RVers Not Gobbling Up Sites in Vancouver Park

November 13, 2009 by · Comments Off on RVers Not Gobbling Up Sites in Vancouver Park 


Aerial view of one of the Vancouver, British Columbia, beaches that will be the site of a temporary RV park during the Winter Olympic Games in that city next February.

Aerial view of one of the Vancouver, British Columbia, beaches that will be the site of a temporary RV park during the Winter Olympic Games in that city next February.

Only 70 of 350 beach front RV campsites are currently booked at Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks in Vancouver, British Columbia with less than 100 days to go until the 2010 Olympic games, according to the RV News Service. The Vancouver Parks Department needs to book about 150 sites to break even.

Motorhomes, truck campers and vans of up to 30-feet can be accommodated in spaces 20 feet wide. Towable RVs are not permitted. The parks are centrally located with shuttle service to the games. Campsites provide clear views of the Vancouver skyline.

Potable water will be available, but no utility hookups. Sewer pumping and propane services may be purchased. Both parks have restrooms with showers. The cost to camp is $95 plus GST per night (Canadian) with a four night minimum. Tow vehicles are not recommended, and are charged an additional $10 per night plus GST.

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Critics Livid Over RV Plan for Vancouver Olympics

July 22, 2009 by · Comments Off on Critics Livid Over RV Plan for Vancouver Olympics 

Allowing noisy and polluting recreational vehicles alongside Vancouver, British Columbia, beaches during the 2010 Winter Olympics goes against the idea of a “green” Games, say opponents to the plan.

But residents of Vancouver’s Point Grey area insist their opposition isn’t a matter of having multi-million-dollar beach-front views sullied by 365 RVs and hundreds of tourists milling around the neighborhood, according to The Canadian Press, Vancouver.

“We think it’s going to be a financial disaster,” said Phyllis Tyers, president of the North West Point Grey Home Owners’ Association.

“The answers to our questions are so vague. They have a plan but nobody knows what the plan is.”

The plan, as approved by the Vancouver park board on Monday night (July 20), is to have a B.C.-based company run the parking lots at Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks as RV sites during the Games.

It will cost $95 a night, and the fee will cover washrooms, showers, waste disposal and a free shuttle to public transit in order for people to get to Games venues.

The cost to the park board is around $270,000, said commissioner Aaron Jasper, and the potential profit is around $700,000. Only 35% occupancy is required to break even.

Tyers said the experience with other Olympic venues that have gone over budget makes her doubt the park board’s financial projections, but Jasper said city staff members aren’t just making up numbers.

“Was a complete breakdown and itemized budget presented (Monday) night to us? No.” he said.

“Some details still have to be worked out. There’s some things that we think we might at this point have to pay for but it might turn out that perhaps we don’t have to.”

Jasper said he was surprised by some of the hostility expressed toward the plan.

“We’re talking about a 2-, 2 1/2-week period. We’re not proposing to relocate the (Pacific National Exhibition) on to the beaches of Jericho.”

The idea is one of several unique approaches that the city and Olympic organizers are taking to confront a massive housing shortage for the Games.

In the entire region between Vancouver and the host mountain resort of Whistler, demand for rooms for workers and spectators far outpaces supply. One insider recently pegged the shortage at around 30,000 beds.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and organizers will be using cruise ships to house some of their staff, while homestays and private apartment rentals are also being explored for Games-related personnel. Cruise ships for spectators will also be parked at several area docks and online, people are renting their homes and apartments for thousands of dollars.

But the theme of these Games means RVs shouldn’t be part of the solution, said Tyers.

“We’re supposed to be promoting green Olympics yet you’re encouraging polluting RV vehicles to come into the city,” she said.

“I can just see a fantastic traffic jam of people coming in and out for four days.”

Tyers said the idea sets a dangerous precedent.

“I don’t believe we should be commercializing our parks and this is what that is going to be.”

Jasper said it’s a one-time only project with the best of intentions.

“We’re hosting the world, just like with Expo,” he said.

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Vancouver OK’s Temporary Olympic RV Parks

July 21, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Recreational vehicles will be allowed to stay overnight in parking lots at Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks in Vancouver, British Columbia, during the Winter Olympics next February, the Vancouver Park Board decided Monday (July 20). 

The board voted 4-1 to approve a staff recommendation to allow roughly 365 RVs to park for $95 per night, despite residents’ protests, according to the Vancouver Sun

Green Party Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon was the lone opponent.

The city sent information about the proposal to 460 homes near the beaches, and received 23 e-mails, letters and phone calls opposing the move, with just three communications in favor. 

“We were confident that the business case was a good one,” said Vision Commissioner Aaron Jasper. 

