Meet your Councillors meeting recap (Monday, January 14th meeting)

Vancouver City Councillors and Neighbourhood Councils 
GWAC Public Meeting Monday, 14 January 2019

Activity Room, Britannia Ice Rink

Special Guest Speakers: Councillors Adriane Carr, Lisa Dominato, Colleen Hardwick, Jean Swanson, Michael Wiebe
The meeting began at 7:00pm
D. Cromie chaired the meeting and began the meeting by introducing our guests.

Community Announcements
 Thursday, January 17, Grandview Heritage Club, Britannia Board Room, 7 – 9 pm.
Thursday, January 17, Grandview Garden Club, Learning Resource Centre, 7 – 9 pm
Saturday, March 17, GWAC AGM, 11:00 – 1:45 pm (Note: Time Change)

D. Cromie opens the discussion with a question about the validity and value of Grandview Woodland Community Plan (GWCP), saying that people worked diligently, in good faith for a long time to create this plan, only to be told by city planners that the plan is a “guide” only. A guide for whom, and what does that mean? Is there a city-wide plan?
Each of the councillors present addressed the issue:

Colleen Hardwick—Ms. Hardwick began by saying she was elected to represent the people of Vancouver, all of them and had to think of our children and children’s children when making decisions. She calls for creation of a new city-wide planning process (the last was in the early 1990’s and she would re-visit those plans).  Ms. Hardwick claims that councillors recognize there has been a lot of top down directives and that they want to put forward an antidote to that style of governance. She wants to start on a positive note—make a plan that takes into account the nuances of each community.

Adriane Carr–Thanks GWAC for the invitation to speak, noting that Grandview Woodland always has packed meetings. Ms. Carr went on to explain that her 1st motion this year was to call for a new city-wide plan (the first city-wide plan was created in 1928/29). She says that City Councillors worked together to make this motion a true collaboration.  She would like to use neighbourhood plans to inform the city-wide plan and to set some goals by asking what kind of city do citizens want? Ms. Carr believes council must ask citizens the big questions: How do we make a city-wide plan. How do we organize it? What should the process of consultation look like?

Michael Wiebe–He said he understands the community plans creation process because he worked on the Mount Pleasant Community Plan and was a member of its Implementation Committee. Mr. Wiebe related how his neighbours were frustrated as they saw proposal after proposal failing to follow the neighbourhood plan, despite the thousands of hours spent on developing it. Recognizing that the process was so broken, Mr. Wiebe ran for council. He felt no one at City Hall acknowledged or implemented the good ideas that came from the community. As a consequence, valuable ideas and time were lost.

Lisa Dominato She started by citing her background in the Hastings Sunrise area and in public planning. Ms. Dominato insists that public planning needs local input to succeed but that the “big picture” also must be acknowledged (transit, other infrastructure, diversity, etc.). She said that neighbourhood nuances need to be considered.

Jean Swanson Ms. Swanson related her experiences as a member of the Downtown East Side (DTES) Planning Committee, five-years ago. She does not think there is much to celebrate in this plan, noting that all involved must acknowledge problems with implementation and insist that the neighbourhood plan has value and is recorded. Ms. Swanson urged the audience to be sure what they really want is translated back to council. Her key concerns, however, are for tenants and housing affordability. She is the “go-to person” for this issue. Ms. Swanson wants needs to be met and cited the Kettle Friendship’s dire need for affordable housing. She wants to see that the Kettle gets the housing it so needs and without the towers. 

Questions from the Floor

Continue reading “Meet your Councillors meeting recap (Monday, January 14th meeting)”

