Eye on Norquay

Looking Out for East Vancouver

      Monitors what is happening in the Norquay area of East Vancouver
      Provides a forum for residents to communicate
      Documents how city officials implement CityPlan in Vancouver’s second “neighbourhood centre”

The interests of speculators, a developer-funded City Council, and compromised city planners may go against what renters and homeowners want to see happen in their neighborhood. Bad planning can contribute to damage of organic social fabric, loss of affordable rental housing, needless manufacture of unoccupied investment condos, skyrocketing property taxes, artificially accelerated rates of development, more people crowded into the same unimproved public space, aggravation of problems with parking and vehicle traffic, loss of views, poor quality in design, and severe shadow impacts. What is happening to Norquay calls for continuing independent community-based review. Please keep coming back to Eye on Norquay to stay up to date on news and to share your perspective.

→   See Resources in right sidebar learn more about Norquay and city planning in Vancouver

[ Eye on Norquay complements the coverage of 2007-2008 provided by predecessor Norquay Neighbours ]

Written by eyeonnorquay

14 February 2011 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2103 East 33rd Avenue

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Comment on Development Application DP-2021-00658
under RM-7 Zoning

 
https://shapeyourcity.ca/2103-e-33-ave
 

 

 

12 October 2021
 

Our main concern with this application is the missing sidewalk along the Gladstone frontage of the property. Staff has told Norquay residents that a development condition to install a city sidewalk would be imposed on all new conditional development where no sidewalk currently exists. As the photo shows, there is no existing sidewalk along Gladstone Street at this site.

Existing street trees require that the new sidewalk be located between the street trees and the west property line. The existing hedge along Gladstone Street, which according to the site plan is actually on city property, will need to be removed. Sidewalks on the property will be necessary to connect the proposed main entrances fronting on Gladstone Street with the new city sidewalk.

The existing hedge along East 33rd Avenue, which encloses the part of the site dedicated to street widening, should also be removed. All other new development in Norquay that includes an allowance for street widening has located fences/hedges on the new property line.

The existing driveway on Gladstone Street should be eliminated. The only possible new use for this “driveway” is as a parking space. Three parking spaces should be located at the rear of the site, as specified in RM-7 Guidelines 4.9.1(c)(ii & iii).

 
Jeanette and Joseph Jones
 
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

12 October 2021 at 11:11 am

Posted in RM-7 Comment

5415 Wales Street

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Comment on Development Application DP-2021-00552
under RT-11 Zoning

 
https://shapeyourcity.ca/5415-wales-st
 

 

 

 

 

17 August 2021
 

 
This project will fit in well with the development currently under construction in the same block, at 5471 Wales Street.

We have two concerns:

The suggested relaxation of the side yard requirement should not be granted. The applicant is asking for a relaxation of the exterior side yard requirement from 7.87 ft. to 5.36 ft. If this relaxation is granted, the front porch of Unit 2 will abut the fence on the East 38th Avenue property line. This creates a very cramped main entry to the unit. Real privacy concerns will arise, especially once the city sidewalk is installed (see paragraph following).

A new city sidewalk needs to be installed by the developer along both the Wales Street frontage and along the East 38th Street frontage. No city sidewalk exists at present in either of these locations (see attached photo). Staff has told us that approval of a development application for a Norquay site where no city sidewalk currently exists is to include a Development Condition specifying sidewalk construction. When the last relevant Norquay RT-11 application was approved at 2555 E 40th Avenue, this Development Condition was not included in the Prior-To letter. This condition needs to be specified for this application.

 
Jeanette and Joseph Jones
 
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

17 August 2021 at 11:11 am

Posted in RT-11 Comment

Norquay Plan Public Benefits

with 2 comments

 

     from:  Jeanette Jones
       to:  Bligh, Rebecca; Boyle, Christine; Carr, Adriane;
            De Genova, Melissa; Dominato, Lisa; Fry, Pete;
            Hardwick, Colleen; Kirby-Yung, Sarah; Stewart, Kennedy;
            Swanson, Jean; Wiebe, Michael
     date:  Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:12 PM
  subject:  Comment on 2725-2751 Kingsway
            (Agenda Item #4, Public Hearing of June 17, 2021)

 
To: Mayor and Council

Below is a copy of my submission to Council. I will be speaking at the Public Hearing on June 17.

Jeanette Jones
 



 
 

 



 
 
My name is Jeanette Jones and I live in the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre in East Vancouver.

In general, the proposal for this project meets the specifications of the Norquay Plan. The one exception is that the height of the lower podium along Kingsway has been increased from 4 to 5 storeys. I would prefer the 4-storey podium along Kingsway specified in the Norquay Plan, but I believe that the trade-off is acceptable – a slightly higher podium in exchange for less massive and bulky towers.

