Meeting #35 The Community’s Position on Little Mountain (Heading to CITY COUNCIL)

Meeting #35  
The Advisory Group presents the Community’s perspective on the Little Mountain redevelopment plan.

June 5, 2012

In order to create a community response to “Meeting #29 – The City’s Position on the Little Mountain Plan,” a Community Advisory Group (CAG) sub-group was chosen, to draft a report, which they would present to the whole group for input and revisions. This is the presentation and Q&A which followed.

Input from that meeting has been incorporated into the draft that was presented there. The final report will be presented at the UPCOMING hearing at Vancouver City Hall which takes place NEXT WEEK, on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at 1:30pm.

Little Mountain Advisory Group sets up Presentation at Meeting #35 - June 5, 2012

Little Mountain Advisory Group sets up Presentation at Meeting #35 - June 5, 2012

Click HERE for the rules on how to sign up to speak to Vancouver City Council.

A note on the posting of meetings to the Web:
I am presenting the most important final meetings (#29 & #35)close to one another in my postings. At this time, please go to my Vimeo site to watch Meetings 30 through 34.

David Vaisbord

Community member

Did you like this? Share it:

What is The Little Mountain Project?

It’s bigger than you think.

NOTE: This project has NO AFFILIATION WHATSOEVER with the three most powerful actors in this public play — City of Vancouver Planning Department or The Holborn Group, the developer of the property, or the Government of British Columbia/BC Housing. Please be aware that the blog that calls itself The Little Mountain Project Newsletter, is the publicity of
The Holborn Group.

The Holborn Group is currently managing a very strong publicity campaign on the internet, to generate support for their very high density housing plan at Little Mountain. Check it out HERE.

Begun in 2008, and in continuous evolution and production since that time, The Little Mountain Project is a multi-platform hyperlocal documentary, conceived by veteran independent documentary filmmaker and Little Mountain Community member, David Vaisbord. The Little Mountain Project is a multi-layer, multi-year experiment in documentary filmmaking that will observe and record in detail the entire process of demolition, planning, and construction of the last major redevelopment project in the city of Vancouver. The subject of the redevelopment of social and affordable housing in Vancouver is of critical interest to almost everyone in this city. This project will untangle the web of influences which shape this city’s policies and processes around these housing issues, as well as the subjects of community, density, and livability. The end results of the process – over many years – will include: a feature length documentary film, web projects (you’re reading one), a site specific art/sign project, and art and museum gallery installations (Winsor Gallery July 2012). To name a few.

Over 250 hours of footage have been recorded to this date.

Look for more complete information about The Little Mountain Project on this website, and the purpose of this particular website, click on “What is LM Project.”

David Vaisbord
June 2012

Did you like this? Share it:

Meeting #29 The City’s Position on Little Mountain (Heading to CITY COUNCIL)

Meeting #29
THE CITY’S POSITION on Holborn’s Little Mountain Plan.
April 3, 2012

The Planning Department outlines their support for, and criticisms of the Holborn Concept. By defining their position, the Planning Department defines the difference between their position and that of the community. Shocked and surprised? No, not really. The community understands the challenges ahead.

Full Meeting:

In the meeting…

The Advisory Group compliments the planning department on their work, but finds that although the planning departments criticisms are many and good, their overall density of the site is unworkable at their suggested range of 2.3fsr to 2.5fsr.

The Advisory Group suggests that the maximum density be pegged at 2.3, as was represented as the point at which the developer would make a profit and the community get the amenities it wants. (Coriolis presentation Meeting #23)

Patricia St. Michel’s power point presentation can be viewed in complete PDF format on the City of Vancouver’s Major Site Planning Pages. If your computer screen is big enough you can view both the PDF and video at the same time, getting the best visuals and commentary simultaneously.

Shorter Version: 45 min.

Highlights of the Short Version:

00:45 – Ben Johnson of City Planning presents Holborn’s density numbers:
1834 housing units of which 1600 are Market and 234 are Social Housing.
Density Range 2.5 – 2.8FSR.
01:30 – Patricia St. Michel of City Planning presents the City’s critique of Holborn design.
02:29 – Holborn’s Little Mountain plan shown to have higher density than Olympic Village.
03:15 – View analysis from Peak of Queen Elizabeth Park, across Little Mountain Site.
05:45 – Summary of height and density changes requested by the City Planning Department.

