Alas, Avalon

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Just south of the Norquay boundary, a big piece of local history is going up for sale. The 1.26 acres of Avalon Dairy (two parcels of land at 2595 East 43rd Avenue and 5805 Wales Street) are now advertised by Colliers International as a “residential development opportunity.”

This is what happens when “planning” sets out to accelerate redevelopment in an area. Everything starts going into play at once, and the possibility of organic development over time gets lost.

The opportunistic and balkanized planning that has already been applied to Norquay guarantees that this particular “special site” will be up for developer grabs — and then built out with little respect to the broader context. After all, that land lies outside the Norquay boundary (by less than two blocks!).

The City of Vancouver loves to play boundaries both ways. The Norquay plan started out by jumping west of Renfrew-Collingwood (crossing Nanaimo Street) to carve a little chunk out of Kensington-Cedar Cottage, even though the topography made no sense. Then after 3 to 4 years of planning, a large northern piece of Norquay suddenly got lopped off in November 2009, toward the end of the process.

Whatever proves convenient for planners and developers — that is how boundaries get used. No way will the “neighbourhood centre” of Norquay be allowed to affect the exploitation of this piece of nearby hinterland (an area presumed to be less dense, and even to remain RS-1 single family zoning, because located further from the “centre” and therefore less walkable).

For more detail:

Neal Hall. Vancouver’s historic Avalon Dairy property up for sale. Vancouver Sun (30 April 2011) F2

Cheryl Rossi. Historic Avalon Dairy up for sale. Vancouver Courier 102:35 (4 May 2011) EW12

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Written by eyeonnorquay

5 May 2011 at 1:04 am

Posted in News

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