Category Archives: Other Initatives

FCRA Mourns The Passing of Merv Therriault

We are very sad to learn about the recent passing of FCRA Board member Merv Therriault. A friend to many, Merv had been active in the False Creek community for many years. His depth of knowledge, energy, and unmatched sense of humour will be dearly missed by those who worked with him and got to know him.

A Celebration of Life for Merv will be announced in the near future. The Vancouver Sun has published a fine obituary on his extraordinary life.

National Calls Attention to City’s Proposal to Move Carrall Street

Residents of The National (1128 Quebec Street) have put out a document that shows serious concern over the City of Vancouver’s proposal to move Carrall eastward. The document outlines the City’s move that would allow more Concord Pacific condos on the shoreline and less waterfront park space.

“The most recent park design gives Concord Pacific more waterfront property to build residential towers, while shifting the Creekside Park extension to the area under the Skytrain line and next to the new six-lane Pacific Ave.”

“The original development plan for Creekside Park promised in 1990 was a contiguous east-west park alignment. Currently, the City of Vancouver is proposing a north-south alignment to the park, thus moving the park further away from the waterfront.”

You can read the original document here.

Plaza of Nations Development Plans Revealed

Plans for a new neighbourhood on the existing Plaza of Nations site were revealed earlier this week. The proposal aims to add 1400 new units to the area, along with retail, restauraunts & gardens. The developer is proposing a new Community Centre with an ice rink that would partially serve as a practice rink for the Vancouver Canucks as a Community amenity.

Here’s how the plans were received by the local news media this week:

Plaza of Nations site pitched as vibrant waterfront neighbourhood for Vancouver –  Vancouver Sun

Billionaire Developer talks plans for Vancouver Waterfront SiteGlobe & Mail

City of Vancouver to Hold Northeast False Creek Block Party

Here’s a chance to give your thoughts and input on the future of Northeast False Creek. The City of Vancouver is holding a Block Party to present an early draft of what they’ve heard over the last 10 months. We encourage all residents of False Creek to drop by and discuss the future of our community.

Where: Andy Livingston Park at Carrall Street.
When: Saturday, June 10, 11am – 7pm

 

City of Vancouver Draft Policy Statement on St. Paul’s Hospital & Open Houses

The City of Vancouver have created a draft Policy Statement to guide the development of the new St. Paul’s Hospital on the False Creek Flats. They’ll be holding two Open Houses to give members of the public an opportunity to review the proposals.

The Open Houses are:

Saturday, May 13 – 3:00 – 6:00 PM – Creekside Community Centre
Monday, May 15 – 5:00 – 8:00 PM – Strathcona Community Centre

For information on the City of Vancouver’s approach to this development so far, visit the link below:

http://vancouver.ca/home-property-develop…/new-st-pauls.aspx

VIDEO: Full House for the FCRA All-Candidates Meeting for Vancouver – False Creek

Over 100 people filled the room at Creekside Community Centre to hear the candidates from Vancouver – False Creek for the 2017 BC Provincial Election. It was a lively evening with interesting views on several issues of concern to residents of the area. The False Creek Residents Association is proud to have hosted this event. A big thanks to all in attendance, and especially to the six candidates who participated.

For those who couldn’t attend, here is a video of the entire meeting. Election day is May 9, and there are advance polls beforehand. Please get out and vote!

2017 All-Candidates Meeting for Vancouver-False Creek

-Presented by the False Creek Residents Association

Join us on Thursday, April 27, 7:00 PM at Creekside Community Centre as the False Creek Residents Association invites the provincial candidates for Vancouver-False Creek to participate in an All-Candidates meeting. This is your opportunity to ask questions and hear from the candidates on the issues that are important to the residents of False Creek prior to the May 9 Provincial Election.

The candidates for Vancouver – False Creek (Listed alphabetically):

James Filippelli – Your Political Party of BC (YPP)
Morgane Oger –  BC NDP
Phillip Ryan – BC Citizens First Party
Bradley Shende – BC Green Party
Sam Sullivan – BC Liberal Party (Incumbent)

The False Creek Residents Association is a non-partisan, volunteer-run neighbourhood group dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone that lives around and visits False Creek—the heart of the city of Vancouver. For more information, visit us at www.falsecreekresidents.org.

Free Parking!

RandyVanEykRandy Van Eyk believes his 40-foot sail boat, Tuesday Sunrise, should be allowed to anchor in the waters of False Creek indefinitely. Vancouver City Council requires a permit and sets a limit.

While the permit is free, you can’t anchor more than 21 days out of 40 in the winter and 14 days out of 30 in the summer. Longer than that and you need to move to a marina.

If you choose to live aboard your boat—preferring the freedom of dropping anchor or sailing away when the mood strikes—should you get free and unlimited parking?