Summary of Planners changes to Holborn housing plan

07:45 – Patricia St. Michel states City Planning’s preference for a 2.3 to 2.5 FSR range.
08:00 – Community Discussion Begins
08:00 – Where is shadow analysis at Xmas time? Answer has to do with Northern Climate Challenges.
10:00 – Issue of South site transitions rapidly rising from 4 to 7 stories.
10:50 – Why lower scale buildings and tighter courtyards (in keeping with single family neighbourhood) are not an option.
12:39 – James Cheng mentions that there may not be a housing solution that the Little Mountain Neighbourhood will accept.
13:29 – Community Member (Deborah) thanks the Planning Department on their careful analysis, principle and performance based, and the ways the height trimming is considered and why…but argues that the amount of housing load that is being considered for the site is too much.
17:10 – Ben Johnson argues that Holborn will need to earn the extra density above 2.3 with exceptional housing design.
17:40 – Frustrated observer argues that sunlight discussion is irrelevant.
19:00 – Patricia discusses “Mystery Lake” and water features on the site.
19:30 – President of the Neighbourhood House argues that the deal is good.
20:30 – Norm Dooley (RPSC) argues that Arbutus Walk (Meeting #15) is a better model for Little Mountain housing, and that Little Mountain won’t solve all of Vancouver’s problems. Applause follows.
27:00 – From the very beginning, the entire BC Gov’t concept is wrong, when “We’re selling the house to pay for the furniture.”
28:00 – Another notice of Mystery Lake.

"Mystery Lake" in Little Mountain housing design

28:30 – Neighbourhood House Executive Director argues in favour of the plan owing to costs of building and land, (Arbutus Walk built many years ago) and the amenities delivered.
32:00 – Frustrated observer says “Go ahead full force!”
33:30 – Resident argues that this new housing plan is a stark change for this community.
35:00 – Ben Johnson explains how the city will present both their position and the position of the Little Mountain Advisory Group to Vancouver City Council.

Super Sized Olympic-style density was proposed for Little Mountain Housing

Things START TO HEAT UP here:
36:00 – Resident wonders if the next 3 meetings are worth attending, since the City has presented the essence of their position. The answer is vague.
38:30 – Ned Jacobs argues that even if 2.3 is the best number owing to the political pressure that is exerted on City Planners to increase densities during further development phases.
40:45 – Resident of North of 33rd Avenue Group asks if the City would acknowledge a consensus of the residents of Little Mountain at 2.3FSR and adopt it? The City answers that there are levels of senior management at City Hall who have provided direction of 2.3 to 2.5 FSR owing to multiple city priorities. So the answer is no.
42:00 – WHO is the HIGHER LEVEL? (of decision making in the city)
43:30 – This is YOUR community, but not YOUR city.
44:30 – Ingrid Steenhuisen points out how far the community has come in the acceptance of high densities – of which 2.3FSR is a high density.
45:20 – A discussion ensues about how a Little Mountain Advisory Group Sub Group could write a report which would send a powerful message to Vancouver City Council about their agreement regarding the density which they see as maximum for their neighbourhoods.

After considerable discussion it becomes clear that there will be 3 different presentations that go to council:

One by the Planning department,
One by the Holborn Group,
One by the Advisory Group.

But there is a considerable amount of finessing to take place, so it is unclear what the city’s final position will look like. By the end of this meeting, there is considerable tension in the room, as what goodwill that once existed between the planning department and the citizens apparently evaporates. Ben Johnson states that at a higher political level there is approval of their recommendations. Considering the considerable investment of time, effort, and intelligence in the process, community members wonder if council will consider their input at all.

The Advisory Group does not consider that its input has been narrowly defined by self interest, but by the needs of the surrounding community and the city as a whole, in terms of amenities, infrastructure (including transit, traffic, cycling, park, educational, social, arts issues etc.)and the crisis in social and affordable housing.

