Winter 2016-17 at Little Mountain changes view of the landscape

Hello friends of The Little Mountain Project!

The former lands of the Little Mountain Housing Project were unofficially opened to the public last month, through what appears to be motor vehicle accident that tore through the fence on the corner of Ontario Street and and 37th Avenue.  In any event, it’s time that the fence came down, as it serves no purpose than to separate citizens from a public space that will not see complete re-development for another two decades.

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Elsewhere on the property one of the Heritage Trees was damaged by the heavy snow, but it appears to be only one large branch that separated from the trunk.

Montage_Sel03

Across the fence from Little Mountain on other sites to the North-East, numerous other Vancouver Developers are well into construction of new condos.  Condos which, according to some critics of the Vancouver housing crisis, relieve some pressure from Vancouver’s overheated housing market. Holborn isn’t building any of these new homes.

Jan2017_LMP_CONDO_const_01- photo still

On the sixteen acres adjacent, Holborn CEO Joo Kim Tiah – the owner of Trump Tower – speculates on the increasing value of the former site of the Little Mountain Housing Project while doing nothing to alleviate Vancouver’s housing problems.  No new social housing, no new family housing, no new market housing, no new luxury housing.  No housing.

Montage_Sel00

The Malaysian business tycoon strictly patrols the fence around his property in order to forbid local contractors from parking next to it.

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While elsewhere along his fence a splash of pink is a reminder that the numbers of needy and homeless in Vancouver continue to rise.

Montage_Sel06

The epic winter of 2016-17 will be remembered by some for the salt crisis and by others for ice fortresses and ice skating on local streets and lakes.

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Happy New Year.

David Vaisbord

“Champions of Little Mountain”

Coming in 2017!

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Public Hearings at City Hall for Little Mountain REZONING – July 19, 2016

Developmental_2 B&W
Hello everyone,

Tomorrow night, July 19, at 6pm Vancouver City Hall will hold public meetings on the REZONING document for Little Mountain.  You can register to speak on line by email at publichearing@vancouver.ca. I will record this meeting and upload it to the web.

I recorded the most recent meetings of the Little Mountain Advisory Group, and will upload them as soon as I can.  As you can imagine, my time to upload content to this website is limited as I continue to edit the documentary:  Champions of Little Mountain.

I will begin to communicate more regularly as the launch date approaches.

ESSENTIAL City info here:  http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/little-mountain.aspx

LEAVE COMMENTS  on either of my FACEBOOK SITES:
https://www.facebook.com/david.vaisbord
https://www.facebook.com/LittleMountainFilm

SEND ME a note and I’ll put you on my email list for the PREMIERE of “Champions of Little Mountain” in 2017.

See you there,
David

We welcome FINANCIAL SUPPORT this project at:
Littlemountainfilm.com

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UBC Planning Students view the last of Little Mountain heritage housing

UBC Urban Geography student and Vaisbord next to the Steenhuisens' family home at Little Mountain

UBC Urban Geography student and Vaisbord with Steenhuisens’ family home at Little Mountain. The last of Little Mountain’s heritage social housing.

Last Friday and Saturday (Oct 17th and 18th) I gave tours of Little Mountain to UBC Urban Geography students.

On Friday we were fortunate to catch Ingrid Steenhuisen, one of the last residents of the heritage housing at Little Mountain in the process of cleaning up and moving out. Her relatives were there to help as were neighbourhood friends.

Vaisbord, Students, Friends of the Steenhuisens

Planning Student, Friend and Vaisbord in the Steenhuisens’ basement.

While working on sorting family papers, Ingrid answered a few questions from the students.

Ingrid & UBC students

Ingrid Steenhuisen talks to planning student about the Riley Park neighbourhood while packing boxes in her former home at Little Mountain.

If any readers have had the experience of cleaning out a family home, they can appreciate how much work it took, and how difficult it was to clear out the old three bedroom suite.

Bedrooms with memories await demolition

The view from this boys’ bedroom in the Steenhuisen unit is coloured by the nostalgia for vivid seafaring tales read before bedtime.

Ingrid is moving into the new building 100 yards to the south of her family’s old rowhouse.

The old rowhouse - coming soon to a landfill near you.

The last heritage rowhouse – coming soon to a landfill near you.

Rather than being reused or remodelled, the heritage structure will be torn down by BC Housing ASAP.

This building has a relatively new roof and good structure. I know a number of artists who are desperate for studio space in Vancouver, who would move their studios to Little Mountain in a heartbeat, even if only for the two to five years it will take before anything happens here.

David Vaisbord
The Little Mountain Project & Film
For information on how to support the film project go to: http://www.littlemountainfilm.com/

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What has been going on at Little Mountain?

What has been going on at Little Mountain?
CleaningUP_1
In the last rays of sun in Sept/Oct 2014 the owner (BC Housing or Holborn?) did a complete site cleanup, consisting of cutting the grass, trimming the trees, covering their root systems with fresh sod, and removing the rotting orange fences which once surrounded them.

Remains of Orange Fencing around Little Mountain trees

Remains of Orange Fencing around Little Mountain trees

The old orange fences were erected to protect the trees from damage during a construction boom that never happened. Instead they rotted in place, year upon year becoming more weathered and decrepit. As unsightly as they were, they provided a visual reminder of how much time had elapsed since promises were made to rebuild Little Mountain Housing.

Photo: David Vaisbord

Photograph: 4 Seasons of Little Mountain – David Vaisbord

Now they are gone and Little Mountain almost resembles a park. Ask anyone who walks by, and they’ll probably respond that they don’t remember what was there anymore.  Cutting the grass at Little Mountain where fencing once stood.

