Today we have received word in the form of an email (below) that city staff have denied Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities proposal for six stories in the 4600 block of Dunbar Street. Here is the email:
I am writing to update you on a proposed rezoning in the 4600 block of Dunbar. You wrote to me with concerns about the proposed height and cost of the units for a six-storey seniors residence. City Hall received the application in December under the Affordable Housing Interim Rezoning bylaw, as part of our efforts to create new affordable housing in Vancouver.
With affordable housing, my goal as Mayor is to see new units created that fit with our neighbourhoods. It is crucial that these new projects deliver a significant level of affordability. Simply creating new housing is not enough to address the very high cost of housing that impacts our seniors, young people, and working families.
City staff carefully reviewed the proposal to see if it demonstrated an enhanced level of affordability. Based on the review of rents, as well as the community response to date, staff do not support the six-storey building proposed for the site. City staff have informed the applicant that they are welcome to submit a revised proposal that better incorporates staff feedback on affordability and input from the community.
On a final note, many people wrote to me claiming that this project was being “forced” on the community, without consultation. The process that has taken place over the past four months demonstrates that every project is reviewed carefully, on its merit, and that the City is strongly committed to ensuring new projects under the interim rezoning policy are affordable and fit with local neighbourhoods.
I hope that you will continue to provide feedback on how we can ensure new affordable housing, particularly for seniors, is built in Dunbar and neighbourhoods across Vancouver. Thank you for your input.
Mayor Gregor Robertson”
We are grateful that the neighbourhood’s voice was heard, and that the Dunbar Vision Plan has again shown it’s value to the community.
Over the last several months we have seen some very aggressive moves by the City Council. It started with the Mayor’s Taskforce on Affordable Housing. Next, we’ve had the Community Centre Association funding fiasco. Perhaps the nub of the community’s sentiments may be seen in this memo sent to the Mayor on February 4, 2013.
“I am a member of Kerrisdale Community Centre. I have been going to the Senior’s Centre since 2004 and I sing in the Kerrisdale Seniors choir which performs at care homes all over the City. I’m also enrolled in yoga as I have severe arthritis. I started going to Kerrisdale Community Centre as a teenager in the 50′s and with my children in the 60′s and 70′s. What can you be thinking about (you and your council) you were elected to manage the taxpayers money (its not YOUR money) and make the right decisions for us – your rezoning plans stink to high heavens and brings suspicions that you are in bed with the developers. The latest grab at the Community Associations just beggers believe. Are you a Vancouverite for everyone or just for the cyclists and the developers. I am nearly 76 years of age so at no time will I be going down town on a bike, I don’t want 7 storey independent care homes on Dunbar – where people will pay a huge amount of money for a one bedroom suite and 3 meals and when their money is gone (from the sale of their house) they will be thrown out to look for community funded intensive care – do you care – I think not – and now the carry on with the Community Centres especially Kerrisdale which has been mainly paid for by the tax payers of Kerrisdale and surrounding areas. I remember my parents talking about an extra charge on their taxes to pay for the Kerrisdale Arena so where does the idea come from that that the Parks Board/City owns it – the City may have a 1/2 interest in it, but no more – our extra taxes paid 1/2 and now part of all our taxes are paying the costs for it. Kerrisdale Community Centre pays a huge amount of the costs from members and activity fees. As for Ms. Ballem and Mr. Bromley I’d sure love to have a job that pays over $300,000.00 a year. I worked from I was 16 until last year when I was 75. I never made more than $3500 a month so I’m not a rich west sider. Please wake up – I don’t’ know how you got elected last year but you’ve really set the cat among the pigeons now and I know you won’t be elected again if you keep on this path.”
The Norquay Village Plan is intended to be a model Neighbourhood Centre that may become the successor to the Interim Zoning Policy. When complete, the model will be used throughout Vancouver, including Dunbar. This is an important opportunity for you to give input into select aspects of this model, by attending Open Houses in the week ahead.
Given the seniors’ independent living proposal for Dunbar, we might be interested to know how well the model deals with aging in place lifestyles (townhomes/stacked homes typically have a lot of stairs). Does this model think of seniors appropriately? How well does the model serve people with special needs? How appropriate is accessibility to services? These questions and others, can help the planning process.
