introduction to the new GWAC Board: Dorothy Barkley (President), Zakir Suleman (Vice-President), Petronella VanderValk (Treasurer), Dana Cromie (Membership Secretary), Jim Fraser & Kathleen Piovesan (Recording Secretaries), Steve Bohus (Social Media), Cindy Brenneis (Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods Rep), Craig Ollenberger (Chair of Transportation Committee), David Carman & Bing Jensen (welcoming and sign in), Len Paul (member at large)

The primary agenda for the evening was the budget shortfall and budget cuts currently being considered at the Vancouver School Board and the potential impact of school closures on the Grandview Woodland neighbourhood.

In attendance representing the Vancouver School Board and the District Parents Advisory Council were:

  • VSB Chair Mike Lombardi and Vice Chair Janet Fraser
  • Penny Noble and Christopher Richardson, Trustees
  • Farah Shroff, Vice-Chair of the District Parent Advisory Council, and her son, Arman speaking about the impact of school closures from his perspective as a student

Patti Bacchus, Allan Wong, and Joy Alexander also attended as audience members rather than speakers.


Mike Lombardi:

The Vancouver School Board is on 3 big tracks until the end of June 2016: the Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP), including 6 consultations sessions and an online survey (found at to set facilities plans from now to 2030; the budget process, which will be finished by April 28th; and the strategic planning process, which will set goals and visions for the next 5 years. 

Continue reading “In Review: Rumours of School Closures Swirl in East Vancouver. Worried Residents Met with VSB Officials on April 4th”