Oct 1: Mayor and Council All Candidates Meeting World Cafe Style

GWAC Public Forum
Monday, October 1st – 6PM to 9PM
Britannia Gym D

Mayor and Council
All Candidates Meeting
World Cafe Style

One of the most important events in the life of a city and in that of its citizens will occur on Saturday, October 20th – a municipal election for Vancouver’s mayor, councillors, park board commissioners, and school board trustees.
To increase voter turnout, create community, engage residents, air candidate platforms, and assess candidate accountability, GWAC has joined with other community groups to create East Van Votes, the organization which will sponsor a number of events where you can meet and ask questions of candidates vying local office.
Using the “world café” format, the events will offer individuals and representatives from each party an opportunity to speak for three minutes and then, after these short speeches, the balance of the time will be spent at tables, with 10-15 community residents in a 15-minute dialogue with a single candidate. After 15 minutes, candidates will rotate tables. Each table will have a moderator and a note taker, and the notes will be shared with our community through various platforms.
Dates to meet Mayor and City Council candidates:
•   Monday, Oct 1st at Britannia, 6:00–9:00pm, 1661 Napier (Light dinner at 5 pm)
•   Wednesday, Oct 9th at Ray-Cam, 5:30–9:00pm, 920 E. Hastings
Dates to meet School Board & Park Board candidates:
•   Saturday, Sept 29th at Britannia, 11:00-3:00pm (Lunch at 11 am)
•   Friday, Oct 12th at Strathcona, 6:30-9:30pm, 601 Keefer

Be part of the future of your city; cast your ballots on Saturday, October 20th.

All Candidates Meeting for Civic Byelection on Oct 2nd, 2017

Hear from the candidates running for Vancouver City Council on Monday, October 2nd, 2017 at 7pm. The meeting will take place at the Britannia High School Auditorium near Commercial Drive and Napier Street (1001 Cotton Drive).

Do you have any questions for the candidates? Please send these in advance of the meeting to info@gwac.ca. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions from the floor. Election day is on Saturday, October 14th.

Transportation: The location is accessible via transit (bus #20). Parking is available on the north side of Britannia High School (approach lot from Venables Street via Cotton or Woodland Drive).

May 1 – In Conversation: All Candidates with a difference

Britannia Community Services, GWAC, the Kettle Society, REACH, the Aboriginal Friendship Society, ALIVE, and Vancouver Public Library invite you to join your neighbours for a light dinner and opportunity to speak with your candidates in a World Cafe setting. There are two ridings representing our neighbourhood. Seating will be sorted by riding to allow maximum conversation time with your candidates. There will be a moderator at each table to ensure all attendees have equal opportunity to ask questions on issues they consider important.

Monday, May 1, 2017
Britannia Community Services Centre, Gym B

Non-traditional Format
“World Cafe style”

6:30-7:00: meal and socializing (vegetarian soup)

7:00-7:45: prepared statements from each candidate

7:45-9:00: informal conversations with candidates at each table Candidates will be from Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Vancouver-Hastings.

Voter registration information provided by Samara.

Provincial election day: Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Advance polls:
Sat-Sun, Apr 29-30, Wed-Sat, May 3-6 (full list of advance polling stations here)

Continue reading “May 1 – In Conversation: All Candidates with a difference”

How to Present and Write to Vancouver City Council

1.  Presenters are welcome to speak to council at designated times (Wed, July 27th is the time for the draft Grandview-Woodland Community Plan).

2.  Presenters must register if they wish to have their name put on a speakers’ list.

3.  You can register by contacting: http://vancouver.ca/your-government/city-council-meetings-and-decisions.aspx or by calling 311 and asking for the City Clerk’s office and specifying which meeting you wish to present to.   

The email address for the City Clerk is ccclerk@vancouver.ca

The meeting agenda can be found at: http://council.vancouver.ca/20160727/pspc20160727ag.htm
DATE: Wednesday, July 27, 2016  TIME: 9:30 am  PLACE: Council Chamber Third Floor, City Hall (453 W 12th Ave)  Staff report: link available here

Note: No requests are usually taken after the Council Committee meeting starts.

In your request provide:

  • Your full name
  • The date and type of meeting you want to speak at
  • The agenda item number and title you want to speak about

4.  Speakers have up to five minutes to present their remarks.

5.  Presenters can speak with or without notes.  They can also bring a power point presentation if they wish.  Bring it on a USB key.
If you are not used to public speaking, notes are advisable.

