Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference is intended to guide the work of the Flats Arterial Community Panel. Download the PDF version or review the full text below.

The Flats Arterial Community Panel Terms of Reference

1. City of Vancouver Objectives
The City of Vancouver is sponsoring an in-depth and deliberative public engagement process to help identify a grade-separated east/west arterial route through False Creek Flats. In establishing a Community Panel, the City has a core objective:
To support a process that provides a representative group of residents and local business1 participants with the mandate of recommending a preferred arterial option that weighs shared and contrasting values, technical information, and opportunities and challenges, with the concerns, goals, and needs of all2 involved and affected by the alignment.

2. Guiding Principles for Community Panel’s Work
These Guiding Principles are derived from best-practice research and previous City of Vancouver consultations.

  • Openness and Transparency – The Community Panel will regularly share its learning and deliberations with the public.
  • Accountability and Legitimacy – The Community Panel will work within a defined mandate on behalf of Vancouver residents, businesses, organizations and others impacted by the arterial. The Panel will deliver its final report directly to Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Park Board.
  • Effective Representation – The Community Panel members will be responsible for representing the needs and interests of all residents of the city of Vancouver, as well as impacted businesses. Panel members will be selected to broadly represent the demographics of the local neighbourhoods, impacted businesses, and the city at large.
  • Accessibility and Inclusion – The Community Panel design team will endeavour to provide reasonable supports to address barriers that may prevent a Panel member from participating successfully, including making translation into Mandarin and/or Cantonese available.
  • Independence – The Community Panel will have full independence to determine how to best fulfill its mandate.
  • Well-informed – The Community Panel will deliver sound recommendations in its final report. The Panel’s recommendations will be informed by a range of perspectives and sources of expertise.
  • Balance – The Community Panel will consider a diversity of voices and perspectives in its deliberations.
  • Collaborative decision-making – Community Panel members will work towards consensus when drafting their recommendations, while also respecting and documenting differing perspectives among its members.
  • Respect – Community Panel members will strive to be conscientious and fair-minded in their deliberations and in their consultations with the local and city-wide community.

3. Mandate of the Community Panel
The Flats Arterial Community Panel will endeavour to represent local neighbourhoods, impacted businesses, and city-wide residents to recommend a preferred arterial alignment that best meets the needs of the neighbourhood, city and region as a whole. The Panel’s recommendations and rationale will be received by Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Park Board and will significantly inform the selection of the arterial route. Specifically, the Community Panel will:

  • Develop a set of criteria to guide the evaluation and selection of a preferred grade-separated east/west arterial road alignment.
  • Recommend a route for the arterial road, with rationale for the recommendation and suggestions for mitigating any remaining concerns.

It is expected that these items will, to the greatest extent possible, represent the consensus view of the members of the Community Panel. Divergent views of Panel members will also be included in the Community Panel’s Final Report.

3.1 Learning Program
To assist the members of the Community Panel with their task, an extensive learning program will provide them with the opportunity to examine:

  • An overview of previous public input and City-developed planning materials.
  • The history of False Creek Flats, including the current False Creek Flats Plan.
  • The broader context of transportation in Vancouver, including relevant City policies, transportation objectives and transportation principles, regional goods movement patterns, and key transportation planning concepts.
  • Key park objectives, principles, and planning concepts.
  • Key local economy concepts.
  • Key issues of concern from local residents, businesses, nonprofits, artists and others impacted by the decision.
  • The role of the flats as a central location for multiple civic services.
  • Technical aspects and estimated cost of each proposed arterial option.

3.2 Community Involvement
During its learning and deliberations, the Panel will also inform and consult at regular intervals with the community-at-large through:

  • Public roundtable meetings, which will provide Panel members and members of resident, business and organizational communities an opportunity for face-to-face discussion.
  • Regular open sessions of the Community Panel to observe Panel proceedings.
  • Web and e-newsletter updates from the Community Panel.
  • Inviting online submissions to the Panel through its website.

