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.

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

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Written by eyeonnorquay

14 February 2011 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

1503 Kingsway

leave a comment »

 
Two years and four months ago, Eye on Norquay reported that the large site at 1503 Kingsway, occupied by Rona, showed early signs of being targeted for redevelopment:

https://eyeonnorquay.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/rona-in-play/

A notification of 13 June 2019 and a new on-site development application sign now reveal the results of the usual extended backroom consultation that has taken place only between the developer (Cressey) and City of Vancouver planners.

 

 

     https://development.vancouver.ca/1503kingsway/index.htm
 

The single most significant detail in the application is that the proposed development comes forward under existing C-2 zoning, with an overall FSR of 2.5, rather than as an anticipated (and feared) CD-1 rezoning application. This approach shows a far-too-rare respect for the prior planning for Vancouver’s first “neighbourhood centre” at Kingsway-Knight.

Back in April 2013, Eye on Norquay put a question to a City of Vancouver planner who had played a central role in the planning of both the Kingsway-Knight and Norquay neighbourhood centres. Why did the Shopping Area Working Group for Kingsway-Knight never produce any specifics? The verbal reply:
C-2 zoning seemed adequate to guide future development for Kingsway.

Cynicism about the reliability of this answer was sustained by the Aquilini CD-1 approach to the April 2019 rezoning of 1303 Kingsway at Clark Drive. In the end, the Kingsway-Knight “planning” seemed to consist of nothing beyond a mass rezoning of 1512 single-family properties, concurrent with the unfortunate Aquilini spot-rezoning that became King Edward Village.

For a change, City of Vancouver seems to have negotiated with a large developer and to have achieved a few clear and significant benefits for the impacted local area. This includes human-scale townhouse streetscape for the northern portions of Dumfries and Fleming.

 

 

The foregoing text is extracted from the five-page design rationale at https://development.vancouver.ca/1503kingsway/documents/designrationale.pdf.

For persons interested in the details of the upcoming open house for 1503 Kingsway, here is the notification postcard:

 

 

Here is a rendering of the building foreseen for the Kingsway frontage of the site:

 

 
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

17 June 2019 at 9:45 am

2153-2199 Kingsway #2

 

    from:  Joseph Jones 
      to:  Carr, Adriane, Christine Boyle, Colleen Hardwick, Melissa  De Genova,
           Jean Swanson, Kennedy Stewart, Lisa Dominato, Michael Wiebe, Pete Fry,
           Rebecca Bligh, Sarah Kirby-Yung 
      cc:  Jeanette Jones 
    date:  May 24, 2019, 4:58 PM
 subject:  Re: 1. Request to remove Development Cost Levy Waiver and amend
           Housing Agreement for the CD-1 rezoning at 2153 2199 Kingsway

 

We write to Council regarding the following item on agenda for 28 May 2019:

        1. Request to remove Development Cost Levy Waiver and amend Housing Agreement for the
        CD-1 rezoning at 2153 2199 Kingsway

We first of all highlight this red flag in the staff report to Council:

        It is very rare that staff would recommend a change to approved rezoning conditions between the
        public hearing and enactment … (p. 4)

Our primary point relates to action that Council failed to take on 3 April 2019. On that day, Council took almost four hours to refer away the motion Re-conceptualizing the City’s Rental 100 Program. Council chose to avoid even minimal short-term confrontation with the dubious Rental 100 program. Under this program, the City of Vancouver has handed over many millions of public dollars to developers in the form of “DCL waivers” – in return for unaffordable rent levels of short duration that functionally are never enforced.

In the present case, developer Hua Long has decided that the profit opportunity of completely unrestricted rent levels exceeds the benefit offered by DCL waiver. The lesson to Council here is that all such DCL waivers have amounted to wasted public money. Meanwhile, infrastructure deficits have degraded Vancouver during the twenty-first century. That misdirected money could have been put to better use.

We made mostly favorable public comment about the proposed development on 19 October 2016, which can be viewed at

        https://eyeonnorquay.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/2153-2199-kingsway/

Despite full participation at every stage of this project, starting with the pre-application open house of 19 May 2016, we were unable to achieve relocation of the underground parking exhaust vent away from the Gladstone Street sidewalk (high-use public realm with student foot traffic and bicycle route) to the far more appropriate 231 feet along the back lane. This particular unhappy outcome has added to our considerable experience of how what the developer wants will override everyone else’s liveability.

Since the developer has put the project into a position of returning to Council for further scrutiny, we ask you to consider this context and this particular ignored concern.

 
Sincerely,

Joseph and Jeanette Jones
 
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

24 May 2019 at 5:38 pm

Virtual Tour Spring 2019

 
Implementing the Norquay Plan: An Update on
New Housing Types and Public Space — May 2019

  
Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre is the name given by the City of Vancouver to an East Vancouver area of approximately 1.5 square kilometers. The area centers on the 1.3 km of Kingsway that lies between Gladstone Street at the west and Killarney Street at the east. Norquay locates primarily in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood of Vancouver, with a small western portion running over into the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood.

 

 

The Norquay Plan was developed to help carry out the intent of Vancouver’s CityPlan. Norquay is still the only area in Vancouver to have been completely planned as a neighbourhood centre. Except for Kingsway-fronting parcels, the entire area has been rezoned to low density housing forms suitable for families.

This review looks at the implementation of the Norquay Plan since it was approved by Vancouver City Council in November 2010.

 
Section A — Development
 
1 of 6 — Single Family Houses
 
2 of 6 — Outright Duplexes
 
3 of 6 — Small House / Duplex Zone (RT-11)
 
4 of 6 — Rowhouse / Stacked Townhouse Zone (RM-7)
 
5 of 6 — Four-Storey Apartment Zone (RM-9A)
 
6 of 6 — Kingsway Rezoning Area

 
Section B — Amenities and Services
 
1 of 7 — Community Facility with Indoor and Outdoor Space
 
2 of 7 — Ravine Way
 
3 of 7 — Parks
 
4 of 7 — Childcare
 
5 of 7 — Transportation
 
6 of 7 — Affordable Housing
 
7 of 7 — Heritage Preservation

 
Section C — Summary

1 of 2 — Neighborhood Improvements
 
2 of 2 — Ongoing Concerns


  
Section A — Development — Introduction

Norquay is the second area in Vancouver to have all of its RS-1 zoned single family homes — a total of 1912 — rezoned to include new low-density housing forms.

In March 2013 zoning regulations were approved for two new residential zones: RT-11 (small house/duplex) and RM-7 (rowhouse/stacked townhouse).