The strength of the turnout and the volume of queries is important for this community. Volunteering your time will aid Norquay. We as a neighborhood have to get into the mindset of helping, if we, in our hour of need, call for help. Neighbourhoods helping neighbourhoods is the new modus operandi for gaining City Hall’s attention.
Here is an email from Norquay residents Jeanette and Joseph Jones guiding you on how they see it:
“Re: New Vancouver Housing Types Will Be Unveiled in Norquay
Norquay Village Plan Open Houses
Wednesday, January 23, 4pm – 8pm
Cunningham Elementary School (gymnnasium)
2330 E. 37th Avenue
Saturday, January 26, 11am – 3pm
Norquay Elementary School (gymnasium)
4710 Slocan Street
* * * * * * *
Dear Norquay Resident,
The Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan [ http://vancouver.ca/docs/planning/norquay-community-plan-2010.pdf ] that was approved by Council in November 2010 included provision for four new housing types: small house/duplex, rowhouse, stacked townhouse, and four-storey apartment. More than two years later, planners have scheduled the two Norquay Open Houses listed above to inform residents about details for two of the new housing types. The first, designated as RT-11, is a small house/duplex zoning. The second, designated as RM-7, is a stacked townhouse/rowhouse zoning. It appears that two of the new housing types approved in 2010 are being conflated into a single zoning. A second component of the Open House will be information about future public benefits that Norquay can expect to receive from increased density. The Norquay Plan calls for a “Public Benefits Financial Strategy” that explains how these benefits will be paid for.
We are concerned that city planners are making the provisions of the 2010 Norquay Plan less stringent. For example, drawings at the last Open House in April 2011 showed rowhouse units as narrow as 12 1/2 feet, although the Norquay Plan specified that rowhouse units must be at least 16 feet wide. Stacked townhouses built on two or more lots were shown with 3.5 storeys, rather than the 2 full storeys and partial third storey described in the 2010 Norquay Plan. Although Norquay residents will see no details until the day of the Open House, we fear that this kind of “creep” already experienced may go even farther. At this point there is very little detail available about the public benefits we might expect, or how they would be paid for.”
Planners have told us that what is specified in the Norquay Plan is no longer negotiable by residents. The Plan should be written in stone for the City as well. At this time, it is important for us to hold the City to the Plan and to protest loudly if they try to go away from what the Plan clearly specifies. It appears that the planners are conflating the rowhouse zone and the stacked townhouse zone, described as two separate zones in the Norquay Plan. We need to speak out if the new combined zone is described in terms of the lowest common denominator.
Specific Things to Look For on the Planners’ Boards at the Open House
A. Housing Types
1. Width of the units: 2010 Norquay Plan specifies a minimum width of 16 feet for rowhouses.
2. Height: Plan specifies a maximum of 2 storeys plus basement for small house duplex and rowhouses, 2 storeys plus a partial third for stacked townhouses, all to a maximum height of 35 feet.
3. Floor Space Ratio (FSR): Plan specifies a maximum of .825 FSR for small house/duplex and .825-1.1 FSR for rowhouse, depending on lot size and shape. Stacked townhouses are a maximum of .9 FSR on a single lot (3 units) and 1.1 FSR on 2 or more lots (9 units possible on 2 lots).
4. Unit Density: Plan specifies 22-30 units per acre for small house/duplex, 27 units per acre for rowhouses, and 49 units per acre for stacked townhouses built on 2 or more lots. These are approximate (depending on site size, assembly and frontage) and do not include lock-off units.
5. Lock Off Units: Plan specifies 1 lock off unit per dwelling for small house/duplex, 1 for each 3 dwellings for rowhouses and stacked townhouses.
6. Front Yard Setbacks: Plan specifies 16-24 feet for small house/duplex, 8-12 feet for rowhouses, and 18-24 feet for stacked townhouses.
7. Back Yards: Plan specifies that there must be garden space in the middle and/or on the edges of units in the small house/duplex zone. It specifies a back yard in the rowhouse and stacked townhouse zones that measures a minimum 16 feet from the house wall to the garage or the parking spot.
8. Building Design Guidelines: Plan specifies that rowhouses or stacked townhouses built on a single lot should be designed to appear as a large house, and two or multi-lot developments should appear as a small multi-family townhouse building while respecting neighbouring properties. Roof lines are not specified in the Plan, but Norquay residents expressed a strong preference for sloping roofs over flat roofs.
