Too Late, Folks!

August 14, 2013

A correspondent of mine, who wanted a few copies of the Grandview-Woodland Emerging Directions for a discussion meeting, called the Vancouver Planning Department today.

She was told that there was no plan at this time (?), and that they weren’t giving out any more copies of the document because “they didn’t want to upset any more people.”


Late Update:  They did eventually call her back and offer some documents.

A New Spin Cycle

August 14, 2013

Stand by, Vancouver!  It looks like Mike Magee and the Vision machine have issued a new set of talking points and we are about to be bombarded with a whole lot more BS about the efficacy of current planning processes.

It began, perhaps, last week with Bob Ransford’s op-ed in the Sun. It was followed on Monday when Councillor Kerry Jang, in an interview with FairchildTV, said that 90% of Grandview-Woodland would not change at all under the current proposals. It was followed up on Tuesday with CoV Planning Director Brian Jackson’s interview with CTV in which he tried to lay a guilt trip on us about having to accept towers for the sake of our children. And it continues with Jackson’s quotes in today’s Vancouver Courier where he seems to blame the residents for not being involved.

I have already responded to Ransford’s biased views, and one look at the planners’ map will disabuse anyone of Jang’s 10% fantasy,  And how replacing heritage houses that currently accommodate $700 a month suites with brand new $1,500 a month townhouses “maintains affordability” is beyond my comprehension.

Jackson’s statements are doubly disappointing. First, they are factually wrong. He states that there were “40 to 60 opportunities for people to comment on the plans – through open houses, online comments, special events, one-on-one meetings with special interest groups,” but fails to note that specific land use and rezoning plans were not mentioned at a single one of them prior to the publication of their draft plan in June this year.

Second, Jackson’s remarks this week flatly contradict his own statements at the Open Houses in July where he publicy admitted that the Planning Department had used a flawed process and had completely lost the trust of the community.

I can only imagine that Magee and the Vision machine were horrified to hear their Director of Planning admit in so public a fashion that they had screwed up. And they are well aware of the growing discontent with all matters planning in Marpole, the West End and Downtown Eastside where plans are currently underway and all are failing the test of public opinion. When these complaints are added to the horrors of Norquay and Shannon Mews, and the ongoing fights in Oakridge and Yaletown, I guess that Magee and his spinmeisters realised they had to go to work.

So stand by, Vancouver, for what might be a torrent of nonsense coming from 12th and Cambie.