Meeting #28 Consensus Building at Little Mountain – (Heading to CITY COUNCIL)

Meeting #28
Consensus Building at Little Mountain
March 2, 2012

In this community-only meeting — Holborn Group was requested not to attend — the point of the gathering is to move toward building consensus (or near consensus) within the Advisory Group so that the report to council has a clear sense of the community’s positive and negative responses to the developer’s design. Community members revisit their concerns about the current proposal using a CARD WRITING exercise. The exercise is preceeded by a POSTAL CODE analysis of the January 2012 OPEN HOUSE results.

Brief Notes on the meeting:

2:40 — Conversation about the history of the Advisory Group process, moderated by the community Chairperson, Ron Mayers.

6:40 — Ben Johnson (planner) recognizes that the Little Mountain Advisory Group has come a long way in terms of learning and growing over the years of this process, but not necessarily a long way in supporting or endorsing the latest proposal by the Holborn Group. Johnson suggests that the Group’s position should become clearer through the next round of the process.

12:00 — Al Buium of RPSC mentions that a number of Vancouver City Departments, such as Engineering, Traffic, Parks and Recreation, and Schools have not yet made any presentations yet, and Johnson answers that they will appear. Important to note that a representative of Vancouver Engineering does voice an opinion at the URBAN DESIGN Panel Meeting #33.

14:00 — Postal Code analysis. A higher negative response to densities and other aspects of the design was correlated to closer proximity to the site. Discussion follows on the accuracy of the data.

26:00 — The Card Exercise. Three cards were given to each participant, who were asked to write down their three biggest concerns about the project, one on each card. Results of the exercise demonstrate the challenge of balancing all of the concerns. Excellent discussion follows.

1:15:00 — Lisa Schwabe, a senior citizen, presents her concerns about Little Mountain.

1:21:00 — CALM member Catherine Hembling, presents information on new Social Housing Developments based on new financial models in the United States and Europe. The term “Values-Based Banking” is introduced.

FULL Unedited Meeting Below:

Next Up: Meeting #29 The City’s Position on Little Mountain

Heading to City Council:
The finish line has been tentatively set for June 27, 2012. That’s the date when the Little Mountain Advisory Committee, the City of Vancouver planning department, the Holborn Group, and You make your thoughts known to Vancouver City Council about the deliberations of the past 2 and a half years. At the meeting the planning department will present a policy statement on the current plans, for the approval of City Council. If approved, the policy statement will guide the future rezoning process at the Little Mountain site. The rezoning process (up to a year or more in duration) will include public and legal processes.

David Vaisbord
Little Mountain Community Member
Documentary filmmaker

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One thought on “Meeting #28 Consensus Building at Little Mountain – (Heading to CITY COUNCIL)

  1. Hi David.

    Thanks for all your excellent work here. I had a few points/questions- some of them already stated by other before:

    1) At both points of feedback (July 2011, Jan. 2012), Holborn ignored the main complaint of too much density and went even more dense. After the first open house, showing 1.45 to 3.25 FSR, feedback was fairly even showing middle of the road was the best option. Holborn responds at the July open house with a 2.8FSR, exactly what people said was too dense. Holborn (James Cheng) said the opposite- that this is what the community asked for. Now they’ve presented this to the Urban Design Panel. The Advisory Group says 2.2 should be enough for economic viability, Holborn seems to say 2.8.

    2) The Urban Design Panel minutes from the May 9 meeting now state that they like this more dense proposal and are in favor of it (including 12 or 14 storeys), so does this mean the City will take this as meaning the community also supports it? The minutes quote that this has been a good process “because the neighbourhood had input.” Which so far they have not (on density, the main issue).

    3) James Cheng has personally told me (at the Jan. 2012 open house) this density is ‘nothing to do with profit’. Everyone knows it is everything to do with profit- they’ve been promised something for this public land, and so that figure should be shared. The City still has not shared this, nor BC Housing.

    4) City Hall has pretty much ignored all the recent community feedback/rejections of other recent high density or height projects (Rize, etc.), so why is the Little Mountain Advisory Group any different this time for Little Mountain?

    5) Unfortunately I see this happening: Parties go to City Hall this month (as noted on your site), Holborn (James Cheng) says everyone (community) is in favor, Urban Design Panel is in favor. Advisory Group says “no- too dense”, and the City approves it anyway. Where does that leave the Advisory Group?

    I hope I’m proven wrong, and the process is honored- the Advisory Group has a say in the project being too dense and some compromise is met. I’ve always supported the 6-8 storey, 2.25 FSR type proposal. Not against ‘eco density’ or anything like that. But how far do we let the City and developers go if it’s for more profit?


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