4. Constraints on the Community Panel
The Panel will enjoy wide latitude in its ability to make recommendations concerning the preferred arterial route through False Creek Flats. However, for recommendations to be incorporated into the future arterial design, the Panel must identify an arterial route that is:

  • Grade-separated from the rail line corridor, e.g. an overpass or underpass.
  • Connected with Main & Prior Streets to the west and Clark Drive to the east between Prior Street and Terminal Avenue.
  • Reliable and efficient, with connections to the broader transportation network between downtown and east Vancouver.
  • Supportive of all transportation modes, including walking, cycling, transit, automobiles, and trucks.
  • Consistent with City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board policies (see Appendix A).
  • Consistent with the False Creek Flats Plan and its guiding principles.
  • Not likely to put an undue fiscal burden on the City of Vancouver or other levels of government and funding partners.3

Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Park Board will have the final authority to accept, modify or reject specific recommendations from the Panel at its discretion, or refer aspects to appropriate City and Park staff.

5. Schedule of the Community Panel
The Community Panel will convene in an estimated eight full-day sessions beginning in January 2019. Additional meetings of the Panel may be scheduled at the discretion of the Chair. The Community Panel will also host an estimated two public roundtable meetings which will be open to the public.

6. Reporting & Communications of the Community Panel
The Community Panel will communicate regularly about its work to the public, City Council, Park Board, and to the City of Vancouver’s interdepartmental staff working group. The interdepartmental staff working group is composed of Transportation, Planning, Communications, Real Estate and Facilities Management, Park Board, and other departments as necessary. The Community Panel will conclude its work with the submission of a final report to Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Park Board.

The final report will include:

  • Letter from the Chair outlining her or his satisfaction with the process.
  • Summary of the proceedings of the Community Panel.
  • Set of criteria to help select a preferred route for the arterial road.
  • Recommendation and rationale for the preferred alignment of the arterial road.
  • Additional commentary concerning the recommendations from members of the Panel.
  • Brief biographies of members of the Community Panel.

The Community Panel will present this report to Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Park Board, which may, at their discretion, refer the report to the City’s Engineering and Planning Departments and/or other City departments, and/or Park Board staff for comment, response and incorporation, where appropriate, into draft plans for the east/west arterial road.

7. Composition of the Community Panel

7.1 Recruitment Process
Members of the Community Panel will be randomly selected to ensure that a broad, representative cross-section of local residents, city-wide residents, and local businesses are selected to participate. People from each group are invited to apply to participate in the Panel by completing an application before the specified date; application and dates will be available at fcfcommunitypanel.com.

Prior to the Panel’s commencement, the Flats Arterial Community Panel consultant will conduct a randomized draw from the pool of applicants to reflect the target demographics, described below.

7.2 Number of Members and Qualifications
The Community Panel will consist of 42 members.

7.2.1 Local Residents
To be eligible to serve as a local resident participant on the Community Panel, an applicant must:

  • Reside within the False Creek Flats arterial road study area, as defined by the study area map. (See map in section 7.3); and
  • Be at least 16 years of age as of November 7, 2018.

7.2.2 City-wide Residents
To be eligible to serve as a city-wide resident participant on the Community Panel, an applicant must:

  • Reside within the city of Vancouver but outside of the study area; and
  • Be at least 16 years of age as of November 7, 2018.

7.2.3 Business Participants
To be eligible to serve as a business participant on the Community Panel, an applicant must:

  • Operate a licensed business within the study area; or,
  • Own a commercial or industrial property within the study area; or,
  • Be currently employed by a licensed business within the study area, working 20 hours or more per week.

