25
Jul
09

the next fight: gage south neighbourhood, problems

The first fight was University Boulevard. The second fight was the UBC Farm. The third fight will be Gage South neighbourhood.

Gage south neighbourhood is the current temporary bus loop. It’s neighbourhood plan was developped in January ’06, and as a factoid, the community advisory committee for the plan was Michael Duncan’s first university committee.

So, what’s the big fear? The current thinking for this neighbourhood is a Hawthorne-esc lowrise community.

Now, I have no qualms about Hawthorne, or Hawthorne-esc communities. If there’s demand, by all means, grow the endowment. That just means more University programming and services. What I do have qualms with is crappy planning, and that’s what this project currently smells of.

There are two ‘location tests’ I feel we have to run every time these projects are now proposed: the Arts County Trail rule, and the Unsavory Neighbours[1] law.

The Arts County Trail rule:

If a non-student housing area is planned in the middle of a route students use to get to campus entertainment, the housing will win and the entertainment will die.

The Arts County Trail rule was the straw on the back of the death of Arts County Fair. Because Hawthorne was planted right in the middle of the route from campus-proper to Thunderbird Stadium, students now had to trek through this community to get to the Fair. Hawthorne folk, upset with students peeing in their bushes, a bit of litter, but particularly upset, I think, with rumors of what happened, took action and pressured the rest of the Axis of Boring into action.

The Unsavory Neighbours law:

If you build a community that expects quite and order beside a community which expects noise and disorder, conflict shall insue and entropy (disorder) will tend to decrease.

This is a bad thing for students, as students typical like fun. Fun when you’re a 20-something involves quite a bit of disorder. Case in point, the Fraternity Village and Beta House, which are all under attack by the RCMP, Campus and Community Planning and the UNA. Fortunately, UBC central is taking a somewhat student-friendly approach to the situation, but that cannot last forever.

Next up: More on Gage South.

[1] “As well, it has also been our experience that these concerts seem to attract some clientele who are drug dealers, gangsters, and unsavory characters in general.” – http://blogs.ubc.ca/yonny/files/2009/07/rcmp_arena.pdf

As well,
it has also been our experience that these concerts seem to attract some clientele who are drug
dealers, gangsters, and unsavory characters in general
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