Listen to Bruce Allen’s rant on FCRA’s Green Light Campaign

Each weekday, CKNW-AM (Vancouver) broadcasts an editorial commentary by Bruce Allen called Reality Check, in which Allen provides his point of view on a current event or recent news story.

On Thursday, August 28, 2014 he talked about the Green Light Protest One-Of-A-Kind saying it’s one of the most unique he’s come across and encourages up-and-coming protestors to take note!

The FCRA petition is amended to reflect the City’s decision to grant another temporary permit for Concord’s sales centre.

The FCRA petitioned the Supreme Court of British Columbia on May 22, 2014, asking that the Court rule on whether the Vancouver Charter enables the City to allow for commercial activities on land zoned for exclusive park and recreation use.

On August 11, 2014 the City granted another “temporary” permit to Concord Pacific. Given this action, we have amended our petition. We are no longer asking is the City has the power under the Charter that it claims. We are now asking that the Court quash the decision.

In its letter to Concord Pacific (dated July 24, 2014), the City forbids Concord to use Lot 9 for commercial parking. Concord is ignoring this prohibition. See our previous post with its photographic evidence of Concord’s non-compliance.

The letter indicates that Concord may rent its land for special events, as long as they are granted “Special Permits”. Our amended petition asks that the Court declare that any event so permitted is consistent with the zoning, i.e. park and recreation.

Our case will be hear by the Supreme Court on September 11, 2014. In the meantime, stay tuned – Concord has applied to be added to the case. The Court will hear this matter on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 9:45.

The amended petition is included in this posting. All previous documents filed are attached to earlier postings.Amended Aug 22nd

Concord Pacific appears to disregard City’s Orders

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough the City of Vancouver has made it clear that Concord’s commercial parking activities on park zoned land are to cease immediately, Sunday, August 24th was proof that the developer has little intention of complying.

Thanks to City Hall Watch for pictures of the parking operations during Sunday’s Lions game at BC Place. City Hall Watch also discusses the ongoing use of facia signs on the development centre. The sign bylaw stipulates that facia signs, that is, signs that are directly on the face of the building, can only be used to advertise a business on that site. As Concord can no longer market Burnaby condos from Northeast False Creek, the facia signs should be taken down immediately.

All neighbourhoods are grateful to City Hall Watch for their insight and deligence.

http://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/commercial-parking-illegal-signs/

The City grants the temporary development permit requested by Concord Pacific for their False Creek Sales Centre.

Concord Pacific operates its sales centre on the northeast shore of False Creek – the site of the future Creekside Park according to the BC Place/Expo District zoning bylaw. The “temporary” permit for this centre expired May 16, 2014. This was the last of a series of back-to-back “temporary” permits granted first granted in 2005.

The FCRA has objected to the renewal of the permit, insisting that the land zoned as a park should be used exclusively as a park, as required by the zoning by-law and the Official Development Plan. Full details of the FCRA position are laid out in our May 22nd posting which includes the documents filed in the Supreme Court as part of the application for judicial review of the City’s previous decisions.

On August 11, the City finally made a decision, approving the sales centre for another three year period. However, this time, the development permit indicates that no further extensions will be granted.

The City has stipulated 2 additional conditions:
1. That there be no more marketing of properties located outside of Vancouver; and
2. That the commercial parking operation on the site be discontinues immediately. Any “special events” will be considered separately.

The full text of the City’s decision is included here:
letter to counsel & DP Aug 11,2014

The FCRA responds to Concord Pacific’s application

The FCRA has asked the Supreme Court to review the City’s decisions to allow commercial activities on land zoned as “Park”. Not content to participate as an’intervenor’ Concord Pacific has applied to the Court to be a full party to the FCRA’s action.

The FCRA opposes this. For complete information see our previous posting on this topic. Below is the formal response to Concord’s application filed by the FCRA in Supreme Court on August 20.

This matter will be heard on August 27, 2014, at 9:45.Response to Concord’s Petition

A local mom writes Mayor and Council and Park Board Commissioners

Hello,

This evening my husband and I thought we would escape the sweltering heat of our home and take our children (ages 4 and 8) for a walk and play at our local park…Andy Livingstone. My family and I have lived in this area of Vancouver for 11 years now and have watched as more and more towers are built and more and more families move into the area, we love the community we are a part of. I am very aware of the “issues” that face my local neighbourhood and my children are learning first hand about the dangers of drug and alcohol use…they are also learning about compassion and understanding for their fellow citizens. Living in my community provides numerous opportunities for discussions about social issues on a daily basis.

But tonight I found myself thinking …”this is too much”! Tonight our family conversation about compassion for others and drug use in our community was all that we were able to discuss on our family outing. Why you ask? Here is a break down of my family’s experience as we strolled our neighbourhood at 6:30 this evening for a 20 min walk.

