The West End Mayor’s Advisory Committee (WEMAC) announced May 13 that they have launched a consultation process to identify community priorities for the West End.
An online survey asking residents to outline their priorities and livability needs is now on the city’s website. It’s the first public form of outreach the committee has executed since it was formed last summer.
“Some people have been chomping at the bit for results of why the committee was formed,” WEMAC spokesperson Michelle Fortin acknowledges. She says it’s taken the group several months to create the survey, which is based on input from pre-existing surveys compiled by the city, the West End Residents Association, and West End Neighbours, among others.
Fortin says survey questions touch on priorities concerning green space, nightlife, rental stock and home ownership among others.
To ensure the target community is heard, Fortin says that only West End residents can fill out the survey, and postal code verification must be provided in order to complete the census.
In addition to the online survey, WEMAC members plan to meet with different West End community groups over the next several weeks.
Fortin says the committee plans to set up kiosks in the West End so that residents who don’t have internet access can fill out surveys in person. “We are putting our feet on the pavement and going out en masse.”
City Councillor Ellen Woodsworth says she’s concerned about the consultation process. “I think this is a committee with wonderful people on it, but it should have been chosen by the community, and they should have developed the survey and area plan with the community supported by the staff.”
But Fortin says the information gathered will be an “incredibly important” factor in the city’s ability to identify future planning decisions for the West End.
Currently the West End is one of three neighbourhoods vying for an updated community plan. Other neighbourhoods under consideration include Grandview/Woodlands and Marpole. The city is considering whether all three can be done together.
The results from the community consultation process will be compiled and presented to council in July. The survey will be open until June 10.