Also in 2013 a rezoning policy was established for a 4-storey apartment transition zone, most of it paralleling Kingsway. In December 2016 this policy was replaced by the RM-9A (4-storey apartment) zoning.

A rezoning policy for the Kingsway Rezoning Area sets a base height of 8-10 storeys, with up to 16 storeys on special sites.

  

  

Norquay Village Zoning Map


  
1 of 6 — Single Family Houses

 

 

     2010 Residential Streetscape
 

The residential areas of Norquay off Kingsway consisted almost entirely of single family houses in 2010. Redevelopment has been ongoing over the years, so that most streets include houses of various ages. Only three buildings in all of Norquay have been designated as heritage. Many pre-1940 houses are in poor condition and would not merit designation even as character houses.

 

 

     2238 Wenonah Street
 

A single family dwelling (with or without a laneway house and/or a secondary suite) may be built outright on a single parcel in any residential zone in Norquay, following the provisions of RS-1 zoning. For the period spring 2013 to spring 2019, Eye on Norquay has counted 24 single family houses completed or under construction, 17 with a laneway house. None of these houses appear to have been advertised for sale. It seems probable that most of them are being built as redevelopments by existing owners.

 

 

     2422 Galt Street
 

In addition, Eye on Norquay has noted 11 major renovations of existing houses.


  
2 of 6 — Outright Duplexes

A duplex (with or without a secondary suite) may be built outright on a single parcel in the RT-11 and the RM-7 zones. For the period spring 2013 to spring 2019, Eye on Norquay has counted 67 outright duplexes completed or under construction. Allowable FSR is 0.75. Construction began on approximately 40 of these in 2014 and 2015, with fewer new starts since that time.
 
 
IMG_7837
 
 
     2457/2459 Brock Street
 
 
On narrow, deep lots the duplexes are front and back.
 
 
IMG_7832
 
 
     2735/2737 Duke Street
 
 
Front doors of both the front and back units must face the street. Roofs must be pitched.
 
 
IMG_7816
 
 
     5444/5446 Clarendon Street
 
 
On wider lots the duplexes are side by side.

 
IMG_7829
 
 
     2795/2799 Horley Street
 
 
This duplex is situated on a corner lot.

 

 
 
     4670/4672 Clarendon Street
 
 
Where there is no back lane, garages are attached to the front of the house and the driveway takes up the entire front yard. In this case, a street tree was removed to accommodate the driveway.

 
 
 
 
     4516/4518 Earles Street
 

Duplexes vary in form as well as in the quality of construction.

 

 
 
     2156/2158 Mannering Avenue
 

A change in the roof line, as specified in the External Design Guidelines approved for duplexes on 02 April 2019, will eliminate unattractive designs like this.

 

 
 
     5097 Moss Street
 

The exterior design of this 1226 sf duplex unit on a small lot is attractive. However, the living area is too small to hold a dining table. And the eating area is three stools at the kitchen counter.


  
3 of 6 — Small House / Duplex Zone (RT-11)

More than 900 parcels were rezoned to RT-11/RT-11N under the Norquay Plan. Most of these parcels are larger lots situated along the edges of Norquay. The number of permitted buildings depends on the size and the location of the site. All principal dwellings may have a lock-off unit; larger duplex units may have a secondary suite. Parking is in garages or open parking spaces, one per unit. Allowable FSR for a conditional application is 0.85. All units are strata-titled.

So far there have been 28 conditional RT-11 applications posted on the City of Vancouver web site. Of these, 7 have involved assembly. Most of the other applications have been sited on single large lots and consist of a duplex and a laneway house. There have been no conditional applications involving the retention of character houses.

 

 
 
     4515/4517/4523 Nanaimo Street – 1 of 2
 

On a standard 33 x 122 ft. lot, a duplex is allowed. If the units are side-by-side, they are very narrow.

 

 
 
     4515/4517/4523 Nanaimo Street – 2 of 2
 

A laneway house backs onto Brock Park. The colors are attractive.

  
IMG_9301-640
  
 
     5603/5613 Rhodes Street / 2746 East 40th Avenue – 1 of 2
  
 
This development is on a large corner lot. The duplex faces Rhodes Street.

 

 
 
     5603/5613 Rhodes Street / 2746 East 40th Avenue – 2 of 2
 
 
The laneway house fronts on East 40th Avenue.

 
IMG_9359-640
 
 
     2353/2355/2357/2359 East 41st Avenue — 1 of 2
 
 
On this large lot, a duplex is built at the front of the lot …

 

 
 
     2353/2355/2357/2359 East 41st Avenue — 2 of 2
 

… and a laneway house at the back of the lot. An infill house (approximately 1500 sq. ft.) is situated in the middle. The units took up to a year to sell and no projects with this configuration have been built subsequently.

 

 
 
     5283/5289 Nanaimo Street / 2293/2297 East 37th Avenue – 1 of 2
 

Another possible development scenario for larger sites in the RT-11 zone is two duplexes. This project is on a large corner lot at Nanaimo Street and East 37th Avenue. The larger duplex fronts on Nanaimo Street.

 

 
 
     5283/5289 Nanaimo Street / 2293/2297 East 37th Avenue – 1 of 2
 

The smaller duplex fronts on East 37th Avenue.

 

 
 
     5651 Earles Street
 

On wider mid-block lots, 2 front/back duplexes may be built beside each other.

 

 
 
     5432/5440 Rhodes Street – 1 of 2
 

A two-lot assembly permits 4 small houses, two at the front of the lot and two at the back.

 

 
 
     5432/5440 Rhodes Street – 2 of 2
 

Parking for all units is attached. This means that much of the open space is taken up by driveways to access the units at the front of the site. This is the only project with this configuration that has been built so far in Norquay.

 

 
 
     2885/2887/2889 East 41st Avenue and 5681/5683/5685/5687/5689 Killarney Street – 1 of 2
 

This development includes 8 units: a cluster of 6 small houses of 1230-1557 sq. ft. and 2 duplex units. It is situated on a self-contained site on the northwest corner of East 41st Avenue and Killarney Streets. To the west is Earles Park and to the north is a similar development. Units in this development were marketed in late 2015 and sold very quickly.

 
IMG_9276-640
 
 
     2885/2887/2889 East 41st Avenue and 5681/5683/5685/5687/5689 Killarney Street – 2 of 2
 
 
Parking is in garages or open parking spaces at the rear of the site.


