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

2725/2731 Duke Street

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Comment on Development Application DP-2017-00819
under RM-7 Zoning



9 October 2017

This development seems to be an acceptable implementation of the RM-7 zoning for stacked townhouses.

We have several comments regarding the landscaping.

1.  We are pleased to see that the large pine tree on city property in front of the house is to be retained. However, we question the plan to plant a considerable area of lawn underneath the tree. Grass cannot compete with a large evergreen for water or nutrients, and the existing grassy area under the tree is in very poor condition. We suggest that a drought tolerant ground cover be planted instead. The ornamental plants specified for this location seem like good choices.

2.  In a similar nearby rowhouse development at 2761-2767 Duke Street, the clematis specified in the landscape plan to cover the wooden trellis over the parking spaces has not been planted. We believe that there has been some confusion over a condition in the Prior-To letter, where the developer was asked to provide “more substantial, woody shrubs … to create unit identity and privacy” (Landscape Review Condition 1.13.1). The developer has planted rows of cedars instead of, and not in addition to, the specified clematis (see photo following). Consequently the trellis remains bare. If a similar condition is imposed for this application, it needs to be carefully worded to avoid a similar outcome.

3.  An irrigation system for the ornamental plantings needs to be specified if this has not already been done.

Please send a copy of the Prior-To letter when it is ready.

Jeanette and Joseph Jones



Written by eyeonnorquay

9 October 2017 at 9:34 pm

Posted in RM-7 Comment

Two Major Deficiencies

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… Likely to Carry Over into Current Citywide Planning

The following open letter is sent to the following named City of Vancouver officials and simultaneously posted to the Eye on Norquay web site at


To:  Gil Kelley — Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability
     Kaye Krishna — Manager of Development, Buildings and Licensing
     Anita Molaro — Assistant Director: Urban Design
     Dan Garrison — Assistant Director: Housing Policy
     Kent Munro — Assistant Director: Vancouver Midtown
CC:  Sadhu Johnston — City Manager

From:  Jeanette and Joseph Jones

Subject: Two Major Deficiencies Evident in Norquay RT-11

Date:  4 September 2017


The Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre is the second large area of Vancouver to have all RS parcels rezoned to allow for new forms of low-density housing. Between 2013 and 2015 the City of Vancouver rezoned 1,912 parcels of land in the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre from RS-1 to three new specifications: RT-11 (small house/duplex), RM-7 (rowhouse/stacked townhouse), and RM-9A (4-storey apartment). As of 30 August 2017, fifty development applications have been posted on the City of Vancouver’s Development Applications web page. Eleven projects have been completed so far in the RT-11 zoned areas and two in the RM-7 zoned areas. The first RM-9A project on assembled parcels has recently begun construction.

In this way, our entire neighbourhood has become a demonstration project for the City of Vancouver designated “missing middle” housing forms that seem destined for other RS-1 zoned areas across the city. Problems associated with these new housing types are showing up first in Norquay.

At this point, two major deficiencies are clearly evident in many of the completed projects.

1.  Living rooms and bedrooms are often too small.

A large number of units, especially in the RT-11 zoned area, are 3–bedroom units expected to house families. In small house, duplex and townhouse units of less than 1500 sq. ft., the kitchen area and the living/dining area usually occupy a single room. After space has been allocated to the kitchen and dining functions, the remaining space can often only hold a 3-seater sofa. This amount of living room is inadequate for families.

Bedrooms in these units tend to be extremely small. A recent RT-11 application shows bedrooms that are 8 x 6 ft. or 8 x 7 ft. This space is barely large enough to accommodate a single bed. Many 3-bedroom units have at least one bedroom smaller than the 92 sq. ft. specified in the BC Housing Design Guidelines as a minimum bedroom size for social housing units.

