Dear Mr. Johnston
We are sending this as an open letter.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to our concerns. We are the Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours (CCAN). We are contacting you about Council’s decision at a Council meeting on May 31, 2016 to void Item # 3 on the agenda for the May 24, 2016 Public Hearing for the proposed rezoning of 3365 Commercial and 1695, 1707, 1733 and 1775 East 18th Avenue.
We are hereby requesting the complete text of the legal opinion which led City staff to recommend voiding the meeting of May 24, 2016, Agenda Item # 3 instead of re-convening that meeting with the Council members who attended the May 24 meeting. Did City Council have the choice to reconvene this meeting if they chose to? If they did have the choice, then why did they choose not to do so? Council’s decision to hold a new public hearing is a burden, an unnecessary inconvenience and frankly a slap in the face to the members of this community.
City of Vancouver Information Bulletin June 1, 2016 says, “Written comments received to date will be retained and forwarded to the new Public Hearing. Because Item 3 of the May 24th Public Hearing has been voided, persons who spoke on May 24th, who wish to have their views considered by Council will need to speak again at the new Public Hearing, and new speakers can also be heard.” The written comments will be retained and forwarded, why will the speakers’ comments not also be forwarded? We believe they should be forwarded.
It appears to be questionable if the cancellation of the public hearing was in compliance with the city’s Procedure Bylaw or with Roberts Rules of Order.
Please tell us specifically what policies and rationale you based your decision on to cancel the May 24, 2016 Public Hearing.
We are also very concerned that the discussion to void the May 24 public hearing was not listed on the agenda for the May 31, 2016 Council meeting. Members of our neighbourhood were not given the opportunity to contact Council to give them input before this decision was made. The City says they are very dedicated to having community involvement but if you don’t let the neighbourhood know what you are doing it is impossible for them to have input. This is all a very disappointing turn of events.
Please do keep us updated on this proposal. Thank you.
Ann Webborn, Lesley McLean, Nancy Sweedler, Val Kalk
The Communications group
On behalf of the members of CCAN
(Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours)
—reply from Mr. Johnston—
Thanks for your note. I apologize to you and all members of the community who are inconvenienced by this situation. I will review your request with our legal team and prepare a response for you.
Sadhu Aufochs Johnston
O. 604 873 7627