Good evening Mayor and Council:
On behalf of the False Creek Residents Association and the Crosstown Residents Association, let me offer you my best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013.
While it’s 2013 according to the GREGORian calendar, many of us measure time from 1990 – when the City of Vancouver agreed on a package of amenities that were appropriate given the allocation of 7650 units of residentialdevelopment on the Expo lands.We are now in the 23rd year of expecting the signatories of that agreement to provide the final piece of green space — Creekside Park. Even without the additional units you willconsider this evening, there are now over 10,000 unitssharing amenities intended to meet the needs of manyfewer residents. We fall woefully short of the city’s standard per capita green space allocation.
The staff report before you speaks about early delivery of additional park space along the water front. In our view, after 23 years, there is nothing ‘early’ about this.
What we want to see is a clear plan, a clear timeline, a transparent amenity package, and a renewed commitment to create and preserve a livable urban environment. We respectfully request that Council NOT approve this amendment to the ODP until we all have this clarity.
We are committed to working with the developer and city staff so that the next time you have a proposal before you,we can offer our support and endorsement.
We hope that this year we will have an opportunity for meaningful discussion with the City about amenities. The amenity package that was agreed to by previous councils
simply does not reflect the priority needs of residents. Wenote in the report you have tonight that staff suggest revisiting that package. We ask that residents have a realopportunity for input. We ask that this opportunity be well in advance of any presentation to council.
Increasing the number of units in our community will increase the number of residents expecting local amenities – child care, green space, off leash areas, schools, and community recreation centres.
At this point, the ONLY development proposal that will increase local amenities is the proposal from Canadian Metropolitan Properties that includes a community centre, childcare, and rink. Yet in the report before you, this proposal is vaguely referenced as “in process” (p.2). Our association worked collaboratively with CMP and Aquilini and we hope the city can respect and support the
compromises we achieved. The amenity package for the Plaza of Nations is critical to the livability of the area and we urge Council to expedite approval of that proposal.
We all share a vision of a highly livable urban environment. While previous reports to Council on NEFC have referenced our community as an regional sports and entertainment area, we are very pleased to see the bylawconfirm NEFC as “a predominately residential area” (3.3.1)
Our primary focus remains Lot 9, the 9.06 acre site of Creekside Park – the only available land to address the shortage of green space. The taxes on this property are negligible. The land owner continues to use this property to generate significant revenues and as a home for its
marketing centre that would otherwise be a significant cost item.
After 23 years, it’s more than time for lot 9 to be greened,for the marketing centre to be moved, and for the seawall to be completed from Science World to the Plaza of Nations.
We appreciate that Council’s decisions on removal of the viaducts will impact the planning. That can be incorporated as an alternative within the requested plan
In our view it is premature to amend the ODP without an overall plan. In our view it is inappropriate to provide for more residents without an agreed upon amenity package to meet the needs of the current population.
Our position is simply that we should first have a comprehensive plan with timelines, before there is any amendment to the Official Development Plan.