Next episodes:
Meeting #30 Traffic and Transportation issues

Meeting #31 Amenities & Affordability
Meeting #32 Holborn speaks to former residents
Meeting #33 **Design Panel – Uploaded 2 weeks ago** check “Recent Posts”
Meeting #34 Sustainability Policies and Little Mountain
Meeting #35 ADVISORY GROUP PRESENTS THEIR RESPONSE
MEETING #36 COUNCIL MEETING JUNE 27, 2012.

Olympic Village vs Little Mountain densities


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 Neighbourhood

Did you like this? Share it:

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

Did you like this? Share it:

Meeting #27 Little Mountain OPEN HOUSE Analysis (Heading to CITY COUNCIL)

Little Mountain Redevelopment
Meeting #27
The OPEN HOUSE Analysis
February 28, 2012 (an intense meeting)

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.

I will post exact details regarding time and date as I receive them from the planning department or you can click here to find them yourself.

Since January I’ve written a thesis on documentary filmmaking and new media, and as a result, postings to this blog were sporadic. But it’s written, and now time to concentrate on this process.

The series of meetings titled “HEADING TO CITY COUNCIL” represent the FINAL POSITIONS of each of the three groups as they head to Council. You will find them here, starting at number twenty-seven. So far there have been 34 meetings. Number 33, the Design Panel is already up.


Meeting 27 is a good one to start with, because it was the first meeting to follow the OPEN HOUSES of January 2012. The North of 33rd Avenue citizens’ group had not attended any previous Advisory Committee Meetings and were in a state of understandable shock when they saw Holborn’s Model for the first time. They were so upset that they called their own press conference. They brought a considerable amount of drama to the meeting, most of which was warranted — some of which was due to the fact that they had not participated in the process and were not up to speed with the program. Nevertheless, in subsequent meetings they have proven themselves to be an asset.

So, WELCOME to the Advisory Group, North of 33rd residents!!!

And a note of caution to communities in Vancouver: Attend your public meetings or else…

The statistics presented in Meeting #27 are important and warrant close analysis. Meeting #28 (uploading next week) looks at them again with respect to postal codes, and correlations are made between distance from the site and opinions expressed.

I have produced 4 videos from that evening:
1. A 12 minute CLIP of highlights from the entire meeting.
2. The Heritage Report on the last standing building
3. The Complete Meeting including the Heritage Report & Open House report.
4. The 1 minute Global Television Report that was broadcast the same evening.


The Heritage Report
Donald Luxton gives a thorough analysis of the heritage value of the last remaining row house on the site, and historical background on the history of social housing in Vancouver. It’s essential information for anyone interested in the history of social unrest around housing issues in this city.

In addition, Global Television did a decent job of covering the evening event. CBC News was also there, but I did not catch their broadcast.

David Vaisbord
littlemountainproject.com

Little Mountain Neighbourhood resident speaks to TV News on February 28, 2012.

Little Mountain Neighbourhood resident speaks to TV News on February 28, 2012.

Did you like this? Share it:

Little Mountain Project wins FARRIS AWARD for Art and Social Media

Tonight (May 5, 2012) I’m at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, celebrating the completion of my Masters Degree.

The Opening Night of the Graduate Show starts at 5pm and ends at 10pm.

The Duration of the Grad show is from May 6 to May 21, 2012.
Open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Update: David Vaisbord wins FARRIS AWARD for Art & Social Media at Emily Carr University, for the Little Mountain Project.

Elements from Vaisbord's Little Mountain Project on display at the ECU Masters of Fine Arts Degree Show


The large installation includes two video screens with headphones, and an illustration of the interface of the upcoming Little Mountain Project Social History Website. The Charles H. Scott Gallery houses graduates of the Masters of Applied Arts.

See you there.

David

Did you like this? Share it:

Meeting #20 Modern Architecture slide show, UBC students & Massing exercise number ONE

Meeting #20, was the first major “massing’ meeting of 2011.

This posting will have THREE PARTS, starting with the first part,
UBC Students show their ideas for re-development in a pre-meeting event:

UBC Student ideas for Little Mountain – Meeting #20 from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

The second part is James Chengs Modern Architecture Slide Show:

Meeting 20: James Cheng’s Architecture Slide Show from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

The third part is the complete meeting:

Meeting #20 – Complete Meeting from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Meetings 20 and 21 were formative community discussions on density at Little Mountain — without prior knowledge of the Holborn Group density plans.

