Plaza of Nations and Rogers Arena
We have supported the collaboration between Aquilini Developments, owners of the Arena, and Canadian Metropolitan Properties, owners of the Plaza of Nations. These developers have worked with our association to prepare their proposals which will include both residential and commercial uses. The big ’win’ for residents is the Ice Rink and Community Centre which will be open for the community, with the exception of mornings during Hockey season when the rink will be used for Canucks’ practice. A 69 space child care centre is also planned as part of this development.
The first phase of the collaboration at the Arena was approved by Council before it recessed for the summer. The second phase, at the Plaza, is expected to be scheduled for a public hearing hopefully in early 2013. We are planning for a significant turnout of residents to express support for this significant amenity.
International Village Elementary School
Debra Barker represents our Board on the consultation committee working with the School Board and City Planning staff on the new elementary school which will be opened by 2014. In addition, Sonja Winks participates on behalf of the City Gate Inter Tower Group. After years of lobbying for funding for this, we are pleased that the north shore of our community will at last have another much needed facility.
Although promised in 1999, we must report that we are no further ahead in achieving this much needed community amenity. Although there is a design for a re-configured park, approved in principle by council , that would enable the park to go ahead without waiting until the soils from the neighbouring lot 6C can be buried under the park site, Lot 9, we cannot perceive any action by either the city or Concord Pacific to move this ahead.
Rather than using the park site to host SoleFoods urban farm, Concord opened their lots across from the Carrall Street Greenway for SoleFoods. Stretching over a number of their properties along Pacific Boulevard, this move will yield a significant reduction in property taxes, while doing nothing toward greening the park site.
The City is considering the removal of the viaducts along Dunsmuir and Georgia. Our Association has organized and participated in a number of consultations on this issue. The City sponsored an ideas competition, inviting proposals that envision a community without these raised roadways. We were involved in further consultations with the Peoples’ Choice in that competition, a consortium consisting of Jim Green Consulting, Larry Beasley, Norm Hotson and Margot Long. In partnership with our member organization, the Crosstown Residents Association, in May 2012, we invited Larry Beasley to present his proposal to the community and seek their direct input and feedback.
The City’s proposal to City Council was not as appealing to us as was the Beasley/Green/Hotson/Long proposal. Our submission to Council urging them not to accept the staff recommendation without further input and consultation, can be found on our web site: falsecreekresidents.org.
Our efforts were matched by other community organizations, including residents along the 100 Block of Prior Street and the Strathcona Residents Association. We were successful in convincing City Council to defer their decision. We anticipate this issue coming forward again in January 2013 and we will once again measure the proposal’s pros and cons and be a strong voice for our community at Council.
Off Leash Dog Park
Our advocacy has paid off — the off leash dog park will open soon. In March, 2012, we held a special community meeting on this issue, in partnership with the Crosstown Residents Association. Parks Board Commissioners Niki Sharma, Aaron Jasper and then Chair of the Board, Constance Barnes attended. A portion of Andy Livingston park that was under-utilized was identified and construction is underway so that neighbourhood dog owners will have a good option to using the main portion of the park as a dog run. Thanks to Parks Board Commissioner Constance Barnes for championing our cause.
Again at this year’s Run for the Cure, local residents were blocked from using their vehicles and accessing their parking spots. We are working with City staff to ensure that we are not penned in when major events are hosted in our neighbourhood. Again, we have been in communication with the run organizers, the city staff person who organizes the route, and the special event organizer for the city. We hope they can improve next year.
We have also been in touch with the Site Analyst for Cirque du Soleil to ameliorate any impacts that this event might have on the community. Cirque will be here for two months from November 2012 – January 2013
For years, the seawall from Science World to the Plaza of Nations has been a dangerously congested area. There are no lane demarcations – cyclists, skate boarders, pedestrians, rollerbladers, and babies in buggies all share the pathway. The FCRA was adamant with the city in May of 2011 that any renewal of the development permit for Concord Pacific’s marketing buildings be contingent upon adequate steps to improve safety on the seawall. Although some dotted lines south of the park site were painted in October, 2012, we are still waiting and lobbying for our segment of the seawall to be safe.
For years, 12 acres of undeveloped property owned by Concord Pacific around False Creek was assessed at $192,000. Taxes paid on that property were less than $4400. In 2010 the property was re-profiled and the Assessment Authority valued the 9.06 acres park site at $400,000, even though a smaller park site in Strathcona, Trillium Park, was valued at $18,569,000 before it was developed. The FCRA launched a third-party appeal. This appeal is slowly wending its way through the appeal process. We have been fortunate to receive the ‘pro bono’ support of lawyer Tim Louis who is assisting us to take this matter to a hearing.
We have now learned that Concord Pacific has appealed its 2011 assessment, receiving a reduction of over $30,000,000 in assessed value. Interesting that none of us have had a similar reduction in the value of our neighbouring properties. We will again be appealing this recent assessment in the hope of achieving some parity with other park site and assuring residents that there is fairness and equality in the assessment system.
Vancouver Municipal Election
The FCRA sponsored an all candidates meeting at Elsie Roy School. This was the first of many such meetings. Twenty-six of the candidates for Council and Parks Board participated. Residents were able to get many of their questions answered by candidates. We will continue to sponsor such events for future elections at all levels as the Board believes this is an important aspect of promoting good quality of life around the Creek.
COMINGS AND GOINGS
Welcome neighbours! We are pleased that so many of our new neighbours in the Olympic Village have expressed an interest in the FCRA. We hope for good representation at the AGM and on our 2012-2013 Board of Directors
The Crosstown Residents Association
Another of the original founders of the FCRA, the CRA continues to grow and address issues of concern. The Chair of the CRA participates in discussions on the Local Area Planning Process currently underway in the Downtown Eastside. Residents in Gastown have joined the CRA and we are looking forward to welcoming more folks from that part of our community. We had a successful AGM in the Spring at W2 and the new Board of the CRA is looking forward to a productive year.
City Gate Inter-tower Community Group
The CGIT is also a founding member of the FCRA and continues to be both a supportive member group. They also focus on their own local interests and concerns. Every market condominium building in the CGIT are now official strata corporation members of the FCRA along with individual members who live in the social housing component of the neighbourhood. We are a diverse and extremely supportive community. We have participated with Science World in their outdoor science park; the design of the new Trillium Park; the re-design of the Main and Terminal skytrain station; the ongoing struggles with the Cobalt; Blockwatch; the Farmerʼs Market at Thornton Park; the Irish Canadian Memorial soon to be erected at Thornton Park; the Prior Street residents’ concerns with removal of the viaducts; and participation in the BCAA survey to identify the worst streets in the city. We’re “proud” to say that our local nominee, Station Street, came in 6th and it has now been repaved! Good work !
False Creek South Neighbourhood Association
Although one of the founding members of the FCRA, the FCSNA has decided to focus its efforts on renegotiation of the land lease with the City of Vancouver and has withdrawn from the FCRA. However, individual members and buildings on the south shore of the Creek continue to participate with us.
The FCRA Board of Directors
During last year’s term, Sean Bickerton stepped down to avoid any conflict of interest during the civic election. Sean has now re-joined the board.
One of our founding members, Arthur Brock has stepped down from the Board as he and his wife are taking up new challenges south of the border. Good Luck Arthur!
Mary Brusse from City Gate has relocated to the Okanagan.
Your remaining Board members will stand for another term.
Join us in making our community a better place to live. To keep in touch,please remember our web site: falsecreekresidents.org. Find us on Facebook and keep us posted about your ideas, issues, and concerns.
Fern Jeffries and Patsy McMillan, Co-chairs