Monday, August 29, 2011

Email thread: Fred Pattje; Nanaimo Old City Assoc.; Director of Planning, Andrew Tucker

From: Dean Forsyth
Date: September 11, 2011 3:01:27 PM PDT
To: alexia penny
Cc:, Frank Murphy
Subject: Re: Fwd: RE: Meeting with NOCA

Hi Alexia,

I printed a copy of Frank's email to bring to our meeting. I will also add to our agenda, a short tutorial on director access to NOCA email.

When someone sends email to a director, that director should Cc their reply to

We should all get in the habit of looking at the noca email account every week or so. Lawrence too.

See you soon,

Dean Forsyth
Dean's Computer Clinic Co.
48 Kennedy Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 2H6
1 800 448-0853 or 250 619-2547

On Sun, Sep 11, 2011 at 1:19 PM, alexia penny wrote:
Hi all - have taken the liberty of forwarding this to Barb and Ryan as Frank wouldn't know of their involvement or email addresses and I am sure that this will come up at the next meeting.
PS Has anyone pulled a hardcopy for Lawrence?

--- On Fri, 9/9/11, Frank Murphy wrote:

From: Frank Murphy
Subject: Fwd: RE: Meeting with NOCA
To:, "Andrea Blakeman" ,,
Received: Friday, September 9, 2011, 1:01 PM

Hi NOCA board -- I'm forwarding comments from Andrew Tucker and Fred Pattje. I think Andrew should be more supportive of any and all neighbourhood involvement but always useful, I think, to know what he's thinking. Certainly his staffers, in my experience, Chris Sholberg and Gary Noble have always been very helpful... willing to attend evening meetings, etc.

Interesting NY Times article on the relationship between population density and economic development.

Any word on the Selby St Train Station?

- Frank

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: Meeting with NOCA
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2011 14:33:17 -0700
From: Andrew Tucker
To: 'Frank Murphy'


Just wanted to say that I agree with your views on both counts. An inner city neighbourhood close to the heart of downtown is exactly the type of neighbourhood that one wants to see have redevelopment and infill for the reasons you cite, so long as it is done in a manner that respects neighbourhood heritage and character.

As for the second point about the representativeness of neighbourhood associations, not just NOCA, I have been asking this question for years. When someone stands at the podium and says “I represent the X neighbourhood...we are opposed to... and many people in X share my views,” who is the “we” and what public process has been undertaken by the speaker to support those statements?

You are correct in noting that NOCA did undertake a door-to-door canvass of opinion when they spoke in opposition to a development on Wentworth but I would suggest that that is the exception rather than the rule. I think a more honest approach would be for speakers to represent themselves, period. Or, as you have suggested, put guidelines in place for neighbourhood associations that require openness before anyone wraps themselves in the cloak of representing a wider public than themselves.

A point of clarification – the City does not provide accreditation to any neighbourhood group. We do provide staff support to the Neighbourhood Network but there is no means test to determine eligibility to attend. As a result, we have at least one “neighbourhood association” that has a total membership of one.

With regards to the NOCA requested changes to Zoning Bylaw No. 4500, Staff met with Dean Forsyth, Andrea Blakeman, and Lawrence Rieper last week and the focus of their attention was the R1 zoned portion of the NOCA neighbourhood. There was no discussion of the R13, R14 and R15 zoned areas. Staff intend to send out a survey to all households in the R1 area in the near future. I will send you a copy of the draft survey under separate cover.

Thank you for your continued interest in the planning of Nanaimo.

Andrew Tucker

Director of Planning

City of Nanaimo

-------- Original Message --------

Subject: RE: Meeting with NOCA
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 16:55:08 -0700
From: Fred Pattje
To: 'Frank Murphy'

Hi Frank,

Thank you very much for this! All the points you make are valid and need to be considered. As well, it is not the first time in Nanaimo that a few purport to speak for the whole neighbourhood............I, and others, are attempting to get a much better handle on this aspect!

I will go to Ann McAfee’s presentation later this evening.



From: Frank Murphy []
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2011 1:35 PM
To: Fred Pattje
Cc: Mayor&Council;; Andrew Tucker
Subject: Meeting with NOCA

Hi Fred -- A couple of quick thoughts ahead of your meeting with NOCA. I've cc'd Dean Forsyth (Hi Dean) so he can be aware of my concerns and address them he'd like.

I want to comment on the issue, itself: I may not fully understand the point of view being put forward by the NOCA board but to the extent I do, I'm unable to see how it rises above anything more than NIMBYism. An older, inner city neighbourhood can expect to be see gentle incremental increases in its population density, done of course with sensitivity to and respect for the character of the traditional neighbourhood. Just such well designed infill is going on now for instance on Milton Street, and for that matter in inner city neighbourhoods in cities big and small across North America. The City has a responsibility to continue to work on the long term compacting of our urban footprint for a number of reasons most of which are of the entirely practical variety. Unbounded growth and sprawl is unsustainable. Change is often met with initial resistance but there are real benefits of an increased population density in our neighbourhoods: improved transit, the corner grocery store that you can walk to becomes a viable business once again -- as a consequence of this and related ecomomic activity jobs and services are within walking distance of people's homes; more choice in housing types allows for broader demographics in a neighbourhood and allows for instance for aging homeowners to age in place.

It might be a good time to revisit former Vancouver Director of Planning Dr. Ann McAfee's presentation during the 10 Year OCP Review of a few years ago. You'll find the link here.

And secondly I'm concerned that NOCA is speaking on this as the neighbourhood's voice. I understand that, to their credit, when commenting on a proposed zoning variance on, I believe, Wentworth Street, they canvassed the immediate area. Even then though, I think in submitting comments to Council, they did so as individuals, not as NOCA. The majority of the directors live within a block or two of each other in the northern portion of the Old City. They are to be commended for speaking up. Theirs is one of several voices that should be heard when change comes to neighbourhood. But they have not taken their concerns in regards to the new city-wide zoning bylaw to the neighbourhood at large either by individual canvassing or holding a series of public hearings to gather the range of opinion there would of course be on an issue such as this.

Part of the problem here, seems to me, is the relationship between City Hall and the groups given the accreditation to speak on behalf of the neighbourhood. I would make these recommendations that I think would improve things:

While any group has complete freedom to create an association and set its own rules, to retain this City-sanctioned accreditation, the association should be required to:

Hold well-publicized public board meetings at a facility large enough to hold all interested parties.
All agendas and minutes of board meetings should be made public as soon as they're drafted.
There should be no barrier to membership: residency in the neighbourhood entitles any and all to membership with no fees charged or restrictions imposed and it should be clear that the City expects the Association to be at all times proactively inclusive.

Frank Murphy

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