Cutting the grass at Little Mountain at the base of a tree once surrounded by orange fencing.

Landscaping at Little Mountain Fall 2014

Landscaping at Little Mountain Fall 2014

Stroller in waiting.

Little Mountain seems more park-like now that the orange fences are gone.  What was once the first social housing project in BC passes slowly into oblivion.

Well…not completely…more to come.
David V.

Support this film project at littlemountainfilm.com

Follow The Little Mountain Project on FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/david.vaisbord
https://www.facebook.com/LittleMountainFilm
Follow The Little Mountain Project on TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/davidvaisbord

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New Banners produced at Vancouver’s “Draw by Night” Event

Hey Friends,

I’m putting up a NEW BANNER SERIES, produced for The Little Mountain Film during a very successful DRAW BY NIGHTsession held in March 2014 at the VFS campus cafe.

Draw By Night for Little Mountain by Anonymous

Draw By Night for Little Mountain Film by Anonymous

The images will revolve throughout the fundraising campaign for The Little Mountain Film.

Thank you to visual artist Kristina Fiedrich and her team of volunteers.

Here is this week’s sketch in its entirety. This artist of this sketch forgot to put their name on it. Whoever drew it please contact me!

Last week’s original sketch was by Natalia Parra:

If you have a great sketch of Little Mountain or a drawing that you think represents the theme of HOUSING, send it to me and I’ll put it up.

Click on the Housing icon to the below to visit the NEW WEB SITE and participate in the campaign to FUND THE LITTLE MOUNTAIN FILM:

We can’t do it without you.
David Vaisbord

This is the icon above – just click on it!
Yes you can…

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Little Mountain Film – The Funding Campaign Launches Today!

Just click on the icon below to be redirected to the documentary film fundraising site:

I’m ecstatic to be finally embarking on campaign to fund the Little Mountain Film. After six years in the making, I’m ready to share this story with the world. Thank you all for joining me on the journey. Most of you have been involved in the fight for Little Mountain for just as long as I have. I’m hoping that finishing this film will create a way to get the word out about what happened at Little Mountain – the good, the bad, the ups, and the downs. Please join me in making finishing this film. Check out our crowd-funding campaign HERE and let the world hear about Little Mountain.

There’s a NEW website dedicated to the film here:   http://www.littlemountainfilm.com/
Come on board SHARE with your friends, and we can finish this film!

Please note, that I will be blogging on both this site and the Little Mountain Film site for the duration of the campaign.

David V

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Georgia Straight Article on the last tenants of Little Mountain

Hi Friends,

I met Georgia Straight writer Carlito Pablo at Little Mountain last week, and he included me in the article he wrote this week:  Sam and Joan article in Georgia Straight
It talks about the passing of both Joan (which I shared on this blog) and Sammy.

I’ve not had a moment to spare since I committed to launch an Indiegogo Funding Campaign for the feature documentary film, and spent the last 4 weeks in my edit studio cutting a 4 minute trailer. It boils down to a week a minute.

I regret not having time to post about the passing of Sammy (Sim) Chang, but once the campaign is up and running I’ll have to time to go back and write the post in a few days, now that the campaign is up and running.

Here’s how to get there:

Go to a new dedicated website at:

http://www.littlemountainfilm.com/

or directly to the INDIEGOGO crowdfunding site at:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/little-mountain-film

The funding campaign runs from May 9 to Jun 23rd.

Please come on board and contribute to this project.

Sincererly,

David & my Indiegogo Fundraising Team

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Heather Place learns lessons from Little Mountain travesty

Warning: Lack of truth beyond this sign - Little Mountain 2014

Warning: Lack of truth beyond this sign – Little Mountain 2014

Barry Growe has a new article in The Tyee, in which he links the fight to preserve social housing at Little Mountain, with recent developments at Heather Place.

The article is titled:
An Authentic First Step for Affordable Housing?
Let’s Hope Vancouver’s Heather Place learns from Little Mountain’s big mistakes.

Barry and the tenants at Heather Place, including Karen Gilchrist and Tamara Szymanska will be speaking to City Council at City Hall next week, on April 15, and I will be there to record their presentations and their thoughts on the process, for a future post.

There are many lessons to be learned at Little Mountain. I’ll cover them in my documentary.

The fundraising campaign launches on May 1st!
Check out my new FACEBOOK site at Little Mountain Film.

Cheers,
David V

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Densification Wars

On January 19th 2014, one of the world’s leading authorities on community engagement, Dr. Wendy Sarkissian spoke to Vancouver residents about the successes and failures of community engagement in Canada, Australia and the USA.

“Densification Wars” A Conversation with Dr. Wendy Sarkissian PhD from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Have the last three years of community engagement at Little Mountain been a success?  That depends on who you talk to and there’s more to come in 2014.  Prior to Dr. Sarkissian’s talk, I speak for a minute about my commitment to The Little Mountain Project and ask for support for my upcoming crowdfunding campaign, this spring.

If you send me your email address, I will be able to keep you up to date on details about the campaign, to be launched in the spring.  Alternatively you can Facebook friend me or follow me on Twitter. My email is: vaisbord@gmail.com.

Dr. Sarkissian speak with Mount Pleasant and Little Mountain community, January 2014.

Dr. Sarkissian inspires Vancouver citizens in January 2014. (littlemountainproject.com).

