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Petition for new West End plan

The 'goal is to get full and proper community consultation': organizer

West End residents are petitioning city hall to uphold current zoning bylaws and acknowledge the need for a comprehensive community plan for their neighbourhood.

“The ultimate goal is to get full and proper community consultation and a land-use plan that affects the West End,” says the petition’s coordinator, Randy Helten.

Helten is concerned about proposed redevelopments on Comox and Bidwell Sts, projects he says will violate current zoning bylaws and undermine the character of the West End.

Helten would like to see more transparent discussions between the West End community, the city and the project developers.

So far, 1,500 people have signed the petition. There are approximately 45,000 people living in West End.

“We need a West End community plan where the community says, ‘This is what we want in the West End,” says lesbian city councillor Ellen Woodsworth.

Woodsworth says she plans to introduce a motion at the next council session for an “immediate community meeting” so the West End can openly “discuss community needs” with the city and land developers. 

“Of course I would like to have a community plan for the West End, but the West End is not the only area in Vancouver that wants a community plan, and they can’t all be done at the same time,” explains gay city councillor Tim Stevenson.

“I don’t just represent the West End,” he notes. “I’m elected by all the people in Vancouver.”

Still, he says he’ll push for a new West End plan as well.

“I am very pleased there is a petition for a West End community plan,” he adds. “It will help my cause to advocate.” 

Mayor Gregor Robertson was unavailable for comment.

The Urban Design Panel, which provides impartial and professional advice to city hall’s planning department, will meet March 24 to discuss the proposed development at 1401 Comox St. The meeting will be held at 4pm in committee room one at city hall. The public is welcome but is not permitted to address the panel.