The re-development of Vancouver is not a spectator sport.

Littlemountainproject.com

Did you like this? Share it:

Open House 2012: Bigger turnout on DAY 2

The Open House on Saturday January 28, 2012 had an even bigger turnout than the first night. Here are a few photos from the successful 3-hour event. I’ll put up more detailed photos of the development up when I upload THE VIDEO next week.

Don’t forget to send your feedback to the city on line until FEBRUARY 10.
Check the Little Mountain site at Vancouver Planning for images of information boards presented at the Open Houses. Click on THIS LINK to got to ONLINE SURVEY. Of course, watch the short video of the last meeting prior to the Open House HERE, before you sign anything.

Note: Click on the images to enlarge; then, click on “Full Size is 1440×1080” caption to go to maximum dimensions.

Entrance to Little Mountain on Main street showing proposed community square

As densities and towers rise around it, this community square gets smaller. Previous versions of this model had a much larger community space.

City Signage for Little Mountain Open House

Little Mountain community members greet public and hand out information at the door

Public Scrutiny of Little Mountain FSR 2.8 model

A large screen creates virtual tour through Little Mountain

Developer Speaks to Press about Little Mountain Plans

Little Mountain community members discuss options

Below are the handouts that community members hand-delivered to hundreds of houses in the neighbourhood.

click to enlarge

Many more detailed images of the models, and commentary to come….

Cheers,
David Vaisbord
Self appointed documentary filmmaker in residence
Little Mountain

Did you like this? Share it:

Open House 2012: Huge turnout for first night

Hundreds lined up for the first of two Little Mountain Open Houses on Thursday night, January 26th at Brock Elementary school. Both supporters and detractors of the new FRS2.8 development plans showed up in force. See the photos below.

Video footage will be uploaded next week, after the second Open House on Saturday January 28. See previous postings for time and location of last Open House.

Line up to get into Brock School extends half a city block.

Entrance to Brock School - Main Street at 33rd Avenue

Detail of New Little Mountain Model FSR 2.8

Note: Click on the images to enlarge; then, click on “Full Size is 1440×1080” caption to go to maximum dimensions.

Sorry, No Seniors Housing in this plan.

Making Considerations

Holborn display their demo video for Little Mountain.

Holborn display their demo video for Little Mountain.

Did you like this? Share it:

Meeting #26 Heading to OPEN HOUSE 2012 – It’s HOT in here.

Little Mountain Development
Meeting #26
December 2011


1. Meeting #26 — The 10 minute highlights clip.

GET INFORMED prior to the Little Mountain OPEN HOUSES, scheduled for next week – info at the bottom of this posting.

The Holborn Group’s Final Submission to the Community
I’ve connected 2 videos to this posting, which are as follows:

1. A ten-minute Highlights video – watch this for a quick overview.
2. The complete two-hour public meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: If you’ve watched the 10-minute clip, and want to hear more of what the community has to say about this development, start viewing at roughly the one-hour mark. Highlights of the complete 2-hour meeting are listed further down this page.


2. Meeting #26 — The Full two-hour meeting.

Escalating tension and conflict.

Was there any doubt, when this whole thing began more than 2 year ago, that in the end the developer would be wanting massive density levels at Little Mountain? It only took them 2 years to get around to mentioning it. To their credit Vancouver planning department have their own criticisms of the Holborn proposal, and appear to be listening to the public throughout.

Model of Fsr 2.8 - for THIS Open House


Model Preview Photos
You will not find photos of these models anywhere else but here, prior to the Open House. So take a good look at them before you attend the Open House. The top of each building has a sticker that indicates the number of stories.

Images at left: Top image is the FSR 2.7 from the July 2011 Open Houses. Lower image is the FSR 2.8 (Higher density) proposed in the presentation destined for the upcoming Open House. Click on them to see greater magnification and then chose Full Size.