It seems that no guidelines govern room sizes in Norquay’s RT-11 zone or in the proposed RT-5/5A and RT-6 zones for Grandview-Woodland and Mount Pleasant. The city’s Housing Design and Technical Guidelines apply only to social housing units. The High-Density Housing for Families with Children Guidelines apply only to “residential development, both market and non-market, of 75 and more units per hectare in density.” (p. 1) Units in the RT-11 zone and in the proposed RT-5/5N and RT-6 zones have a maximum unit density of 74 per hectare. The City of Vancouver urgently needs a new set of guidelines for low-density housing forms.

2.  Landscaping is not being maintained.

For the most part, landscaped areas are being planted with drought-tolerant plants. But these new plantings are not being properly watered. In some cases, the developer fails to water and the landscaping shows signs of severe stress even before the units are ever occupied [photos 1 and 2]. In other cases, the new residents fail to water the plantings, either through ignorance or lack of interest [photo 3]. In a worst-case scenario, both the developer and residents have failed to water. Irrigation systems usually have not been required. Failure to water and otherwise care for the landscaping is especially evident where there is shared “semi-private” open space. No one appears to feel responsible for these, or for city boulevards [photos 4 and 5].

Much of the sod that has been laid down does not look as if it will survive [photo 6]. Many trees have dead branches, and some entire trees have died but have not been replaced [photos 7 and 8]. While established plantings may recover to a large extent after a hot summer like this one, new plantings are much more vulnerable.

These problems can be anticipated to be even more acute in the RM zones, where units are likely to be smaller and virtually all ground-level open space will be semi-private shared space.

RT-11 zoning is referenced in the report “Increasing Housing Choice and Character Retention Incentives in the Mount Pleasant and Grandview-Woodland Communities – Proposed Amendments to the Zoning and Development By-law,” as presented to Council on 13 July 2017 and referred to Public Hearing of September 19. What is happening in the RT-11 and RM-7 zones will also be relevant when the final Housing Reset strategy is presented to Council later this year.

Solutions need to be found to the two serious problems outlined above before these new housing forms are allowed in other areas of Vancouver. Staff have assured us that these problems are “on the radar,” but they need to become more than a blip. They need to be given urgent priority. We understand that cooperative effort between staff working in different areas may be required, and workable solutions may take some time to find. In the meantime, substandard projects proliferate in Norquay, exacerbated by failed plantings that are never remediated. Failure to address these issues in a timely fashion could spread similar degradation across Vancouver.

Please keep us updated on what is being done to ensure that living rooms and bedrooms are adequately sized and that landscaping is maintained in low-density housing developments.

Note: Photos are provided only on the web site version of the letter and may be viewed at



     Photo 1 — 22 Aug 2017 — 2297 East 37th Avenue


     Photo 2 — 22 Aug 2017 — 5197 Clarendon Street


     Photo 3 — 22 Aug 2017 — 4573 Slocan Street


     Photo 4 — 22 Aug 2017 — 2297 East 37th Avenue


     Photo 5 — 22 Aug 2017 — 2273/2275/2277 Slocan Street


     Photo 6 — 16 May 2016 — 4521 Nanaimo Street


     Photo 7 — 16 May 2016 — Killarney Street at East 41st Avenue


     Photo 8 — 16 May 2016 — 5689 Killarney Street

Written by eyeonnorquay

4 September 2017 at 10:11 pm

4525 Clarendon

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Comment on Development Application DP-2017-00586
under RT-11 Zoning



18 July 2017

We consider the location of the buildings to be a good general response to the challenges of the site. The form of the buildings fits in well with the context. We strongly support the proposed retention of several existing tall conifers.

These are our concerns:

1.  City Sidewalk. There is no existing city sidewalk along the west side of Clarendon Street. Construction of a city sidewalk where none exists is to be a condition of new development in Norquay. No new sidewalk is shown on the current site plan.

2.  Pocket Park. A triangular piece of City-owned land at the southwest corner of the intersection of E. 29th Avenue and Clarendon Street adjoins the site. This land should be turned into a public pocket park, with seating and a more diverse collection of plants.

The park needs to be clearly separated from the development site by a low fence and/or plantings. Detailed arrangements need to be made for maintenance of the park, and the party responsible needs to be given clear instructions. Failure to maintain landscaping is a major problem of new development in Norquay.

