Thirty-seven years ago today, a bunch of friends and I were recovering from a heavy night of partying at a home on the North Shore with a southern view. We had spent a few fitful hours sprawled on the carpet or on sofas trying to sleep off the effects of whatever it was we may have ingested, and I am certain none of us would have been awake at 8:30 that Sunday morning if it hadn’t been for the explosion way south of us.
I’m not sure that we heard the big bang, but we sure felt it as we struggled to our feet and struggled to understand what was happening. Someone switched on the TV and soon the Seattle stations were covering the volcano moment by moment, and we could finally figure out what had disturbed us so.
I spent almost the entire day transfixed to the screen as the disaster unfolded. I had only moved to Vancouver a few months earlier, and I thought this was just the most exciting thing. And then the death toll started rising, and it wasn’t so cool anymore.
There were some strange goings on at the Grandview -Woodland Community Plan Open House at the WISE Hall last night. This was the second iteration of the duplex rezoning display presentation I wrote about on the weekend.
Several members of the public were advised by a City planner that Boffo had withdrawn from its Boffo-Kettle Tower project at Commercial & Venables/Adanac. Andrew Pask the CoV planner directly in charge of the GW Community Plan seemed quite upset that his colleagues had “let the cat out of the bag” and claimed he knew nothing about it.
The Boffo-Kettle Tower is the massive for-profit tower project the neighbourhood has been actively opposing for almost five years, but which City Council — no surprise there — pushed through against the residents’ desires last summer (see here and here for the long battle fought).
The residents wanted a height of no more than 4 stories on the site, to match the neighbourhood and the current zoning along Commercial Drive, but the developers claimed they needed 12 stories to make sure they received an unhealthy level of profit. In the final months of discussion, City Planning suggested 9 stories but, at the Council meeting to approve the project, Boffo’s allies in Vision pushed through an amendment re-establishing the 12-stories. The opposition to the tower, using the developer’s own words from public meetings, suggested the final building would be 15 to 20 stories high. No, said the developer; the opposition is just lying.
Now, we presume, the developers tried a bait and switch, pushing for 15 to 20 stories once again, and City Planning pushed right back, well aware of the local fury this would create in Grandview in the run up to the 2018 municipal elections.
Maybe it is all rumour and conjecture; but it will certainly please thousands of residents if it turns out to be true.