Thursday, May 9, 2013

Public Path Used as "Driveway" and
"Tenant Parking" is Contrary to the
Downtown Urban Design Plan, Diminishes The Integrity of the Heritage Restoration

Email to:
Nanaimo City Councillor
Island Corridor Foundation Director
Ted Greves

E&N Train Station

Date: 9 May, 2013 11:55:27 AM PDT
To: Ted Greves

Cc:, Island Corridor Foundation

Hi Ted — further to earlier communications in regard to the use of the pathway at the E&N Train Station. I have received a somewhat bureaucratic note from someone I think identified as an "office manager". Not someone in any decision making position within the Foundation I assume. Again, no one from ICF in any senior decision or policy making role has extended the courtesy of a phone call or an email on this issue. I want to ask if you would, at the next Island Corridor Foundation board meeting, please convey the following points:

I'm in the process of bringing this to the attention of MLA Leonard Krog and other candidates running in the Provincial election.

• The Old City Residents Association have agreed to take up the cause. 

•  I'll seek opinion also of the Young Professionals of Nanaimo who lead the Train Station heritage restoration fundraising efforts in honour of their colleague the late Blair McKinnon (I know that a parking lot was not the memorial they had in mind). 

• I'm receiving preliminary legal opinion of the chance that a court will uphold the ICF's right to assign some private use on this public property. 

• Ultimately the court of public opinion, after needless public relations harm to the ICF, Fibber's and the City of Nanaimo Planning Department, will establish that this important neighbourhood public walkaway is not and cannot be a driveway.

• I'm researching minutes of the Design Advisory Panel meetings that reviewed the landscape architect's plans and will endeavour to find a copy of the original drawings. I will be contacting individuals who sat on the Panel at the time to ask them if in their opinion "on-site tenant parking" on this walkway at this heritage restoration was their intent.

The use of this area as a driveway and as tenant parking is contrary to the Council adopted Downtown Urban Design Plan and Guidelines and diminishes the integrity of the heritage restoration. These central points inexplicably escaped the scrutiny of the Design Advisory Panel.

Thanks and please let me know if you are agreeable to submitting these points to the board.

Frank Murphy


Frank Murphy said...

Email thread with Councillor, ICF Director Ted Greves May 10 —

Subject: Re: Train station
Date: 10 May, 2013 12:47:31 PM PDT
To: Ted Greves

Thanks Ted, I appreciate that. I rerouted my morning walk that way hoping to run into you. I approached the site from the Rail Corridor Trail and managed to squeeze between a service van and the pub owner's SUV. Earlier there had been two other cars parked nearer the street and now, you may have noticed, there's quite ugly oil stains on the new pavers.

All the vehicle uses blocking the pathway this moring are better accommodated with a white paint strip across the Selby Street curb.

It's a shame that the Island Corridor Foundation's position on this is so intransigent: we own it and can do what we like here. Problem is that there is so much public money invested here. The problem would never have arisen of course if the Planning Department (its permit and its heritage planners) and the Design Advisory Panel had recognized how poorly thought out this part of the landscape plan is.

There is a sensitive neighbourhood issue here (walkability, public space). The loss of a key pedestrian connector and public space in return for a couple of parking stalls. The Nob Hill residents group have told me they also will support a challenge to the ICFs use of this space. Neighbourhoods, as you've seen first hand, are reacting energetically to arbitrary decisions made by unseen powerful forces.

Happy to talk more about this anytime. I hope you will convey my thoughts to the board.


On 2013-05-10, at 8:03 AM, Ted Greves wrote:

I will be downtown around 11:30 for a meeting at noon. I am going to take a look at the driveway beside the train station to see what you mean.
Ted Greves

Frank Murphy said...

Email to Councillor, ICF Director Ted Greves May 10 —

Subject: E&N Train Station plaza
Date: 16 May, 2013 8:21:16 PM PDT
To: Ted Greves
Cc:, Island Corridor Foundation

Hi Ted, a follow up on earlier communications about the walkway at the E&N Train Station.

The lowest estimate for a parking stall in the inner city that I'm able to find is about $20,000.00. If the Island Corridor Foundation insists on conferring select private use on this public space, perhaps the resolution of the matter is the return to funders of that amount for each private parking stall. Returning funds to the City of Nanaimo, the Regional District, the Downtown BIA would be relatively simple. I admit it would not be so simple to return monies raised by the Young Professionals of Nanaimo but perhaps a donation to a cause of their choice in honour of Blair McKinnon.

Frank Murphy