Moderated by Stephen Bohus, the conversation took place at the Mount Pleasant Community Centre. Urbanist and community advocate Ned Jacobs begins the conversation. The following information was provided by the organizers prior to the event:

“Densification Wars.” Community Planning in New South Wales and Vancouver:
A public conversation with Dr. Wendy Sarkissian, Ned Jacobs, and You!

Dr. Wendy Sarkissian, lives and practices community planning in the Australian state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, a city experiencing similar growth and affordability pressures as Vancouver. She is co-author of the award-winning book Housing as if People Matteredand three recent books on community engagement. Dr. Sarkissian grew up in Vancouver and was an adjunct professor at the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning. Her PhD was in Environmental Ethics and Planning Education.

Jacobs & Bohus at Dr. Sarkissian's Vancouver talk.

Jacobs & Bohus at Dr. Sarkissian’s Vancouver talk.

Ned Jacobs, a son and student of the late urbanist Jane Jacobs, is an advocate for environmental sustainability, social/affordable housing, high quality urban design, and civic electoral reform. He serves on volunteer advisory groups for the redevelopment of Little Mountain Housing and the Cambie Corridor, and is the Riley Park/South Cambie Community Visions Group liaison to the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods.

Keep up to date with me, and about the project on my Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Thank you.
David Vaisbord

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Social Housing that is Edifying

Please note:  I am writing an addendum to this posting that corrects a misperception I had about the one new seniors building.  NOTE that after only 3 years of existence (by 2017) this building was exhibiting STRUCTURAL FLAWS; cracks and stress points that were making it impossible to open screen doors; MECHANICAL FAILURE, hot water systems had collapsed leaving tenants without hot water for weeks; and INFESTATION by ants.  This building is much less than was promised. Tenants are begging to be moved out to older and better built accomodations.  In view of such events, this new building is  edifying in its egregiousness.  April 2017.

“Edify” According to the Mirriam Webster Dictionary:
Definition #1: To teach (someone) in a way that improves the mind or character.

Edifying New Social Housing Rises at Little Mountain in Vancouver - David Vaisbord Photo

Edifying New Social Housing Rises at Little Mountain in Vancouver – David Vaisbord Photo

Rising from the ground at Little Mountain is an edifying example of social housing in Vancouver. I call it “edifying” because as the first new building of a large master-planned community, it sets the height of the bar to which all new housing on the Little Mountain site – market or social housing included – must rise to.  In addition, the seamless integration of social housing with other eventual forms of housing on the site will have to follow a model of urban planning, where it is  impossible to tell social from market housing.

An angled profile meets East 37th Avenue and Main streets in Vancouver - David Vaisbord Photo

An angled profile meets East 37th Avenue and Main streets in Vancouver – David Vaisbord Photo

But look around, you can’t help but notice it’s the only construction site on a massive empty lot. Which begs the question, why is it being built?  The answer to that one is the most edifying of all.  It’s a story about 3 families who resisted eviction and with the assistance of their community, won a major victory. That’s a story that can now be told 5 years after it began, as the results of their struggle slowly rises from the ground.

The Little Mountain Story is your story. You are the community who fought to save Little Mountain.  So please stay tuned for more information on the launch of the Little Mountain Project documentary funding campaign in 2014.

And if you would like to take part in the strategy of this funding campaign, we need your passion and ideas. Contact me by email ASAP at:  vaisbord@gmail.com.

The Long View - Little Mountain's new social housing - David Vaisbord Photo

The Long View – Little Mountain’s new social housing – David Vaisbord Photo

According to Phillip Scott, Holborn’s new Development Manager, the completion date of this new seniors housing is the fall of 2014 or the spring of 2015.

The Longer View at Little Mountain: This new building sits on 16 acres of wasteland - David Vaisbord photo.

The Longer View at Little Mountain: This new building sits on 16 acres of wasteland – David Vaisbord Photo.

Coda:
Gary Mason of the Globe and Mail writes that much of the criticism of densification in Vancouver is based on worries about the Social Housing component.  Where does he get his information?  I get mine at ground level.  My neighbourhood is fighting for more units of social and affordable housing at Little Mountain.

Sincerely,
David Vaisbord
The Little Mountain Project

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Meet the NEW architect for Little Mountain – Gary Andrishak

Welcome to the LMP screening room.  

For those of you who missed this meeting last week at the Hillcrest Community Centre, here is your video update. Gary’s talk begins around the 7 minute mark.

Advisory Committee Meeting 38: Meeting the New Architect from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Andrishak has stated that he does not see LM as a tower site. He quoted urban design educator and writer Jan Gehl, “a city is not the buildings alone, it’s the spaces between them that matter most.” The Advisory Committee has been concerned about urban space at Little Mountain since 2010. If you want to feel like you were there, open a second window and click through his PowerPoint PDF (courtesy of Vancouver Planning) as he speaks.

In the Q&A that follows Deborah Butler – one of the 7 members of the Advisory Committee who drafted the Community’s Position on the Policy Statement – compliments Andrishak on his presentation, but urges him to consider the neighbourhood’s criticisms of the policy statement as ratified by City Council in 2012.  I would encourage Andrishak to review both Advisory Committee Meeting 35, and Part 1 of the City Hall session of June 2012, which deal with density and height. The Little Mountain Policy Statement itself can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Other subjects covered in the meeting are:

  • The timetable of the Rezoning Process.
  • Rightsizing the retail component of the project.
  • Employing swails to deal with excess water on the property.
  • How the legibility and visibility of ground floor entryways can enhance community.
  • Inclusive design that fits many generations of user.
  • Re-energizing the community around this NEW rezoning process, through new signage around the property or by other means.
  • The constant evolution of the project, and how the new building already renders the old site plan obsolete.
  • The challenges of phasing in Social Housing over the many project phases to come.
  • The timetable for completing the first Social Housing building = late 2014 or 2015.
  • The obligation for all future builders on the site to abide by the policy statement.