Note that FSR 2.8 in this new model, though higher density than FSR 2.7 accomplishes this by slightly lowering building heights, and reducing green space between the buildings. Top height is 14 stories on Ontario street, which is two stories higher than Queen Elizabeth Park. To put FSR 2.7 into context link to Density Models – The Movie! which I shot after the July 2011 Open House, when 6 density models were presented, from the base concept at 1.45 to the developer’s dream density of 3.25 FSR. According to an independent financial analyst (Meeting #23 Part 2) FSR 2.25 should be sufficient to ensure financial success of the project.

Special guest at this meeting was city councillor Adriane Carr, (Green Party). We hope that she came away with some new insights. Joo Kim Tiah (The Holborn Group President – who makes a rare speaking appearance here) has stated his intention to take this plan before City Hall.

Projected view from duck pond at QE Park

Also, check out this Mainlander New article about Meeting #26 at this URL: http://themainlander.com/2011/12/12/little-mountain-why-the-struggle-for-social-housing-is-more-pressing-now-than-ever/

Connect to the The City of Vancouver’s Little Mountain Site Planning Program, and their NOTICE OF THE OPEN HOUSES.

Here are some of the MAJOR TOPICS and HIGHLIGHTS of Meeting #26 (complete two-hour meeting) and where to find them:

00:02 – Joo Kim Tiah explains why iconic Social Housing defender James Green resigned from The Holborn Group.

00:07 – Ben Johnson briefly discusses the pocket of single family residences to the North and East of Little Mountain (bordered by Main and 33rd) known as the NE Quadrant, and plans to integrate them into the larger development plan. Ben goes on to give short overview, interesting if you’ve never heard it before.

00:10 – Johnson explains the consequences of a “disconnect” between where the community wants to be, and where Holborn wants to be — it will go to City Council.

00:12 – Johnson answers question: “How far is this plan from the community vision?” You can find out for yourself by viewing Meeting #25, the analysis of public opinion gathered from the last July 2011 Open House.

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Meeting #25 Public Comments Analysed from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

00:14 – Architect James Cheng presents overview of the last 2 years. If you’re new to this process you may want to review this. Cites the Stanley King process, viewable at Meeting#1 The Stanley King Experience (short version) and Long Version.

00:24 – Cheng suggests that the Community Advisory Committee accept responsibility for the hardship of the former residents of Little Mountain, who have been waiting 2 years to return to their homes – since the BC Gov’t demolished them. Translation: “Hurry up and approve this development.” Also see David Chudnovsky (1:02).

00:26 – Cheng suggest that saving trees on the site preserves the “memory” of the site as the first major social housing project constructed in British Columbia. Also see Ingrid Steenhuisen on memory (1:09).

00:33 – Christopher Phillips landscape presentation – green elements.

00:40 – Traffic projections on the new site plan – only for people who drive.

00:46 – Views of Models and Presentation materials – take a look at ‘em. Put them into context by linking to Density Models – The Movie! which I shot after the July 2011 Open House, when 6 density models were presented. You’ll understand what densites of 1.45 to 3.25 FSR look like.

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Density Models – The Movie! from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

00:48 – Pat St. Michel presents the planning department’s critique of plan. Lot’s of height – no daylight.

1:00 – Neighbour comments on shadow impacts, and that presentation materials only show March, but not December shadows. Say goodbye to the sun.

1:02 – Former MLA David Chudnovsky makes compelling arguments for the rejection of the plan and the developer, owing to absurdly high density, lack of affordability and transparency. Among other things, he refutes James Cheng’s plea for the suffering of the ex-tenants. (00:24). He reminds the assembly that it was his community that fought long and hard against the premature demolition, and that the responsibility for the suffering of former residents should be borne by those who destroyed it: the Liberal Government of British Columbia and The Holborn Group.

1:09 – Ingrid Steenhuisen (Little Mountain project resident) asks why memory of the housing complex – in the form of the preservation of the last building currently standing on the Little Mountain site – has not been thoroughly investigated. A rebuttal to Cheng’s idea that tree preservation is sufficient. (00:26)

1:13 – RPSC’s Norm Dooley, makes compelling arguments for the rejection of the plan and the developer citing lack of sustainability on any level. In particular, he contrasts the Holborn plan to similar successful re-developments across Vancouver which densified — within reasonable limits. Norm mentions Arbutus Walk, which was toured by the Advisory Committee in 2010 and viewable on Vimeo at Meeting #15 Arbutus Walk – Touring a major housing site.

