City of Vancouver Rushes To Judgment

Here is the latest press release issued yesterday by the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods:

Pearson Dogwood Lands Report Rushed To Judgment

Vancouver, B.C. – The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods expresses its serious concern that once again the City of Vancouver is short-changing the public by publishing a detailed 118-page policy document a mere six days before an important Council decision.

The future of the 25-acre Pearson Dogwood Lands, bounded by Cambie, 57th, Heather and 59th, will be debated by City Council on Wednesday January 22nd.  This is a major development, with plans calling for more than three million square feet of gross floor space, including towers ranging in height up to 28-storeys (265 ft/ 81m).  The cost of the development is likely to exceed $450 million.

An important development, yes; but the public have been given just six days to study the report by Assistant Planning Director Matt Shillito called the “Pearson Dogwood Policy Statement” which will “guide the future rezoning and development.”

The release of this report with so little time for the public to study it and its implications is in line with a series of such delayed publications. A few examples of many:

  • the zoning changes to the West End Community Plan have been issued just ten days before the relevant hearing;
  • the Mount Pleasant Community Plan Implementation Report was published with just 6 days notice;
  • the public was given only a week to study the Jackson Report on four Community Plans last September;
  • the massive Transportation 2040 policy was approved just three working days after being published.

In none of these cases was timing of such importance that the hearings could not have waited until after a reasonable period of study was allowed. The short notice given to the public to respond to such important reports makes a mockery of genuine consultation and citizen engagement.

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods proposes to work with the City to co-create a framework for a meaningful consultation process, including minimum publication times, engagement, and reasonable discussion of options as part of a new approach to planning.

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