New Westminster planners earn accolades for city achievements

Front Street Mews earns award, too

The planning department came home with a lot of hardware from a recent conference in Victoria.

Each year, the Planning Institute of British Columbia recognizes the professional work and individual accomplishments of members across B.C. and the Yukon. The City of New Westminster picked up a couple of awards at the institute’s recent annual conference in Victoria.

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* The city was a Silver Winner in the Excellence in Planning Practice – City and Urban Areas for its New Westminster infill housing program, which included work to implement laneway and carriage houses, and infill townhouses and rowhouses. Winners in this category highlight the inventive ways that planners are creating transformative change through ground-breaking actions.

* The city was a Silver Winner in the Excellence in Policy Planning – City and Urban Areas – for the city’s new official community plan. Winners in this category demonstrate effective initiatives and solutions that enhance the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of communities. 

“The OCP and infill housing process was a huge success for us as our community members said they felt heard,” said Jackie Teed, acting director of development services. “That’s the greatest reward, but we’re very proud of being recognized by PIBC as well.”

The Planning Institute of British Columbia also recognized the achievements of Beverly Grieve, who recently retired as the city’s director of development services. She received the Individual Achievement – Leadership in Advocacy and Innovation, which recognizes a planner who demonstrates outstanding leadership, tenacity and advocacy on planning issues in their community, provincially, or more broadly.

“Bev Grieve was recognized for her extensive career that has made a significant impact to planning policy and practice,” said Lisa Spitale, the city’s chief administrative officer. “Her dedication to housing issues echoes through some of the most innovative housing planning that is happening across Metro Vancouver today.”

Spitale said the city’s secured market rental housing policy was a “momentous achievement” in Grieve’s career and has resulted in more than 1,200 new rental units in New Westminster. She said Grieve also spearheaded affordable housing projects during her time with the city.

“In all the years I have been a planner, you dream of this award,” Spitale said. “Quite frankly, our Beverly Grieve exemplifies this award. This one is a tremendous honour to recognize.”

Grieve worked in a number of cities, including New Westminster, Burnaby, North Vancouver and Maple Ridge, as well as Metro Vancouver Regional District, during her career.

“I think this work really reflects the work of all the people that I have worked with and collaborated with in planning and in every department here throughout the years, and the incredible work of dedicated councils I have worked with. It’s been a true honour,” she said. “This is a fantastic way to go out into retirement.”

Along with the planning awards, the city recently received an award from the B.C. Economic Development Association. The City of New Westminster received the 2018 Stan Rogers Memorial Award, which is given to a project that’s made an exceptional impact on the local economy, for its Front Street Mews.

“This was at times a challenging project, but incredibly rewarding,” Spitale said. “I’d like to acknowledge the city staff for their hard work on the Front Street Mews.”





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