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Meeting #15 Arbutus Walk – Touring a major housing site – Low Res/Standard Def from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

1:22 – Ned Jacobs challenges the notion that there will be sufficient civic amenities to service a project of this scale, owing to current overcrowding at the new Hillcrest centre.

1:26 – Community member recalls the past 2 years of meetings, and reminds the architect that the community has waited for 2 years for him to lay down his cards with respect to the scale and scope of the project. She argues that the community has come a long way to accepting higher density, but that the scale of the proposal is impossible to accept.

1:42 – Community members suggest that community and developer may part company.
_________________________________________________________________

Little Mountain Public Open Houses:
Thursday Jan 26 @7pm – 9pm
Saturday Jan 28 @11am – 2pm
Brock Elementary School – 4860 Main street (at 33rd Ave)

_________________________________________________________________

David Vaisbord
Self-appointed documentary filmmaker-in-residence.
Little Mountain Community

Note: If you have questions about FSR and the economic arguments mentioned in discussion please view Meeting #23 – PART 2 The Economic Analysis in this video series. In this meeting, the independent financial analyst identifies FSR 2.25 as being sufficient for the developer to make a profit, and public amenities to be constructed. Watch it here:

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Meeting#23 – PART 2 The Economic Analysis from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Did you like this? Share it:

Meeting #25 The Summer 2011 Open House Analysis

Meeting #25
(Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Sept. 20, 2011)
The Analysis of Comment Forms from the July 2011 Open Houses

This thumbnail photo below, is a graph that shows strong community opposition to an element of Holborn’s (the developer) July 2011 site plans.

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Meeting #25 The Community Voice & the July 2011 Open Houses from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Note: If the size of this video image is too small, by clicking on any of the blue highlighted links above you will connect with my VIMEO site, which allows you to chose from a wide variety of screen sizes.

If you were one of the 500 people who attended Little Mountain’s July 2011 Open Houses, you have to watch this presentation. Here you will find some of the results of the Comment Forms YOU FILLED OUT resolved into easy-to-read graphic representation. Much to think about.

In the second part of the video the architect, James Cheng gives the committee a lecture on density and our growing city. He warns the group that the proposal that received the highest approval rating – the lowest density proposal – will never be built. Mr Cheng states that Holborn Properties would rather “walk away” from the housing project.

So where do we go from here? Does the community’s aspirations for this property match those of the developer, or will they always be at odds? And why did Jim Green, one of Vancouver’s most notable social housing advocates, recently resign as Holborn Properties’ representative for this project? Mr. Green appears at this meeting but does not address the group. I wonder if he will return to the project as an independent observer or participant?

James Cheng promises to go back to the drawing board, and come with new ideas as soon as (rumour has it) the end of November, so MORE COMMUNITY MEMBERS need to come out to the next meeting. Big decisions ahead!


Here’s more interviews from the Open House not previously uploaded to this site, including voices of a couple of visitors to the Open House, the architect, and an urban planner.


And if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t forget to watch my favourite video from OPEN HOUSE 2011.

I’m looking for fresh ideas on how to include more community voices into this web-based project. If you are interested in sharing your opinions by appearing on video, on this site, email me at vaisbord@gmail.com and we can talk about where and when we can record it.

Please leave your comments below.
littlemountainproject.com

Best,
David Vaisbord

Did you like this? Share it:

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Meeting #1 // The Stanley King Experience

Meeting #1
The Stanley King Experience
Originally Experienced: Feb 3, 2010

In the words of the immortal Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein ll: “Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start…”

In recent meetings of the Advisory Committee I’ve heard a tone that mixes exhaustion and authority in the voice of architect James Cheng, when he proclaims that: “We’ve been meeting for a year and half…!” And he’s right. The community knows that – they’ve attended all of them, unpaid. The community also attended both Open Houses in June of this year, and the reaction to the density models was unanimously negative. I’ll link to the charts in the next posting. But let’s get back to the beginning…

In February of 2010, the community of Little Mountain came out on mass, put aside preconceptions or prejudices, and 3 hours of their time to engage in a workshop led by Stanley King. The ideas generated were fresh and inspiring. 20% of those ideas were incorporated into the architects current (July 2011) plans. The other 80% vanished. What was the point of that exercise?

