Vancouver’s Planning Director alleged on Tuesday that Chinese wall posters misinformed the public.
Posters in Mandarin which the planners thought related to four community plans actually alleged that the City was promoting genetically modified vegetables in home gardens to make people smaller so as to allow higher densities per acre.
A side effect of the program was that citizens in the areas subject to the plans were growing additional noses on their foreheads.
|PLANNER'S NOSE OUT OF JOINT|
The Planner said that he was very disappointed and noted that he and his colleagues "had tasted the ingratitude of the people---the Planner’s ancient cup of hemlock. “
Consultation Consultation Consultation
The Posters claimed that once a lot is rezoned to duplex or townhouse it can be further rezoned without consultation.
Speaking on a condition of anonymity, the Legal Services Department defended the Planner. “The rule of law works like this. The City has to run an ad in a newspaper of general circulation for two weeks notifying the public that they are going to rezone or re-plan their neighbourhood. Then they do it.” (See Vancouver Charter s. 566(1))
The Province should require immigrants to have a better understanding of the King James Version of the Vancouver Charter. Blame Victoria if Councilors do not consult."
Plans won't increase taxes
Another poster claimed that even a draft rumour that a 6 storey building might replace a house, would prompt residents to flee the neighbourhood. It explained that developers would come along and buy houses. When the sales took place, the BC Assessment Authority would raise the assessment and taxes would skyrocket.
An anonymous member of the Property Department explained, “There are those who think the purpose of life is nothing more than to move water from one place to another. Planners give us the gift of wisdom. If a homeowner sells his house to a speculator with a handlebar moustache, whose fault is that?”
No financial benefits to City from density
Another lie that unsettled the planner was that the City benefits from increased density.
A member of the Finance Department explained what the planner had repeatedly told the neighbourhood protesters: “ Residential users do not pay their full share? Who do you think has to pay the battalions of planners to produce all these plans? If the residents can’t understand their own plans or refuse to take their medicine, what can the planners do other than to tax restaurants, toy stores and orphanages to cover these expenses?"
We must fight lies with truth
The Director of Planning with the ecclesiastical mien of a lobster being backed into a bottle explained, “We have to counter the misinformation that is being posted, illegally, on City Poles. We have to put the facts out there and calm people down. We must explain that it is not a rezoning. I keep telling them that it is a draft community plan but they do not listen."
No hidden agenda
The Director of Planning, whose name will come to me in a minute said, “We really thought we were listening to what the community was telling us at the time. This Planner does not have a hidden agenda."
He warned that in California citizens could repeal the good work of planners by holding a referendum. He hoped that extremists would not take democracy to that level in Canada.