RELEASE: Vancouver Communities Unite to Fix Planning Mess Residents’ Associations Seek Meaningful Involvement

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.

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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.

 

 

2 comments

  1. I can’t believe you would post this manifesto verbatim. I come to Spacing to read about Vancouver from an urbanism perspective – not the perspective of people who think that a 6 story building is inappropriate for one of the most expensive and suburban parts of the city (Dunbar).

    I will no longer be reading Spacing, goodbye.

  2. Hi Rachel,

    Thank you for your email, and we’re sorry to hear about your decision. One of the overarching decisions made, since before Spacing Vancouver was launched when we were re:place Magazine, was to publish official press releases that we thought people should be aware of – whether we agreed with them or not. This was done with the understanding that cities, and our readership, are composed of a diversity of people with a variety of views each affecting (and affected by) the urban landscape we inhabit. In light of this and the potential conflict your comment speaks to, we chose the “RELEASE” label explicitly highlighted in the title to indicate that the post is an official press release, untouched by Spacing editors and/or our contributors.

    It is unfortunate that we have lost you as a reader because of this decision, but we remain steadfast in our commitment to serve the mixed bag of interests and people housed in our city. To our mind, this is one of Vancouver’s strongest attributes.

    All the best,

    E

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