Email to Mayor & Council & Senior Managers: Vancouver’s Oakridge Mall — Nanaimo’s Port Place Mall Redevelopments

Frank Murphy — September 14, 2010

Mayor Ruttan, Nanaimo City Councillors, Mr’s Swabey, Tucker and Kenning —

I’m hoping you’ll spare a few minutes to familiarize yourselves with the approach taken by the City of Vancouver Planning Department when approached by the owners of Vancouver’s Oakridge Mall to discuss its redevelopment.

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Is this not the model and approach that should have been employed when plans were put in place to redevelop our inner city Port Place Mall site? Were stakeholders other than the proponent represented adequately at the table?

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Here’s the policy statement: http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/currentplanning/oakridge/pdf/mar07policystatement/policystatement.pdf

Note especially the policy objectives which itemized the legitimate concerns of each of 3 stakeholders: the neighbourhoods, the property owner and the City and Region.

2.2 BROAD POLICY OBJECTIVES

Successful redevelopment of Oakridge Centre will meet the aspirations and objectives of the community, the Oakridge Centre owners and the city and region.

Community Objectives:
• Improve, expand and cluster community facilities.
• Ensure ease of access to groceries and shops for daily/weekly shopping.
• Limit traffic impact.
• Retain and improve neighbourhood amenity.
• Develop a rich, varied and urban public realm.
• Improve neighbourhood fit.

Oakridge Centre Objectives:
• Pursue regional retail expansion.
• Ensure continuous operation.
• Ensure economic viability.
• Achieve a balance of commercial expansion, related underground parking, and sufficient residential to make an economically viable development.
• Promotion of development patterns which can evolve over time.

City and Regional Objectives:
• Promote transit-oriented mixed-uses, including increased retail, residential and office uses within a walkable community.
• Provide local serving retail and services.
• Encourage office use and ridership on transit.
• Limit impact on other neighbourhood centres.
• Promote sustainability.
• Support a finer grain of development organized around an urban structure of streets.

Is this not the model and approach that should have been employed when plans were put in place to redevelop our inner city Port Place Mall site? Were stakeholders other than the proponent represented adequately at the table?

Frank Murphy

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