“The RVs are coming, and this is a way for us to do our part to help with the logistics of the Olympics, and to do this in a controlled way that has minimal impact to Vancouverites.” 

The city will pay Duckworth Management Group Ltd. $134,832 to manage the sites. 

According to the staff report, the only RV site close to downtown is the Capilano RV Park, which had a waiting list of more than 100 people as of February.

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Temporary RV Park in Vancouver Goes to Vote Tonight

July 20, 2009 by · Comments Off on Temporary RV Park in Vancouver Goes to Vote Tonight 

citylogoThe Vancouver, British Columbia, Parks and Recreation Board will decide tonight (July 20) if two popular Vancouver beaches will become makeshift RV parks during the 2010 Winter Olympics, according to CTV British Columbia.

Parking lots at Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks would house up to 365 recreational vehicles during the Games, at a cost of $95 per night. The motorhomes would be allowed starting two days before the Feb. 10 opening of the Games and stay until March 2, two days after it ends.

Vision Vancouver Commissioner Aaron Jasper believes the board will approve the plan, and that the project will deal with the projected hotel shortage during the 2010 Olympics.

“Not wanting to have folks camp out in the parking lots of our shopping malls, we figured this would be the best approach,” Jasper told in June.

A temporary sewage disposal, water line and shower facility would be set up, and a shuttle service established to help visitors get to an Olympic transportation hub.

Public opposition against the project is mounting.

Phyllis Tyers, president of the North West Point Grey Home Owners’ Association, wrote the board and Vancouver mayor on behalf of the group, citing a lack of public consultation with residents.

Tyers says residents are concerned about the commericalization of park land through a private RV company, noise from shuttles and garbage trucks, and the eyesore of 365 RV’s in their neighbourhood.

But after fliers were distributed in the neighbourhood last month, parks commissioner Loretta Woodcock said she didn’t foresee any controversy from residents.

“Normally, we get complaints from residents about people camping illegally on the beach,” she said. “This is different. It will be very controlled, managed and monitored.”

“It actually brings security into the neighbourhood during the Olympics.”

It is believed reservations will begin in August, after a private project operator has been chosen.

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Neighbors Fight Vancouver’s Olympic Housing Plan

July 15, 2009 by · Comments Off on Neighbors Fight Vancouver’s Olympic Housing Plan 


Downtown Vancouver. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Downtown Vancouver. Source: Wikimedia Commons

A plan by the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, to open its picturesque city beachfronts at Spanish Banks and Jericho Beach to accommodate RVs during the 2010 Winter Olympics next February is being met with some neighborhood opposition.

The North West Point Grey Home Owners’ Association sent a letter explaining its opposition to Mayor Gregor Robertson dated July 10.

The RV parks and their 365 temporary spaces would create “an eyesore,” the association stated, and complained that there was  “no prior consultation” before the plan was formulated.

Here are excerpts from that letter, as published in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight:

The North West Point Grey Home Owners’ Association, as well as many other residents of the area and other individuals who utilize these parks, cannot endorse the proposal of an RV park for the Olympics in any city park for the following reasons:

  • No prior consultation with residents before proposal formulated – limited distribution of notice sent out after press release.
  • Commercialization of parkland with private RV management company to be in charge.
  • Park board speculation for short-term gain with potential for substantial loss at taxpayers’ expense – no guarantee there is a need for all these sites or that competitive sites are not available.
  • Creation of a precedent for future special events.
  • Lack of power supply thereby creating air and noise pollution from gas-powered generators.
  • Impossibility of enforcement and control of noise and illegal activities with police force committed to Olympic event. security – e.g. control and enforcement are poor even during relatively minor events such as the Folk Festival.
  • Restricted access for RVs in the event of inclement weather and possible mud slides which have occurred because of unstable banks along NW Marine Drive.
  • Impractical distance to venues (other than UBC) and reliance on shuttle service with buses in short supply.
  • Creation of an eyesore – a picturesque drive out to UBC marred by trailers, cars, and “honey wagons.”
  • Scale of site and the increased traffic and noise will have a major impact on public use and several residential areas.

With so many other venues being over budget , could we please be realistic and limit the waste of more funds for the Olympics? Given the history of Olympic cost overruns and Vancouver’s current financial plight, staff should be required to make public a cost-benefit analysis, with detailed breakdown of cost estimates and income, well in advance of a decision by the park board. The costs should include maintenance, cleanup and policing/security, plus the cost of returning the 365 RV spaces to their original (current) state, with sufficient funds sequestered for those purposes as a precondition.

What happened to the promises of consultation and practicality emphasized before the last municipal election?


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