West End community advocate delighted with Comox Tower reversal
A West End community advocate who has publicly roasted the Vision Vancouver-led city council over spot rezoning downtown called today’s (August 31) announced reversal on a planned Comox Street tower “very good news”.
“I hope that, going forward, there will be full consultation regarding that site and that it will turn out to benefit the community and be a win-win solution for everyone involved,” Randy Helten, spokesperson for West End Neighbours, told the Straight by phone.
In an August 31 news release, Mayor Gregor Robertson stated that he has told the developer of the 22-storey tower proposed for 1401 Comox Street that the plan has caused such a stir that “it would not be appropriate to move the project forward at this time until further engagement with the community is completed”.
According to the release, Robertson also said that the site's owner, Westbank and Petersen Group, have agreed with the move.
The project was part of the controversial Short Term Incentives for Rental Housing program, which prioritizes streamlined construction of new rental housing in the city.
“The whole thing was going way too quickly, and what they were planning was just too extreme, and it came forward without any public consultation in advance, totally took the community by surprise and was just not the right way to go forward,” Helten said. “So this is very good news.”
The Mayor’s West End Advisory Committee, which will be made up of 12 individuals from the West End, will take input on community priorities for the site up until September 10, 2010, according to the release.
The Coalition of Progressive Electors issued a news release on August 31 condemning the mayor’s consultation process for the West End as “not good enough”, noting that the neighbourhood has not had a “community visioning process” in more than 20 years.