PS: The discussion gets heated, and humourous at the end.

With my compliments to all participants in the room.

David Vaisbord
The Little Mountain Project.
Know MORE at littlemountainproject.com

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An uplifting meeting with the New Architect for the Little Mountain Project

Last night the Little Mountain Advisory Group reconvened after a long hiatus, at the Hillcrest Community Centre.  I was there as always, continuing my 5-year experiment into community engagement, and shot my 350th hour of footage for The Little Mountain Project — soon to enter the fundraising stage of a feature documentary about the amazing neighbourhood in which I live.

Gary Andrishak's opening remarks - David Vaisbord recording them.

Gary Andrishak’s opening remarks – David Vaisbord recording them.

At the meeting, Vancouver City Planners re-introduced themselves and the new lead architect for the Little Mountain Project, Gary Andrishak of the IBI Group.

Andrishak breezed through an introduction of himself and his work, while stating his strong agreement with all of the policies on Little Mountain, developed through community engagement. Proving himself to be a master communicator, he invited everyone in the room to introduce themselves and proceeded to listen to community reiterate some of their ongoing concerns. Joo Kim Tiah (Holborn’s CEO) introduced himself, but kept a low profile throughout. Phillip Scott, Holborn’s new Development Manager also said a few words.

Planner Ben Johnson responds to questions.

Planner Ben Johnson responds to questions.

News that Andrishak was a lead architect on the Arbutus Walk Project (a predominantly low-rise development) was music to the ears of many in the room, as Arbutus Walk was one of the feature studies of the Advisory Group with an official tour, given three years ago by City Planners and viewable online HERE.

Andrishak identified himself as an expert in community building and planning, who would do things a little differently from that his predecessor James Cheng. As some of you may know, Cheng resigned from the project owning to recent health concerns.

Scott, Johnson & Andrishak at Little Mountain Mtg

Scott, Johnson & Andrishak at Little Mountain Mtg

He brings an interest in cutting edge urban design, and in particular new projects in Scandinavia. Does this mean that he is in favour of reduced density or height? Improved public realm? He did mention that he was very much in favour of developments with ground level connections to the communities surrounding them. I’m very interested to see what he will bring to the revisioning of our neighbourhood.

You will want to listen to his presentation for yourself.
I will upload the meeting in its entirety next week.

New construction at Little Mountain casts a long shadow in the autumn light - October 2013 - David Vaisbord photo.

New construction at Little Mountain casts a long shadow in the autumn light – October 2013 – David Vaisbord photo.

Currently, the first to be built on the site is taking shape at Little Mountain, and it does it casts a long shadow. It makes me wonder how dark the site will be, at the projected heights and density of James Cheng’s vision.

David Vaisbord

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Groundbreaking Event at Little Mountain attended by Housing Minister Rich Coleman

Hello Friends,

I finally had a chance to meet and talk to the Minister today. It was a brief encounter and he made it clear that he wasn’t going to add any more words to our conversation as he bristled and walked away from my camera; but nevertheless, it was satisfying to get it done. There are mythologies passed from generation to generation about how difficult it is to capture the fleeting image and words of Rich Coleman.

Coleman meets Steenhuisen and Chang

Ingrid Steenhuisen asks the Honourable Rich Coleman for an opportunity to meet and talk about social housing issues. (Sam Chang in foreground – Ms. Steenhuisen appears partially hidden behind him) Photo by David Vaisbord at the Groundbreaking at the Little Mountain Project, April 11, 2013.

Minister Coleman shook hands with Ingrid Steenhuisen and Sam Chang,(among the last tenants of the last remnant of Little Mountain Housing) and though he did not refuse Ms. Steenhuisen’s suggestion that they meet and talk about social housing concerns, he didn’t exactly set a firm date. Let me guess when that meeting might happen:  When hell freezes over.

There was very little notice given to the press (and none to the community) about when and where the press conference would take place, but in spite of the tight time frame, some key community critics of the project managed to get there on time, including David Chudnovsky and Ned Jacobs. The developer, Joo Kim Tiah; the architect, James Cheng; the head of BC Housing, Shayne Ramsay, and all of their key associates were in attendance. Apparently, they were on the invite list.

Sam Chang performs his own ground breaking ceremony at Little Mountain, April 11, 2013

Sam Chang performs his own ground breaking ceremony at Little Mountain, April 11, 2013

In his speech, Minister Coleman answered many of my questions, so I didn’t have to ask them outright. He explained what he saw when he looked out over the wasteland at Little Mountain, and his rationale for it. I recorded it and will post it asap.

Minister Rich Coleman behind Media Scrum at Little Mountain, April 2013

Minister Rich Coleman behind Media Scrum at Little Mountain, April 2013

BTW, did anybody see any coverage of the event on the evening news? During a media scrum after the main event was over, the subject swiftly changed from Little Mountain to election politics, using the Little Mountain signage as the background. That blue-coloured background was visible in several election reports, but I did not find any coverage of the groundbreaking event on television.

ps: Vote for Little Mountain Stories web project at http://www.connectthedocs.ca/
Deadline for voting is Friday April 12, 2012 @ 9pm Pacific time.

follow me on Twitter @DavidVaisbord

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Housing Minister Rich Coleman to visit Little Mountain Today!