I appreciate the extra-wide 30-35 foot sidewalk along Kingsway and the open space at the corner in this new development. Most inner-row trees of earlier Kingsway developments have not survived. But staff has assured me that with the increased soil and water that will be available, the inner row of the double row of street trees along Kingsway in front of this project should thrive.

I would like to focus most of my comment on the proposed CACs. This development is to produce a cash CAC of $2.6 M, directed to support delivery of the Norquay Village Public Benefits Strategy. Appendix F of the Referral Report gives metrics for the delivery of those benefits so far. The 2010 Norquay Plan is approximately 1/3 of the way through its anticipated life. In that time, the Norquay population has grown by more than 1/3. Yet the City’s own metrics show that very little public benefit has been delivered. [See details above from Appendix F of the Referral Report.]

The most successful category has been Transportation and Public Realm improvements, at 40% of planned benefits completed or in progress. These are making a real difference. Some work is being done on parks and child care, but achievement in those categories stands at only 15%. The categories of Housing and Culture have delivered even less – 8% and 5% respectively.

What really leaps off the page are the large empty spaces opposite the categories of Civic/Community and Social Facilities – 0% achieved. This lack of progress does not mean that Norquay already has adequate community and social facilities. We have no library, no community centre, no neighbourhood house, no swimming pool nor ice rink. Our only community spaces are two elementary schools and three neighbourhood parks. This is why residents during the Norquay planning process identified new community space as our Number 1 priority for new amenity.

The Norquay Public Benefits Strategy calls for 15,000 sf of new indoor community space and 20,000 sf of new outdoor community space as a “key priority.” (p. 72) This space is to be delivered as part of the development of the largest site in Norquay, the 3.5 acres on Kingsway now occupied by the 2400 Motel. New development at this location is also specified to include 100 units of permanent social housing. Who owns this site? The City of Vancouver. Who should develop this site? The City of Vancouver. Yet this piece of land – identified in the Plan as the “heart” of the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre – remains unchanged as continuing new development makes the rest of Kingsway unrecognizable.

When the large site at 2220 Kingsway was rezoned in 2013 for Kensington Gardens, CACs worth $3 M were allocated for “future development of community facilities and/or affordable housing.” So far as we know, that money remains sequestered and its value is shrinking over time. Will that happen to the $2.6 M of CACs from this project? Norquay CACs should be helping to deliver the affordable housing that the City wants and the promised community space that our neighbourhood desperately needs. But that can only happen when the City of Vancouver respects its planning commitments and steps up to develop the large site it owns at 2400 Kingsway.
 
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

18 June 2021 at 11:20 am

2725-2751 Kingsway

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Letter To Norquay Residents –

 
After a long pause, an application is coming forward for a new major project on the Norquay section of Kingsway. The rezoning application for a new development at 2725-2751 Kingsway – the former site of the Harvey’s store at the corner of Earles Street – is scheduled to go to public hearing on Thursday 17 June 2021.

 

 

Details of the proposal can be seen on the City of Vancouver web site:

https://shapeyourcity.ca/2725-2751-kingsway

The proposal is for a building of 10, 5 and 4 storeys at the northwest corner of Kingsway at Earles Street. The project would contain 219 strata units and ground-floor commercial space.

Overall, the proposed height and density are consistent with the specifications of the Norquay Plan. The lower podium section along Kingsway has been increased to 5 storeys (the Norquay Plan calls for 4 storeys) to avoid making the towers even more bulky. This podium height matches those at Kensington Gardens (2220 Kingsway) and at The Windsor (2395 Kingsway, currently nearing completion), as well as that of the new single-lot building at 2547 Kingsway. While we would prefer a 4-storey podium along Kingsway, we believe that the trade-off – a slightly higher podium in exchange for less bulky towers – is acceptable. The 4-storey section facing Duke Street respects its RM-9A zoning.

We appreciate the width of the 30-35 foot sidewalk proposed along Kingsway for this new development. Open space near the corner is to feature a small public plaza. Staff has assured us that better planting methods should enable the inner row of street trees to survive. (Most of the trees in the inner row along Kingsway in front of both Skyway Towers / 2689 Kingsway and at Kensington Gardens / 2220 Kingsway are dead or dying.)

This is your chance to let Council hear your opinion about this proposed development. You can send your comments or register to speak by telephone to Council at the public hearing:

https://council.vancouver.ca/20210617/phea20210617ag.htm

There will be one more opportunity to comment in writing on the design details of this application when the development permit is considered. We’ll let you know when that happens.

Thank you for continuing to be interested in what’s happening in our neighbourhood.

