Vancouver residents gathered at the Oakridge Community Centre in Marpole on Nov. 6 to voice their concerns about the Marpole community plan.
The meeting, which was headed up by Vancouver city councillor Adriane Carr, placed a large focus on residential development and population density, for which there were no shortage of concerns.
“Why do we need the density?” said Marpole Resident Association spokesperson Mike Burdick. “The building activity is greater than the regional growth strategy says.”
Carr pointed out that past population growth predictions haven’t always been accurate and the city wants to prepare for unexpected rises in population.
“Vancouver over the last few years is basically growing five times faster than our own projections,” said Carr.
Local residents were concerned that council won’t be able to properly implement the plan
“I think the issue is that a lot of change is coming and that’s hard to manage and I don’t think that council has handled it well,” said Janet Fraser of the Marpole Matters community group.
Carr acknowledged that council hasn’t always been able to address every public concern about community plans like the one in Marpole.
“The track record’s not good,” said Carr. “[But] this community has had not a bad track record on big ticket items, there was quite a list of items they addressed to me tonight. I say there is a good chance some of them are going to be addressed.”
Residents have already been responsible for changes in the plan
One of the big issues Marpole residents have spoken out against was the Thin Streets proposal, which was subsequently pulled off the table.
“The biggest issue initially was the Thin Streets proposal and that got a lot of people riled up, but actually it was good because I got a lot more people involved with the community plan that weren’t involved with the community plan before that,” said Marpole resident Don Barthel. “So it woke people up and now they are involved and the plan is evolving.”
Carr plans to bring up some of the meeting’s discussion topics before council, but insists that she will remain non-partisan on the matter.
For those who missed the meeting, the city will be hosting one-on-one drop-in “coffee talks” twice a week until Dec. 4 at the Marpole-Oakridge community centre to listen to any concerns, comments or suggestions from residents. For drop-in schedule, click here. Dates can be found on page 4.
Reported by Brenna Brooks and Warren Jané