The Community Association of New Yaletown (CANY) on July 3 filed an amended petition in BC Supreme Court regarding the land swap and redevelopment of 1099 Richards and 508 Helmcken.
New documents recently obtained by CANY show that the City of Vancouver entered into a Land Exchange Contract with the developer months before the rezoning was publicly considered by Council and did not disclose this at the public hearing—a clear violation of procedural fairness.
The amended petition alleges that the City, in approving development of the 36-storey tower at 508 Helmcken St. and a related building across the street at 1099 Richards St.:
- Withheld crucial information from the public about the planned development, including the January 28, 2013 Land Exchange Contract between the City and the Developer, the January 31, 2013 Lease Surrender Agreement between the City, the Developer and 127 Society and May 15, 2013 Development Agreement between the City, Developer, 127 and BC Housing;
- Fettered its voting discretion contrary to the Vancouver Charter; and
- Repeatedly breached its legal duty to procedural fairness.
“The public hearing process relating to this development was completely flawed and totally unfair. Documents we obtained from the City after filing our original petition in May show that the City had, unbeknownst to the public, already entered into a Land Exchange Contract with the developer, months before the matter was put before Council for approval,” said Jon Green, President of the Community Association of New Yaletown (CANY). “By the time the rezoning was publicly considered by Council, the agreement was a done deal.”
“At the public hearing, I witnessed overwhelming public opposition to the rezoning of the Jubilee House site,” said Alexander Hayne, a neighbourhood resident. “My New Yaletown neighbours were begging the City to reduce the size of the proposed 36-storey condo tower to save the character of Emery Barnes Park and to better fit within our
“I was deeply disappointed when Council voted to approve the project with no changes to building height or density—against the emotional pleas of New Yaletown residents,” continued Hayne. “I invite other concerned Vancouver residents to join me in supporting the CANY lawsuit to hold our government accountable to conduct the rezoning via a fair and transparent process.”
Hundreds of residents have signed CANY’s Change.org petition online at https://www.change.org/petitions/the-city-of-vancouver-save-emery-barnes-park-andvancouver-s-green-space and are donating towards legal fees and following updates on the case at www.newyaletown.ca.
The petition is scheduled for a 3-day hearing commencing on August 18, 2014. CANY is asking the Court to set aside Council’s decision to rezone 508 Helmcken and to declare the Land Exchange Contract unenforceable.
Download the CANY Media Release, July 7 2014:
Community Association Files Amended Court Petition
to Stop Development near Emery Barnes Park