Vancouver council approves Oakridge Centre rezoning

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Kristen Moran
Van. Courier

The hotly debated Oakridge Centre redevelopment rezoning was passed by city council Friday after three days of public hearings.

All Vision Vancouver councillors voted in favour of the proposal. NPA councillors George Affleck and Elizabeth Ball and Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr voted against it.

The project will include 11 residential towers between 19 and 44-storeys in height and bring massive change to the landscape of one of Vancouver’s most central neighbourhoods.

Continued from public hearings on Monday and Tuesday, Friday’s session rounded out the bulk of the 138 speakers who appeared during the three days to voice their opinions to mayor and council. Although there was a mix of speakers in favour and opposed throughout the ongoing public hearings, a majority of speakers Friday afternoon mounted a last ditch defence against the project.

Resident Carey Murphy said the deviation from the 2007 policy for the area is too significant and said that what the proposal does to the owners of the Terraces residential complex at Oakridge Centre is “just shameful.”

Marine Gardens resident Charlene Gunn spoke on numerous issues related to the increase in density, such as the need for more schools and police and fire services.

“Oakridge and Marpole aren’t just pieces of land with investment potential, they are communities,” said Gunn.

Applause greeted Gun from spectators gathered both in and outside council chambers at city hall.

When all scheduled speakers had their chance, Mayor Gregor Robertson asked if anyone else would like to speak and added another six people to the roster.

With the speaker’s list exhausted, city councillors questioned staff about the questions brought up by speakers and through correspondence. Key issues remained a controversial proposed rooftop park and the seniors facility.

© Vancouver Courier

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