9. Retention of Character Houses: The Plan says that there should be incentives to retain character houses in small house/duplex, rowhouse and stacked townhouse zones.
10. Parking: Unspecified in the Plan.
11. Legal Title: The Plan specifies strata title for all new housing types. Norquay residents expressed a desire for a fee simple title option (i.e. individual ownership of both the building and the land).
12. Retention of RS-1 Development Option: The Plan specifies that the development rights enabled by the current RS-1 District Schedule (including the ability to develop a one-family dwelling, with the option of a secondary suite and a laneway house) should be retained.
B. Public Benefits
1. What specific benefits can Norquay expect to see from increased density?
2. The beginning point for public realm improvement is cleanliness. How many garbage cans can we expect? (An allocation of fifty garbage cans for the two miles of Norquay sidewalk along Kingsway would provide one for every 200 feet.)
3. How will these benefits be paid for?
4. Are these benefits above and beyond what Norquay would have received as routine maintenance even without increased density (such as repaving of sidewalks on Kingsway)?
5. Do the benefits match those given priority by Norquay residents and specified in the Norquay Plan (a flexible neighbourhood gathering space on the 2400 Motel site, completion of the Renfrew Ravine Linear Park, expansion of green space)? So far, all CACs from new zonings (2300 Kingsway and 2699 Kingsway) have been assigned to daycare.
6. How much is the City receiving in CACs and DCLs from the development of 2220 Kingsway (the Canadian Tire site), and how is it being allocated?
Please fill out the comment form provided by the City, or write your own observations and ask to have them included with the comment forms. Comments can be submitted online for some period of time after the Open House. If you can’t attend in person, the information should become available after January 26 on the City of Vancouver website somewhere at http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/norquay-village-neighbourhood-centre-plan.aspx. A detailed analysis of city proposals will be provided at Eye on Norquay [ http://eyeonnorquay.wordpress.com ] as soon as possible after the Open House.
All Vancouver residents will be affected by what happens in Norquay. The City of Vancouver intends to permit the building of new medium density housing types within 1.5 blocks of every street designated as an “arterial” under the provisions of the Mayor’s Task Force on Affordability [ http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/Final_task_force_report_brochure.pdf ] The report mentions Norquay as prototype for these new housing types (p. 10). We ask you to attend one of these Open Houses. Bring your friends and neighbours. Put questions to the planners and make your opinions known. This is your only real chance to affect regulations governing these new housing types. By the time these zoning specifications go to Council, it will be very difficult to change anything.”
When considering a proposal for a zoning/land use change, how does one weigh the interest of a business, in relation to the interest of the homeowner?
I cite the case of the Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities’ Letter of Enquiry for their proposed land use for the 4600 block of Dunbar Street. This comes at a time when the City appears to be focused on increased land use density, in the interest of housing affordability.
Our community based Dunbar Vision Plan calls for land use of the nature proposed by Pacific Arbour to be built to a maximum of four stories in the village of Dunbar (commercial area).
Your planning group, in weighing this proposal, obviously will look to the adjacent commercial area for context. They will see one story commercial zoned structures lining Dunbar, offering plenty of viable commercial potential. What might be less evident is the economic viability of this current land use. Businesses in Dunbar face the retail challenges of a changing buyer demographic, of big box retailers in the suburbs, and more recently a greater assault on “bricks and mortar” establishments, online, in home buying eg. Costco Online. Existing Dunbar businesses are dealing with an ever increasing rental burden, in the face of declining sales.
Is the commercial sprawl to the 4600 block of Dunbar warranted, when common sense suggests a revitalization of the existing commercial area is necessary, even crucial, to avoid a pending economic ghettoization of Dunbar Street. Even the City, as a landlord, has its retail space at 16th and Dunbar vacant since the building opened back in September. (Perhaps the wisdom of ground floor retail could be reconsidered for a seniors residence in the village given existing vacancy rates.)
Should the homeowners in and around the 4600 block of Dunbar be subjected to land use change in their neighbourhood, for the sake of a business proposal which is clearly in the wrong location? The fact that this concern has managed to assemble a parcel of land should have less significance, than the need for revitalization in the village proper. One can merely walk through the village to see that the proposed development located within the village would fit like the proverbial “hand in glove”.
