Cedar Cottage, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Neighbourhood Park Proposal Discussion
Minutes of meeting held at Community Montessori School,
1461 East 19th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C.
November 15, 2000
In attendance: Lydia Grant, Doug Grant, Mrs. Harry Mitchell, Harry Mitchell, Ernie Lockhart, Elsie Lockhart, Any Gell, Kathryn Langmead, Eric Larsen, Irene Hodge, Tom Wong, Sue Ross, Susan Pendakur, Craig Sibley, Chantal Shields, Denise Philippe, Michael Fergusson, Sri Pendakur, Helen Lamboume, Grace Ang, Art Steinmann, Nancy Gould, Selina Jansen, Michael Sawyer, Jane Stanier, Paul Calderhead, Jin-me Yoon, Shelagh Smith, Rod Russell, Martha Norman, Becky Evermon, Bev Price, Robert Millar, Margaret Geddes (secretary), Mavis Dixon (facilitator/chair). (35 total)
1. Introduction was given by Mavis Dixon. Mavis spoke about the existing vacant city lot at 1460 East 18th Avenue. She addressed the possibility of trying to keep the lot as a green space, restore the existing China Creek that flows underground and/or develop it in to a park.
• Images of the original salmon bearing creek and the local Cedar Cottage brewery, circa 1898 (now Knight and Kingsway) were distributed.
• The Old Streams Map showing the original route of China Creek was also distributed indicating the main tributary of China Creek flowed through the lot at 1460 East 18th.
2. Paul Caulderhead, a Park Board employee and Tyee parent spoke regarding the information he had received from the city. He stated that one lot was owned by the city, and two others had become city lots after foreclosure on existing owners. Other information he had obtained from the city was as follows:
• This area of East Vancouver is park deficient but is not as high priority as some others
• Rezoning is involved and is a long process
• Community must establish a vision for what they want to see happen and write to council at city hall
Paul agreed to continue to hold discussions with City and Park Board staff to try and determine the status of the property, regarding development. As well, he will inquire as to which City and Park Board staff should be invited to all future discussions.
Some discussion took place around similar situations in this area.
3. One neighbour spoke about the already existing playgrounds for children in the neighbourhood and felt there was already enough. Another neighbour read a letter he had written stating his concerns and objections to turning the green space into a public park. One concern was the traffic and people crossing the street where there is no crosswalk or proper intersection. He would like to see a fence run along 18th Avenue to block public access to the lot, but keep it open for use by the schools. At this time it was clarified that he was speaking for all neighbours at the meeting.
4. An informal poll was held and all people in attendance at this time did agree to the opposition of any residential development taking place.
5. Robert Millar, a professor at U.B.C. and C.A.M.P. parent with a background in stream restoration spoke to the group about the pro’s and cons of this type of project. He did believe that restoring the now buried China Creek could be feasible and he agreed to write a letter of support regarding this.
6. Denise Philippe of Evergreen made the suggestion to contact Sandy James, a city greenway planner to help with ideas.
7. A suggestion was made by Jin-me Yoon as to a possible public art project for the space. Funds may be available.
8. Another suggestion made by Craig Sibley was to contact B.C. Nature Scape, another organization that promotes nature in urban areas.
9. Martha Norman stated that she and Michael Fergusson would draft a letter to Park Board explaining the outcome of this meeting and inviting them to participate in future meetings.
10. Mavis Dixon agreed to contact Alan DeGenova, an elected Park Board member, to brief him on the outcome of this first meeting and to invite him, and through him other Park Board members, to future meetings.
11. It was clarified that the exploration of the project is not yet to the proposal stage and that use of the word proposal is premature. Instead, working group or discussion group is more appropriate.
12. Possible partners in this project include, Trout Lake and Kensington Community Centres, Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House, U.B.C. Dept. of Civil Engineering, Vancouver Heritage Society, CE.CO.N.A., Evergreen, Community Montessori School and Tyee Elementary School, and of course Park Board. All possible partners have been contacted.
13. It was decided upon to change the name of this working group to Gibby’s Field working group. This was apparently what the area was originally called as stated by neighbour Lydia Grant who has lived across from Gibby’s Field for 70 years.
14. Neighbours reminisced about what the area was originally like -ducks on the creek, a large gully through what is now Tyee and CAMP, Gibby’s field next to the gully in what is now Tyee’s playing field. Several neighbours in attendance have lived here for 50 years or more.
15. Bev Price agreed to arrange childcare for our next meeting.
16. Mavis agreed to facilitate a community vision meeting in the evening, in addition to the November 29th meeting, to involve those interested parties unable to make daytime meetings.
Next meeting: November 29th , 3:15p.m. at Community Montessori School, 1461 East 19th.
Agenda to include: Community vision of Gibby’s Field and forming a Heritage Committee. Childcare provided.