7.2.4 Additional Qualifications for All Candidates

  • Prospective candidates may only submit their name once. Duplicate applications will be removed from the pool.
  • All residents and eligible business participants may apply to serve on the Community Panel. However, only one person per residential address (unit in building) or business will be eligible to become a member of the Panel.
  • Employees of the City of Vancouver or Vancouver Park Board, as well as elected municipal or Park Board officials, are ineligible to serve on the Community Panel.
  • Please see Section 8.1 for a full description of Panelist roles and responsibilities.
  • All applicants must be willing to contribute to the Panel’s work in a spirit of collaboration, representing the best interests of all residents and businesses in Vancouver, not as an advocate for their own individual positions or business or organizational interests.

7.3 Study Area Boundaries
For the purposes of this Terms of Reference, the Flats Arterial Community Panel study area is defined as: North – the Port boundary; South – Great Northern Way and North Grandview Highway; West – Quebec Street and Columbia Street; East – Commercial Drive.
Map of the community panel project study area.

7.4 Community Panel Composition
The Panel will be constructed to ensure fair representation of local and city-wide residents as well as local business interests. As described below, the ratio of local to city-wide residents emphasizes the more immediate impacts local residents will likely face as a result of the arterial decision, while recognizing the role this arterial will play for Vancouver’s transportation network as a whole. Similarly, the inclusion of a greater number of businesses along the proposed routes and in I-2 and MC-1 zoning districts relative to other businesses in the study area emphasizes the potential disproportionate impact borne by some businesses, while ensuring diverse perspectives pertinent to the local transportation network and the False Creek Flats as a whole are included in the deliberation.

Among the 42 members, the spaces will be reserved as follows:

21 local residents selected in accordance with the following demographic composition targets, in proportion to Census data for the study area:

  • A demographically proportionate number of individuals who identify as men, women, and trans*/non-binary (drawing from both Census and other available data); and,
  • A demographically proportionate number of members from five age cohorts: 16-29 years, 30-44 years, 45-64 years, 65+ years; and,
  • A demographically proportionate number of “visible minority” individuals, as defined by the Census; and,
  • At least 2 members who self-identify as Indigenous, in proportion to Census data for the study area; and
  • Geographic mix within the study area, with an emphasis on Strathcona residents.

15 local businesses selected to reflect a:

  • Mix of location, with an approximate 2:1 ratio of businesses in areas zoned I-2, MC-1, or along a proposed arterial route, to those located in other zoning districts and/or in other parts of the study area; and,
  • Mix of business size according to number of employees;
  • Mix of business types; and,
  • As possible, composed of a mix of genders and ages.

6 city-wide residents

  • Each from a different neighbourhood, composed of a mix of genders and ages.

If any category is not filled through the lottery process, these spaces will be reassigned to the other categories or left unfilled at the discretion of the Panel Chair to ensure balance and inclusion of diverse perspectives without overrepresenting any single perspective.

7.5 Community Panel Support
To assist Panel members to participate, the City of Vancouver will reimburse reasonable transportation, childcare, honoraria for low-income individuals, and other costs directly related to participation, as needed. Assistance will also be provided to those members with differing physical or learning abilities. The working language of the Panel is English. Translation services for Mandarin and Cantonese speaking members will be made available.

8. Roles and Responsibilities

8.1 Roles and Responsibilities of Community Panel Members
Members of the Panel are expected to fulfil their duties and agree to:

  • Attend each of the eight weekend sessions of the Community Panel as well as a minimum of one of the two public roundtable meetings.
  • Work to understand and represent the varied perspectives of local residents, city-wide residents, businesses and organizations, as well as others who are impacted by the choice of route.
  • Treat each other with respect and take an active role in the work of the Panel.
  • Work collaboratively to achieve a strong consensus concerning the Panel’s recommendations.
  • As appropriate, produce “minority reports” outlining perspectives that diverge from majority assessments and recommendations.

If a member of the Panel must withdraw owing to illness or unexpected events, his or her position may be filled from the pool of applicants at the discretion of the Chair. If a panelist misses a significant amount of meeting hours, the Chair may decide at her or his discretion to withdraw that person from the Panel.