  
4 of 6 — Rowhouse / Stacked Townhouse Zone (RM-7)

More than 700 parcels were rezoned to RM-7/RM-7N under the Norquay Plan. Most of these lots are situated near the centre of Norquay, fairly close to Kingsway. Typical area for stacked townhouse units in this zone is 1200 sq. ft. The width of rowhouses is specified as 12 ft. clear (wall-to-wall interior). Parking is on open parking spaces, in a ratio of 2 for every 3 units. Allowable FSR is 1.2 for assembled sites or larger lots, and 0.9 for smaller single lots. Buildings are 3.5 storeys. All units are strata-titled.

During the period spring 2013 to spring 2019, Eye on Norquay has counted 34 RM-7 applications posted on the City of Vancouver web site. Up to this point, almost all conditional development in this zone has taken place on shallow lots having a depth of 110 ft. or less.

 
Traditional Rowhouse

 

 

     2759/2761/2763/2765 Duke Street – 1 of 2
 

During the planning process, residents expressed a strong preference that traditional rowhouses be the dominant low density housing form in Norquay. The rowhouse zone and the stacked townhouse zone were described as separate zones in the Norquay Plan. The two zones were conflated when the zoning regulations were written in 2013. So far only 3 applications for traditional rowhouse development have been approved in Norquay. The four traditional rowhouses pictured here are approximately 2000 sf each.

 

 

     2759/2761/2763/2765 Duke Street – 2 of 2
 

Each rowhouse unit may contain a lock-off unit. Parking for rowhouses is one vehicle space per unit in garages or open parking spaces at the back of the site.

 
Stacked Townhouse

Stacked townhouse is the housing form preferred by developers in this zone, accounting for 24 of 34 applications so far. Land assembly is generally required if the project contains more than 6 units. One lock-off unit is allowed for every 3 principal units. Required bicycle parking is 2.25 spaces for each principal unit and 0.75 for each lock-off unit. This requirement was recently increased.
 
 

 
     4573/4575/4577 Slocan Street — 1 of 3
 

This project was the first to be completed in the RM-7 zone. It consists of 18 stacked townhouse units in three 4-level (3.5 storey) sixplexes on an assembled 132 x 110 site. There are 6 “garden” units on the lowest level, 6 units on the main floor, and 6 two-level units on the upper floors.

 

 
     4573/4575/4577 Slocan Street — 2 of 3
 

Ground level open space behind the buildings is taken up with infrastructure: parking spaces (2 for every 3 units), garbage bins, an electrical transformer, and bike lockers. The small red buildings house 30 of the required 42 bike lockers.
 
 

 
     4573/4575/4577 Slocan Street — 3 of 3
 

Twelve bike lockers are housed behind the white doors under the front stairs.

 

 

     2757-2763 Horley Street
 

The building housing this 10-unit project is close to the maximum length for a single building (70 ft.) in the RM-7 zone. All of the bike lockers have been incorporated into the main building. Units were advertised in late 2018 with prices ranging from $729,00 (for 773 sf) to $1,088,000 (for 1159 sf).

 

 

     2717-2749 Ward Street
 

All of the units are 2-level corner units in the two buildings of this 16-unit development. Space can be better utilized when long hallways are not needed. Unit size is 945-1070 sf. Units were advertised in late 2018 with prices ranging from $799,900 to $949,900, and all have sold.

The superior configuration of units was possible because the site is wide and shallow (132 x 102), there are 16 units instead of the 17 allowed, the bike locker requirement was relaxed to 1.25 (standard elsewhere at the time of application), and there are no lock-off units.

 
Triplex

 

 

     5189/5197 Clarendon Street and 2487 East 37th Avenue
 

A single lot can be developed as a triplex with an FSR of 0.9. Two triplexes have been completed in Norquay, both on wider corner lots. These projects have two units facing one street and one long, narrow unit facing the side street. Two applications with more functional configurations have been approved for mid-block sites, but construction has not yet begun.

 
Fourplex

 

 

     5150 Slocan Street
 

One application for a fourplex has been approved in the RM-7 zone on a mid-block lot with a 52 ft. frontage. Units are large, around 1600 sf.

 
Sixplex

 

 

     2661/2667/2675 Horley Street and 4784/4788/4792 Duchess Street
 

A 50 ft. wide corner site can sometimes be developed as a sixplex. In this project, three 2-level units occupy the lower and ground floors and three 2-level units occupy the third and fourth floors. Two of the units are long and narrow.

 

 

     5011-5021 Slocan Street – 1 of 2
 

On a 60 ft. wide corner site, a more functional design is possible. This development has four 3-level units above two single-level units. Maintenance of landscaping can be a significant problem where open space is shared.

 

 

     5011-5021 Slocan Street – 2 of 2
 

Metal bike lockers occupy much of the back yard.


  
5 of 6 — Four-Storey Apartment Zone (RM-9A)

 

 

     2688 Duke Street
 

Approximately 250 parcels were rezoned to RM-9A/RM/9AN under the Norquay Plan. Most of these parcels are located within the half block immediately adjoining the Kingsway Rezoning Policy Area. The buildings in this zone are to be “alphabet-shaped” with an entry courtyard, so that there are more than four corner units on each level. Parking is underground. Maximum allowable FSR is 2.0. One lock-off unit is permitted for every 3 principal units. These apartments are intended to provide “family housing,” with mainly 2 or 3 bedroom units. Typical unit size is specified as 800 sf.

During the period spring 2013 to spring 2019, Eye on Norquay has counted seven applications submitted in the RM-9A zone. Four projects are under construction; three have been approved but construction has not yet begun. Most of the sites are assemblies of 3 or 4 lots. One project on a 6-lot assembly was approved recently.

 

 

     2328 Galt Street
 

This site was rezoned for a 28-unit development under the Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy approved in May 2013. Most units are 2-bedroom. Built under the Rental 100 Policy, this project is the only purpose-built rental in Norquay so far.

 

 

     4888 Slocan Street – 1 of 2
 

On very deep sites stacked townhouses may be built behind the apartment building, separated by a 24 ft. wide “garden courtyard.” This project has 53 units, 37 in an apartment building at the front of the site …

 

 

     4888 Slocan Street – 2 of 2
 

… and 16 in stacked townhouse units at the rear of the site. There are 28 3-bedroom units and 25 2-bedroom units.

  

 
 
     2298 Galt Street
 
 
One 4-unit project was built on a single lot in 2012, before any regulations were written for this zone. It consists of two side-by-side duplex buildings, one at the front of the site and one at the rear, separated by a garden courtyard. Under RM-9A zoning, construction of similar projects will be restricted to orphan lots.


