Posted by: VPSN | February 28, 2011

North East False Creek: up for rezoning, but thin on amenities…

After years of discussions between City planners, property owners, and members of the community, development in North East False Creek has taken its first major step toward construction after several evenings of public hearings over the last two weeks. The decisions regarding these applications and the details within will set the tone for future applications. A brief description of the first rezoning applications is:

1.    777 Pacific Boulevard (for the casino/entertainment complex and stadium improvements);
2.    10 Terry Fox Way (eastern side of the Cambie Bridge off-ramp, known as Concord area 5b East) and;
3.    10 Terry Fox Way (its western counterpart, 5b West)

The VPSN encourages anyone interested in learning more about the details of these applications to visit the City’s website and read the reports for each property. People also have the option of attending the next public hearing March 7th so they can share their concerns in person. Links to the Staff Reports to Council, and more information about the proposed development in Northeast False Creek can be viewed on the City’s webpages. 
You can also see a longer VPSN blog post on the subject here.

The residents of the False Creek area have been working hard to advocate for benefits that bring direct improvements for their own neighbourhood.  So far, the Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) suggested have proven to be a disappointment for many and a windfall for the developer – Concord.

It is for the reasons noted below that the Vancouver Public Space Network will not support the rezoning application for 5B East and West and urge City Council to revisit the CAC’s to better reflect the needs of the community and livability of Vancouver.

The proposed CACs:

  • Describe no benefit to the immediate neighbourhood or larger community
  • Inadequate in meeting current and future residents needs
  • Identify only marginal or temporary public open space
  • Do not provide affordable housing in the NEFC neighbourhood

The proposed list of CAC’s for the rezoning applications of 5b east and west describe a serious oversight and a lack of understanding to the needs and expectations of the local community and of Vancouverites in general. This oversight is illustrated in many ways. One example is the proposed “amenity” of the leftover, dark, noisy and cramped space under the Cambie Bridge off ramp offered as public “recreation” space. This offer is a bonus for the developer as it cannot be developed for profit and has very limited use for the public.  Appropriate community benefits that will directly improve livability for the existing residents, and the future thousands who will live there in the years to come, will prove to be the true means of measuring success for NEFC.  Now is the opportunity for Council to maximize this opportunity, to get the ‘biggest bang for their buck’, and help realize the fullest potential for NEFC.

:: For more information on the VPSN’s work on NEFC – urbandesign [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca

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