Continue reading “How to Present and Write to Vancouver City Council”

Media Advisory – Grandview-Woodland Area Council does not endorse the Draft Community Plan

GWAC Media Advisory FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 19, 2016

GRANDVIEW WOODLAND AREA COUNCIL DOES NOT ENDORSE THE DRAFT GRANDVIEW- WOODLAND NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

VANCOUVER On July 11th, 2016, residents of Grandview Woodland met to discuss their reactions to the draft Grandview-Woodland Neighbourhood Plan released by the City of Vancouver planning department on June 25th, 2016. Residents expressed fear, frustration, and anger at both the planning process and the Draft Plan itself. Based on feedback from residents, GWAC has released a statement detailing our concerns and the remedies we expect City of Vancouver planners and councilors to take.

“Among the top concerns of residents” said GWAC President Dorothy Barkley, “is having only one summer month to read, digest, and respond to a 250-page document.” Both the Citizens’ Assembly and the planners had almost a year to think about the plan for the neighbourhood. Residents need at least a few months. “GWAC is calling on the City to delay the decision on the Draft Plan to at least November 2016 and to provide a clear mechanism by which resident feedback will be incorporated into the plan.”

At the meeting, renters were particularly fearful of losing both their homes and their communities as a result of demolitions leading to new buildings that will rent at 50% to 100% higher rates than current neighbourhood averages. Residents of the Station Precinct sub-area noted that building heights go beyond resident recommendations and will exacerbate traffic congestion around the local elementary school. Throughout the neighbourhood, residents were outraged that no new park space will be added to this park deficient neighbourhood although the plan will add 9500 new residents. Finally, as one resident noted, much of the Station Precinct, Britannia Woodland, and Cedar Cove areas are open to developer-City negotiation for additional heights, densities, and amenities, a process that privileges profits and amenity contributions over accountability to the neighbourhood.

The city’s Coriolis report confirmed , “The City has sufficient capacity in existing zoning and approved community plans to accommodate over 20 years of supply at the recent pace of residential development.” GWAC questions whether the amount of increased density and height is necessary given that there is already enough capacity city-wide to meet projected population growth and it would put existing more affordable housing and neighbourhood character at risk here in Grandview.

“Based on these concerns, GWAC cannot endorse the Draft Plan” said Barkley. “Instead, we have 5 recommendations for planners and Council.”
They include:

  1. Delay the vote until November 2016 and create a clear mechanism by which feedback can be incorporated into the Draft Plan before it is presented to Council.
  2. Do not allow up-zoning of rental areas until rent controls are applied to new rental buildings so that they are affordable for existing residents and low-income earners. Protect all renters with relocation plans and right of return provisions.
  3. Increase park space proportional to growth and protect existing amenities.
  4. Respect community input on heights, densities, and existing use patterns.
  5. Set firm parameters for development in all areas now and prioritize neighbourhood well-being over developer profits and contributions.

Our neighbourhood and homes are not commodities. We can accommodate growth without losing what we love. We expect the City of Vancouver planning process to respect our concerns and the desires we have for our neighbourhood.
– 30 –
Contact:
Dorothy Barkley, Chair Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC)
Jim Fraser, Director 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.

Sincerely,

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

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Sunday, March 6, 2016 @  2 pm
Canucks Family Education Centre
1655 William Street, Vancouver, BC
(above Family Place, bordering Grandview Park)

Meet Melanie Mark, MLA

Grandview Woodland’s new MLA will be our guest speaker. She wishes to meet her constituents and discuss both our community and how she wants to represent the riding. Community engagement is important to her and she hopes to hear from people attending with questions and concerns.

We will have post-it notes for attendees to write their wishes and concerns for the neighbourhood on, which we will post on the front wall, so that we can create a record and everyone can share the community’s thoughts and concerns.

Ms. Mark will follow her talk with a Q&A

Agenda:

  • Approval of Minutes from 2015 AGM
  • President’s Report
  • Financial Report
  • Election of Directors for 2015-16

In order to vote on the election of Directors or to run for office, it is necessary to be a member (if you are not already registered as a member) or affirm your prior membership by signing in with your name, street address and email address.  A sign-up table will be available at the front door to enroll your membership and supply your ballot.  Please consider coming a bit early to avoid a line-up.