Land use policy has long term implications for the community. It should not be based solely on how and where the simplest land assembly was achieved. We strongly urge your decision making group look at the community’s changing socio/economic fabric. The Dunbar Vision Plan reflects a keen sense of the community’s needs, and it wisely directs future development to the village.
Will your decision making be guided by practical land use policy, or by political will?
While our posts have slowed through December, we have been busy behind the scenes. Here is a 30 second movie made for broadcast to the community:
Pacific Arbour have $4,475,000 reasons (the cost of their two acquired properties to date) why they are not going away. Earlier this month, they submitted their Letter of Enquiry to the City. They expect to submit their application for rezoning in early February 2013.
As a community, our time is short to prepare our position with respect to this development. We have numerous committees organized to addess our concerns.
If you want to make a difference, sign up on the volunteer list (top right corner of this page) on this website, or call 604-264-7444.
Response from the Mayor
November 28, 2012, we corresponded with Mayor Roberston to address our concerns about the Pacific Arbour proposal. December 20, 2012 we received a reply from Connie Pavone, Mayor’s Office, stating the Mayor was not available to meet with us, and that we should direct comments and/or concerns to Brian Jackson, Director of Planning and Development.
In fairness to the Mayor and his council, we are ahead of the rezoning application in voicing our concerns. However, recognizing 2012 Vancouver Courier, Newsmaker of the Year was neighbourhood dissent, and that Vancouver Vision has even placed social housing under fire, can we expect a fair shake in 2013? The Mayor and his Vancouver Vision dominated council, in 2012, repeatedly placed the developer’s interest ahead of the communities’ interests. If you care about livabilty in Dunbar, and want to be a be a part of what it becomes, make a new year’s resolution to join the Dunbar Re-Vision group.
(Credit to Rand Chaterjee for shooting this video, and the Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver (NSV) who organized a gathering of 400 people at Heritage Hall in 2008 to help celebrate the first Vancouver Vision victory. Vision had committed in writing, to support community based planning, but since that time they have betrayed the public trust.)
As we recall, Mayor Gregor was ebullient in his high praise for neighbourhoods back in 2008. It was music to the ears of all who would listen. But how have things been in the last four years? Can we say that the neighbourhoods have had their say?
It turns out with respect to land use issues, with the exception of the casino proposal, that the neighbourhoods have had to fight, with out success, every project passed through council.
But, perhaps things are soon to change. @MayorGregor and Councillor Reimer have set a new task force into motion. It is called the Engaged City Task Force. Additionally, and more recently, when he talks to his peers he uses language like, “I am concerned that these proposals are being considered in the absence of full public input”
This assuredly, will be the neighbourhoods’ salvation. Just as it has been for Dunbar. Of the hundreds of letters sent to the Mayor and Council regarding the Pacific Arbour proposal for the 4600 block of Dunbar Street, including the Dunbar Re-Vision request for a meeting, nary a reply was received.
Happy anniversary Mayor Robertson.
A discussion of seniors housing in Dunbar did not go unnoticed by one of our residents. Again, the usual commentary suggested, “Why would anyone be against seniors housing in Dunbar?” A factual reply earned interesting insights as to how a developer’s perspective would change this city for increased density through enhanced spacial relationships with properties behind arterial streets. Here is the transcript:
CKNW – The Bill Good Show
Transcript of discussion
December 4, 2012, 9 – 9:30 am time slot.
Guests: Michael Geller, President Michael Geller Group; Lesli Boldt, President, Boldt Communications; Frances Bula, Civic Affairs columnist, Vancouver Magazine, The Globe and Mail
Caller Number 2:
Linda: “Hi, I’m calling about the six story proposed seniors residence in Dunbar.”
Bill Good: “Yah.”
Linda: “The problem is not the fact that it is a seniors residence, in fact, I think most of us would welcome a seniors residence in Dunbar. The fact is, the problem is, that it is six stories to seven stories tall, which means that the people behind that are separated only by a lane between their property and that property. The property, the seniors residence would be on the west side. That means they would get no sun anywhere in their property from about noon on, everyday of the year. So what we would have is a developer benefits from putting up this residence and makes profit at it, and the residents that are around there pay for it. Their property values are going to go down, and their quality of life will go down substantially. Uh, furthermore, we find that the a City, again is over riding our Vision plan that residents worked for the City with, talked about what we wanted, we said we were fine with four stories.”