1) As we left our apartment building at Taylor and Keefer we watched 4 woman (one in a wheelchair) bath in our buildings fountain. I had seen these same women in the fountain hours earlier and had decided to let them be…it was hot after all (I am on our buildings strata council and we often receive complaints from residents regarding this issue). My children’s question,”What are they doing….having a bath?”

2) We crossed the street and decided to walk around the park for some exercise, as we passed the bus stop my children observed an older man passed out on the bench. My children”s second question, “Is he alright?”

3) We decided to go to the newer wooden playground at the corner of Carrell and Keefer. From the day this playground opened it has been an issue…needles, garbage, people sleeping, people cooking . I have made numerous phone calls and written about this playground. Today the playground had two young women sitting on a bench openly doing drugs and under the playground a man sleeping. Obviously we decided to continue walking. As we walked by one of the woman said to me “…oh do you want to use the playground? I looked at her and said “..this is really not the place for what you are doing.”

4) As we approached the baseball diamond at AL park we saw two men sitting near the dug outs. When they saw the children one of the men quickly put away whatever it was they were doing…looked at me and said “..sorry about that..” I can only assume that what they were doing was drugs.

5) As we made our way around the park we next passed the tennis courts. Since my children were full of energy I said “…go ahead and run around the empty court..”. As we approached the second tennis court we saw a huge display of shopping carts, trunks, umbrellas and garbage on the court. My children commented “…that must be someones home..”. As we walked by I could see a woman’s head down below…a mans head then popped up from behind the umbrellas. I can only assume that they were having sex or doing drugs…or maybe both.

6)We had now reached the corner of Columbia and Keefer. As we walked by we observed on the corner of the grass, off to the side of the sidewalk two extremely high individuals…the kind of high when your eyes roll to the back of your head and you can’t stand. My children have seen this “high” often and know what it is….”…she’s on drugs Mommy..”

7) We had now decided to head to home…our lovely evening stroll was becoming not so enjoyable. As we walked the block of Keefer beside the soccer fields we observed garbage, needles, smelled the strong smell of cigarettes and marijuana and observed more high individuals passed out (or close to it) laying on the park benches.

I came home and decided to write to you and share my family’s experience. I want you to know what it is like for my children, what they see and experience every day in my neighbourhood of Vancouver.

To be honest I don’t think there is anything that can be done or will be done. I believe that my children will just have to adjust to life with needles, garbage and drugs all around them. They will have to adjust to not being able to access their local playground, tennis courts, baseball diamond or even appreciate the water fountain in their own apartment building. This is sad…parks and playgrounds should be available for all individuals of our city, they should be safe and clean environment for everyone to use. Unfortunately for my children it seems they are not the ones able to use their local park….it is instead being made available for those who choose to make the small amount of green space we have available…unsafe, unclean and not usable.

Concord seeks “Respondent” status in FCRA’s judicial review application

Not content to be an Intervenor, Concord Pacific has applied to the Supreme Court of BC to be added to the Judicial Review application as a full Party.

They bolster their argument by claiming any interference in their commercial activities on park-zoned land would cause them “undue hardship”.

For complete information on this development, see the FCRA Backgrounder:
Backgrounder July 29, 2014

Concord’s Application to the Supreme Court was filed July 24th. The application will be heard on August 27.

Filed Notice of Application

Casino at BC Place

As you know, the City has approved the move of the Edgewater Casino from its current location on the waterfront at the Plaza of Nations to BC Place. However, this approval was contingent on agreement from Paragon Gaming that there would be no expansion of gaming.

Notwithstanding this, plans for the new location at BC Place show that the gaming floor will be twice as big as would be required.

In order to ensure that the ‘no expansion’ agreement is complied with, Councillor Adriane Carr will be introducing a motion requiring a restrictive covenant on the development permit.

Vancouver Not Vegas is requesting that interested residents attend City Hall to speak on this issue:

Tuesday, July 22, 9:30

You can register in person on Tuesday by 9:15 am, or call 311 before Monday 5:00 pm to register in advance.

September 11 – Our Day In Court

The Supreme Court of BC has given the FCRA a hearing date of September 11. The FCRA is asking the Court to rule on whether the City of Vancouver can permit the current commercial activity on Lot 9 of the BC Place/Expo District land which is zoned exclusively for park and recreation uses.

The City has yet to file its response to our Petition,notwithstanding that this response was due on June 12 according to the Court Rules.

The last temporary permit for Concord Pacific’s sales centre expired on May 16. The City has not renewed that permit, but the sales centre continues to operate.

The full petition is available on this web site:

http://www.falsecreekresidents.org/2014/05/22/fcra-petitions-the-supreme-court-of-british-columbia/