An Activist History of the GW Community Plan

As we approach the next crisis point of the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan, I thought it might be a good idea to trace the history of the project so far with links to the stories I wrote at the time.


  • The Plan really began in the spring of 2012 when City Planners conducted a variety of surveys about what we liked about the neighbourhood.  We were shown the results in a Grandview Park display.  There was no inkling of the trouble brewing.
  • Phase two kicked off with a series of Open Houses.  The Planners outlined a number of current City initiatives (Greenest City, Homelessness, etc) and discussing how they must be tied in to the Grandview-specific issues that were identified in phase one.  These connections — and other ideas that emerge — formed the foundational material for the issue-specific workshops that will fill up the balance of phase two.
  • The idea of a high tower at Commercial & Venables was raised at the Grandview Heritage Group meeting in September 2012.  I wrote at the time “I still hope that they don’t get ideas about a tall — or even medium — tower on the site.  That would not be appreciated, I am sure.” (Note that the Courier had discussed a 7-8 storey building  back in January 2012, and Kettle reps came to GWAC’s February meeting that year).
  • The City held a number of workshops in September and October 2012.  These were the workshops and Open Houses that introduced us to the City-wide plans that had to take precedence over anything we wanted, and it eas at these Open Houses that we learned to hate the yellow-sticky style of “communication”.
  • In October 2012, the Vision majority on City Council pushed through the Task Force on Affordable Housing Recommendations.  GWAC and the community urged Council to delay implementation.  Andrew Pask told a GWAC Meeting that the recommendations would have little or no affect on GW’s Plan.
  • October 2012 also saw the NSV’s “Future of Vancouver” conference. This was one of the very first gatherings to express city-wide anxiety about the City’s failing planning process.  NSV’s Bette Murphy spoke eloquently about the unproven need for a development plan in Grandview.
  • In November 2012, the Grandview Heritage Group submitted its concerns for heritage retention during the Plan.
  • That same month I wrote a piece about the failure of the Plan’s PACE process, that failure’s links to Vision’s “faux” consultation, and the fact that local power was slipping away.
  • December 2012 saw the NSV-sponsored meeting at the Hollywood where a wide variety of city regulars argued against the City’s planning policies and processes.



The Our Community, Our Plan folks met last night and I look forward to hearing what they had to say.


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