On the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors, Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and five Councillors hold the largest voting block of any municipality. Citizens of Vancouver are concerned about the steady erosion of checks and balances, first under NPA Mayor Sam Sullivan and now under Vision Vancouver, that once gave citizens and neighbourhoods respect and a voice at Vancouver City Hall. On October 3, 2012, with only three working days’ advance notice, they forced through 15 recommendations of a politically-appointed Mayor’s Task Force, despite strong appeals from other elected officials, neighbourhood associations and citizens for more time to review the recommendations and to launch meaningful consultation. The same day, Council also adopted what it calls an “Interim” Rezoning Policy, launching a “trial” for 20 rezoning proposals up to 3.5 storeys within 100 meters of “arterial” streets and up to 6 stories within 500 meters fronting on arterials near “neighbourhood centres” and “shopping areas.” On October 20, CityHallWatch.ca is hosting a forum to hear from many Vancouver neighbourhoods, in an attempt to connect the dots and create a picture of what is going on at Vancouver City Hall. Anyone from the Metro Vancouver region is welcome to observe.
Future of Vancouver, Oct 20
“The Future of Vancouver” Community Issues Forum
When: Saturday, October 20, 2012, 3-5 pm
Where: St. Patrick Parish Hall, 2881 Main Street (between 12th & 13th Avenue, Main Street Bus #3 or free parking lot off 13th)
Register (voluntary): http://cityhallwatch.eventbrite.com/
Program (updated version will be posted here online this week)
1. Opening: Purpose, introductions, ground rules
2. Short presentations for context:
– Current context — last two terms of City Council, 2008 and 2011 civic elections, Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability – What was approved by Council? How city-wide and regional planning is affecting the community planning process.
– Presentations from several neighbourhoods (Norquay, Marpole, Grandview-Woodland, West End, Downtown Eastside, Cambie Corridor, Shaugnessy, Kitsilano)
3. Alternative options for planning principles and process.
4. Open microphone, moderated session based on presentations.
5. Next steps and closing
Let’s get together in one room, regardless of affiliations, for a non-partisan discussion – share information, hear others opinions and observations, and consider how the people of Vancouver can get this city back on track. In the past decade, even with changes in regime, City Hall has become increasingly top-down and inaccessible.
The format will include a few brief opening presentations, and a longer session with an open microphone.
The meeting will be a chance to have meaningful discussions about the present and future of our city and to connect with your neighbours. Please spread the word about the meeting. We hope to see you on Oct 20th. Spread the word!