Huge Thanks!

Believe me, Marvin, we’d all like to know …

Marvin (Mavis is otherwise occupied with nest sitting) and I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone responded to my request last week and wrote letters to Vancouver’s Planning Department and Council. You wrote about the Notre Dame poplars in particular, and the importance of urban nature in general.

Vancouver City staff and council heard from all over North America and from Europe. As Vancouver has an international image as a “green” city, I believe that international comments are fully valid. They also heard from many, many people from Vancouver. They received letters from those who have a personal fondness for this area, and from others who have never seen the site in person, but who are concerned about how inappropriate and environmentally reckless developments seem increasingly able to slip through cracks in the permit and public consultation process.

Many people copied me on the letters they wrote and, wow, what an articulate bunch you are! Heartfelt, lucid and logical – they made for compelling reading and I hope they are being read and pondered as we speak over at City Hall.

On April 18 we also hand-delivered a paper petition gathered from our immediate neighbourhood with 360 signatures to the City Clerk’s Office.

So, what’s next? Well, the fight continues. The City Planning department gave April 19 as the deadline for comments, but we will keep on campaigning regardless.

Our first choice would be that the school give up on the sunken, artificial turf stadium plan and go back to the site-appropriate grass practice field that they already have a permit for, and which they agreed upon with neighbours back in 2006.

Failing that, we feel that the new development must go through a proper development permit, including appropriate studies, advisory panels, real community engagement, and review by Mayor and Council before any permits are issued.

Thanks again for your great response, all the letters and the moral support. Much appreciated by me and the local wildlife!

5 thoughts on “Huge Thanks!

  1. Thanks for the update. I was in Vancouver in early April and a friend alerted me to your blog, which I’ve enjoyed very much. I live in Winnipeg and appreciated the time we spent in Vancouver very much, given what a hard, cold winter we’ve had here on the prairies. I did write the Planning Department on your prompting and am so pleased to hear the City was inundated with letters. Please continue to update us. Regards, Mimi Mirus

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Hi June,
    Today I did my usual little jogging exercise at Hastings Park and met with a large group of boys, perhaps 24 or so, of Notre Dame pupils going through their paces on the running track, doing various short sprint training with their phys-ed teacher. It still makes me wonder why they seem to need their own sports field at all, with the perfectly fine, fully outfitted Hastings Park so near by. It seems to work just fine, and I said so, earlier in my letter to planning. Another argument against?
    Glad to hear there’s response to your call, well done! Keep up the pressure!

    • They do need their own practice field for sure. They’ve been jogging round and round the school for phys-ed for years now and running up to Clinton or Rupert Parks for practices, or bused to other venues. The problem comes in when they want a full-sized football field in the form of a sunken artificial turf facility with concrete retaining walls and 738 permanent seats. For one thing that’s simply too big for the site and the reason the trees would have to be sacrificed. For another thing, such an ambitious and expensive space will clearly be used as a revenue stream for the school, meaning that it will be rented out as much as possible, bringing noise and traffic to the neighbourhood far in excess of normal school activities. We’d be extremely happy if they’d build the grass practice field they already have a permit for, and which they assured neighbours they’d be building back in 2006. Thanks again for your support and we will keep up the pressure for sure!

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