 
Jeanette and Joseph Jones
 
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

11 June 2021 at 11:38 am

Posted in 2725 Kingsway, News

2400 Motel Site

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Considered Unsuitable to House the Homeless

 
Last fall Council passed a motion “to pursue using the City-owned 2400 Motel and the Jericho Hostel for housing unhoused people as soon as possible.” (Minutes of Council Meeting of 8 October 2020, Item 2, Final Motion as Approved, p. 11)

Following is the full text of a statement that Eye on Norquay received from City of Vancouver staff:

 
As you are aware, last October Council directed City staff to explore the possibility of using the 2400 Motel to support the City’s emergency response to homelessness. In recent months, staff from the City and BC Housing have been discussing the possibility of using the 2400 Motel in this way but, after careful consideration, it has been determined the site is not appropriate to house people currently experiencing homelessness in Vancouver.

This decision was not taken lightly and was based on several factors. The physical layout of the 2400 Motel means that it is not a suitable site for supportive housing and to operate it successfully would be challenging. Given the physical space and how the buildings are spread out with multiple entrances for each unit, substantial staffing costs would be incurred to effectively manage the site and there are better, safer options that BC Housing is pursuing.

While we will not be using 2400 Motel as a space to house people experiencing homelessness at this time, BC Housing is confident it can support more people in other facilities that are better suited to priority populations, particularly people who are sleeping overnight in Strathcona Park.

The City remains committed to working with the Province to activate other locations across Vancouver that will provide warm, safe spaces for people who are experiencing homelessness, including two new shelters at 875 Terminal and 15-27 West Hastings, as well as creating new private, supportive units in properties such as 2075 Kingsway.

Please note, the 2400 Motel will continue to operate as a commercial hotel.

 
The Jericho Hostel has also been determined to be unsuitable for housing the homeless because of its isolated location and its inaccessibility to people with mobility issues.

Further information on 2075 Kingsway site of the former Days Inn:

https://eyeonnorquay.wordpress.com/2021/03/11/2075-kingsway/

 
Other reporting:

Joseph Jones. 2400 Motel and Jericho Hostel: a case of Vancouver ADD (Avoidance, Desperation, Disappearance). Vancouver Media Coop (18 Dec 2020)
https://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/story/2400-motel-and-jericho-hostel/37050

Kenneth Chan. City of Vancouver abandons idea to use 2400 Motel to
house the homeless. Daily Hive (29 March 2021)
https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/2400-motel-kingsway-vancouver-supportive-housing-homeless

Kenneth Chan. BC Housing acquiring Ramada Vancouver Downtown hotel
to house the homeless. Daily Hive (22 March 2021)
https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/ramada-limited-vancouver-downtown-hotel-435-west-pender-street-bc-housing
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

5 April 2021 at 9:14 am

Perpetuating Inequity

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by Further Abusing the Poor Area of Vancouver

 
A consortium of consultants has produced a report for Metro Vancouver Regional District titled Social Equity & Regional Growth Study (25 January 2021). The bulk of the report can be found as pdf pages 182-284 of MVRD agenda for 26 March 2021 at

        http://www.metrovancouver.org/boards/GVRD/RD_2021-Mar-26_AGE.pdf

City Hall Watch recently called attention to an inequity map contained in this report.

 

 

The map aggregates 49 social equity indicators. The color scale runs from dark-blue rich to dark-red poor. Outlined in a green circle is a superimposed Norquay.

In 2010 the City of Vancouver overrode the community to mass-rezone 350 acres into “Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre.” Ten years later on, the City and its developers have extracted a great deal of wealth by deliberately accelerating new development in the heart of East Vancouver.

The resulting speculation and land assembly have displaced working-class and immigrant families while eliminating affordable rentals. The residents who have remained have been subjected to perpetual dirt, noise, heavy-equipment traffic, and downside impacts on street traffic and parking.

The City of Vancouver proposed a “public benefits strategy” to mitigate the concentration of new development into a particular small area. At this point, that professed “strategy” looks like little more than misdirection preparatory to hit-and-run profit-grabbing.

Absolutely nothing significant that was promised has been delivered. “Planning” work may (or may not … the ever-convenient covid excuse) begin under the current capital plan — to study possible delivery of what is by far the smallest of the specified amenities, an upgrade to Brock Park.

Hope for that one grudging token comes only after ten years of persistent campaigning to put the item onto the Park Board agenda. The City of Vancouver gives nothing back and looks for any excuse to duck out or cheap out. No sane neighborhood would ever want to be “developed” under these conditions. Meanwhile, a $3,000,000 cash CAC from 2220 Kingway has been sequestered into the black hole of City of Vancouver finances.

In the 2007-2010 heyday of Norquay planning, we asked then-director of planning Brent Toderian how and why “Norquay” became selected. His reply? “Oh, all sorts of neighborhoods were lining up to get this new planning.” Behind that blather, the real answer becomes ever more apparent.

The City of Vancouver went straight for the area that seemed poorest and most defenseless, the easiest target. Norquay got a quick stripmining. Then City and developers raced off hand-in-hand to pursue new exploitation opportunities in Downtown Eastside, Grandview-Woodland, Marpole, Mount Pleasant, West End.

We live in Inequi-City. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.
 
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

28 March 2021 at 10:42 pm