Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Broadway/Kingsway Rezoning - Workshop Venue Change

Broadway/Kingsway Rezoning - Workshop Venue Change

Dear Registrant:
Thank you for your interest in and registration for the Community Workshop being held on Sunday, March 20, 11:30 am to 4:30 pm, to discuss the Rize Alliance rezoning application for the site at Main, Broadway, Kingsway, and Watson St.

Please note that due to the tremendous public response to this workshop - we currently have 136 people registered and registration is not yet closed - we have had to change venue. The workshop will now be held at:

The Salt Building
85 West 1st Ave. (at Manitoba)
Parking is available along 1st Ave. A light lunch will be provided for participants. Please find attached a map setting out the location of the Salt Building.

Also, please find attached the Community Workshop agenda and a description of the workshop objectives and group process. We remind everyone that the doors to the Salt Building will open at 11:30 AM so you can preview the presentation materials and talk with the proposal proponents and City staff. This will be followed by brief presentations and then group discussion.

I am also including a link to the Mount Pleasant Community Plan http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/cpp/mountpleasant/pdf/MPcommunityplan.pdf which will inform much of the discussion on Sunday. Of particular importance are the 'Overarching Principles" and the sections on the 'Uptown Shopping Area' and the 'Rize Alliance Development site".

Thanks so much for your interest in this event, and I'm looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Yours truly,
Peter Burch
Mount Pleasant Community Planning Program
Community Planning Division
Vancouver Planning Department
604.873.7486 (phone)
604.873.7898 (fax)

Nancy Wormald
Planning Analyst
Planning Department
City of Vancouver

Friday, March 4, 2011

26-Story Building aimed at Broadway at Kingsway - Have your say

The aunties have been saying ever since they happened in late 2009 that the two three-alarm fires at Broadway and Main and Broadway and Kingsway seemed to be property-owner arson to clear the lots for development. Now one of those properties is being proposed for a 26-story building!

"The City of Vancouver has received an application from Acton Ostry Architects Inc. to rezone the block bounded by Broadway, Kingsway, 10th Avenue, and Watson Street from C-3A (Commercial) District to a CD-1 "

Quite apart from the question of whether these owners are arsonists who should not profit from their crimes, such a building would be quite a travesty on that corner, since the next tallest building anywhere near there is only nine stories. It would grossly overshadow and shade the neighbourhood. It would cram a huge amount of mostly wealthy single and childless people into what is still basically a working-class family neighbourhood, and the people in the tower will be literally looking down on everyone and tend to be socially disconnected from the rest of the community. Plus, they will all be trying to find parking places on the street (and at Kingsgate Mall).

Yes, property owners will be supposed to provide a quota of parking spaces; however, conversations with property managers, people who live in apartments, and their neighbours reveal that apartment dwellers in Vancouver prefer not to pay the stall rent and the very considerable tax on such spaces, preferring to drive around and around poaching places wherever they can. In most cases there are not nearly enough spaces for all the cars anyway.

A further objection to a 26-story building is that if one tower is allowed to be built then the zoning will be broken in for additional towers of that magnitude. That will throw the longtime Mt. Pleasant Community Plan the city and neighbourhood have been developing - featuring three-to-six-story dwellings above stores - into the ashcan. Chinatown just went through a battle to prevent this invasion of the giants there, and now Mt. Pleasant will have to fend them off with our activism if we don't want them.

Here's what the Mt. Pleasant Community Plan says about what's supposed to happen to Main street - just to the west of this corner:

5.1 Uptown Shopping Area
Overall Concept Plan
• Retain the existing scale and character of Main Street (from 7th to
11th Avenue).
• Ensure that Main Street be kept more local in scale with smaller
frontages. Retain the ‘high and low’ rhythm of building heights
along Main Street. Retain older more affordable housing (e.g., 3
storey walk-ups) for low income families and individuals.
• Create an improved pedestrian environment linking important sites
along Main (e.g., IGA site, Heritage Hall).
• Allow additional density and height for mixed-use buildings of up
to 6 storeys to increase housing opportunities along South Main

One nearby precedent for neighbours resisting height was the change in plan for Broadway and Fraser, where the city intends to build a building for the hard-to-house. Through a series of planning and zoning hearings, those plans were reduced from 12 stories to 11 stories to finally 9 stories. The proposed 26-story building sits right in between Broaday and Fraser and Broadway and Main - how long can we keep heights in human scale around there if we allow the first oversized erection?