  
6 of 6 — Kingsway Rezoning Policy Area

 

 

     2010 Kingsway Streetscape
 

Prior to 2010, the properties along Kingsway were zoned C-2 for 4-storey mixed use buildings. The Norquay Plan (Gladstone Street to Killarney Street) changed the Kingsway base height to 8-10 storeys. Five large sites are allowed additional height in exchange for providing public space in the form of plazas or pedestrian connections to break up long blocks. FSR for the entire Kingsway Rezoning Area is 3.8.

 

 

     2300 Kingsway (Kingsway at Nanaimo) – 1 of 2
 

This site-specific rezoning was approved in 2006, just before the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre planning process began. It consists of 342 residential units, most of them studio or 1 bedroom units, in one 22-storey tower and two 7-storey buildings. Unfortunately, the sidewalk width along Kingsway falls far short of 24 feet. Retail includes a drug store, a bank, and a liquor store.
 
 

 
     2300 Kingsway (Kingsway at Nanaimo) – 2 of 2
 

Two low-rise buildings on this site include townhouses and a daycare. Rumour has it that the planned neighbourhood pub was not permitted because it would have been too close to the daycare facility.

  

 
     2689 Kingsway – 1 of 4
 

This project consists of 129 residential units in two buildings. The brick finish respects the strong preference expressed by Norquay residents for a brick finish on buildings on Kingsway.

 

 

     2689 Kingsway – 2 of 4
 

A 12-storey tower is separated from a 4-storey building by a 40-foot-wide pedestrian connection, which will function as the entrance to Ravine Way. At present the city-owned Duke Street Daycare Centre occupies the site immediately north of this project. (See further detail on Ravine Way below under Amenities.) The public art is engaging.

 

 

     2689 Kingsway – 3 of 4
 

Maintenance of the inner row of street trees on the 24 ft. wide sidewalk is the responsibility of the property owner. Several of these trees have died and not been replaced.

 

 

     2689 Kingsway – 4 of 4
 

Parts of the public sidewalk on the property have sunk and been patched over with asphalt.

 

 

     2220 Kingsway – 1 of 7
 

This 2.3 acre site on the extreme western edge of Norquay was formerly occupied by a Canadian Tire store.

 

 

     2220 Kingsway – 2 of 7
 

This massive project, completed in Spring 2019, consists of more than four hundred 1, 2 or 3 bedroom units in three 14-storey towers and a 5-storey building on Kingsway. These buildings enclose a raised courtyard with an outdoor swimming pool, situated on the third storey in the centre of the site. The first and second storeys comprise a podium that covers most of the site. Many of the units were marketed to and bought by overseas investors.

 

 

     2220 Kingsway – 3 of 7
 

To a pedestrian, the development looks out of scale for the neighborhood.

 

 

     2220 Kingsway – 4 of 7
 

A T&T grocery store provides Asian foods to the large Asian population in Norquay and the surrounding area. The Norquay Plan allows for 4 additional storeys of height in exchange for a public plaza of 6000-8000 sf. The entrance area at the corner of Kingsway and Gladstone became defined as the “plaza” benefit. The 24-foot-wide sidewalks and the double row of street trees make walking along Kingsway more inviting.

 

 

     2220 Kingsway – 5 of 7
 

Seating often backs onto noisy and smelly air ventilation grids that serve the underground parking.

 

 

     2220 Kingsway – 6 of 7
 

The corner of 30th Avenue and Kingsway was planned as the site of a 7500 sq. ft. “park” — but much of this space has been clawed back to function as an outdoor seating area for the adjacent dim sum restaurant. Landscaping of this project lacks imagination – skimmia is widely used. (This low quality choice mimics the landscaping already in use at the nearby Esso filling station at the Kingsway and Victoria intersection.)

 

 

     2220 Kingsway – 7 of 7
 

This 120 foot “ladder to nowhere” is located in a Kingsway median in front of the development. The value of this public art contribution was estimated at $697,000 in the rezoning report to Council.

 

 

     2395 Kingsway – 1 of 2
 

This project, now under construction, will consist of 126 units with 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms in a 12-storey tower flanked by 4-storey buildings.

 

 

     2395 Kingsway – 2 of 2
 

A formally defined and required pedestrian connection crosses the site. The inappropriate “bridge” that would have shadowed the connection was removed from the final design.

 

 

     2725-2751 Kingsway
 

The site of Harvey’s Furniture and Appliances, a long-standing community retail fixture at 2751 Kingsway, was bought by a developer several years ago. The purchaser has since acquired the neighbouring Tire-O-Rama site. No formal application has yet been submitted. A “for-lease” sign appeared on each building in mid-spring 2019.

 
IMG_8946-648
 
 
     2768 Kingsway – 1 of 2
 
 
This assembled site was rezoned for a 30-unit Rental 100 project in 2014. The buildings were vacant for about 5 years and demolished in spring 2019. Construction was delayed while the owner tried to assemble two more properties on Earles Street.

 

 

     2768 Kingsway – 2 of 2
 

Sites that sit empty for long periods of time attract litter and large garbage items. This site has just been cleaned up, and the debris filled a dumpster.
 


  
Section B — Amenities and Public Space

  
New development brings population growth, and an increased population requires increased amenities and public space. The 2004 Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision made proposals for any new housing form “conditional … on an increase in community facilities and programs needed to serve any population growth generated by the new housing type.” (p. 31) The Norquay Plan states: “As the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre grows and evolves over time, new amenities and facilities will be needed to ensure the continued livability and desirability of the area.” (p. 70)

The Norquay Public Realm and Transportation Improvements Plan was approved as part of the Norquay Plan in 2010. The Norquay Village Public Benefits Strategy was approved in May 2013. The Norquay Village Public Realm Plan was released in April 2016. These documents provide more detail about the amenities and services that are to be provided as the population grows.

Development is taking place rapidly in Norquay, especially along Kingsway. Projects that have been completed, are currently under construction or are in process are already bringing approximately 2500 new residents to our neighbourhood. This number amounts to 50% of the new residents that are expected to be living in Norquay by 2040.

But very little progress has been made on delivery of the amenities and services promised by the Norquay Plan.


 
1 of 7 — Community Facility with Indoor and Outdoor Space

 

 

     2400 Kingsway – 1 of 2
 
 
The Norquay Plan specifies 15,000 sq. ft. of new indoor community space and 20,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space as part of the redevelopment of the 3.5 acre site on Kingsway currently occupied by the 2400 Motel. The new development is expected to include 100 units of non-market housing as well as 400 units of market housing. CACs worth $3M from the development at 2220 Kingsway have been reserved, to be delivered when the 2400 Motel is redeveloped.

 

 

     2400 Kingsway – 2 of 2
 

One 16-storey tower and one 12-storey tower can be built on the site. An additional 10-12 storey tower is possible if the corner site now occupied by Church’s Chicken can be incorporated.

