To the editor:
Re: "The birth of Vancouver's 22 neighbourhoods," Jan. 28.
Thanks to Fiona Hughes for exhuming the backstory on Vancouver's 22 neighbourhoods (Jan 28).
Just last week I spent about six hours at two open houses for "Norquay Village," a project to mass rezone 1,900 single-family homes in East Vancouver, together with associated commercial areas. (The land mass originally staked out for Norquay encompassed almost 500 acres.)
Lately, I've been trying to explain to a reporter where this manufactured locality sprang up from, how it got its name - and why it cannot be found listed as a neighbourhood on the city web site.
Vancouver established CityPlan in 1995 as the city's supposed future. Nine of those famous 22 neighbourhoods underwent extensive and expensive visioning processes between 1997 and 2010. Nineteen "neighbourhood centres" were designated to implement that visioning.
The first centre at Kingsway and Knight in Kensington-Cedar Cottage (KCC) got specified in 2002 and approved in 2004. Nor-quay Village - located in Renfrew-Collingwood, except for an afterthought incursion back into KCC - started off with a council document in 2005 that said: "Planning of Norquay Village can be completed in 2006 using existing staff and remaining program funding."
Still struggling onward, Nor-quay since 2006 has been the subject of 14 separate sessions in eight separate open houses. Put us in the book of records?
To all appearances, the NPA-Vision Vancouver axis has abandoned CityPlan, its neighbourhoods, and their community visions for their own oddly urgent and ever-expansive ad-hockery.
Joseph Jones, Vancouver