A staff report going before city council on September 25 recommends extending the timeline for the Grandview-Woodland community plan in order to establish a “citizens’ assembly” as part of the process.
The document, posted online today (September 16), also calls for a brief extension for the Marpole community plan to allow for further consultation on proposed changes to the document, and recommends that plans for the Downtown Eastside and the West End be considered by council in November.
The extension proposed for Grandview-Woodland follows public backlash to draft plans for the area, which included a proposal to allow mid- and high-rise towers around the Commercial and Broadway transit hub.
“Several components of the draft Emerging Directions published in June clearly caused significant concern, partly due to the scale of change in an area that has seen very little development and a decline in population over recent decades, so there is a need to re-set the process, take the time to consider different approaches and rebuild trust with the community,” the report reads.
If city council approves the recommendations, staff will report back in December on details of the citizens’ assembly.
Jak King, the president of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council (GWAC), said the key question will be what powers the assembly will hold.
GWAC has called for a series of changes to the planning process for the neighbourhood, including the establishment of a "joint management group" consisting of both community members and city planners, and working groups focused on issues like low-income housing.
According to city staff, the assembly’s work would include exploring land-use options in particular areas, such as Commercial and Venables and along Hastings street, and discussing issues affecting various residents in the community, including youth, seniors, and renters.
Changes being recommended for the Marpole planning process include focusing development on arterial streets and retaining existing zoning for some single-family areas originally proposed for rezoning.
In August, hundreds of Marpole residents attended a rally to protest proposed rezoning changes in the community.
The staff report on the four community plans will be considered by council at its committee on city finance and services on September 25 at 9:30 a.m.