Dare I give kudos to the City of Vancouver?
I know, I know — it’s that time of the year, and I really should be more Mr. Claus than Mr. Grinch. So go ahead, you say, give them some praise.
Before I consider doing that, let me tell you a story. It’s about West Side resident Jane Gardiner. She isn’t too happy about a new residential development proposed for 2001 West 10th Avenue. This is the old IGA grocery site.
Gardiner and her family live near the property and her children attend Lord Tennyson, which is kitty corner to what is expected to become a complex featuring two buildings — one seven storeys, the other, six storeys.
A childcare centre is part of the plan.
So what’s Gardiner’s concern?
“We have already seen tremendous density go into this area. The southeast corner of Broadway and Maple was developed followed by the recent development on the southwest corner. This has already impacted our school, making the traffic busier and more hazardous for our young children.”
So, there, you get what she’s on about.
Confession: I didn’t interview Gardiner, but her concerns and quote are real. Huh?
This is where the story gets interesting for all you people out there pushing for more transparency at city hall. If you can believe it, the good folks at the City of Vancouver are now posting letters from residents on their website.
Specifically, the letters are attached to the public hearing agenda and let the viewer know how many people oppose or support whatever development is up for rezoning.
So in Gardiner’s case, I found her letter after I clicked on the numeral 10 — the number of people opposed to the development — and was amazed to see 27 whopping pages of documents!
This is pretty exciting, said the journo, who gets excited when he comes across 27 whopping pages of documents! Why the excitement?
Because now I can get a pretty good read on whether a neighbourhood supports or opposes a rezoning application from a developer.
It also gives me a sense of what people are going to be talking about if the same authors choose to line up at a public hearing.
For the record, the rezoning application passed Thursday night. Not sure if Gardiner was there, or residents Don Stickney, Veronica Ross, John Ross, Diana Davidson, Mark Battersby, Adele Ritch and others.
But at least I know how they felt about the project. So, yes, kudos to the City of Vancouver.
There, I said it.
It’s about time.
I said that, too.