3.  Parking. In general, a large amount of open space should not be devoted to driveways. In this case, the irregular shape of the site and minimal access to the lane mandate something like the proposed driveway to access the parking spaces required by current regulations. Use of paving stones would make the area more attractive and useful for recreational purposes.

However, it seems likely that the owners of the garages attached to Units 1, 2 and 3 will use them for storage rather than parking, or possibly convert them into additional rooms. The approximately 200 feet of adjoining curb on the two streets bordering this corner site make it easy for residents to park on the street. This situation may well lead to several undesirable outcomes:

a. An unused impermeable driveway taking up a large proportion of limited open space.

b. The centre of the site surrounded by unattractive and unnecessary garage doors.

c. Some of the largest rooms in the units rendered windowless and located away from the living areas.

We encourage the City of Vancouver to address the problems that result from attached garages, not only in Norquay but throughout the city. Space taken up by garages and driveways that are not likely to be used for their intended purpose would be better allocated to living space in the units and to landscaped open space in the yard.

4.  Size of Bedrooms. Unit 1 contains a bedroom that measures 8’ x 7’, and one bedroom in Unit 2 measures 8’ x 6’. These bedrooms are too small to hold anything but a single bed. It would be better to design for 2-bedroom units.

5.  Landscape.

a. Connections. The common area between Building A and Building B needs to be redesigned as a main pedestrian connection through the site. The north/south paving stone walkway should continue from the entrance on East 29th Avenue to connect to the driveway, with plantings at the edges. Building C seems to be isolated, with no clear connection from either door to the rest of the site.

b. Grass. Very small areas of grass are difficult to maintain and should be replaced with plantings and/or pavers.

c. Hedge. Keeping two fairly small pieces of an old existing hedge will detract from the appearance of the development. The entire hedge should be removed and replaced with plantings in keeping with those on the rest of the site.

d. Irrigation System. An irrigation system needs to be installed to water plantings in the common areas. This system should be extended to include plantings in the pocket park.

We ask that you address these concerns before approving this application.

Jeanette and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

18 July 2017 at 10:42 pm

Posted in RT-11 Comment

Compromised Public Spaces

with 2 comments


To:  Sadhu Johnston, City Manager
     Gil Kelley, Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability
     Kent Munro, Assistant Director of Planning, Vancouver Midtown
     Karen Hoese, Acting Assistant Director of Planning, Vancouver Downtown

cc:  Mayor and Council

Re:  Compromised Public Spaces


We support the City of Vancouver’s desire to create new public spaces in areas of the city that are undergoing rapid redevelopment. We note that current planning processes usually include planning for public spaces in the form of parks and plazas.

However, we are disappointed to see many of these planned public open spaces become severely compromised when development later takes place.

2220 Kingsway / Kensington Gardens

We have experienced this compromise in Norquay at Kensington Gardens (2220 Kingsway), where the Norquay Plan called for a single plaza of 6000-8000 sq. ft. The developer was permitted to divide the space into a 4664 sq. ft. grocery store entrance on the northwest corner of the site, and a “park” of 7477 sq. ft. on the southwest corner of the site. Approximately half of the “park” (not the half containing exhaust vents from the underground parking area) now appears to have been clawed back, lowered to a different level, and walled off to function as outdoor seating for a planned restaurant. In return for these two impaired peripheral spaces, the developer gained 12 upper floors (4 extra storeys in each of 3 towers.) The contrast in value is appalling. A 2-storey podium topped by a large semi-private courtyard covers the interior of the site. There is no functional public plaza.

Two current planning initiatives seem to be following this unhappy precedent.

Safeway Site at Broadway and Commercial

The Grandview-Woodland Community Plan provides for a generous at-grade public plaza on this site. The developer recently proposed that the plaza be relocated to an alternate space above the Grandview cut. The location would be above the Millenium SkyTrain line and under and beside the Expo SkyTrain line. The proposed new site is markedly inferior, especially with regard to noise, elevation and air pollution. Once again, the same developer proposes a semi-private courtyard at the centre of the Broadway/Commercial Safeway site.

