Sunday, January 9, 2011

Minutes, November 24, 2010 Meeting

CALL TO ORDER: Chair Lila Wood called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm.

ROLL CALL OF DIRECTORS: Present: Andrew Boyd, Barbara Elliot, Paul
Goodrick, Judy Ross, Miriam Smith, Jonathan Story, Lila Wood.

ATTENDANCE: 44 persons, including Directors and guests.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA, MINUTES AND TREASURER’S REPORT: M/S/C

GUEST SPEAKERS:

KEN HARDIE, Translink

Hardie provided a comprehensive overview of Translnk services, highlighting New Westminster as a “critical traffic hub” with major arterial routes for cars and buses as well as host to five Skytrain stations. He mentioned that the Transit police will move to a new head office in Sapperton in 2012. Of specific interest to us in the downtown is the push for encapsulation of the North Fraser Perimeter Road – no decisions on this yet. Due to financial reasons the NFPR will be unfolding in phases. First phase is due to begin in 2011, the United Boulevard connector.

Translink is currently in a “holding pattern” again due to financial reasons, so no word on the Evergreen Line or further Skytrain service to Langley or Surrey. Also, no word on the creation of a new Pattullo Bridge. Current policy is to “renovate and maintain” the existing structure.

At this point the floor was opened for questions and queries. A wide range of topics were discussed; i.e. “tolling” on a new bridge, bicycle and pedestrian safety on existing Pattullo Bridge, Skytrain hours of service, safety of stations, passes for low-income seniors, etc.

Due to time constraints, Hardie asked if he could be brought back in January or March.

HARVEY HATCH, Architect, and PETER NEWALL, owner, of Ballenas Project Management, re proposed development for 125 Columbia Street (at Elliot St.)

Newall told us that Ballenas has done a number of projects in New Westminster, most recently the Interurban development on the old Windsor Hotel site. He had a copy of the latest Official Community Plan and mentioned that his proposed 20 storey/11 townhomes development aligned itself with the new OCP.

At this point the Architect for the project, Harvey Hatch, discussed the handy proximity of the proposed development to Skytrain and also to the site of the new school to be built at the former St. Mary’s Hospital site.

The floor was then opened to questions and judging by the audience response there did not seem to be much support for this project. One major concern was lack of street access to the site and present lack of street parking in the area. There is no access or parking on the Columbia Street or Elliot Street sides of the property. There is no street on the east (park) side, leaving only narrow Clarkson Street for constructions vehicles, deliveries, emergency vehicles and residents and their visitors. The planned underground parking will have to take into consideration the Skytrain tunnel under the upper portion of the site. The property is presently owned by the city for unpaid taxes. The developer has an agreement to purchase and feels that he can overcome these difficulties. Both Hatch and Newall agreed to come to a future meeting when plans have advanced.

Due to the late hour the regular committee reports and business were put over to the January meeting.

MEETING ADJOURNED at 9:20 pm.
Next meeting January 26, 2011.

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