Download in PDF: MEDIA_CityHallWatch_MetroVan revokes approval to speak on RGS, 17-Feb-2011web
Read legal opinion by municipal lawyer on why Metro Van’s tactic of using a public hearing to block public input is not right. (Note also that the Public Hearing was done voluntarily by Metro Van, but is again being used to mute citizen access to decision-making.)
MEDIA RELEASE [CityHallWatch, Vancouver, February 17, 2011] Metro Vancouver made a surprise move yesterday by revoking its approval for a CityHallWatch delegation to speak and set the record straight on the Regional Growth Strategy’s potential to promote urban sprawl in West Vancouver. CityHallWatch had already been approved to present its facts this Friday at 9 a.m. to the Regional Planning Committee.
The move appears to be a last-minute attempt to prevent the mayors and councillors who are members of the Regional Planning Committee, which meets at 9 am on Friday, from hearing independent specialists who say that the RGS could permit urban sprawl all the way up the visible slope and over the ridges of Hollyburn Mountain in West Vancouver.
“Metro Vancouver is restricting the democratic right to speak. This does not bode well for the citizens of 22 municipalities in this region. Within weeks, if the Regional Growth Strategy enters into force, this organization will be given significantly more power over land use decisions for the next 30 years. We should be warning our Mayors and Councillors to rectify Metro Vancouver’s behaviour,” says Randy Helten, coordinator of CityHallWatch.
Metro Vancouver had already approved CityHallWatch’s request for five minutes to provide independent analyses of the potential urban sprawl impacts of the thirty-year Regional Growth Strategy on the highly visible slopes of West Vancouver. But according to a letter late yesterday from the Corporate Secretary, “…your acceptance as a delegation was made in error and has therefore been revoked,” and that instead, Metro “staff will clarify the location of the Urban Containment Boundary in West Vancouver.”
Despite this snub, CityHallWatch plans the following to provide information to media and the public:
- Metro Van Regional Planning Committee, Feb. 18 (Friday). 9 am: Our delegation will still attend the meeting as observers, and be prepared to make our presentation if invited to do so. We will also be available for media comment immediately after the meeting. (Metro Vancouver Head Office, 2nd Floor Boardroom, 4330 Kingsway, Burnaby)
- CityHallWatch Media Briefing, morning, Monday, Feb. 21, exact time and downtown Vancouver location to be announced.
- Today: CityHallWatch presentation intended for the Metro Van Regional Planning Committee will be made available on http://www.MetroVanWatch.ca, along with related materials and responses to Metro Vancouver.
- Note that West Vancouver Council, at 7 pm on Feb. 21 (Monday): Council is expected to discuss the RGS. CityHallWatch plans to be in attendance and has requested to speak as a delegation.
CityHallWatch has confirmed with three independent specialists that the RGS could allow urban sprawl across the south face to the top of West Vancouver’s Hollyburn Ridge and all of Eagleridge Bluffs, and possibly beyond, to the boundaries of Cypress Park and the Capilano Watershed. These impacts are significantly contrary to staff replies to questions asked by the Board before the vote on Jan 14. A transcript of portions of the January 14 Metro Van Board meeting will be posted soon on http://www.MetroVanWatch.ca.
CityHallWatch and MetroVanWatch are new networks launched for citizens to better understand, discuss, and address major issues relating particularly to land use decisions and processes. Our goal is a socially, environmentally and agriculturally sustainable Metro Vancouver. We receive input from independent citizens and experts.