COPE Cllr David Cadman is submitting a motion asking Vancouver City Council to defer any decision on Canadian Tire’s proposal for a big-box store on SW Marine Drive until Council first decides on Mayor Sam Sullivan’s new EcoDensity policy.
“We can’t be in favour of Eco-Density and at the same time approve a proposal that will create more pollution, and emit more greenhouse gases by bringing 10,000 more cars a day into south Vancouver,” said Cadman, who co-chaired Vancouver’s 2005 Climate Change Action Plan that calls for a reduction of vehicle-related greenhouse gas emissions.
Cadman will introduce his motion at the Tues, Nov 27, public hearing on Canadian Tire’s controversial application. This will be the third night of hearings. In earlier sessions, residents expressed concerns about traffic congestion and air pollution from a store that would be five times larger than Canadian Tire’s other Vancouver outlets. Many also said a big-box on Marine Drive will impact local shopping areas.
“It is ironic that earlier that same day, City Council will be sending the EcoDensity program to public consultation,” said Cadman. “But since consultations won’t be complete until next February when Eco-next comes back to Council, we won’t have the benefit of looking at Canadian Tire’s plans through the lens of the EcoDensity program.”
Critics say Canadian Tire’s big-box proposal violates the principles of EcoDensity. At the November 13 hearing, city Planning Director Brent Toderian admitted that Canadian Tire’s proposal wasn’t evaluated in the light of the EcoDensity policy.
Last July, Council adopted the Guiding Principles for EcoDensity and approved plans for an Eco-Density Charter and Toolkit, and an EcoDensity Forum.
Mayor Sullivan introduced EcoDensity as a way of reducing the city’s ecological footprint through increased density that creates a sustainable, livable and affordable city. It is also mandated to develop transit to allow people to walk or cycle, thus reducing the need for more cars.
Text of Motion by Councillor David Cadman: November 27, 2007
Postponement of decision on Large Format Retail development on Marine Drive
Whereas, EcoDensity is the most significant policy put forward by Mayor Sam Sullivan and this council during the 2005-2008 term;
Whereas, EcoDensity seeks to reduce the city’s ecological footprint with increased density while creating a sustainable, livable and affordable city;
Whereas ,EcoDensity is mandated to develop transit to allow people to walk or cycle to work and recreation, reducing the need for cars;”
Whereas, EcoDensity is mandated to build on CityPlan, Community Visions and Neighbourhood Centre Planning to support more complete communities by having housing diversity within walking distance of shops and services, and accessible to transit;
Whereas ,EcoDensity is one solution that must be implemented in conjunction with a wide range of other city policies, including transportation, housing, employment, building codes, energy, food and waste systems, mixed use development, and neighbourhood shopping centres;
Whereas, the city is about to adopt an EcoDensity Charter, Toolkit and an EcoDensity Action Plan that could require changes and modifications of many other policies to bring them in alignment with the ideas of EcoDensity and sustainability;
Whereas, the mayor announced in December 2005 the city’s intentions to adopt EcoDensity policies that would require significant changes in how the city operates; the mayor issued Guiding Principles for EcoDensity in July 2006; and council’s adopted and funded in July 18, 2006, a plan to develop an EcoDensity Charter and Toolkit and to hold an EcoDensity Forum, thus putting all citizens, including businesses, on notice that the policy would be adopted by Spring 2007;
Whereas, Canadian Tire re-submitted its plans to rezone 26 SW Marine Drive in order to build a Big Box, Large Format Retail development on July 25, 2006 with full knowledge of the city’s intention to enact new EcoDensity policy directions by Spring 2007;
Whereas, the public has expressed grave concerns that consideration of Big Box, Large Format retail, car-oriented development that would generate 7,000 to 10,500 car trips a day, increase levels of greenhouse gases by 7,000 tonnes a year, and put neighbourhood shopping areas at risk violates the principles of EcoDensity;
Whereas, members of CityPlan community implementation committees, residents of South Vancouver, and members of the cycling community have asked that a decision on the Canadian Tire rezoning — as well as any other significant city decisions — be postponed to allow the planning work and public consultation on EcoDensity to be completed and officially adopted so that key decisions are made in conformity with the EcoDensity policy and action plan;
Therefore, Be it Resolved that at the conclusion of the public hearing on Rezoning of 26 SW Marine Drive, Council defer any decision until the EcoDensity policy and action plan is adopted in order to ensure that actions taken now do not violate or undermine the effectiveness of this impending policy decision.