Mayor Gregor Robertson says proposed public-hearing rule applies to Rize rezoning application
Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson has announced that proposed amendments to public-hearing procedures will apply to a rezoning application in Mount Pleasant.
At the start of the public hearing for several projects, including Rize Alliance's proposal for a large parcel at the southwest corner of East Broadway and Kingsway, Robertson declared that the new rules will apply, even though they still haven't been approved by council.
"Council is considering some amendments to the procedure bylaw tomorrow in the midst of this public hearing," the mayor said. "Those amendments will apply to this public hearing. I will obviously take time to ensure that all the participants who are still waiting to speak are brought up to date on the processes change as a result of the bylaw. So our clerk's office and our legal office just wanted to make sure we covered these bases because it's an unusual circumstance."
Earlier, Robertson said the goal was to make public-hearing processes more "transparent", "succinct", and "predictable".
Under the existing rule, a speaker is limited to five minutes, but is allowed to finish any comments beyond that after all other speakers were given a chance at the podium in the council chamber.
Under the new rule, speakers will not be allowed to resume their presentations later in the public hearing. Instead, they will have to submit additional comments in writing via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robertson emphasized that these comments must be received before the council had heard from all speakers.
The new rule also allows councillors to vote on rezoning applications even if they miss part of the public hearing and don't hear from all the speakers. However, they must first have read a report from a city official on the portion of the public hearing that they were absent from.
Meanwhile, Robertson revealed that there are 181 speakers who've signed up to speak to the Rize rezoning application.
Its mixed-use commercial and residential project would include building heights of five, nine, and 19 storeys, 241 dwelling units, a two-storey commercial podium, and underground parking for 320 vehicles.
The application includes a floor-space ratio of 5.55 and increased sidewalk widths on parts of Kingsway and East 10th Avenue.