Hello Friends,

11:45 AM this morning (April 11th) is official groundbreaking for one new building at Little Mountain and Rich Coleman will be there! UNBELIEVABLE? Nobody can remember the last time they saw him at the project, if ever.

I’m going to be there by 11am with video camera to record Coleman, the first official appearance of the author of the destruction of Little Mountain Housing. What will he see when he casts his across the landscape. It’s hard to imagine. But not to dwell on negatives, he’s here to tell us the good news, that congratulations are in order for him and his friends, as they break ground on the building that the residents and community fought so hard for.

Yesterday I shot some footage of BC Housing, sprucing up the wasteland for today’s press conference. Here it is:

Sprucing up The Wasteland at Little Mountain from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

By the way, if you haven’t voted yet for my new web project: Little Mountain Stories, take a second and make a few clicks. If I get enough votes I’ll be able to pitch this project at the Hot Docs documentary festival in Toronto – it’s just a couple of clicks, but could mean a huge difference in getting exposure and FUNDING for this project.

Please vote, and please share!
Vote for little mountain stories web project at http://www.connectthedocs.ca/

More to come
David Vaisbord
Little Mountain Project

follow me on Twitter @DavidVaisbord

BANNER PHOTO: ASSEMBLED PRESS RECORD THE WORDS OF MINISTER RICH COLEMAN AT THE SOD TURNING CEREMONY, APRIL 11, 2013

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Little Mountain at City Hall: PART 2 of 2

Hello viewers,

This is the second half of the June 2012 Meeting where the Policy on Little Mountain was discussed in City Council Chambers.

City Hall meets Little Mountain June 2012: PART 2 from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

For those of you came to city hall to speak, who missed work, and patiently waited for your 5 minutes to arrive, this is your chance to see how well you did on camera. There are many view expressed here. Some of the speakers represent the Little Mountain Advisory Group, others come from sectors of the community who did not attend the meetings. Some are simply friends of the developer. The speakers list was open to whoever wanted to speak.
Kudos to everyone for PARTICIPATING. Politics is an exercise which (for the most part), takes place IN PUBLIC and IN PERSON.

David Vaisbord
Little Mountain Project
littlemountainproject.com

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Recent PRESS on Little Mountain, and the overturning of the Eviction Notices.

Hello everyone,

Here is a selected press list from the last week, on Little Mountain:

David Vaisbord and Red1 at Little Mountain

David Vaisbord and Red1 discuss the last row house at Little Mountain

The Province, Wednesday Oct 24, 2012.
ONE LAST SHOT FOR ‘VILLAGE’ – 24 Oct 2012 Doc maker teams with rapper Red1 to tell story of Little Mountain Housing
The Province, Wednesday Oct 24, 2012.
Saving images of the past On screen – 24 Oct 2012 – Doc maker screens shorts in big to save last Little Mountain unit
The Mainlander, Thursday Oct. 25, 2012.
Tenants win fight against BC Housing: Government cancels eviction notices at Little Mountain.
The Globe and Mail, Thursday Oct. 25, 2012.
Last-minute deal averts eviction for Little Mountain social-housing holdouts.
The Vancouver Courier, Thursday Oct 25, 2012.
Vancouver filmmaker focuses lens on Little Mountain.
The Georgia Straight, Thursday Oct 25, 2012.
Little Mountain resident no longer facing eviction pleased with deal to fast-track social housing.
The Vancouver Sun, Friday Oct 26, 2012.
Vancouver Documentaries probe Little Mountain Evictions.
The Vancouver Sun, Friday Oct 26, 2012.
Social Housing Deal Spares Families.

Last Row House in morning light, late summer 2012.

David Vaisbord photographs last row house in morning light, August 2012.

In the Georgia Straight, Vision Councillor Kerry Jang claims: “We’ve always maintained at the city that we need to find a way of accommodating these folks,” Jang told the Straight by phone. “It’s kind of inhuman to uproot them, right?

Hmmm…then why did it take the concerted efforts of dozens of advocates/activists in public, and behind the scenes, to make this happen?  If this was indeed the view of the Vision Party, why didn’t they denounce the decision to evict the last tenants when it was announced this summer?  Why did it take them till the month of October, to do anything?

Coming up. Scenes from the Screening at the Little Mountain Gallery.

David

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Little Mountain at City Hall: PART 1 of 2

Here is Part 1 of THE COUNCIL MEETING where the Little Mountain Policy was voted upon, on June 27th, 2012.

Part 1 consists of the major presentations by:
1. Vancouver City Planning
2. The Proposed Developer – The Holborn Group
3. The Little Mountain Community Advisory Group.

Vancouver City Hall meets the Little Mountain Advisory Committee June 2012 – Part 1 of 2 parts from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

FOR THE RECORD. It is clear to everyone in Council Chambers at the time, that the timeline for “Rezoning and Implementation” is from 12 – 18 months.

Infographic from June 2012 Council Meeting on the Little Mountain Project

This Slide presented by Ben Johnson of the planning department indicates that 12 – 18 months is a standard timeline for REZONING and IMPLEMENTATION.


City Planner, Ben Johnson speaks to the timeline at approx. the 21:40 point in the video. As far as I am aware, this second phase of the planning process has not yet begun. This places the beginning of construction of PHASE 1 of Little Mountain well into 2014.

The developer however, has claimed that the last building must be demolished now, to make way for construction in May of 2013.