Community space on this site was rated the number one amenity choice of Norquay residents. Our neighbourhood has no community centre or neighbourhood house, no library, no skating rink or swimming pool. Gladstone High School, whose catchment area includes most of Norquay, is being considered for closure. So is Cunningham School, one of our two elementary schools. The need for community space in Norquay is urgent.

The City of Vancouver already owns the 2400 Motel site. During the planning process Norquay residents asked the City to retain ownership and to develop housing and amenities. We urge the City to proceed as quickly as possible with redevelopment in order to deliver our most essential amenity.


  
2 of 7 — Ravine Way

Ravine Way is the name given to a proposed linear park that would follow the undergrounded portion of Still Creek flowing through a culvert from Norquay Park to Slocan Park. Most of the properties that would be incorporated into the park are already owned by the City of Vancouver, but City social agencies currently lease purpose-built buildings on some of these sites. Two of the properties currently function as a community garden and a community orchard. Two properties still need to be acquired.
 
 

 

This amenity was rated the number two choice by Norquay residents. The City of Vancouver describes Ravine Way as a “long-term vision.”

Two ongoing concerns are (a) the amount of land that will be allocated to Ravine Way, and (b) the temporary use of the land until assembly is completed. The Norquay Public Benefits Strategy states: “Prior to completion of the entire park route, sections would function as pocket parks, mid-block connections or … community gardens.” (p. 10) We encourage the City to allocate all of the land it now owns along Ravine Way to the proposed park, and to repurpose the sites for public use as leases expire.


  
3 of 7 — Parks

Norquay encompasses three neighbourhood parks: Norquay Park, General Brock Park, and Earles Park.

Increasing densification does more than increase the number of residents who use neighbourhood parks. It also transfers many activities that have traditionally taken place in private backyards to these parks. Norquay’s new housing forms leave very little room for green space on private property. Neighbourhood parks are becoming the “shared backyard” where residents are looking to play, exercise, garden, and socialize.

New developments along Kingsway are having a significant impact on Norquay Park and General Brock Park. The area around Earles Park has experienced much less densification at this stage.

 

 

     Norquay Park
 

This park received a substantial upgrade in 2011. The Park Board’s initial $300,000 budget was supplemented by a $500,000 grant of federal stimulus money for “shovel ready” projects. This made possible construction of a new playground, a basketball court, a water park and picnic tables. The park is very well used.

 

 

     General Brock Park – 1 of 2
 

The renewal of General Brock Park was the number three amenity choice of Norquay residents, and is identified as a priority in the Public Benefits Strategy.

Several large developments are being built close to this park: 2300 Kingsway (completed), 2239 Kingsway (completed), 2220 Kingsway (completed), 2395 Kingsway (under construction), 2153 Kingsway (approved). Numerous smaller developments are also located near Brock Park.
 
 

 

     General Brock Park – 2 of 2
 

The Park Board has begun to assemble four adjacent properties on Wenonah Street to expand this park and to make it more visible. Funding to develop a concept plan for renewal of Brock Park has been included in the 2019-2022 Capital Plan. Actual construction will likely come in the following 2023-2026 Capital Plan.


  
4 of 7 — Childcare

 

 

     Terry Tayler Early Learning and Care Centre
 
 
Redevelopment of 2300 Kingsway included the construction of 37 childcare spaces, funded by the $2.4M CAC generated by the development. The CAC of $105,846 from 2689 Kingsway was allocated to the adjacent Duke Street Childcare Centre on the stated basis of mitigating new overshadowing of the play area. Beyond the simple fact of fund transfer to the daycare, an Eye on Norquay FOI was unable to confirm how these funds actually were applied.


  
5 of 7 — Transportation

 

 

     Clarendon Connector
 

The Clarendon Connector, one block of Clarendon Street at the north end, now extends the street from East 34th Avenue to East 33rd Avenue. This project was initiated prior to the Norquay Plan.

 

 

     New Traffic Signals
 

Two new traffic signals have been installed on Kingsway near Norquay Park. A third new signal on Kingsway between Nanaimo Street and Gladstone Street was required by the development at 2220 Kingsway. Other signals have been installed at the intersections of Nanaimo Street and Brock Street, and at East 33rd Avenue and Gladstone Street.

 

 

     Kingsway Median
 

Kingsway streetscape improvements have included a new centre median (in five sections), several curb bulges on intersecting streets, new lighting and street furniture, and new median and boulevard street trees. Approximately half of the street trees in the median died several years ago. The dead trees have been removed, so far without replacement.

 

 

     Baldwin Street
 

A few short sections of new sidewalk have been installed. There are still numerous locations in Norquay where no sidewalk exists on either side of the street. This situation is particularly evident in the Galt Street area west of Nanaimo, despite a heavy concentration of new development in that area.

 

 

     Kingsway Sidewalk in Front of 2689 Kingsway
 

The new 24-foot-wide sidewalks in front of new developments along Kingsway make walking safer and more pleasant, although the state of upkeep and repair on the private property side is deplorable.

 

 

     Gladstone Traffic Diversion
 

This traffic diverter was funded from CAC contributions as a public amenity. It diverts traffic from the Kensington Gardens development at 2220 Kingsway away from residential Gladstone Street and onto Kingsway.


  
6 of 7 — Affordable Housing

 

 

    
Lock-Off Units at 5005 St. Margarets Street

 

The Norquay Public Benefits Strategy targets achieving 100 units of non-market housing on the 2400 Motel site when it is redeveloped.

The new housing forms introduced by the Norquay Plan were expected to provide affordable housing for families. The steep increase in Vancouver land prices since 2010 has rendered this goal a mere aspiration.

One 28-unit Rental 100 project is near completion at 2328 Galt Street. A second 27-unit building has been approved on Kingsway, but construction has been delayed.

Secondary suites and lock-off units are expected to produce additional rental accommodation. However, lock-off units can be used for short-term rental and many of them appear purpose-built for that undesirable use.


 
7 of 7 — Heritage Preservation

 
Only three buildings in Norquay are on the Vancouver Heritage Register. Two development applications in Norquay have involved heritage preservation. Neither of these projects has begun construction.

 

 

     5771 Wales Street
 

This 1920s house was on the Vancouver Heritage Register before planning began in Norquay. An application for development of a two-lot site that included moving and preserving this building was submitted in June 2015. No work has begun. Eye on Norquay understands that the amount of bonus density requested by the developer is at issue.

 

 

     2308 East 34th Avenue
 

A development application that involved restoring this building and adding two infill buildings on the site was also submitted in 2015. A subsequent rezoning designated this building as Heritage. The developer has been trying to sell the site for several years.
 


