2298 Galt Street
The City of Vancouver has recently posted to the web a set of seven pdf files related to the rezoning application for 2298 Galt Street.
This means that details on what is proposed can be viewed more easily ahead of the 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm Open House that the developer is holding at 2239 Kingsway on Tuesday 13 September 2011. As well, for persons unable to attend the Open House event itself, considered review and informed comment will be far more feasible.
Neighborhoods across Vancouver should examine carefully the new housing types being proposed in Norquay, as all of these types (traditional rowhouse, duplex with infill, stacked townhouse, four-storey apartment) seem likely to replicate in all nine of the “community vision” areas which have been primarily single-family residential.
Major concerns about this development have already been outlined under Item 1 in September Letter. Here is a recap of those preliminary points with some further elaboration:
• This one-off rezoning application is being used to “test” what the community will accept as a four-storey apartment on a single lot.
• Norquay Working Group was always told that this housing form would require land assembly (more than one lot) and would be built on footprints resembling a U or an H.
• This particular design bears strong resemblance to courtyard rowhousing (but four storeys, not three!). This is the housing type that city planners repeatedly tried to shove into Norquay, even though the Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision that applies to most of Norquay specifically stated that this type would receive no further consideration.
• There has been no community review whatsoever of anything to do with specifications for the four-storey apartment housing type.
• The zoning specification for hundreds of Norquay properties that fall within this designation has not even been written yet.
• This appears to be the same developer that achieved a major rezoning of 2667-2703 Kingsway long before the Norquay Plan has even gone to public hearing.
• Haphazard redevelopment of single lots seems likely to produce an ugly streetscape, especially if this form of development is ever allowed around Norquay Park or along Earles.
• Existing houses will find their front yards sawtoothed into dark holes by a lessened setback that is designed to produce privatized interior courtyards.
• The characteristics and location of this particular single lot (with side lane, surrounded by newer houses, non-standard lot width for area, street already littered with plastic buckets to stake out parking, facing onto the back of all houses across the street) mean that this case should serve as a prototype for nothing whatsoever.