Rezoning Application for Kingsway Near Earles
The following announcement of the first public meetings on a major Norquay rezoning application went out on 22 March 2011. This is only one day of notice for the developer open house and sixteen days of notice for the City open house. This application has gone forward before Norquay has any comprehensive plan that has gone through a formal public hearing. Proposal of an unnecessary twelve-storey tower exceeds even the ten-story base height that development interests have jackbooted into Norquay.
It is of special concern that this is the first rezoning attempt after the principles of Norquay planning went to City Council on 4 November 2011. At a meeting of Norquay Working Group on 3 February 2011, the lead Norquay planner told the group that the only application known to be on the horizon was not a rezoning that would involve new provisions. This sudden emergence is therefore either based on a lie and/or on an extreme rush job.
At least two persons having interest in this property were involved with the first phase of Norquay planning from March 2006 to June 2007.
Since this is the first rezoning attempt that refers to Norquay planning, the potential for setting precedent seems great. Opportunity to examine details of the proposal will follow – especially for those able to attend either or both of these short-notice public meetings.
Here are questions that immediately come to mind:
• Is it appropriate to proceed with this rezoning application ahead of any public hearing for the Norquay plan?
• Will the quality of finish and construction reflect the promises of the interim planning, or will they be little or no better than the related project just completed at 2239 Kingsway under old outright planning provisions?
• Will there be any benefits to the community from this development, other than the convenience to the developer of allowing a public passageway over land that cannot be built on anyway?
• Given the natural underground conditions of an active stream, will future residents be well served by massive underground parking that the location itself will particularly subject to leaks?
• Is cheaper wood construction planned for the four-storey building?
• The new potential for FSR 3.8 is being maximized. Is it proportional to distribute this area as one four-storey and one twelve-storey? Would it not be better to have two buildings more in scale? If the four-storey were six-storey, how much could the height of the twelve-storey be lowered?
• Do vertical gated drive-to communities mesh well with the character of Norquay?
• What is the full extent of year-round shadow impact on the surrounding area? With the present proposal, surely those impacts extend well beyond the three-block notification radius for the open house announcements?
• How does this excessive height proposed at the fringe of Norquay mesh with planning for a “neighbourhood centre“?
Think about what is being proposed, and plan to attend either or both open houses to ask your questions and to register your opinions.
Notice of Rezoning Application and Community Open House –
2667, 2679 and 2703 Kingsway March 23, 2011
Application: W.T. Leung Architects, on behalf of Thind Holdings Ltd., has submitted an application to the City of Vancouver to rezone this site from C-2 (Commercial) District to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District for the purpose of developing a mixed-use commercial and residential project. The project would contain a 12-storey building on the west portion of the site and a 4storey building on the east portion of the site. Both buildings would have commercial uses at grade and residential units on the floors above. A total of 129 dwelling units are proposed. The proposed Floor Space Ratio (FSR) is 3.80. Underground parking for 151 vehicles is proposed, with access taken from the lane. The rezoning application will be considered in the context of the Norquay Community Plan and additional recent community discussions regarding additional height and density on special sites on Kingsway.
The City will host a Community Open House:
Date: April 7, 2011 Time: 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Place: On site – “Scéna” Presentation Centre Building
The applicant team and City staff will be available to answer your questions and receive your comments.
For more information regarding this proposal, please visit our website at: vancouver.ca/rezapps. If you do not have web access, please contact Alison Higginson, Planner at 604.873.7727. Written comments may also be sent to City Hall, 453 West 12 Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4, by fax to 604.873.7060, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul C.P. Cheng, MAIBC, LEED A.P.
Urban Design and Development Planning Centre
City of Vancouver
Tel. 604.871.6665 Fax 604.873.7060