The voices of Vancouverites living in False Creek South need to be heard
These families are partners, not just tenants: Councillor Colleen Hardwick
Vancouver, B.C. (October 4, 2021): TEAM Councillor Colleen Hardwick says City Hall needs to “stop keeping families in the dark” and assure the 6,000 residents of False Creek South that they will have a home in the award-winning neighbourhood as council makes plans for its future. Hardwick is putting forward a motion at the Oct. 5 council meeting that would proceed with lease extensions for strata leaseholds, co-ops and non-profit housing and implement a transparent community-planning process for the 40+ year-old neighbourhood.
“In 2018, council unanimously approved principles that would guide the future development of the area and directed staff to focus on negotiating new leases before work on the community plan proceeded,” said Hardwick. “Three years later the families in False Creek South are no further ahead and the city has shrouded plans for False Creek South in secrecy, rather than being transparent with the people who live there.”
Hardwick said the innovative False Creek South neighbourhood envisioned by then-Mayor Art Phillips, and Hardwick’s late father Alderman Walter Hardwick when he was chair of the False Creek Redevelopment Committee, proved to be “an incredible success story that brought a mix of incomes, household diversity and affordability to the heart of the city.”
Hardwick said the neighbourhood’s residents “support collaborative community planning to densify their neighbourhood further,” with an emphasis on more youth, Indigenous people, recent immigrants, and a campus of care with supportive housing for seniors and Vancouverites who have experienced homelessness.
“The people who call False Creek South home have created an incredibly livable neighbourhood over the years,” added Hardwick. “These Vancouver families are more than just tenants; they have shown all of us how to successfully build a diverse downtown neighbourhood that can thrive on change, inclusion, and creative urban planning and development.
“False Creek South is more than just another real estate deal, and City Hall needs to be transparent, open and creative about its future, including giving the current residents the peace of mind that comes with knowing they will have a home there in the years ahead.”
Hardwick’s motion emphasizes the need for a fully transparent and collaborative planning process that includes existing residents, and that “no other plan for the area should be considered by council” until such planning is carried out and completed. Additionally, Hardwick’s motion supports retaining existing housing in False Creek South until it is truly in need of replacement with any initial new development taking place on vacant land and infill sites.
“The Vancouverites living in False Creek South have been part of one of North America’s most innovative and successful urban development experiments ever,” added Hardwick. “They are the first to recognize that the neighbourhood needs to continually evolve as it welcomes more people and diversity. Now, our job at city hall is to be honest, transparent and as creative as council was back in the 1970s when False Creek South was first introduced.”