City Hall liveblog: Marpole Community Plan, Engaged City Task Force report

Engaging citizens and a changing city: Today's City Hall liveblog focuses on Marpole Community Plan and Engaged City Task Force report.

Engaged City Task Force, social and cultural grants, Marpole Community Plan

Engaged City Task Force report, Marpole Community Plan: Follow Live

Here you'll find the liveblog from City Hall on April 2, 2014.

This meeting of the Standing Committee of Council on Planning, Transportation and the Environment* kicks off at 9:30am.The headline items are the Engaged City Task Force's report and the Marpole Community Plan (309-page pdf).

The Marpole Community Plan is the biggest item on the agenda. Since this is Vancouver, you probably presumed that condo towers are involved, and you are correct: South Granville in particular will be densified as a live/work hub, with towers of up to 12 floors.

The median income of Marpole's renters is about half that of the area's homeowners. 32% of Marpole's renters spend over 30% of their income on housing, and thus tenuously remain in the neighbourhood. Less than 3% of Vancouver's social-housing stock can be found in Marpole.

Just over half of Marpole's housing stock is made up of apartments, and that number would grow: According to the Marpole Community Plan, 15% of the area zoned for single-family homes would be rezoned. Note that the Marpole Community Plan excludes the Cambie Corridor.

As for the Engaged City Task Force report, this should also be interesting. Vancouver can be a lonely place, and public life is not exactly characterized by a widespread trust in local government. The task force will present its recommendations for making Vancouver a nicer place to live, in terms of social inclusion and access to the apparatus of civic decisionmaking.

(The Engaged City Task Force described affordability issue as "beyond [its] scope", but must deal with it anyway; the Vancouver Foundation's 2012 Connection and Engagement Study (pdf) named affordability as a major contributor to our overall coldness: there's a pervasive sense that we're simply not invited to the party. There's your overlap with the Marpole Community Plan, if that's what you were looking for.)

Today's City Council meeting begins at 9:30am. The most recent updates will appear at the top, so refresh this page often to read the latest updates. It will get heated. Also, keep an eye on the Vancouver Observer’s Twitter feed. If you’re scheduled to speak at City Hall today (or following someone who is), keep an eye on @VanCityClerk for wait times.

(* Yes, I agree that they need an Oxford comma.)

City Hall liveblog

8:13pm Unanimous vote in favor of the motion on the floor. Marpole Community Plan is approved by Council. Motion to adjourn... seconded. Meeting adjourned.

8:11pm Deal: This is the second-largest river, and the largest undammed river, on the West Coast: "the mighty Fraser!" Applause for Lil Ronald, "who poured her heart and soul into this."

8:05pm Stevenson: Today's feedback puts the argument that the City doesn't listen "to a lie". (Not, strictly speaking, accurate: it means that the City is learning from past mistakes, which is still a good thing.)

Reimer: "I'm just torn... It is really not necessarily a great urban plan. It's a good urban plan, but it's not out-of-the-park." She adds, "Critically important was responding to the concerns around the RS1 zones." She says that schools across Marpole is declining, and that they're "nowhere near" capacity. She loves the heritage protection, the efforts to advance a legal structure for protecting the pace of change of the older rental housing, and the riverside park.

She contrasts the "tone and flavour" of today's hearing with that of the DTESLAP.

8pm Carr: "We have to stay vigilant and diligent." She expresses joy that Marpole residents reacted so positively to the change in community-engagement strategy.

Ball: "I think what happened here is a rare example of city planning."

Jang: "Every neighbourhood is a little bit different," has a different way of doing things.

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