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Events, decisions, and reports at City Council this week

May 28 2020 –

Vancouver City Council met electronically this week to hear and discuss a variety of topics during Council, Public Hearing, Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities, and Special Council meetings.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 

Council began by with a staff presentation (1.5 MB) on COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts: Financial Mitigation and Restoration of City Service Plan (944 KB). After asking questions of staff and debate, Council approved the recommendations with amendments.

Council then adopted the Report of the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services Meeting on May 13, 2020, on the items:

  1. Presentation: COVID 19 - Mobility and Public Space Responses
  2. Flexible, Innovative, and Expedited Patio Permitting
  3. Working for More Housing Affordability in the Cambie Corridor

Several reports, by-laws and motions were approved:

The motions were referred to Standing Committee on May 27:

Two new motions were introduced and approved:

  • Correcting Council COVID-19 Recovery Committee Terms of Reference Regarding Rotation of Chair
  • Support for Small Businesses Unable to Access the Assistance They Need,

On Tuesday evening, a Public Hearing was held on the following, which were approved:

After hearing from speakers on REZONING: 2776 Semlin Dr and 2025 East 12th Avenue (22 KB), debate and decision were referred to the Council meeting following the Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday, May 27.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities meeting began with a staff presentation on Development and Permit Process Improvements (3.5 MB). After discussion, Referral Report - Regulation Redesign - Amendments to Zoning & Development and Parking By-laws (586 KB) was approved and referred to Public Hearing.

Staff also presented (2 MB) on Enabling Mass Timber Construction (711 KB). After asking questions of staff, this was approved.

Motions referred from previous meetings were then considered. The following were approved with amendments:

Council heard from all registered speakers for the motion Enhancing COVID-19 Revenue Streams for Smaller Unlicensed Restaurants and Cafes via Temporary Liquor Licensing (60 KB), with debate and decision referred to the Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities meeting on Tuesday, June 2, at 3:00pm.

Remaining agenda items were also referred to the Standing Committee meeting on June 2: 

REZONING: 2776 Semlin Dr and 2025 East 12th Avenue (22 KB), which heard from speakers during Tuesday’s Public Hearing, was referred to Council meeting on June 9 for debate and decision.

A Special Council meeting was also held on Wednesday evening.

During this time, staff presented to Council on the Temporary Patio Program (2 MB). Council asked questions of staff on the reports Enabling Temporary Expansion of Liquor Primary and Manufacturer Liquor Service Areas (81 KB) and Fees for Temporary Patios During COVID-19 Recovery (76 KB), and approved both reports.

The next Public Hearing is scheduled for Thursday, May 28, at 6:00pm.

Quotes

Councillor Pete Fry

Regarding COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts: Financial Mitigation and Restoration of City Service Plan

“As we continue to consider and mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic, I’m appreciative of the hard work our staff have been doing working and collaborating across departments to find efficiencies and savings while still maintaining and even increasing investments in core services like garbage control and policing as well as community resilience.”

Regarding Enabling Mass Timber Construction

“Felt incredibly inspired by the proposed building and bylaw amendments to support bigger, taller buildings to be built safely out of encapsulated mass timber. As a green, because this represents a demonstrable reduction in carbon emissions, and over time a more efficient and less expensive way to build. Through my work at UBCM, I’ve had the privilege to work with local governments from across our province – many of whom have been feeling the impacts of a struggling lumber market. Enabling mass timber will be a real shot in the arm for a lot of those communities and represents real green economic opportunities for our province.”

Regarding Temporary Patio Program

“Great work by staff to turnaround an expedited permit system for June 1 that will see it easier for restaurants to open patios quickly and safely so Vancouverites can socially connect while physically distancing and help get that industry back to work.”

Councillor Jean Swanson

Regarding COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts: Financial Mitigation and Restoration of City Service Plan

“I’m happy council agreed to my amendment to stave off cuts to programs for diversity and critical social issues.  These are services are for the people – women, marginalized people, racialized people – who are hardest hit by the pandemic and by the economic fallout and are the most in need.  Saved by the vote were the Gender Equity Framework, programs to increase engagement with indigenous engagement, community development to create low-barrier employment, computer access in low-income neighbourhoods, the Mayor’s Overdose Task Force, sexual harassment and violence prevention programs, and Access Without Fear, a program to ensure undocumented residents receive city services.”