This has led to a war of words in the press, in which Vancouver’s Planning department has been quoted as stating: “A development this complex would likely take 12 months of public hearings, assuming that the developer’s plans are within the boundaries of the City’s policy statement; following that is six months of enactment. If it’s concurrent, the project could have shovels in the ground by 2014.”

James Cheng plays Holborn's demo video to City Council

James Cheng plays Holborn’s demo video to City Council


The Ministry of Housing, BCHousing and the Holborn team appear to be willfully ignorant of the facts, as they press EVICTION NOTICES on the last four families at Little Mountain.

Please stay tuned. Part 2 – the Community Speakers – is coming up. Please excuse the delays. Keeping up with the Little Mountain Project is more than a full time job for one person. Volunteers are welcome to contribute. Send an email or use the comment form.

David Vaisbord
Little Mountain Project

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David Chudnovsky Addresses Mayor and Council in support of Tenants of Last Building

Last week, following the screening of “The Eviction of Sammy and Joan” in Council Chambers on October 3rd, 2012. Mr. Chudnovsky spoke to the subject of the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability.

Chudnovsky spoke to Task Force Recommendation 3, which aims to “Protect existing non-profit, social and co-operative housing that may be under threat and continue to protect the affordable market rental stock using the community planning process to focus on strategies to repair, renew and expand the stock neighbourhood by neighbourhood.”

David Chudnovsky at City Hall October 2012 from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

In view of Vancouver City Council’s own recommendations, Chudnovsky suggested that Council take 3 specific actions.

1. To take a public stand against the eviction. To make a MOTION, expressing your opposition to the eviction, and pass it unanimously, today.

2. To use your influence with BCHousing and the Government of British Columbia, to rescind the eviction notices.

3. To use the rezoning and regulatory powers of the City of Vancouver to encourage the proposed developer to rescind the eviction notices.

Will the MOTION based on his suggestions ever be written and passed?

With the spectre of the October 29th TENANCE HEARING hanging over the tenants heads, it will be interesting to see if this Mayor and Council takes any action. It must be noted that in some circles, this Mayor and Council are perceived to be in the pockets of Vancouver developers. If that is the case, any hint of saying “NEVER AGAIN” to developer aspirations — such as the ones that demolished the community at Little Mountain Housing — may be perceived as “ANTI-DEVELOPER.”

What do you think?

We’re waiting to see what happens next.

David Vaisbord
The Little Mountain Project.

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Eviction Delayed for Sammy and Joan: New Hearing Date

Eviction delayed for Sammy and Joan and the last 4 families at Little Mountain!

Sam and Joan 2012 in garden

Sammy (Sim) Chang and Joan Chang in their organic garden, soon to be evicted from their home at the Little Mountain Housing project.


Last week, on Tuesday September 18th, at their HEARING (by teleconference) with the RENTAL TENANCY BRANCH, the tenants with David Chudnovsky acting as their advocate, won the right to have an adjuication IN PERSON.

The date of that NEW hearing was announced YESTERDAY, and has been set for:
October 29, 2012 at 10am
at the RTB office in Metrotown.
Suite 400 – 5021 Kingsway Burnaby, BC.

There is a RALLY AGAINST THE EVICTION planned for that date, infront of the RTB office.

No eviction may take place until a final decision is made by the RTB, so in effect, the tenants won their first battle against BC Housing and the Holborn Group. Lawyers for BC Housing will, without a doubt, seek a definitive eviction date at the next meeting.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview in the Vancouver Sun of September 25, 2012, the Holborn Group’s Joo Kim Tiah, Holborn Group's Joo Kim Tiah at the Jan 2012 Little Mountain Open Housemade some very vague promises that construction could begin in May of 2013. This claim is NOT supported by REALITY.

The tag-team of the Holborn Group and the Ministry of Housing/BC Housing do not have the authority to over-ride the legitimate powers of The City of Vancouver to manage its own rezoning processes. The Vancouver planning department has re-iterated several times, that the process of rezoning at Little Mountain will take at least 18 months, and considering the length of time the site has already remained empty, far longer.

My interpretation is that the accelerated demolition process at Little Mountain has but one purpose:
To close the sale of the Little Mountain lands to The Holborn Group prior to the Provincial Elections of May 2013. BC Liberal Housing Minister Rich Coleman - wants to see Little Mountain cleared for the developer, the Holborn GroupThe BC Liberals are desperate for one piece of good news, and are willing displace vulnerable people (the very people they claim to protect) for short-term political gain.

This is how I predict it will go down:

With the tenants successfully evicted, the sale will go through, and the Liberal Government will announce the success of their strategy. They’ll exhume their promise to build the 14 housing sites, and trumpet their holiness! And then… NO SHOVEL will break ground, NO HOUSING CONSTRUCTION will begin, and the site will remain EMPTY for at least another year.

Amen.

