Eighteen community residents’ associations, covering almost the entire City of Vancouver, have now joined together in a Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods with the specific purpose of demanding a more respectful relationship between the City and the communities. “The Coalition is working on creating a new development/planning paradigm that will stress community involvement and local influence over land use and zoning decisions,” said spokesperson Jak King.
This coming together follows the summer of our discontent. Virtually every neighbourhood in Vancouver has suffered through the disaster that is development and “community engagement” under the present planning process.
Whether it is the failed Community Plans in Marpole, Grandview-Woodland, the West End and Downtown Eastside, or specific developments around False Creek, the Pearson lands in South Vancouver, the Rize and other projects in Mount Pleasant, the “downtownification” of Oakridge, and the overriding of community opinion in Norquay, the outrage expressed by the affected communities has been the same.
In each and every case, residents have been refused genuine involvement and influence over decision-making. Even in the few cases where residents have been allowed a form of consultation, such as in the Mount Pleasant Implementation, their positions have been ignored or curtailed or both. “We have witnessed public hearings where hundreds of people have vocally and loudly opposed developments only to see City Council vote in support of the developers,” noted Fern Jeffries. “This has squandered the time and energy residents have put into engaging with these proposals.”
“We hope that the City will quickly recognize that something is badly broken in the way they engage with communities and return to the concept of community-based planning that was so successful in building Vancouver,” said King. The Coalition will work together to support individual neighbourhoods in their disputes over unacceptable planning decisions and proposals.
The disenfranchisement of neighbourhoods must end. The Coalition will not accept with equanimity any more faux “engagement” circuses in which “consultation” produces nothing but disappointment and damaged communities. Communities demand genuine involvement and the right of local residents to have the highest level of influence over the future of their own communities.
The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods comprises eighteen community residents’ associations who share a common interest in collaborating with the City of Vancouver.
- Arbutus Ridge Community Association
- Crosstown Residents Association
- Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council
- Downtown South/Yaletown
- Dunbar Residents Association
- False Creek Residents Association
- Grandview Woodland Area Council
- Citygate Intertower Group
- Marpole Residents Coalition
- Norquay Residents
- NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
- Oakridge Langara Area Residents
- Residents Association of Mount Pleasant
- Riley Park/South Cambie Visions
- Strathcona Residents Association
- West End Neighbours
- West Kitsilano Residents Association
- West Point Grey Residents Association
We encourage residents to join and become involved with their local associations, and we invite all such associations to join us in this Coalition.