  
Section C — Summary

 
Nine years into the 30-year Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan, implementation receives mixed reviews.


 
1 of 2 — Neighborhood Improvements

 

 

     Sidewalk in Front of 2689 Kingsway
 

1 of 3 —  Improved Kingsway Boulevard
The public realm along Kingsway is becoming more attractive and functional. Noteworthy are the 24-foot-wide sidewalks in front of new developments and the 3 new traffic signals. These improvements make it more pleasant to walk along Kingsway and may have contributed to more pedestrian traffic. New street trees have been planted.

 

 

     Shoppers Drug Mart in 2300 Kingsway
 

2 of 3 —  New Retail
It is easier to buy groceries and personal care products in Norquay …

 

 

     Demise of Harvey’s Furniture and Appliances
 

… but more difficult to buy household goods and hardware. Up to this point, Norquay has lost as much as it has gained.

 

 

     “Before” at Killarney Street and East 41st Avenue
 

3 of 3 —  More Varied Housing Forms

 

 

     “After” at Killarney Street and East 41st Avenue
 

Low density multi-family housing forms provide a needed type of housing that previously was unavailable in Norquay. Some of these projects have improved the streetscape. Many residential properties that have been redeveloped were formerly occupied by older houses in poor condition.


 
2 of 2 — Ongoing Concerns

 

 

     2400 Motel
 

1 of 4 —  Slow Delivery of Amenities
The promised community space connected with redevelopment of the 2400 Motel site is urgently needed. No staff seems to be assigned specifically to monitor and encourage timely implementation of this aspect of the Norquay plan.

 

 

     5005 St. Margarets Street

2 of 4 —  Lack of Affordability
The new family housing units are not affordable to many Vancouver families. Older, more affordable housing has been replaced by new but less affordable housing. A 933 sf unit in this stacked townhouse complex was advertised at $899,900 in spring 2019. Very little purpose-built rental housing has been constructed. Lock-off units meant to provide low cost housing for singles are often being used as short-term rental.

 

 

     4521/4523/4529 Nanaimo Street
 

3 of 4 —  Small Room Sizes
Multi-level housing units with individual ground-level entries often result in long, narrow units with too much space allocated to stairs and bathrooms. Staff is currently working on guidelines for room sizes.

 

 

     Landscaping Approximately One Year After Planting
 

4 of 4 —  Lack of Landscape Maintenance
Green space is at a premium. In many cases, new landscaping both in the public realm and on private property is not being adequately maintained. Pavers are sinking, plantings are not being watered, and street trees are dying and not being replaced.

 
Conclusion

 

 

Norquay Assembled and Targeted for Massive Rapid Redevelopment
 

Norquay’s single family housing is rapidly being replaced by new low density housing forms. This experiment will succeed only if problems are addressed as they become evident and if new amenities are delivered in a timely manner as the population grows.
 
 
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

24 May 2019 at 2:41 pm

2436 East 33rd Avenue

leave a comment »

 
Comment on Development Application DP-2018-00919
under RM-9A Zoning

 
https://development.vancouver.ca/pc2436e33rd/index.htm
 

 

 

15 March 2019
 

This project has some merits. Good features include:

         Indentations that make many corner units possible and break up the long façade
         Roof garden
         Retention of two of the mature trees on the site
         Significant landscaped area at the corner of East 33rd Avenue and Clarendon Street.
           We recommend adding a bench at this corner for public use.

However, we have major concerns with this application.

 
1 —  The 178′ frontage on 33rd Avenue exceeds the allowable frontage

Section 4.2 (c) of the Guidelines states:

        The districts schedule prescribes a maximum frontage width [50m or 165′] to encourage a variety
        of smaller developments. The Director of Planning can relax this maximum only to ensure
        that individual lots are not “locked in” or “orphaned” with no opportunity to consolidate
        and develop with other adjacent lots.

This is the first development application for any of the ten parcels along East 33rd Avenue that have been rezoned to RM-9A. The condition for relaxation of the maximum frontage is met only if the adjoining property at 2396 East 33rd Avenue is part of an existing land assembly. Please confirm if this is the case.

This building is too long and sets an extremely unacceptable precedent. If the entire site is to be developed, there should be two buildings.

 
2 —  No main entrance should face Clarendon Street

for the following reasons:

a.  Properties in the area of Norquay between East 32nd Avenue and East 34th Avenue front on the east/west avenues. No existing buildings between 34th Avenue and Kingsway have main entrances on Clarendon Street. The 5 existing houses on this site face East 33rd Avenue.

b.  The proposed main entrance to the building is well above grade. Although a ramp is shown on the landscape plan, persons with mobility challenges would find access easier at grade.

c.  The current design features an unwelcoming main entrance and produces an uninviting streetscape. Anyone walking along the city sidewalk on Clarendon Street will feel caught in a narrow space – traffic very close on one side and the building looming above on the other. The boulevard on Clarendon Street is very narrow and the street is only about 2 feet from the sidewalk. The property line is only a foot or two from the sidewalk on the other side. The (11?) steps needed to reach the front entrance to the building start at the property line. Dedication of land for street widening on East 33rd Avenue increases the distance between the building and the sidewalk. Consequently, a main entrance on that side of the building would be much more attractive and functional.

d.  The part of the building south of the entrance and facing Clarendon Street looks like the side of a building, not like part of the front.

e.  Locating the entrance with its associated lobby at one end of the building means that the elevator will also be at one end of the building, distant from many of the units. Main entrances should be centrally located.

 
Jeanette and Joseph Jones
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

15 March 2019 at 11:17 am

Posted in RM-9A Comment

4770 Duchess Street

leave a comment »

 
Comment on Development Application DP-2019-00003
under RM-7 Zoning

 
https://development.vancouver.ca/pc4770duchess/index.htm
 

 

 

20 February 2019
 

This application for a sixplex is a minor reworking of the application by Gradual Architecture for 2679 Horley Street (Development Application Number DE419937). We have several concerns:

 
1 —  Living Room Windows in the Long, Narrow Units

In the long, narrow units (one on each floor), the living room is located in the middle of the unit. The windows of the upper unit look out on the neighbouring house and the windows of the lower unit look out on either the neighbouring house or a fence (it is difficult to tell from the materials provided). Living room windows should look out on the street. This should definitely be possible on a corner site like this one. Our comment on the application for 2679 Horley Street included the same concern.

 
2 —  Roofline

There are too many separate roofs, and they are not well aligned. The development at 2679 Horley also had problems with the roofline, which were corrected in the final build-out.

