General Meeting March 24, 2009

W. E. R. A. General Meeting
West End Residents' Association
General Meeting: March 24, 2009; commenced 7:05 p.m.
Chair: Elmer Rudolph
Recorder: Mary Wilson

Moved and seconded that the Minutes of January 27, 2009 meeting be accepted.

1. Art on 12th Street. Renee Chadwick from New Westminster Parks & Recreation described plans for art embellishments in the sidewalks on 12th Street. When the third phase of sidewalk replacement begins in April, three new features will be incorporated into the sidewalk: street names carved in granite, eight granite slabs engraved with poems or quotations, and two 3-feet square mosaics designed especially for 12th Street. Mosaic design workshops will be announced soon, and the community is urged to get involved in helping to create the designs. Installation of completed mosaics will take place when the sidewalks are completed, and we’re hoping to make that part of the August BC Day Twelfth Street festival.

2. Development proposal. Architect Eric Pattison presented and explained plans and design ideas for a proposed drive-through restaurant development on the corner of 20th Street and London. Comments from the floor indicated people would like to see the lot developed. Several agreed that a restaurant might be a good use, but many expressed concerns particularly regarding pollution. Cars idling in a drive-through create air pollution. Noise from the restaurant’s operation adds to the already high noise level in the area. Littering was cited as another likely form of pollution. It was pointed out that the plans show no provision for employee parking on site, nor for deliveries to the restaurant. Concern was also expressed for increasing transient traffic through the adjacent neighbourhood, and for neighbourhood crime and security.

3. Variance. Information was presented regarding a requested variance at 1702 Seventh Avenue.

4. Voting on WERA amended Constitution and Bylaws. This item is postponed to the next meeting.

5. Treasurer’s Report. Indicates a current balance of $601.65 in WERA’s account.

6. Traffic Committee Report. The report focussed on traffic volume and monitoring in the West End. Vehicle counts are being done by the City, and results indicate changes of volume in various locations, some increases and some decreases.

7. Heritage Trolley Tours. Elmer reported on a March 11 meeting called to assess neighbourhood support for the idea of city-wide trolley tours on June 20th. Planning is ongoing, and suggestions for trolley routes with points of interest are being solicited.

8. Easter on Twelfth Street. John Ashdown, President of the West End Business Association, described the 12th Street merchants’ plans for an Easter event on 12th Street. At least 27 merchants are participating with specials and on-site activities. In addition to merchant-generated events (doggy Easter egg hunt, pinata attack, etc.) the 150 celebration display boards will be on the street, along with reps from the West End Residents Association, the Moody Park Residents’ Association, and the 12th Street Art Project. John Ashdown also reported that he anticipates the 12th Street Ragtime Festival will take place at the beginning of August.

9. Fraser River Discovery Centre. Announcement of the official opening of the Fraser River Discovery Centre on Saturday March 28th. Lots of special activities are scheduled for that day from 1pm to 4pm.

10. Run-of-the-river projects. Andrew Murray invited everyone to a presentation on run-of-the-river hydro generation projects on March 25 at Centennial Lodge, Queens Park.

11. West End Street Signs. The design has been approved, and a $4000 grant application has been submitted, to purchase 40 “toppers” for street signs in the West End neighbourhood. The grant application should be approved soon, and the next step is to decide where to place each of these 40 signs. Anyone wanting to be sure a sign is placed on their street can apparently buy one for about $100.

12. Plant-a-Row. The annual kick-off for the Plant-a-Row, Grow-a-Row initiative will be held on Thursday March 26 from 6-9pm. The venue this year is the gymnasium at St. Thomas More school, just across the border in Burnaby from the 10th Avenue and 12th Street intersection. Brian Minter will be there, and Lee Valley Tools, and there’ll be lots of info for gardeners.

13. West Side Schools. The current difficulty with regard to school reconfiguration and construction in the West End has brought a number of West End residents into the spotlight. MaryAnn Mortenson asked for feedback particularly regarding her outspoken and vigourous defense of Grimston Park. WERA members assured her that her efforts are appreciated.

14. Adjourned. Next meeting Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 7pm at Tweedsmuir School.
(Before summer break there will be one more meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, 2009)

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