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Local Area Plan Learning Sessions, Strathcona news/events

Monday, January 27, 2014

— apologies for the lateness of this message, the following was received from City staff just this afternoon (January 27).
City are proposing "Learning Sessions" starting this weekend, at which they will be presenting their plan for our neighbourhoods. Community members are strongly encouraged to attend one of these sessions as well as the upcoming SRA meeting on February 5th to discuss resident and neighbour concerns and analysis of the plan.

Learning Sessions for the Local Area Plan

[from City of Vancouver Planning + Development Services | Central Area Planning]

Learning sessions for the DTES Local Area Plan (LAP) are now confirmed. The learning session provides an opportunity for people to find out more about the proposed DTES LAP, ask staff clarifying questions, and share your thoughts. The format for the learning session is a brief presentation by staff about the draft LAP, process, next steps and major points. This is followed by a question and answer dialogue session between staff and the attendees. It would be most effective, if the draft plan was read before attending the session. All sessions will include the same presentation. Due to room capacity limits, you need to register in advance either online , or call 604-871-6168. For more information, please see the website. Click here for the summary, translated (Chinese) summary or the full plan.

Thursday, January 30, 5 - 7 pm: Vancouver Japanese Language School, 487 Alexander Street
Saturday, February 1, 10 am - 12 noon: *Strathcona Community Centre, 601 Keefer Street
Tuesday, February 4, 5 - 7 pm: *Chinese Cultural Centre, 50 East Pender Street
Wednesday, February 5, 5 - 7 pm: Woodward’s, 111 West Hastings Second Floor, W2 Room
Thursday, February 6, 2:30 - 4:30 pm: Carnegie Community Centre, 401 Main Street
Saturday, February 8, 10 am -12 noon: *Ray-Cam Community Centre, 920 East Hastings Street
* Chinese language service available

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[from Pete Fry, SRA Chair and LAPP Committee Member]

The City's Local Area Plan for the Downtown Eastside and Strathcona was released just before Christmas, and can be found here: http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/downtown-eastside-draft-local-area-plan.pdf. The plan proposes a number of significant changes for the neighbourhood: including rezoning for new development and taller buildings and a population increase of at least 50%. The plan will go before City Council on March 12.

Residents should know these Learning Sessions will not be recording public opinion.

  1. These upcoming Learning Sessions will not provide an opportunity for input that might alter the plan. The Learning Sessions are for the City to present their plan to the community and answer any questions. Any meaningful comments or concerns from the public will need to be made before City Council in March.
  2. The recent built form panel discussion and any input from the public at these Learning Sessions will have no bearing on the plan being presented to Council in March
  3. To quote the City's planning department: "The draft plan will remain largely as it was posted online December 19, with only minor factual or clarifying edits."

Having discussed it as the Strathcona Residents Association Executive Council we feel strongly that this plan should not be passed as is. Even more importantly, we unanimously agreed the process by which we got to this plan has been tremendously flawed. The fact that there has been no meaningful input from the local general public since the Emerging Directions in the summer is of great concern; the fact that LAPP Committee (despite numerous articulated concerns) have had no input since the most recent draft; and the haphazard last-minute nature of these public information sessions all reflect poorly on the entire process.

Residents Association Meeting - Wednesday February 5

Our last SRA meeting (January) was a well-attended discussion of some of the issues surrounding heights and built form being proposed in the plan. Unfortunately, the timing of these upcoming Learning Sessions means they will occur before our next SRA meeting, Wednesday February 5. The following are just some items of the plan we've flagged as contentious, to be discussed at the meeting on the 4th:

- Process and setup of the LAPP
- Heights and built form
- No clear definition social housing
- Underperforms social housing, and "affordable" housing
- Heritage (incentives tied to redevelopment, plan is to proceed without updated registry)
- Too much focus on densification and development, not on solving existing
- Pressure on let go industrial, building housing on rail tracks
- No clear strategy for retail high street
- Policy 15.3.1 re: retrofitting existing buildings to offset carbon footprint of new construction
- Land value increases will put pressure on affordable artist and retail spaces
- No policy on traffic calming Prior Street, safe access to Strathcona Park and Gardens
- No integration with concurrent Vancouver Coastal Health plan for area

As always, this meeting is open to all residents of the neighbourhood, and Strathconans are encouraged to attend and discuss some of the proposed changes to the community, and strategize about how we might present our concerns before City Council passes this plan. We hope to have other members of the LAPP Committee in attendance to share some of their concerns.

Motion Regarding Proposed Changes to Canada Post Service

At our last meeting, resident Marion P. presented the following motion from the floor, which we will be presenting with the full support of the executive, for vote:

Since Canada Post recently announced a plan to stop door to door delivery and to replace this with Community Mail Boxes: and
Since Community Mail boxes are often targets for theft and vandalism: and
Since Canada Post's plan to end door to door delivery will disadvantage seniors and people with disabilities in our communities.
Therefore the Strathcona Residents association will:
- write a letter to Canada Post President Deepak Chopra, telling him we oppose the plan to stop door to door delivery and replace this with community mail boxes in our community
- contact the Mayor and Councillors at Vancouver City Hall and tell them we don't want Community Mail Boxes in our Community

Community Announcements and News

As always, up-to-date event listings can be found on our website, and th meeting will feature a round-up of upcoming events, including:

Sunday, February 9, 2014
SECOND SUNDAY MUSIC JAM

at Floral and Hardy Edible Plants (organic florist/art gallery/event space)
– Second Sunday of every month, Bring your own instrument
OR borrow one of ours. Hot organic apple cider with cinnamon..
HOT CIDER, KEWL MOOSIK!

1:30 - 4:00pm | 688 east hastings 604-255-7199
http://floralandhardyedibleplants.com/