Now the city planning department has just announced "community workshops" to test the waters about the zoning hearing on the Broadway and Kingsway location. Here's the text of the letter they sent out to parties who had registered as interested (sans the pictures - :

Current Planning - RezoningMar

March 4, 2011


Dear Sir and/or Madam:

RE: Proposed Rezoning of 228, 236 and 246 East Broadway and 180 Kingsway
(Broadway, Kingsway, 10th Avenue and Watson Street - See Map on Reverse)

The City of Vancouver has received an application from Acton Ostry Architects Inc. to rezone the block bounded by Broadway, Kingsway, 10th Avenue, and Watson Street from C-3A (Commercial) District to a CD-
1 (Comprehensive Development) District to allow development with a mixed-use commercial and residential project, including the following components:

• a 6- and 7-storey base with retail and commercial uses at grade on the Broadway, Watson Street, and
Kingsway frontages and residential units above;
• a 26-storey residential tower at the 10th Avenue and Kingsway corner;
• 62 rental dwelling units and 206 market dwelling units (total 268 units);
• a 9,200 sq. ft. artist production space at the 10th Avenue and Watson Street corner;
• 6,600 sq. ft. of additional public open space at street level through additional sidewalk widths;
• 362 bicycle parking stalls;
• three levels of underground parking for 319 vehicles; and
• access to parking and loading facilities on the Watson Street frontage.

A facilitated Community Workshop will be held to discuss the project. The details are as follows:

Date: March 20, 2011
Time: 12:00 Noon – 4:30 p.m.
(Doors open at 11:30 for viewing the proposal)
Place: Native Education College, 285 East 5th Avenue

RSVP REQUIRED – Please contact us as soon as you can to confirm your attendance at the Workshop. We need to know the number of participants in order to properly plan the event. RSVP to:

Nancy Wormald - (604) 873-7388 nancy.wormald@vancouver.ca

The workshop will begin with brief presentations regarding the City’s rezoning process, an overview of the recently approved Mount Pleasant Community Plan as it relates specifically to this site, and a description of the rezoning application that has been submitted. During the workshop we intend to collect neighbourhood input on several different aspects of the project through small group discussions and reporting out.

A follow-up Open House event is planned for April 12 at Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street. This will be a drop-in event so that the community can view the response made by the project design team to the input provided at the March 20th workshop, and provide additional comments. The Open House will run from
4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

If you are unable to attend the March 20th workshop, please consider sharing your comments via letter, email or online at vancouver.ca/rezapps. The drawings and information about the project are posted there.

All community input will be taken into account in our analysis of the application and ultimately staff’s recommendations to City Council. Council will consider policies, the public interest and staff recommendations when making its decision to approve or deny the rezoning application.

If you would like to view the plans which have been submitted with the application, please enquire at the Planning Department reception desk on the Third Floor, in the East Wing of City Hall, at 2675 Yukon Street. For additional information you can also contact the applicant, Alan Davies, Acton Ostry Architects Inc. at

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act deems any response to this notification to be public information. If you have contracted to sell or lease all or part of your property to any person, firm, or corporation, we strongly urge you to deliver this courtesy notification letter, as soon as possible, to the prospective buyer or tenant.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the application, please call me at 604.873.7727. You may also send written comments to me at the address below, by fax to 604.873.7060, by E-mail to alison.higginson@vancouver.ca, or online through www.vancouver.ca/rezapps.

Yours truly,

Alison Higginson Rezoning Planner alison.higginson@vancouver.ca Phone: 604.873.7727


F:\VanDocs Offline Records\Offline Records (VP)\236 E ~ Land Administration and Planning - Rezoning - Rezoning Case Files\236 E Broadway - Notification
& Community Workshop - March 5th - 2011-02-23.DOC(09 IA)
City Hall 453 West 12th Avenue Vancouver BC V5Y 1V4 vancouver.ca
Current Planning - Rezoning tel: 604.873.7038 fax: 604.873.7060

The plan is artfully written to include six stories on one side, as if that would hide the tower looming over it. It also includes an artist's studio space - perhaps a tribute to the artist whose studio burned at that site and who lost 500 paintings, though she might not be able to afford this one. And it includes a larger than average number of rental units. However, how often have we seen these amenities peeled off one by one as the developers run crying to the city that they hadn't foreseen the inevitable cost overruns?