WHERE CAN YOU FIND THE RESULTS OF THAT MEETING?
Right Here. I’ve provided a link to the City of Vancouver website: Little Mountain Site Design Workshop hosted by Stanley King
You just won’t see most of these images and comments mentioned anywhere else. That’s why I’ve subtitled the short clip “the feel-good exercise”.

The exercise was one of documenting “community values” which were to become the “performance criteria” of the developer’s vision as reflected through the work of the architect. Stanley King urged us to: Look at OUR drawings, compare them to the ones James Cheng is NOW showing us and ask, “how did he incorporate our drawings into his housing plan?”

To take one example: Where are the community gardens? Even the Olympic Village now has a community garden.

Below, is the 2 short minute clip. You can access the longer 20 minute version of Meeting #1 by clicking on this link.

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Meeting #1 The Stanley King Experience! from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Best,
David Vaisbord
Filmmaker
Little Mountain Housing

Did you like this? Share it:

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Meeting #23 // The Tipping Point

This Little Mountain Advisory Committee meeting is particularly important to an understanding of the planning process, prior to the official Summer 2011 Open Houses. WHAT EXACTLY IS GOING ON*** with those density models can be answered by watching the 3-part series below. I’ve divided the meeting into three essential subjects for your viewing pleasure.

***How the developer’s proposed density models went from sane to insanely dense.

This is how they divide:

Part 1: The Density Reaction.
Deals with the community’s first reaction to density models.

Part 2: The Economic Analysis.
The redevelopment economics of Little Mountain is essential viewing for anyone living in the most expensive city in the world, and surprisingly easy to understand. Learn essential city planner jargon such as “land lift”. Compliments to Mr. Blair Erb of Coriolis Consulting for a compelling performance.

Part 3: A Memorandum to the Community of Little Mountain.
The architect reads the “Memorandum of Understanding” (signed by Mayor Sullivan in 1997). Floor opens up under participants. Warning: Watching this last act of the series may raise your blood pressure!

Make sure you’ve watched part 2 (financial analysis) before you watch this one. The question arises: Will Holborn Development, with the implicit support of the Liberal government force another 1000 units onto the Little Mountain site (condo heights will rise from 8 stories to 18 stories) to “PAY” for the replacement of pre-existing social housing? Housing that was GUARANTEED by the provincial government and BC Housing as a “GIVEN” owing to its destruction in the first instance?

The community takes a collective gasp, but the story has not yet reached its climax. Hold onto your seats for the surprise ending!

Note: Next week I’ll post the First Meeting of the Advisory Committee, in which the community was asked what the wanted to see in the redevelopment plans. It all began with the Stanley King Experience…

David Vaisbord

THE MEETINGS:

 

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Meeting#23 – PART 1 The Density Reaction from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Meeting#23 – PART 2 The Economic Analysis from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Meeting#23 PART 3 – A Memorandum To the Community of Little Mountain from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Did you like this? Share it:

Little Mountain Density Models: The Movie!

OK.

Here are the density models you’ve asked for. I’ve shot the 7 density models in sequence, from 7 different angles. After watching this video 7 times you’ll be ready to fill out the survey you received at one of the Open Houses or found HERE, on line. And check out all of the photographs of Open House Presentation Materials also. Just make sure that the City of Vancouver Major Projects Planning dept. gets it by July 25th!

DID ANYONE NOTICE, that there’s something seriously wrong about the scale of the trees on the model? I mean, how many trees along 33rd Avenue are 8 stories tall? An error of this kind, makes the size of the buildings appear much smaller.

Also, David Chudnovsky has informed us that the planning department’s PDF is non-interactive. Check out his comments on this blog. I discovered that it’s also non-printable. I suggest, that you email The City and ask them to repost the survey as an 8.5 x 11 inch document, so that’s print, scan and fax ready by standard business machines.

UPDATE!
Ben Johnson has posted an 8X10 PDF on their site, that functions adequately, though it does cut a few pages in half. But I think that you can figure it out.
Get those surveys in.