David Vaisbord
Filmmaker
Neighbour – Little Mountain Community

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How to support the remaining tenants of Little Mountain

FOUR WAYS TO SUPPORT THE REMAINING TENANTS OF LITTLE MOUNTAIN

1. Sign and circulate the petition.
Find the petition here

2. Watch and share this short film about two of the tenants who are fighting the current eviction:
“The Eviction of Sammy and Joan” by David Vaisbord

3. Make your voice heard by local media:

letters@globeandmail.com
sunletters@png.canwest.com
provletters@png.canwest.com
letters@straight.com
blink@vancourier.com

CBC radio talkback number: 604-662-6690
CKNW radio comment line: 604-331-2784

4. Make you voice heard by officials:

Provincial Government and BC Housing
Premier Christy Clark: premier@gov.bc.ca
Minister Responsible for Housing, Rich Coleman: rich.coleman.mla@leg.bc.ca
Shayne Ramsay, CEO, BC Housing: sramsay@bchousing.org
Dale McMann, ED for Lower Mainland, BC Housing: dmcmann@bchousing.org

Development team
Joo-Kim Tiah, President, Holborn Group: info@holborn.ca
James Cheng & Associates, Architectural Consultants: info@jamescheng.com

City of Vancouver
Mayor Gregor Robertson: gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca
Councillor George Affleck: clraffleck@vancouver.ca
Councillor Elizabeth Ball: clrball@vancouver.ca
Councillor Adrienne Carr: clrcarr@vancouver.ca
Councillor Heather Deal: clrdeal@vancouver.ca
Councillor Kerry Jang: clrjang@vancouver.ca
Councillor Raymond Louie: clrlouie@vancouver.ca
Councillor Geoff Meggs: clrmeggs@vancouver.ca
Councillor Andrea Reimer: clrreimer@vancouver.ca
Councillor Tim Stevenson: clrstevenson@vancouver.ca
Councillor Tony Tang: clrtang@vancouver.ca
CoV’s City Manager Penny Ballem: penny.ballem@vancouver.ca
CoV’s General Manager of Planning and Development: brian.jackson@vancouver.ca
CoV’s City Planning Staff: matt.shillito@vancouver.ca; patricia.st.michel@vancouver.ca; ben.johnson@vancouver.ca; graham.winterbottom@vancouver.ca

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Recent Media on New EVICTIONS at Little Mountain

BC Housing performs routine Oil Tank Removal at Little Mountain Housing

The first of three oil tanks is lifted from the ground at Little Mountain Housing

Here are a few links to articles on what promises to be a new eviction fiasco at Little Mountain Housing. The Vancouver Courier article of August 1st communicates a few important points by Ingrid Steenhuisen, one of the last and most important voices at Little Mountain, but wastes the second half rehashing old information from the developer regarding numbers of replacement housing. Most of this could be researched on line, and had nothing to do with the urgent and timely eviction issue. The Georgia Straight article which is much better than the Courier article, includes a bizarre comment by Vision councillor Kerry Jang who refers to the last remaining townhouse in plural (“those buildings”) while arguing that it will be difficult to perform remediation tasks around them. Really, Councillor Jang? As of Monday August 13th, all remaining and offending oil tanks adjacent to the townhouse were removed and samples will be sent for testing. There were no “difficulties”. Routine testing of the removal usually takes no more than a couple of weeks. FOOTAGE OF THE OIL TANK REMOVAL WILL BE UPLOADED TO THIS SITE, NEXT WEEK.

This is the final stage of routine remediation at Little Mountain

Oil Tank Removal at Little Mountain on August 13, 2012

Soil Sample Jars at Little Mountain Housing

Workers use jars at Little Mountain to select soil samples from three areas below the old oil tanks.

Final Stage of Little Mountain Remediation accomplished in a day.

Final Stage of Little Mountain Remediation accomplished in a day.

According to the workers at the site, the old tanks were filled with sand over 50 years ago. The sand absorbed most of the oil, rendering the excavation task easy and without incident. What about the claims that other forms of remediation are necessary, and that they necessitate the removal of the last building and the eviction of its tenants, 18 months prior to construction? More to come on this important subject. Important, because it involves the lives of three families who have managed to create a tiny supportive community out of the ruins of the old.

David Vaisbord
The Little Mountain Project.

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NEW EVICTION NOTICES issued by BC Housing

In what seems to be another incredible move by BC Housing – since the tragedy of the demolition of Little Mountain itself 5 to 15 years prematurely – it has come to my attention that BC Housing has handed out NEW EVICTION notices to the last 4 families occupying the last row-house building at Little Mountain.

This move is grossly premature – 18 months or more early – as the Rezoning Process is not yet begun. There are no architectural plans – only a site plan and scale model (which itself is only a sketch) There is no schedule for construction. There is literally no reason to hasten eviction at this point.

In addition, the two-year re-development consultation process (with the City of Vancouver Planning Department, the Community, the Developer) is violated by premature demolition of the last remaining row hose. There is no decision yet, on the final use for the Vancouver Heritage Building. Please view Meeting #27, the Heritage Analysis of the Last Building at Little Mountain. Does the developer realize that he is in contravention of his commitment to an open and comprehensive consultation with the city and the community? Is the BC Liberal Goverment aware of this commitment? BC Housing officials have attended meetings and the last Open House at Little Mountain. Feigning ignorance will not do at this point. Do they have any interest in public process?

Sam and Joan in front of their home and garden at Little Mountain Housing - circa 2009

Sam and Joan in front of their home and garden at Little Mountain Housing – circa 2009

Sammy and Joan Cheng pictured above are a completely blind couple and have lived at Little Mountain for many years. They are extremely vulnerable. At the time that this photo was taken in the fall of 2009, Sammy (who had partial eyesight at the time) had gone to look several times, for suitable apartments for his completely blind wife (Joan) but did not find any which were safe enough, in terms of apartment layout and surrounding street-scape. In a tragic turn of events, Sammy’s remaining eyesight was lost this year. When Sammy had his eyesight he was feisty and fought against relocation. Today he powerless owing to complete lack of sight. At the end of September Sammy will go for surgery on his eye, to implant a new cornea. BC HOUSING HAS CHOSEN TO EVICT HIM ONLY DAYS FROM THE DATE OF HIS SURGERY. Sammy is under incredible stress with both the eviction and his operation coming fast. DOES BC HOUSING HAVE ANY ETHICS WHATSOEVER? What is this monster of an organization, which you and I – the taxpayer – support?