Bill Good: “ But the developer says that four stories will not, eh, does not make business sense.”
Linda: “I realize that, but would you be happy with a wall 65-75 feet about 25 feet away from your property along the whole length of your property from front to back?”
Michael Geller: “So Bill, I agree with this concern. And, ah although I did say at a previous show that I thought the residents of Dunbar should not consider the Vision statement that they developed a few years ago as the bible, I do agree with the concern that there is something wrong with the juxtaposition of a five story or six story buildings with single family houses immediately behind, which is why the City Task Force did look at this idea of creating transition zones behind the arterials as literally a transition between the higher density buildings and the higher buildings and the single family areas. By taking the next row, if you like, the next block immediately behind, and saying, “You know what?” Why don’t we allow townhouses, stacked townhouses, and maybe three story apartments on those properties. Yet it will result in a bit of an increase in value for those properties, but then you begin to get a gradual transition in height.”
Bill Good: “But, does that force people to have to move?”
Michael Geller: “Over time, it might, but they have an option. They don’t have to move. But what it does do, is it begins to create to my mind, a better relationship between the higher buildings along arterials, and it’s not just Dunbar, it’s Broadway, it’s many other arterial streets, and the single family neighbourhood that I think most of us could accept continuing for decades to come.”
So there it is, presently zoned single family land is to be up zoned in the areas next to arterials? Can this be what they are possibly suggesting for the 4600 block of Dunbar? The Dunbar Vision plan contemplated this type of development in the village, not in single family zoned land. So which way will it go? Will the developers reshape our city as they plan when and where they will put in the developments, or will saner, sensible neighbourhood plans win out?
It is interesting to note that Harwood Developments, who own the Stongs land, do have a transition development planned. But, they would do so on appropriately zoned land in the village.
Thank you to our neighbour Linda for your vigilance and for a most revealing discussion.
Back on the October 30th Bill Good show, Frances Bula said in response to Bill Good explaining that Dunbar Re-Vision was having a protest, “And a quite vigorous one, like they are planning a march, or a rally, or something, at City Hall next/on November 16th and they had a meeting that drew 250 people the other night.”
I started wondering about that comment, which led me to her blog post that garnered 103 comments. See: Post Frances was aware her blog was resonating with the community when she made that comment. Appreciating what it takes to have people respond to a post, I dug further into the story.
I started reading the comments, and I encourage you to do the same. It is evident from the comments, that Vancouver Vision policy and the key word “Dunbar” were colliding, and at the same time touching a nerve in the community. It also made me aware of the gross misunderstanding of the issues that existed among individuals. Some people tend to stereo type, and generalize, and their reality is what their memories tell them.
The internet grants the entire spectrum of society an opportunity to voice their opinion. That’s the nice thing about the internet, it’s very democratic (I wish Dunbar Re-Vision had that same opportunity with city council see this site).
And here are samples of comments:
“ … god bless the people power of the People’s Republic of Dunbar.”
“ … this is Dunbar, a fantasy place that has never accepted its fair share of growth/development/social service facilities.”
“ … remember that it was group of Dunbarites and Shaughnessy dwellers that held the reins for decades …”
“ Vision Vancouver is in line with the ICLEI agenda with that of their major sponsor Joel Solomon that of Hollyhock and last that of Agenda 21.”
“ I once met a planner … When I asked him what the greatest obstacle to sustainability in Vancouver is, his immediate reply was the Dunbar Residents Association.”
“True to form, Dunbarites oppose any densification, wanting to pull up the drawbridge.”
As a Dunbar resident, all I can think to say is, “Ouch!”
Does our past define us forever? Has the community not sufficiently changed to warrant a new characterization? I went searching for some answers.