False Creek is a desirable stop for boaters. It has a shallow and muddy bottom, which is better for securing the anchor, and it’s a beautiful setting. But if you are not hooked up to water and sewage services, is it putting public health at risk? FCboat

And who’s responsible when this happens?

FCboatFire

An ownerless boat catches fire and the city’s engineering department is sent in to remove it. Your anchor doesn’t hold and your boat slips into a navigable channel, hits another boat, or capsizes? Who cleans up the fuel leaks?

What if your boat washes up to shore in a storm? How long does it sit there before it’s removed? Who picks up the cost of these mishaps?

Density Bonuses for Developers

The City has proposed changes to the definition of “social housing”    that will enable developers to build rental housing projects that qualify for a bonus in allowable density if 30% of the units are available for low income residents. Unfortunately ‘low income’ doesn’t mean minimum wage earners or welfare recipients. They couldn’t afford the $912 for a bachelor apartment. That is the rent level that qualifies developers for the bonus in density. The new definition means that the entire 100% of units will be called ‘social housing’ even if only 30% are available to lower income residents.

Further, the proposed changes give staff the authority to approve the density bonus without public hearing or any scrutiny by elected officials.

On March 24, 2015 Council held a public hearing on this proposed changes. The FCRA spoke against the amendments. Following is the presentation we made to council. The Public Hearing has been extended to Thursday, March 26, 2015. If you agree, you have an opportunity to be heard, either by speaking to Council on the 26th, or by writing to: Mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca, or by signing the petition launched by our neighbours at the Community Association of New Yaletown (CANY): https://www.change.org/p/vancouver-mayor-and-city-council-vote-no-to-the-proposed-amendments-to-the-downtown-official-development-plan-on-march-24-2015

Remarks to City Council, March 24, 2015
I am here speaking on behalf of the FCRA because we believe that the proposed amendments to the Downtown Official Development Plan (DODP) before Council today impact all neighbourhoods in Vancouver.

I want to raise 2 issues:

The need for democratic accountability in decision-making; and
The importance of accommodating deep core need residents in social housing across the city

First, the issue of democratic accountability:
I find it impossible to understand from the city’s material whether the decisions on density bonuses are made by elected officials or by public servants. If by both, in what order are these decisions made. Is it proposed that Council look at decisions made by public servants only after significant time, money and energy has been spent planning for the increased density? Or before? Will there be a public hearing? Will the community have a meaningful opportunity for input into decisions before additional density is granted?

I urge you not to compromise the importance of elected officials making decisions about whether or not to grant a density bonus. I have spoken in the past of the appearance of conflict of interest when developers donate huge sums of money to candidates. Having the public service make decisions around lucrative density bonuses raises the same level of suspicion or appearance of conflict of interest. We know that many city staff members later turn up as highly paid consultants for, or employees of, developers. Have their previous favourable decisions put them in line for such lucrative contracts? We wonder.

In my view, the city must ensure its policies and practices protect its staff from suspicions of abuse or corruption and even the appearance of conflict.

Density bonuses are serious business. Density bonuses exempt developers from zoning – zoning that was approved after public hearings; approved by elected officials according to the provisions of the Vancouver Charter. That whole scheme of accountability will be undermined if you allow density bonuses to be granted in private by anonymous bureaucrats, rather than up front, as part of a public and accountable democratic process.

Second, I want to say a few words about the definition of “social housing”:
This revamped definition forever takes developers off the hook for building housing for income assistance recipients. This revamped definition ensures that the DTES will continue to be the only place in the city for people on welfare to live. The city-wide definition excludes the most vulnerable who require housing at the welfare shelter rate. This is bad social policy.
The FCRA believes that there is significant evidence showing that strategies such as Scattered Site Housing, and Inclusive and Mixed Income developments have better results than high density enclaves of high need, high risk, high impact individuals.

The FCRA wants to see social housing across the city – social housing defined in the traditional way, for example, as the term was used when the Harcourt Government launched HOMES BC: housing for people at the shelter allowance rate, housing with rents geared to 30% of income (RGI); and housing for people who can pay rents at low end of market (LEM). With the developers delivering ‘turnkey’ buildings for social housing, the combination of these 3 groups should ensure viable projects.

If Market Rental Housing is required to ensure the viability of social housing projects, those units cannot be considered ‘social housing’. Market rental housing is not social housing.

There is no evidence to support the notion that increasing the supply of market rentals decreases the number of residents requiring assistance with affordability.

In summary, changing the definition of ‘social housing’ that will apply city-wide calls for a city-wide debate as it is the entire city that is impacted. To do otherwise, in my view, shows serious contempt for the recent Supreme Court of BC decision.