 
3 —  Façade Facing Cheyenne Street

The façade facing Duchess Street Street is acceptable. The façade facing Cheyenne Street needs to be less busy and more symmetrical.

 
4 —  Lock-Off Units

The application includes 3 lock-off units. Only 1 lock-off unit for every 3 principal units is permitted by RM-7 zoning. This project is entitled to 2 lock-off units. Given that the submission date for the application is January 7, 2019, the lock-off units should not exceed the maximum size of 29.7 m2, mandated by the amendments to the Lock-Off Unit Guidelines approved by Council on October 30, 2018.

 
5 —  Bike Lockers

Bike lockers should not be made of flimsy metal. If they cannot be incorporated into the main building, a small wooden structure is preferable.

 
Please address these concerns before approving this application.

 
Jeanette and Joseph Jones
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

20 February 2019 at 11:11 am

Posted in RM-7 Comment

Jan 2019 Norquay Listings

 
The following offers to sell properties in Norquay were found on Multiple Listing Service at some point during the month of January 2019. 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. Other periods, in sequence, can be viewed with a click on the Price Data category link.
 

 
Single Family House


Address                      Ask Price     Lot (ft)     Sq Ft     Year     Zone

2536 E 29th Ave             $1,999,000     43 x 115      2600     1958     RT-11
                            $1,688,000

2248 E 30th Ave             $1,299,900     2581 sf       1196     1912     RM-8A 

2149 E 32nd Ave             $2,168,000     33 x 120      2000     1967     RM-7      

2170 E 33rd Ave             $1,688,000     33 x 108      2153     1986     RM-7

2327 E 33rd Ave             $1,599,000     32 x 108      2050     2006     RM-9A

Assembly:
2488 E 33rd Ave             $1,999,000     32 x 108      2160     1987     RM-9A
2498 E 33rd Ave             $1,999,000     29 x 108      1987     1987     RM-9A

2281 E 34th Ave             $1,450,000     33 x 115      2200     1912     RM-7

2339 E 34th Ave             $2,199,000     48 x 115      1600     1945     RM-7

2375 E 37th Ave             $1,449,000     44 x 89       2520     1955     RM-7

Assembly:
2255 E 30th Ave             $2,480,000     45 x 93       2176     2005     RM-9A
4863 Baldwin St             $1,650,000     33 x 93       1856     1980     RM-9A
4873 Baldwin St             $1,659,000     33 x 93       1420     1955     RM-9A
4885 Baldwin St             $1,650,000     33 x 93       1858     1997     RM-9A

2462 Brock St               $1,549,000     33 x 121      2909     1976     RT-11

2826 Cheyenne Ave           $1,568,000     39 x 106      1940     1958     RM-7

2880 Cheyenne Ave           $1,499,000     34 x 110      2280     1986     RM-7

5131 Clarendon St           $1,868,000     44 x 89       2152              RM-7

5275 Clarendon St           $1,650,000     33 x 123      2455     1992     RT-11

2719 Duke St                $1,688,000     33 x 102      1290     1944     RM-7

Assembly:
2728 Duke St                $2,161,000     33 x 112      1904     1996     RM-9A
2732 Duke St                $2,180,000     33 x 113      1917     1997     RM-9A
2738 Duke St                $2,201,000     33 x 115      2371     1974     RM-9A
2748 Duke St                $2,423,000     33 x 126      2114     2004     RM-9A

5387 Dundee St              $1,280,000     33 x 106      1612     1956     RT-11

4925 Earles St              $1,799,000     33 x 110      2178     1992     RM-7

5365 Earles St              $1,999,800     41 x 121      2439              RM-7

4736 Gladstone St           $2,688,000     33 x 119      2116     1996     RM-9A

4550 Gothard St             $1,368,800     33 x 110      1673     1926     RT-11

4620 Gothard St             $1,250,000     33 x 110      1390     1926     RT-11
                            $1,188,000

5150 Highgate St            $1,888,888     44 x 89       1700     1920     RM-7

4935 Moss St                $1,399,900     33 x 94        800     1912     RT-11

5030 Moss St                $2,250,000     33 x 99       1409     1945     RT-11

5039 Moss St                $1,738,000     33 x 99       1978     1997     RT-11

5078 Moss St                $2,250,000     33 x 99       1690     1930     RT-11

Assembly:
5158 Moss St                $2,000,000     33 x 99       1837     2000     RM-7
5168 Moss St                $1,800,000     33 x 99       2200     1965     RM-7

5230 Rhodes St              $3,080,000     32 x 151      1500     1952     RM-9A

5290 Rhodes St              $3,800,000     33 x 163      1960     1979     RM-9A

4603 Slocan St              $1,179,000     33 x 110      1900     1914     RM-7

5373 Slocan St              $1,880,000     33 x 104      1954     2004     RM-7
5375 Slocan St              $1,998,000     33 x 104      1954     2004     RM-7

5059 St Margarets St        $1,778,000     44 x 89       2318     1995     RM-7

5135 St Margarets St        $1,980,000     44 x 89       2258     1990     RM-7

5277 Wales St               $3,300,000     33 x 107      1980     1991     RM-9A

2775 Ward St                $1,499,000     33 x 102                        RM-7

 
 
Duplex


Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year     Zone

2227 E 37th Ave             $1,350,000      1640      2018     RT-11

2229 E 37th Ave             $1,350,000      1593      2018     RT-11

2603 E 41st Ave             $1,328,000      1683      2015     RT-11

5216 Gladstone St           $1,298,000      1851      2018     RT-11
      
5218 Gladstone St           $1,298,000      1855      2018     RT-11

4952 Moss St                $1,229,000      1307      2018     RT-11
                            $1,198,888

5095 Moss St                $1,168,000      1226      2018     RT-11

 
 
Small House

(strata title in RT-11 zone)


Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year

2529 E 38th Ave               $748,000       749      2018

4513 Nanaimo St               $648,000       678      2015
                              $599,000

4523 Nanaimo St             $1,099,000      1369      2018

5432 Rhodes St              $1,499,000      2161      2017

 
 
Triplex

(strata title in RT-11 zone)


Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year     

5002 Highgate St            $1,098,000      1388      2018

5008 Highgate St            $1,099,900      1388      2018    

 
 
Rowhouse / Stacked Townhouse

(strata title in RM-7 zone)


Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year

2488 E 34th Ave               $888,000      1053      2018

5055 Earles St                $828,888       961      2019

5057 Earles St                $798,888      1094      2019

101-2761 Horley St            $689,900       773      2019 

101-2763 Horley St            $859,900      1020      2019

2765 Horley St                $799,900       890      2019

5017 Slocan St                $999,900      1383      2018

5003 St Margarets St          $888,000       923      2018

5005 St Margarets St          $899,900       933      2018

2727 Ward St                  $769,000      1070      2018

 
 
