Vancouver city council to vote on Hastings Park master plan next week

Vancouver city council will put a proposed $208 million redevelopment plan for Hastings Park to vote next week after a third public session wrapped up late in the evening Thursday (December 9).

The master plan continued to draw criticism from residents who live near Hastings Park, as many of the speakers at the public meeting Thursday voiced concerns about commercialization of the site, governance of the park and public consultation on the proposal.

Some community members are calling for council to delay its decision on the master plan by a year to allow more consultation.

“I, as other people have indicated, feel very concerned that there really hasn’t been adequate consultation with our community, especially about the size and scope of the changes that are envisioned as part of this master plan,” Hastings Sunrise resident John Calvert told council.

“There is a sense that the plan is being pushed through too quickly and without serious thought about the impact [on] the community,” he said.

Hastings Park project manager Dave Hutch told council a series of open houses and focus groups were held on the proposed redevelopment.

Calvert called the current vision outlined in the master plan “largely a commercial one”.

Critics of the plan say they want to see preservation of natural park space and better access for the community.

Many residents who addressed council Thursday also said they’d like Hastings Park to be governed by the Vancouver park board instead of the PNE board.

Colleen Fuller said the need for a governance plan for Hastings Park has been a “long-standing concern” for concerned residents.

“Deferring governance to some distant future is just not acceptable,” she said.

Some speakers at Thursday’s public meeting expressed support for the master plan, including Chris Simpson of the board of directors for Tourism Vancouver.

Simpson said the proposal brings “a balanced approach to the future of the site.”

“We were particularly encouraged to see the continuation of Hastings Park as a multi-use site, keeping it an active celebration site, with improved park amenities, as well as tripling the green space,” he told council.

Development proposals under the 20-year master plan include relocating and expanding Playland, constructing new buildings, creating 16 acres of “urban plaza”, expanding greenways and creating 5.4 km of pedestrian and bicycle trails.

Council will debate and vote on the master plan on Tuesday at 2 p.m.



Live In The West End

Dec 10, 2010 at 9:10am

Next Thursday (a Christmas present), Council will again look at more 700' towers in the Downtown core including a new pair at the north end of the Granville bridge. Travelling down Granville, planning wants you to look at a pair of Shangri-La's rather than the North Shore mountains. Vancouverites have no idea of the density Planning has in mind for Downtown, over 900 units around Burrard and Drake, 700 units for the Canucks arena, 2000 on the Plaza of Nations site + several thousand more on the remaining Concord Pacific lands. Wakeup folks, downtown is going to be radically different in a decade if Planning has it's way.

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Hastings Park area resident

Dec 10, 2010 at 10:48am

Clearly having a board(PNE) manage and dictate the direction of a public Park is a conflict of interest. Particularly because they do this without transparency to the public and those residents impacted by their decisions.

The Master Plan is misguided and was based on ensuring the PNE and Playland continue-when in reality our city can do better and provide an incredible venue for all residents and visitors without sacrificing health or natural habitat.

Virtually no one in this city knows that under that mess was once a salmon spawning stream. The priority here should be on rectifying decades of environmental neglect-and ensuring this stream is viable once again for salmon.

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Live In the East Side

Dec 10, 2010 at 11:03am

Hey "Live in the West End" you help us with our fight with Hastings Park we'll help you with yours.

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Armin Strohschein

Dec 10, 2010 at 12:23pm

It's high time that the PNE becomes a tenant in Hasting Park and not the landlord. Over the last 100 years the PNE has become an uban wastland. It's time to hand Hastings Park back to the parks board.. There is still room for the PNE.

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Dec 10, 2010 at 12:30pm

The majority of Vancouver residents support the preservation and expansion of the PNE. The only ones trying to stop it are a small group who want to shut down the PNE, Playland, The racetrack and the Vancouver Giants.

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Eleanor Reardon

Dec 10, 2010 at 4:25pm

To Reality Check:

NO ONE is trying to shut down any of those things. Almost every person who has spoken to City Council against the Master Plan has said that they recognize the value of the Fair and Playland to the city. The Giants were never brought up - certainly no one suggested we get rid of the Giants. As for the Racetrack - while we'd like the slots gone, there is no plan to get rid of the track either.

We would, however, like to get rid of the part of the PNE that holds shoe sales and business expos. Can you blame us?

The "majority of Vancouver residents" you speak of don't live a block away from the park, and only have to deal with even noise and traffic when they choose to. We're willing to live with it as it is - just don't mke it any bigger, and busier.

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Dec 10, 2010 at 9:24pm

The Exhibition Grounds have been there 100 years for the people of the ENTIRE city. It was your small special interest group that made the decision to move there. In fact, many of your group only moved there recently. It is your group that is trying to destroy the historic uses of the Exhibition Grounds.

And yes...your group did try to shut down the Coliseum. Also, your group brought a frivolous court action all the way to the Supreme Court to try and bankrupt Hastings racecourse.

If you don't like living next to the Exhibition Grounds, you should move. They belong to EVERYONE in B.C.

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Vision's Vancouver

Dec 11, 2010 at 8:22am

As we can see by this development and so many others, including the proposed list included in 'West End's' comments above, Vision Vancouver is the party of the developers. Who needs the NPA when we have Vision?

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Dec 11, 2010 at 8:29am

I guess people just want to pretend that we never need to grow or expand.

Not in my back yard.

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Dec 13, 2010 at 8:10am

It's interesting that those who want commercial development to dominate a park call those that want a park like others in Vancouver which include proper green space NIMBY's. If you were born a couple of blocks from Hastings Park and would like accessible green space with public washrooms are you not a proper Eastsider? If you are a child living in some of the many apartments in the area - do you not deserve access to a green park to play in? Do you think those children should move to the West Side? Too bad they can't afford it, or the expensive admission to the Playland/PNE developments!
Plan after plan has shown support for expanded greening and less pavement and development, but apparently these plans which the community spent hours and hours developing, aren't working for developers. This new plan is driven by those seeking to maximize profits in a park. Is that what our parks should be? Is that what everyone wants for their parks? Have some Vision beyond the cash cow for the city, gambling, sports enterprises and shoe sales please!

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