Best,
David V

7 models, 7 angles, 7 minutes.

Little Mountain Redevelopment: Density Models – The Movie! from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Little Mountain Housing – New computer simulation from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

You probably watched this computer simulation of a walk through the site. Here it is again.

ACTUALLY, to Click on “FOLLOW ME” (at the top-right of this web-page) does not automatically keep you informed of new postings. You need to set up RSS (Really Simple Syndication) on your own computer. Click on this link for a YouTube video about it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klgLsSxGsU
The beginning of the video is sort of hokey, but it more or less explains why and how it exists, and why you should have it. Setting up something like Google Reader is simple and free. There are dozens of info sites on RSS feeds on the web.

David Vaisbord

Did you like this? Share it:

Last Open House (2011) is tonight!

Welcome to The Little Mountain Project,

The Last Open House for Little Mountain is TONIGHT (Tues July 12) at the Riley Park Community Centre from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. The city planning department wants YOU to look at 6 plans that the developer has proposed. Check out what one neighbour said to me after seeing the plans.

You may not share her views, but you have to attend in order to have an opinion. Right? I’ll be there with my camera, and IF you would like, we could talk about Little Mountain. By the end of the week I’ll stream those clips.

Holborn plays Little Mountain demo video at the Open House.

Holborn plays Little Mountain demo video at the Open House.


David Vaisbord
Filmmaker
Little Mountain Community Resident

NOTE:  This post is the 2nd blog post of my new blog.    Check out my first post below for some important short video clips from the last Advisory Meeting, and links to other current info.

Did you like this? Share it:

Welcome to the Little Mountain Project – a documentary video streaming site.

Welcome to The Little Mountain Project.

This is the premiere of my documentary video streaming site.
Call it what you like, a blog, a webisodic web-doc, whatever. It’s all part of the evolution of the documentary film, and definitions don’t matter any longer.

I’ve been a documentary filmmaker for 20 years, and I’ve been shooting a documentary film on the Little Mountain Housing Project since 2008. I felt it was time to release the tapes of the Advisory Committee Meetings I’ve been shooting since 2009. BECAUSE, the months of work that the community, architects and planners have put into the project are now bearing FRUIT. What KIND of fruit it’s up to you to decide. Vancouver is your city too, not just the private sandbox of developers and real estate speculators. It’s time to jump into the box. So watch the clips and videos, and then ATTEND the next Little Mountain Advisory Committee meeting! All videos are also viewable on VIMEO. Google “Vimeo” + “Vaisbord”.

The next OPEN HOUSE DATE IS TUESDAY JULY 12, 5:30PM TO 8:30PM. In the Riley Park Community Centre Gym.

Click on “Video Streaming” to watch entire Advisory Committee meetings. I am constantly adding more meetings to the list. Meeting #10 is a good place to start, as the community clearly states its position, and the cut is only 45 minutes in length. Less than the average TV show!

On the subjects of DENSITY and MONEY, I’m in the process of uploading short Q&A CLIPS*** of the most important Q&A commentary from the last big meeting on June 28th, 2011, prior to the current open houses. The clips are just below. They’re very short, and give you a glimpse into the issues.

Question asked: The lowest density model is missing. Where is it?

I call this clip “We are completely screwed” because that’s how some members of the Little Mountain advisory council feel – especially those whose homes are directly across roads or laneways. If you were at the Open House on Saturday afternoon (July 9) what you saw would have strongly reminded you of the Olympic Village. Check out my video of the tour of “Arbutus Walk”, to see a gentler form of community architecture played out.

Complete your understanding of this process by viewing these Websites, Blogs, and PDFs:

City of Vancouver Planning Department

DENSITY 101 – A primer in which the term FSR -FLOOR SPACE RATIO is demystified.

RPSC – Riley Park South Cambie Visions – A core community group who organized Meeting #10

City Hall Watch – for photos and some analysis of the first Open House.

Ned Jacob’s post on Michael Geller’s blog

Thomas Thomson’s Thesis on Little Mountain.

I welcome your comments.

Best,
David Vaisbord

Did you like this? Share it: