Letter to Council (June 9): Opposed to Item 1. Changes to 2020 Council Meetings Schedule – Increasing Public Hearings in July

June 7, 2020

City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Item 1. Changes to 2020 Council Meetings Schedule – Increasing Public Hearings in July

June 9, 2020 Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20200609/regu20200609ag.htm
1. Changes to 2020 Council Meetings Schedule

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is opposed to the addition of so many Public Hearing dates for the month of July during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is proposed that Public Hearings be added for July 7, 9, and 28, plus a reserve on July 16, 2020.

The calendar of Public Hearings would then show dates scheduled for June 23, 25, July 7, 9, reserve on 16th, 21, 23, 28, then Sept. 15, plus potentially other reserve dates.

If this goes ahead, in July alone there will be 5 public hearing dates plus reserve of one or more, as well as 2 public hearings in the last week of June. And this doesn’t include the numerous Council and Standing Committee meetings that will be taking place during the same time frame, or the potential inclusion of ‘controversial’ rezonings within some of these hearings.

This places enormous pressure on Council, staff, and the public. For a Council elected on the premise of improving public engagement, this is highly problematic. Even in normal times it is too much, far less in a pandemic. Please reconsider adding these public hearing dates to July.

Thank you,
Larry A. Benge, Co-chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-chair
Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Arbutus Ridge Community Association
Arbutus Ridge/ Kerrisdale/ Shaughnessy Visions
Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council
Dunbar Residents Association
Fairview/South Granville Action Committee
False Creek Residents Association
Grandview Woodland Area Council
Granville-Burrard Residents & Business Assoc.
Greater Yaletown Community Association
Joyce Area Residents
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Residents Coalition
Norquay Residents
NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
Oakridge Langara Area Residents
Residents Association Mount Pleasant
Riley Park/South Cambie Visions
Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Assoc.
Strathcona Residents Association
Upper Kitsilano Residents Association
West End Neighbours Society
West Kitsilano Residents Association
West Point Grey Residents Association