2699 Kingsway at DPB
Key improvements to planning for new development at 2699 Kingsway
• Increase of plaza gateway width by a factor ranging from 45% to over 120%
• Building reorientation that respects connection of Norquay Park to future greenway
• More definition of plaza gateway as public space
[ The following report was prepared by Norquay resident Jeanette Jones, who attended the 12 December 2011 meeting of the Development Permit Board and offered comment. See also details at 2699 Kingsway for the development proposal as it went to City Council half a year earlier. ]
On 12 December the Development Permit Board looked at the proposed plans for 2699 Kingsway. Here is a brief summary of key changes to the plan.
1 The public central plaza has been reconfigured to improve its ability to function as the gateway to the future Renfrew Ravine Linear Park. The plaza is now 58 ft. wide at Kingsway and 47 ft. wide at the lane (up from 40 ft. at Kingsway and about 21 ft. at the rear of the plaza). The angled wall at main floor level of the 4 storey building east of the plaza strengthens the connection between the plaza and the pedestrian crossing to Norquay Park. The plaza will be open to the lane for its entire width. The concrete seating wall has been moved and turned 90 degrees to allow easier access to the plaza. In large part, these changes were made in response to concerns expressed by residents.
2 Because the plaza was widened, the 12 storey tower of the building on the west side of the plaza was shifted 8.5 ft. westward.
3 Amenity space for the development has been moved to the northeast corner of the ground floor of the 12-storey tower. This will help to animate the north end of the plaza.
4 The brick pattern and articulation on the façade has been further developed to increase visual interest and variety.
5 Efforts have been made to mitigate impacts on nearby residents of noise and exhaust fumes. Exhaust and intake vents and an emergency generator will be situated for minimum impact, and garage doors and gates will be solid.
6 Commercial floor area has been increased to 0.35 FSR by replacing a portion of the at-grade commercial parking.
The Development Permit Board supported the development application, but expressed these concerns:
1 How will LEED Gold status be achieved? The architect believes that they will exceed the requirements, but planners are still looking for details.
2 Can the green roof planned for the low-rise building be made accessible to residents of the building, perhaps for a community garden? The architect believes access would lower the efficiency of the green roof.
3 Can screening be added around the penthouse to make it possible to add cell phone antennae unobtrusively at a later date? The architect would prefer that no cell phone antennae be installed.
When the applicant can resolve these issues to the satisfaction of the planners, the development will proceed.
A former member of the disbanded Seniors Advisory Committee emphasized the need to make new apartments meet the requirements set out by SAFERhome Standards Society so that seniors can age in place. The architect stated that although no units are specifically designated as “handicapped accessible,” all units are easily convertible for additional aids.