Downtown Eastside residents take condo protest to Vancouver council chambers
A crowd of about 100 Downtown Eastside residents brought their continued campaign against a proposed condo development in the 100 block of East Hastings Street to city council chambers today (April 17).
The protesters filled the public gallery and dropped banners from the balcony just as city councillors were adjourning a meeting and leaving the chambers for a break before an afternoon committee session.
Councillors Adriane Carr and Andrea Reimer, as well as city manager Penny Ballem, listened to several speakers as they voiced their opposition to the Sequel 138 proposal going before the development permit board next week.
“Over the past year, we have got over 3,000 signatures in opposition to this project,” said Herb Varley, who said he represented the Downtown Eastside Not for Developers Coalition. “It is very damaging for our community.”
Reimer negotiated with the group for half an hour of councillors’ time in an unofficial meeting in the chambers. About six members of council listened as Downtown Eastside residents spoke against the mixed-use development project.
Protestors called for the application to go before city council and not the development permit board. The proposal does not require a rezoning under the development plan for the Downtown Eastside Oppenheimer District.
Reimer told reporters following the council meeting that once applications are on-stream, they can’t be changed retroactively.
“There’s a fairness of process that you have to respect as a city,” she said. “As to the things that they were putting forward about the development permit board and council interfering politically in a decision on an administrative body, that’s where I’d be looking for clarification from staff.”
The proposal for the former Pantages Theatre site is scheduled to go before the development permit board on Monday (April 23).