Creekside Park in Northeast False Creek

The original 1990 development plan for Creekside Park was for a contiguous east-west park alignment along the waterfront. The most recent proposal is for a north-south alignment of the park, allocating much more of the waterfront to development and much less to the park. The north-south alignment situates a part of the park under the SkyTrain line and next to the new 6-lane Pacific Avenue.

In all of these cases, the developer seeks to appropriate more desirable land that was designated as public open space in community plans, in order to convert that land into semi-private or private space. Public open space is being shifted to undesirable locations.

The reason that some of the most desirable land was originally allocated to public open space was to provide attractive shared gathering spaces for ordinary residents living in denser housing forms like townhouses and apartments. Approval of the proposed land-swaps would create attractive private playgrounds for the wealthy and the elite, while ordinary residents are left with the dregs.

We ask that both the plaza on the Broadway and Commercial Safeway site and Creekside Park in Northeast False Creek be situated in their originally proposed locations. Any parks or plazas that the City of Vancouver wishes to build under or over SkyTrain lines should be in addition to, and not instead of, the designated public open spaces already promised to individual neighbourhoods.

Jeanette and Joseph Jones
6 July 2017

Written by eyeonnorquay

6 July 2017 at 9:21 pm

Posted in Open Letters

2652 Duke Street

leave a comment »


Comment on Development Application DP-2017-00527
under RM-9A zoning



3 July 2017 / comment revised on 7 July 2017

We appreciate many features of this project, in particular the amount of brick on the exterior surface, the high percentage of 2 and 3 bedroom units, and the roof garden.

However, the application violates clear RM-9A Guidelines in a significant respect:

1.  The proposed site coverage is 12,315 sq ft (90%), far in excess of the allowable 7440 sq ft (65%). Section 4.8 of the Guidelines states:

        Generally the site coverage should not be relaxed, as provision of open space and landscaped surfaces
        are encouraged. However, for apartment buildings otherwise achieving the intent of the guidelines,
        the Director of Planning may increase the area of site coverage to 65 per cent of the site area.

2.  We also note that two narrow areas of grass are shown, the only grass areas on the site. Both the area between the front property line and the city sidewalk and the boulevard area have a northern exposure and will be shaded almost continuously by the building or the street trees. These grassy areas should be replaced by shade-tolerant plantings. A sprinkler system to water all plantings should be installed if it is not already specified.

We ask that the City of Vancouver address these concerns before approving this application.

[ Note: Comment of 3 July 2017 included concern about provision of exterior windows for all bedrooms. Further inspection of the one available floor plan has alleviated this concern. ]

Jeanette and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

3 July 2017 at 8:18 pm

Posted in RM-9A Comment

June 2017 Norquay Listings

The following offers to sell properties in Norquay were found on Multiple Listing Service at some point during the month of June 2017. This data is collected as part of Eye on Norquay’s efforts to monitor the affordable new housing types that the Norquay Plan intended to spread across our local area.

Single Family House

Address                      Ask Price     Lot (ft)     Sq Ft     Year     Zone

2255 E 30th Ave             $2,600,000     45 x 93       2176     2011     RM-9A

2404 E 33rd Ave             $1,568,000     32 x 115      2000     1959     RM-9A            

2428 E 33rd Ave             $1,839,000     32 x 108      1800     1920     RM-7

2488 E 33rd Ave             $2,288,000     32 x 108      2160     1987     RM-9A

2498 E 33rd Ave             $2,288,000     29 x 108      1987     1987     RM-9A

2495 E 34th Ave             $1,898,000     31 x 115      2000     2011     RM-7

2606 E 34th Ave             $2,598,000     52 x 104      3222     1986     RM-9A

2555 E 40th Ave             $4,800,000     66 x 140      4453     1982     RT-11

4665 Baldwin St             $1,928,000     61 x 130      2705     1967     RT-11

4863 Baldwin St             $1,899,999     33 x 93       1856     1980     RM-9A

4873 Baldwin St             $1,899,999     33 x 93       1856     1955     RM-9A

4885 Baldwin St             $1,799,999     33 x 93       1858     1997     RM-9A
2546 Brock St               $1,248,000     23 x 121      1821     1974     RT-11

