Will we start seeing these kind of posters featuring Mayor Gregor's mugshot soon?
An interesting news release was received by our CityCaucus mailroom staff yesterday. It would appear that - yet again - this Vision council have found a way of offending another Vancouver neighbourhood.
This time its the residents of Marpole that appear concerned with how City Hall is not listening to their concerns. What follows if a copy of the Marpole Residents Alliance news release that was sent to local media in the hope it will generate some attention. It kind of speaks for itself:
(April 27, 2011, Vancouver, BC) The Marpole Area Residents Alliance (MARA) have given their community what City Hall refused to do – an opportunity to review and provide comments on development options for Marine & Cambie.
“We wrote to Council and urged them to direct the Planning department to investigate development options, because the development area at Marine & Cambie is too big and too important not to”. Council did not respond.
The three key sites at Marine & Cambie will provide more housing units than the Olympic Village and the combined retail and commercial space is equivalent to 75% of Oakridge Mall. “We don’t know if its ignorance or arrogance, but either Council doesn’t understand the true complexity of the Marine & Cambie area, or they don’t care about the final outcome of these developments or the voice of the Marpole people. But changes need to be made” says Jo-Anne Pringle, MARA spokesperson.
“It was clear the City wasn’t going to consider alternatives, so we generated them ourselves” say Pringle. We hosted a focus group with Marpole residents and recruited volunteer assistance from four seasoned professionals; three former Senior City of Vancouver Planning Department Staff and a former Urban Design Panel Chair.
“From our focus group we identified five key differences that we are now asking the broader community to comment on, via a brochure and survey, hand delivered to homes in the Marine & Cambie area.”
MARA is also hosting an Open House, displaying these alternatives, on Monday, May 9th
at the Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre (6pm – 8pm, 990 West 59th Avenue @ Oak St).
“Our options support tall high rises in this location, but we also propose a variety of building heights that provide transitions both to the existing community as well as to the future 6 storey developments the City envisions, north of West 64th Avenue on Cambie. The developers’ current proposals don’t provide any transitions at all – to anything. That isn’t good urban design” says Pringle. “And the community also wants a vibrant shopping street, not just mall-type retail.
- The five key changes that need to be made to the developments at Marine & Cambie are: A vibrant shopping street that begins at West 64thAvenue (on the Intracorp site); creatingseveral continuous blocks of shops and services
- Rather than almost all of the retail concentrated in an inwardly focused mall on the PCI site (SkyTrain site)
- A direct walking route along Cambie street, crossing Marine Drive leading directly to the CanadaLine station, rather than diverting people through a retail mall and corridor to get to the station
- The major public plaza should be located on the sunny, quieter side of the PCI site (SkyTrainstation site), rather than on the north, shady side where people have to contend with the noise of Marine Drive
- There should be fewer high-rises and the inclusion of a variety of building heights. Maximum tower height should be about 29 storeys (or approx 265 ft), rather than the supported maximum of approximately 36 stories (335 feet).
Pringle says, “There isn’t a more key location within the Cambie Corridor Planning Program area, than the Marine Drive station and the City has not taken the time to plan this hub properly. The current Rezoning Applications went on pause in October 2010 to allow for some planning for the hub, but the pause is now over and there haven’t been any significant changes, other than the look of PCI’s residential component - all else has remained basically the same.
“The City is really just supporting what the developers want” Pringle says, referring to the Planning departments recommendations in the upcoming Cambie Corridor Report which will be going beforeCouncil on May 5th.
“We (MARA) will be asking Council on May 5th not to approve anything in the Cambie Corridor Plan that is related to Marine & Cambie until the full results of the community survey are known, and changes are made.”
“We know that big development is coming and we are working hard to ensure that what is built, is right for this community, says Pringle, “We don’t need a Marpole Metrotown. Anyone can build a mall, but it takes a community to build a new neighbourhood heart.”
If you want to learn more about MARA, you can visit their website by clicking here.