Here are some facts to consider:
In the two polling stations, in the 2011 civic election, that comprise the bulk of Dunbar, Mayor Robertson of Vancouver Vision received 48% of votes offered for mayor, and he did win polling station 113, one half of Dunbar. The 1030 votes cast, represent approximately 5% of the population (we do not have the registered voters number).
|Polling Station||112||113||Total Votes|
Next, I went looking for information on immigration in the Metro Vancouver area. At this site , I happened to isolate data for the two polling areas identifed above. Here is where some of the almost 40,000 immigrants who arrive each year in Metro Vancouver are laying down their roots.
|Enthinicity/Polling Station Area||112(% of ethnic pop)/(Metro avg.)||113(% of ethnic pop)/(Metro avg.)|
|English||31.8 (23.1)||33.8 (23.1)|
|Scottish||23.01 (16.1)||25.5 (16.1)|
|Chinese||22.3 (18.2)||17.9 (18.2)|
|Irish||17.2 (12)||20.4 (12)|
|French||10.6 (6.5)||5.8 (6.5)|
|German||8.8 (9.7)||12.1 (9.7)|
So what I see from my brief gander into the make up of Dunbar, of those of us who did vote (a scant too few), almost half of us voted for the Mayor. And we continue to have a broad based community of ethnicities.
In my view, we:
Are you ready to be part of the solution?
“We could build a retirement home in a farmer’s field on top of a mountain and it would fill up …” – Peter Gaskill.
In a series of articles written in May 2012, by Business in Vancouver, in conjunction with a CBC investigation, on the state of seniors care in BC, Mr. Gaskill, President of Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities, explains how the retirement community business has changed in North America. “We told everybody it’s an unending demand … Well, that just wasn’t the case … people didn’t look at the details.”
“In Victoria, the seniors who would move into a retirement home, that demographic is on the decline … there’s fewer of them each year, “ said Gaskill. “The baby boomers only just hit 65. They don’t move into retirement homes for another 20 years; it’s easy to forget that.”
On a recent talk show interview, Bill Good asks Mr. Gaskill, “Is this an exclusive care home?” Gaskill explains that residents will pay for the cost of services provided. He further states that, “we respond to the neighbourhoods that we build in”, meaning that they build to a cost level that the community will bear. He has previously explained that there is no profit in care homes. He will build an independent living residence. But, is this what the community needs?
On the one hand, it would appear that he says expensive, independent seniors residences are less in demand than previously thought, and on the other hand he indicates that he must build 130 units in Dunbar to make his business model profitable. His past remarks seem to be at odds with his current beliefs. We must ask again of Mr. Gaskill, ““Do you have the right profit numbers in your proposal?” Have you looked into the details?
Reading the series of BIV articles captioned the “Grey Area”, it is clear Dunbar, like the rest of the province, needs seniors care homes in contrast to expensive, independent living residences. The effect of this need is brought home in this interview with Rebecca Maurer. She talks about the struggle to find care for her mother in this article. (For those with appropriate browsers, her CBC interview link follows:)
In spite of this discussion, the Mayor of Vancouver and his Vision council seem blindly interested in all the independent seniors residences that Pacific Arbour can supply (it’s good optics). However, when resources like this neighbourhood’s land are so dear, have we, as a community, carefully weighed our options and considered what is most appropriate for the needs of our aging population?
November 27, 2012 Vancouver Councillor Adriane Carr had planned to present a Motion on Notice that would ask the Mayor’s Interim Rezoning Policy that Increases Affordable Housing Choices in Vancouver’s Neighbourhoods be reviewed by the General Managers of Legal Services and Planning and Development.
Dunbar Re-Vision had planned to speak to the motion. We are like all the other resident groups that appear before council, desiring to have a hearing. We would have addressed the community’s stated desire to have any construction in the community governed by our Community Vision statement:
Our presentation would note that the Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities proposal would ask for a minimum of six stories. They would explain that their business model is not profitable for anything less (see blog post herewith called CKNW offer Pacific Arbour and Dunbar Re-Vision a Voice). Globe and Mail reporter, Brent Jang, would estimate the desired single family zoned land for construction would cost approximately $20 million to assemble. Hardly the basis upon which affordable housing would result when one also considers that the more costly concrete construction is required for this project.
The final portion of our presentation was our Petition to Council.
That was of course until the motion was ruled out of order by Mayor Robertson. Again, the community is silenced. Dunbar has a population of approximately 21,000 people. A significant voting block. How many are on those petitions remains a mystery. (Another mystery will be to determine where the affordable housing will materialize.)
Today, via Express Post, a letter was sent to the Mayor requesting an appointment, so that our community can express its point of view. Under council’s lack of interest and attention to its citizens, will we have to wait ’til 2014 to communicate?