5123 Chambers St            $1,299,000     34 x 104      2230     1961     RM-7

5485 Chambers St            $1,999,000     42 x 100      2556     1990     RT-11

2826 Cheyenne Ave           $1,728,000     29 x 106      1940     1990     RM-7

4641 Clarendon St           $1,349,000                   1630     1954     RT-11

5128 Clarendon St           $1,688,000     33 x 104      2110     1998     RM-7

2743 Duke St                $1,620,000     3370 sf       1900              RM-7

2751 Duke St                $1,998,000     33 x 102      2015     2005     RM-7

4925 Earles St              $2,500,000     33 x 110      2178     1992     RM-7

2208 Galt St                $1,988.888     39 x 121      1993     2815     RM-9A

4718 Gladstone St           $2,980,000                   1997     2217     RM-9A

4736 Gladstone St           $2,980,000     33 x 119      1996     2172     RM-9A

4748 Gladstone St           $2,980,000     33 x 120      1997     2172     RM-9A     

4754 Gladstone St           $2,800,000     33 x 120      1950     2000     RM-9A

4741 Gothard St             $1,350,000     33 x 122      1958     1800     RT-11                          

4799 Gothard St             $1,648,888     45 x 92       2233     2001     RT-11

5207 Killarney St           $1,700,000     33 x 105      1864     2002     RT-11

5455 Killarney St           $3,999,000     60 x 150      4950     1987     RT-11

2315 Kingsway               $3,500,000     33 x 105      2000     1970     KRPA

2361 Kingsway               $3,000,000     33 x 105      2100     2005     KRPA

2363 Kingsway               $3,000,000     33 x 105      2100     2004     KRPA

2156 Mannering Ave          $1,598,000     33 x 115      2500     1940     RM-7

2234 Mannering Ave          $1,800,000     33 x 115      2252     1976     RM-7

5033 Moss St                $1,319,000     33 x 99       2231     1949     RT-11

4453 Nanaimo St             $1,700,000     22 x 122      2448     1989     RT-11

5230 Rhodes St              $3,080,000     32 x 151      1500              RM-9A

5296 Rhodes St              $3,500,000     32 x 166      3250     1980     RM-9A

4657 Slocan St              $1,649,000     33 x 110      2670     1974     RM-7

5109 Slocan St              $2,388,000     34 x 104      1980     1982     RM-7

5125 Slocan St              $2,388,000     34 x 104      2040     1980     RM-7

5130 Slocan St              $2,388,000     51 x 104      2200     1944     RM-7

5139 Slocan St              $2,388,000     34 x 104      1407              RM-7

2703 Ward St                $1,488,000     33 x 102      2100              RM-7        

KRPA = Kingsway Rezoning Policy Area


Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year     Zone

2306 E 28th Ave             $1,288,000      2010      2015     RT-11

2466 E 37th Ave             $1,248,000      1647      2016     RT-11
2463 Brock St               $1,288,000      1462      2014     RT-11

5321 Chambers St            $1,159,000      1319      2016     RM-7
4670 Clarendon St           $1,249,000      1495      2016     RT-11

4672 Clarendon St           $1,099,000      1221      2016     RT-11    

2212 Mannering Ave (back)   $1,250,000      1426      2017     RM-7

2212 Mannering Ave (front)  $1,250,000      1424      2017     RM-7

Small House

(strata title in RT-11 zone)

Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year

2293 E 37th Ave             $1,059,000      1152      2017

2297 E 37th Ave             $1,029,000      1110      2017

5283 Nanaimo St             $1,279,000      1428      2017

5289 Nanaimo St             $1,309,000      1428      2017

2466 E 37th Ave             $1,198,000      1647      2017

2470 E 37th Ave             $  745,000       802      2016
   (price drop)             $  698,000

5498 Dundee St              $  963,800      1147                   

5653 Killarney St           $1,280,000      1226      2017

5661 Killarney St           $1,348,000      1424      2017

5663 Killarney St           $1,098,000      1159      2017

5665 Killarney St           $1,198,000      1194      2017

Rowhouse / Stacked Townhouse

(strata title in RM-7 zone)

Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year

5184-2601 E 37th Ave        $  858,000      1274      2017

2487 E 37th Ave             $  869,000      


(strata title in CD-1 zonings)

Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year

411-4989 Duchess St           $397,500       556      1997

616-4818 Eldorado Mews        $449,900       560      2013

714-4818 Eldorado Mews        $449,700       536      2013

2010-4815 Eldorado Mews       $389,900       411      2013

209-2239 Kingsway             $749,000       938      2011

PH15-2239 Kingsway            $588,000       799      2011

PH23-2239 Kingsway            $619,000       803      2011

606-2689 Kingsway             $699,000       874      2014

705-2689 Kingsway             $599,000       750      2014

902-2689 Kingsway             $439,000       505      2014

205-2711 Kingsway             $459,900       616      2016

2220 Kingsway

The listings below are for Kensington Gardens, the Westbank project
with 400+ units under construction, with completion projected for 2018


 102-2220 Kingsway          $  899,000      1023

 310-2220 Kingsway          $  738,000       777

 508-2220 Kingsway          $  384,900       504

 518-2220 Kingsway          $  430,860       529

 519-2220 Kingsway          $  360,000       441

 527-2220 Kingsway          $  435,000       582

 529-2220 Kingsway          $  425,000       447

 603-2220 Kingsway          $  395,000       463

 606-2220 Kingsway          $  399,000       506

 609-2220 Kingsway          $  790,000       894

 808-2220 Kingsway          $  660,000       790

 810-2220 Kingsway          $  628,800       717

 906-2220 Kingsway          $  525,000       506

1002-2220 Kingsway          $  748,000       890

1012-2220 Kingsway          $  798,000       812

1203-2220 Kingsway          $  438,000       484

1206-2220 Kingsway          $1,068,888      1060

1209-2220 Kingsway          $  748,000       879

1510-2220 Kingsway          $  699,000       777

1606-2220 Kingsway          $1,088,888      1060

1706-2220 Kingsway          $1,118,000      1060

PH1 NE-2220 Kingsway        $1,150,000       821

S1202-2220 Kingsway         $  698,000       738

S1501-2220 Kingsway         $  745,000       849

W1510-2220 Kingsway         $  725,000       777


Written by eyeonnorquay

2 July 2017 at 5:25 pm

Posted in Price Data

Safeway at Broadway/Commercial

Pre-Application Open House

Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive

Doors: 5:30 pm
Presentation: 6:00 pm
Open House: 6:15 pm to 8:30 pm

The Broadway/Commercial Safeway (as well as the Safeway at 3410 Kingsway) are where many residents of Norquay go for their food shopping. The Norquay Plan has already seen developer Westbank plunder the plaza that was supposed to serve local residents on the 2220 Kingsway former Canadian Tire site Instead, we got a podium fortress with a parklet designed to serve underground air exhaust vents. Now Westbank seeks to eliminate a another plaza, a key element of the 2016 Grandview-Woodland Plan on the Safeway site at 1780 East Broadway. Come out to the June 27 event and tell Westbank’s consultants what you think.

The Broadway/Commercial Safeway site falls within the boundaries of Cedar Cottage, the Vancouver neighbourhood already heavily impacted by the two “neighbourhood centres” of Kingsway & Knight and Norquay Village. Though extreme for extent and multiplicity, the planning for Cedar Cottage has been anything but comprehensive. Flagrant abuse of the geographic center has been followed by grab-bag snatches at the perimeter: Norquay, 3365 Commercial, and now the Safeway site.

Also see Alternative Location Proposed for New Commercial Drive Public Plaza.





Written by eyeonnorquay

21 June 2017 at 11:14 am

Posted in Events, News