On top of the original pieces about East Van that will appear here regularly, we have also decided to include regular links to mainstream news stories about our community. This week’s stories striking me as worth comment are:
Lafarge reworks plans for waterfront plant: It would be pretty easy to have missed the fact that after years of legal wranging Lafarge has finally won in the battle to erect a concrete plant near Brighton Park. Somehow, despite the fact this development has been a major site of community opposition going back ten years resulting in a court case that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, there has been relatively little reporting on the development application currently under way. Interesting that new air quality regulations coming into place (that wouldn’t have been considerations 5 years ago) will affect the new development which is a win inside a loss. If Lafarge had been allowed to go ahead when it first made the proposal, they wouldn’t have been subject to the more stringent air quality rules for Vancouver’s port area – so at least some of the community concerns might get met with the new design. Maybe. I suspect this will continue to be a site of some controversy – it’s pretty bad form that Lafarge didn’t redesign for air quality upon the community’s request in the first place.
In the same part of town, the Hastings Park redevelopment plans have been shelved for another four years, much to the disappointment of the community involved in the review process.
Put these two stories together and what you get is a consistent theme in our part of the city: Industry first, access to green space second. This was a major message in the fight against Lafarge in the early 2000s, that East Side residents are tired of being the industrial dumping ground of Vancouver and want more focused development of green spaces and access to them. While industrial use of the neighbourhood is a given due to our proximity to the Vancouver port, it would be nice to see green space “offsets” to the additional industrial pollutants east side residents are subject to.