A careful analysis of the fifteen display panels that Vancouver city planners presented at the 30 April 2011 information session on Zoning for New Housing Types shows multiple worrisome changes in Norquay planning.
All of these changes demonstrate deliberate creep. The unwanted Plan that the City of Vancouver forced on Norquay in November 2010 is already failing to set limits. At every turn, planners seek increased floor space ratio, increased height, and less restriction on total redevelopment of consolidated parcels.
Only watchdog response by Norquay has any hope of holding planners even to what they imposed less than six months ago! Norquay is being subjected to the instability of perpetual uncertainty as experimental housing types spawn ever smaller, darker, taller boxes to maximize developer profitability at the expense of livability.
Here are three specifics:
• For Traditional Rowhouse on two 44-foot lots, the number of proposed units has been altered from five at 16 feet wide to six at 12.5 feet wide.
• For Stacked Townhouse on two or more lots, floor space ratio has been upped from 1.1 to 1.25, and what was basement crawl space has become a full additional floor in an even taller building, with no replacement of lost storage space.
• In the Small House/Duplex zone, the requirement for retention of character houses has been eliminated.
A detailed two-page comment sheet response can be found at Eye on Norquay. A follow-up Open Letter to City of Vancouver registers strong complaint about the failure of this planning to respect the details of the Norquay Plan approved by Council on 4 November 2010.
All readers of Eye on Norquay are encouraged to submit at least a brief comment about this latest “planning” for Norquay to firstname.lastname@example.org. These new housing types are likely to set precedent for what happens eventually with many other residential areas.