Slow Talking On Parklets

Some months ago, I flagged the campaign to pay for a parklet outside Prado Cafe on the Drive. Well, they raised the necessary money but apparently they are having problems getting the project through the City’s bureaucracy.  The following is from their Kickstarter Update Page:

We received our engineer’s drawings last week, but were unable to respond to any of his recommendations without hearing from VIVA Vancouver first. After submitting our design third package to VIVA over a month ago… we finally received our feedback today. It is messy. Here’s a primer on working with the Engineering Department:

1) We are operating under FIVE BUILDING GUIDELINES! We’ve got the federal, provincial, and municipal building codes which are standard issue, then we have the City’s patio code, and then we have the San Francisco parklet design guidelines. What this means is that our design goalposts are constantly moving and often hazy.

2) VIVA provides feedback through a closed staff working group consisting of… we don’t know who. What this means is that by the time the feedback comes to us, decisions have been made, rationales are unclear, and there is no opportunity to negotiate.

I lose sleep over these two factors. Last week I ran into a Principal of PWL Landscape Architecture who is designing the French Quarter parklet on Main street, and she reflected back my experience, so at least it’s the same across the board! She told me that one of her clients actually moved their business to Surrey because they couldn’t deal with the mess in Vancouver.

What nonsense this all is. It might have been quicker to build the entire thing in red tape.

Thanks to Dorothy for the heads up.


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