The following letter was sent to all members of Vancouver City Council. See also appendices at bottom.
City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,
Re: Public Hearing Rezoning St. Paul’s Hospital – False Cr. Flats
Agenda Oct. 22, 2019: https://council.vancouver.ca/20191022/phea20191022ag.htm
Item 3: https://council.vancouver.ca/20191001/documents/p13.pdf
The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is opposed to this rezoning above.
We continue to question why the rezoning for this site is proceeding when it is “considered critical infrastructure” that is “vital during and after disasters” but is “located in a flood plain and high-risk seismic and liquefaction zone,” as stated in the report on page 27. See Appendix A. [Below]
The report states that “staff have provided conditions requiring comprehensive all-hazard risk and vulnerability assessments be completed, and that climate and seismic resilience measures be incorporated into the design of the building. As part of the conditions, an expert panel will be struck to evaluate the resilience of the design, and report on the post-disaster functionality of the hospital”. The panel’s recommendations are not binding. (WHY NOT?) A risk assessment should be completed in advance of rezoning, not after. It is hard to imagine a risk assessment concluding that it is acceptable to locate critical emergency infrastructure in an area that is a flood plain, and a high-risk seismic and liquefaction zone.
No matter what they do to the construction of the buildings, it can’t change the fact that the surrounding area and access to the site will be compromised during a major flood, seismic or liquefaction event.
For example, this question was raised at a community planning meeting for the hospital and staff said that the ground floors would have very high ceilings and no sensitive equipment would be located there. This doesn’t address the obvious issue of emergency access to the hospital during a flood/tsunami event as well as how the hospital would function without equipment on the ground floor for emergency, reception, etc.
Almost all of Vancouver is low risk for liquefaction except the False Creek Flats, including the existing site.
We request that this rezoning not be approved until the fundamental issue is addressed: that the False Creek Flats is a completely inappropriate location for a critical emergency response hospital in a major urban centre. Continue reading