This hasty and unnecessary relocation, propelled by politics, may prove tragic for this couple.

BC Housing claims that there are “environmental concerns” and that they have to do remediation of the residue from buried oil tanks. I have placed footage of the excavation of the oil tanks on line. The 3 tanks were removed in a day.

Nevertheless, BC Housing states that ground-water testing now needs to be done.

Really.

They state that such remediation needs to be done in dry weather. There will be – NO DOUBT – dry weather next summer, when this remediation should sensibly take place. At this point in my investigation there seems to be little reason to perform any additional remediation on the site, but you will hear more about this.

For whom is this “remediation” being done? It may be HOLBORN who are seeking to prematurely demolish the last building prior to further public discussion. Can the developer give us some clarity here? Joo Kim Tiah of Holborn should answer to this.

Who else is instigating this move? The Ministry of Housing? Rich Coleman’s office?

And what does the City of Vancouver, its Mayor Gregor Robertson, and Vision Councillors have to say about it?

David Vaisbord
The Little Mountain Project

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Little Mountain exhibit at Winsor Gallery

The Little Mountain Project at Winsor Gallery.

Until Sunday July 22, an iteration of The Little Mountain Project is on view at the Winsor Gallery, 3025 Granville Street, Vancouver B.C.

Join David Vaisbord at the gallery on Saturday July 21, from 1pm to 3pm, to have an informal conversation about the fusion of art and media, the website, civic engagement, and future of documentary filmmaking. Learn more about the Winsor Gallery Show.

The Little Mountain Project, installation view at ECUAD

The Little Mountain Project, installation view at ECUAD

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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

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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

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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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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.

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Meeting #33 Urban Design Panel (2nd) discusses Little Mountain (Heading to CITY COUNCIL)

    Little Mountain Redevelopment – URBAN DESIGN PANEL
    Meeting #33
    Wednesday May 9, 2012

    Dear Viewers,

    The deliberations of the Second Urban Design Panel took place on Wednesday May 9 at City Hall.

    Synopsis: Although there is high praise for the site plan and James Cheng’s architectural firm and associates, there remains fundamental concerns about the high density of the site, with regard to traffic and transit flow in and around the site. These concerns were voiced by the engineer in the Urban Design Panel. The quality and number of replacement social housing units were also of concern, and discussed.

    Here’s the back story.

    Two years ago, the Design Panel reviewed the Site plans for Little Mountain — schematic diagrams showing the placement of major roadways and access points onto the site, and general areas of open space and building masses. See the footage go to littlemountainproject.com ARCHIVE and open Meeting #14.

    Last week on May 9, this meeting touched upon all of those issues, including height and density. For those of you who have attended the last few Advisory Group meetings, you will have heard the city’s perspective already, though it has undergone further refinement. Ideal density according to the City of Vancouver Planning department (see Meeting #29) is now seen to be somewhere between Arbutus Walk (see Archive Meeting #15)and Olympic Village. (Meeting #6 – The Olympic Village Tour)
    They present this to the Panel.

    TO THINK ABOUT:
    IN THE URBAN DESIGN PANEL MEETINGS, THE COMMUNITY (the public) DOES NOT HAVE A VOICE.

    David V
    May14, 2012

    Architect Veronica Gillies of Vancouver's Urban Design Panel comments on Little Mountain Plans

    Architect Veronica Gillies of Vancouver's Urban Design Panel comments on Little Mountain Plans

    The role of the Urban Design Panel is to give impartial and professional advice to the Director of Planning, Development Permit Board or City Council on any proposal or policy affecting the community’s physical environment. The Panel is strictly an advisory body and makes recommendations only. It does not have the authority to approve or refuse projects or make policy decisions. The public is welcome to attend the Urban Design Panel meeting, but may not address the Panel. The meeting will be held in the Town Hall Meeting Room (City Hall, main building, 1st Floor, 453 West 12th Avenue). Little Mountain is the fifth item on the agenda and is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

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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

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OPEN HOUSE 2012: The Video

For those who couldn’t attend, here’s two nights of recording combined into an eight minute clip:

Little Mountain Open House Jan 26 & 28 2012 from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

Don’t forget to send your feedback to the city on line until FEBRUARY 10, 2012.
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.

Canal St East side - Little Mountain models

Canal St West side - Little Mountain models

A Tower Concentration in proposed development

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

Little Mountain development at 37th and Ontario

Little Mountain development at 33rd and Ontario

Important to remember that an estimated 700 cars per hour will exit and enter from the site at rush hours, the traffic you see in this photo is the average flow at approx. 2am Sunday nights. A neighbour who works in childcare asked me yesterday, if the amenities, such as daycare, for preschool and after-school care especially, are in place for a development of this size? As a member of the Advisory Committee who has been to every meeting, I answered no. She has promised to attend a meeting.

Here’s a brief quote, as we contemplate the future of Vancouver, from a sociologist, named Robert Park:

“The city is man’s most consistent and, on the whole, his most successful
attempt to remake the world he lives in, more after his heart’s desire. The
city is the world which man created; it is the world in which he is
therefore condemned to live. Thus indirectly, without a clear sense of the
nature of his task, in remaking the city, man has remade himself.”

If you want to know more about cities and neoliberalism here’s a link to an interesting talk given by economist David Harvey in 2007 titled:
Neoliberalism and the City.

The Little Mountain Project

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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

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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.

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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

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