Vancouver backs off on density for Marpole plan, residents approve
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A well-organized protest to stop blanket rezonings of single-family areas in Marpole successfully convinced Vancouver to put the brakes on density in the neighbourhood plan.
While it “isn’t perfect,” the new draft plan presented to city council Wednesday received cautious support from many residents who opposed the initial plan that was sent back to the drawing board in September 2013.
The city backed off higher density except in certain zones, many near transit corridors, following additional consultation. It will leave 85 per cent of the single-family zoned areas unchanged, a decision that garnered praise for planning staff.
“I cannot ask for a better process since one I’ve seen since October,” resident Albert Leung told council, the first of many speakers to thank staff for the extra effort to have face-to-face meetings with smaller groups.
The communication flies in the face of what Leung and many others initially believed was a done deal.
There were still concerns about density, increased traffic to the neighbourhood, strain on childcare resources and whether transit has enough capacity to handle an expect 12,000 extra residents.
Residents implored city council not to move the community centre – there are plans to revitalize it – and to get started immediately on plans to build a 10-acre waterfront park.
City council had not heard from all the speakers or voted on the plan by Metro’s deadline.