After being criticized for allegedly not consulting the public about the Marpole community plan, the City of Vancouver continues attempts at remedying the situation by hosting a series of coffee talks, which allow residents to voice their concerns.
The talks are intended to create further dialogue between city planners and residents who were outraged by the community plan the city had drafted for their neighbourhood. Residents felt that city council neglected their needs and opinions when drawing up the plan and these talks are meant to change that.
Residents are cautiously optimistic
“I’m actually really impressed at the way [the City of Vancouver] has handled things since the initial uproar,” said Marpole resident Jonathan Sanders. “I think they’ve received the message loud and clear that we want our voices heard.”
Although they have noticed an increase in community involvement, Marpole residents are not convinced that the coffee talks will create the desired changes to the plan.
The first two sessions attracted around 110 people.
“I just hope that these attempts at involving [the community] aren’t just lip service,” said Sanders. “They can have all the talks and meetings they want, but if we don’t see any substantial changes then what’s the point?”
“There has been considerable interest,” said Maureen Gulyas, communications manager at the City of Vancouver. “People want to know about the changes. They want to let the city know about their ideas and they want to know about the process moving forward.”
Future community talks
There are six more coffee talks scheduled over the next few weeks.
Smaller, more personalized dialogue sessions are available for groups of 10 to 20 people, but space is limited so residents are required to RSVP prior to the event.
There is also a meeting of the Marpole Residents Coalition Nov. 28.
Reported by Jesse Adamson and Warren Jane
View the following video to learn about future information sessions in Marpole.