Vancouver staff report on RGS now online

[Update: City now soliciting input by web: http://vancouver.ca/yoursay.htm] In an unusual move, shortly before 6 pm on 23 Feb, Vancouver City staff posted a 5-page “Policy Report” to Council by the Director of Planning on the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy, along with the agenda for the Planning and Environment Committee meeting where it will be discussed at 2 pm on March 3 (Thurs). (Standard practice is to post at about 4 pm on Fridays.) MetroVanWatch reps today met with City staff to discuss the RGS, and appreciate the earlier-than-usual posting today … (noting that the report is dated Feb 15). Vancouver is the most populous of the 22 municipalities in Metro Vancouver, and has the largest voting block (23.2% of votes), giving Vancouver City Council tremendous influence on the future of this region. All six board members representing Vancouver are from the same “party,” and vote almost without exception as one bloc. Senior City staff and the power-holding “party” members have already indicated their full intention to accept the RGS. This RGS is a legal document that will sit at the top of the land-use planning hierarchy. Municipalities  will be legally bound to follow it once it enters into force, with the (extendable) acceptance deadline of March 22 (reportedly). It is supposed to guide development in this region with a current population of 2.1 million for the next 30 years to 2040. It will affect every aspect of land business. Yet except for a MetroVanWatch meeting on January 13 this year, it has not been the subject of any public information meetings held on Vancouver soil for Vancouver citizens since the substantial contents of the RGS took shape over the summer of 2010.  With a few exceptions (special thanks to the Georgia Straight) mainstream media coverage has been virtually non-nonexistent. Industry is lobbying for more time. Some citizens are calling for a referendum. If you cannot attend the 2 pm March 3 meeting, please write to mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca and share your ideas with them.

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Citizens concerned about public benefits arising from decisions at Vancouver's City Hall.
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