Apartments in RM-9A Zone

(strata title in RM-9A zone)


Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year

305-2628 Duke St              $479,800       494      2020

102-2666 Duke St              $524,900       544      2020

306-2666 Duke St              $755,900       797      2020   

 
 
Apartment

(strata title in CD-1 zonings)


Address                      Ask Price     Sq Ft      Year

318-4989 Duchess St           $649,000      1100      1998

212-4818 Eldorado Mews        $528,000       534      2013

508-4815 Eldorado Mews        $499,000       515      2013
                              $489,000

520-4815 Eldorado Mews        $538,888       534      2013

522-4815 Eldorado Mews        $475,000       451      2013

906-4815 Eldorado Mews        $528,000       549      2013

1710-4815 Eldorado Mews       $438,000       411      2013

1908-4815 Eldorado Mews       $449,000       435      2013

2004-4815 Eldorado Mews       $698,000       696      2013

205-2238 Kingsway             $528,000       812      1997

310-2239 Kingsway             $486,000       682      2011

326-2239 Kingsway             $628,000       883      2011

205-2388 Kingsway             $519,000       933      1996

PH5-2689 Kingsway             $818,888       839      2014

Assembly (231 x 102 ft)
2847 Kingsway               $2,388,000
2853 Kingsway               $2,388,000
2855 Kingsway               $2,388,000
2871 Kingsway               $2,388,000

 
 
2220 Kingsway

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


Address                       Ask Price    Sq Ft

303-2221 E 30th Ave            $588,000     591

605-2221 E 30th Avenue         $568,000     566

308-4638 Gladstone St          $799,000     790

506-4638 Gladstone St          $506,000     506

1105-4638 Gladstone St         $949,990     982

1801-4637 Gladstone St         $958,000     755

329-2220 Kingsway              $530,000     503

511-2220 Kingsway              $838,800     898

701-2220 Kingsway              $534,000     517

503-2220 Kingsway              $925,000     997

908-2220 Kingsway              $869,000     879

1006-2220 Kingsway             $599,000     541

1805PH5-2220 Kingsway        $1,060,000     784

 
 
Building Site Resales


Address                      Ask Price      Sq Ft                Zone

4856 Earles St               $4,400,000     66 x 110             RM-7

2632 Ward St                 $1,799,000     33 x 102             RM-7

4525 Clarendon St            $2,248,000     6069sf (irregular)   RT-11

 
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

4 February 2019 at 11:11 am

Posted in Price Data

Open Letter on Duplex

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     from:  Joseph Jones
       to:  Carr, Adriane ,
            Christine Boyle ,
            Colleen Hardwick ,
            De Genova, Melissa ,
            Jean Swanson ,
            Kennedy Stewart ,
            Lisa Dominato ,
            Michael Wiebe ,
            Pete Fry ,
            Rebecca Bligh ,
            Sarah Kirby-Yung 
       cc:  dan.garrison@vancouver.ca,
            gil.kelley@vancouver.ca,
            Jeanette Jones
     date:  Dec 15, 2018, 2:25 PM
  subject:  URGENT: Re Administrative Report #5 for
            Council Meeting of December 18

 
To:  Vancouver City Councillors
cc:  Dan Garrison, Assistant Director, Housing Policy & Regulation
cc:  Gil Kelley, General Manager, Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability

 
Re: Administrative Report #5 for Council Meeting of December 18: Costs of Consultation, Time Constraints and Impacts of Pursuing By-law Amendments to Remove Two-family Dwellings (Duplex) from RS Zones

https://council.vancouver.ca/20181218/documents/a5.pdf

 
We have read this report with interest. If Council decides to adopt the recommendation of staff to consider duplex as a trial housing option while Making Room proceeds, we ask that you consider making the following amendments to the suggested Council resolution (p. 9):

(a) That the proposed further discussion, field testing and evaluation over the next year include outright duplexes in all zones where they are allowed (RT-11, RM-7, RM-8, RT-5 and others if appropriate), and not focus exclusively on yet-unbuilt examples in only RS zones.

(b) That “exterior design” and “room sizes” be added to the list of specified features to be reviewed by staff (p. 9).

 
Rationale

1.  A monitoring of outright duplex development only in RS zones over the coming one-year period seems unlikely to provide any data that would enable Council to make “a future fact-based policy decision.” Norquay’s experience, based on continuous close observation for about five years, is that the time required for demolition of an existing house and construction of a duplex is close to one year. This does not include permitting time. We therefore expect that few if any duplexes could be completed in RS zones within one year, especially considering that only nine applications have been received to date.

2.  A large amount of data that could be used to evaluate outright duplexes is already available. Duplexes built outright under regulations almost identical to those approved for RS zones have already been completed in other areas of Vancouver. Outright duplexes have been allowed on single lots in Norquay’s RT-11 and RM-7 zones since 2013, in Marpole’s RM-8 zone since 2014, and in the RT-5 zones in Grandview-Woodland and Mount Pleasant since January 2018. In Norquay alone, approximately 60 outright duplexes have been completed or are very close to completion. To our knowledge, CoV has undertaken no formal process for any evaluation of these existing duplexes. We have been conducting our own evaluation of all new development in Norquay by regularly walking every street, monitoring applications, and attending open houses.

3.  Our monitoring has identified exterior design and room size as significant problems in new Norquay outright duplex development. The existing Exterior Design Guidelines are an important first step, but they need to be refined and strengthened. Approximately 20% of outright duplexes in Norquay are eyesores. * Room sizes are often inadequate for family housing, especially in duplexes built on small lots. We have seen bedrooms as small as 8 x 7, living rooms that can only accommodate a couch, and “dining areas” that consist of two stools at a kitchen counter because there is no room for a table.

Like most Norquay residents, we did not oppose duplexes in our neighbourhood at the time of rezoning and we do not oppose them now. We support the Planning Department’s proposal to evaluate the performance of new housing forms. The absence of any reference to Norquay in either the original staff report on duplexes dated June 27, 2018 or in the current report dated December 5, 2018 is disappointing. If the City of Vancouver reviews outright duplexes, Norquay’s extensive recent experience should feature prominently in that undertaking.

 
Jeanette and Joseph Jones

 
* Examples of external design successes and failures in Norquay can be viewed at:

http://www.vcn.bc.ca/norquay/duplex-2018.html
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

16 December 2018 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Open Letters