8.2 Roles and Responsibilities of the Chair
The Chair of the Community Panel will be appointed by the City to design and host the proceedings of the Community Panel. The Chair will not be a City employee and is expected to remain neutral with regards to the recommendations or direction of the Panel. This is a paid position and the Chair does not have voting privileges in Panel proceedings.

The Chair, with the support of the Community Panel consultant team, is charged to:

  • Oversee a fair and representative member selection process.
  • Develop a balanced learning program that provides opportunities for Panelists to hear local and city-wide perspectives from residents, businesses, affected organizations, and stakeholders.
  • Support respectful dialogue and deliberation amongst members.
  • Ensure that regular updates concerning the Panel’s proceedings are made publicly available.
  • Produce and deliver a Final Report concerning the Panel’s activities and recommendations to City Council in early 2019.
  • Exercise discretion in ensuring the integrity and sound conduct of the Panel.

The Chair will be supported by the Community Panel consultant staff, who is comprised of experts in public deliberation, communication and facilitation.

8.3 Roles and Responsibilities of Residents, Businesses, Organizations, and the Broader Public
All residents of the city of Vancouver, as well as affected businesses and organizations, have a role to play in assisting and ensuring the success of the Community Panel. Residents, businesses, and other organizations are encouraged to:

  • Attend public roundtable meetings hosted by members of the Community Panel to discuss its progress and solicit community perspectives.
  • Attend open sessions of the Panel to observe its proceedings.
  • Submit ideas to the Panel website.
  • Review regular public updates produced by the Panel team.

8.4 Roles and Responsibilities of the City of Vancouver
The role of City of Vancouver staff is to support the Community Panel. The City will endeavour to:

  • Provide transportation and planning expertise and access to existing technical documents, and to provide additional information, as required and available.
  • Provide consultation summaries on previous City-led engagement activities on the arterial alignment.
  • Provide technical expertise on potential impacts to City facilities and amenities by the proposed arterial alignments.
  • Incorporate wherever possible, at the direction of Council, the recommendations made by the Community Panel in the draft arterial road alignment plan.

The City of Vancouver will respect and support the independence and integrity of the Community Panel.

8.5 Roles and Responsibilities of the Vancouver Park Board
The role of Park Board staff is to support the Community Panel. The Park Board will endeavour to:

  • Provide technical expertise on how parks and Park and Recreation services may potentially be affected by the various options.
  • If the preferred option has impacts on a park, Park Board staff will conduct further study and community engagement to assess the impacts of the proposed option on the park, as well as potential mitigation strategies, and present this report to the Park Board Commissioners.

The Park Board will respect and support the independence and integrity of the Community Panel.

1 For the purposes of this Terms of Reference, “local business participants” includes any licensed business located in the study area. See Section 7 for more details.

2 Community Panel members will actively consider (through presentation, written materials, tours, and public workshops) the needs and perspectives of those involved and affected by the proposed routes.

3 Defining what constitutes an ‘undue fiscal burden’ will be a component of the Community Panel’s work to explore and balance the needs of various interests.

Appendix A – Relevant City of Vancouver & Vancouver Park Board Policies

The following policies are highly relevant to the Community Panel’s work and will be inform the Panel’s deliberation. This list is not exclusive.

2019-2022 Capital Plan (2018)

Biodiversity Strategy (2016)

City of Vancouver Corporate Plan (2018)

Congestion Management Strategy (2018)

Council Motions: Northeast False Creek Final Motion as Adopted (2018)

Council Report: Removal of the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts (2015)

Downtown Eastside Plan (2014)

False Creek Flats Plan (2017)

False Creek Flats Rail Corridor Strategy (2012)

Greenest City Action Plan (2015)

Healthy City Strategy (2015)

Local Food Action Plan (2013)

Moving Toward Zero: Safety Action Plan (2016)

Rewilding Vancouver: Environmental Education & Stewardship Plan (2014)

Transportation 2040 (2012)

Urban Agriculture Policy (2015)

Urban Forest Strategy (2014)

Vancouver Food Strategy (2013)