Continued decrepitude did not allow me to get to last night’s monthly meeting of the Grandview Woodland Area Council. The following report, therefore, has been compiled from several people who were able to attend.
The main event last night, was a presentation by the local Business Improvement Association (BIA) to explain how their 2013 Vision for Commercial Drive fits with the 2016 Community Plan. The primary conclusion from each of those who spoke to me was that in fact the BIA Vision does not fit with the Plan as approved. I understand, for example, that the GWAC Chair was on several occasions required to remind the BIA that the approved Community Plan accepted four storeys as a maximum height for most of the Drive, not six storeys as the BIA continued to maintain.
More than one correspondent wondered whether anyone at the BIA had actually put the two plans together and compared them. Another, a professional in the field, described their approach to urban planning as “terribly unsophisticated.”
Several people mentioned that the BIA seems to live in its own cocoon, speaking only to their membership (and even then, perhaps, only a selected few). They seem fixated, for example, on bike lanes and parking while other important issues (long-term vacancies in storefronts, some of which are becoming derelict) are ignored.
It seems agreed they would do well to significantly improve their two-way communication with the thousands of residents who are the ones who actually make Commercial Drive what it is.