2298 Galt Public Hearing

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Why this dense new development on a single-family lot in the Norquay Transition Zone is critical to the future of all of Norquay:

        Precedent may be set for hundreds of similar properties along the Norquay stretch of Kingsway
        Transition Zone planning has never been presented to the Norquay community
        Single lots were not designated for this kind of development in Norquay planning

The Transition Zone will have huge impact on the character and public realm of Norquay because that housing type has been extended around all of Norquay Park and northward on Earles Street.

 
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The following account of the 30 January 2012 Public Hearing on the rezoning application for 2298 Galt Street is being sent to the Norquay email distribution list. The notice was prepared by Jeanette Jones.

 
Some of you will have received the Notice of Public Hearing on January 30 for the rezoning of 2298 Galt Street. This single family site in the Transition Zone behind Kingsway is to be rezoned to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) to allow the construction of a 4-storey residential building with an FSR of 1.19. This proposed “building” will actually consist of two buildings (front 34.6 feet x 37.5 feet; back 34.6 feet x 40.4 feet; height of 38.7 feet) separated by a courtyard space of approximately 25 feet. The building closest to Galt will be four storeys tall and contain two principal dwelling units and be set back approximately 10 feet from the front property line. (This setback is about half of what exists for the front yards of the present 9 houses to the west and 11 houses to the east.) The other building will be three storeys tall (tops of the buildings will be at the same height because the land slopes), will also contain two principal dwelling units, and will be set very close to the rear lane. One of the dwelling units will contain a lock-off suite. Two parking spaces are included inside each of the buildings (4 in total), accessible from the lane that runs beside the site.

The City of Vancouver online file for the 2298 Galt rezoning application can be found at

         http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/2298galt/index.htm

This file includes a link to the report to Council.

This is the first application for development in the proposed Transition Zone. It is certain to set a precedent for the kind of development that will be permitted in this zone. It is critical to note that zoning regulations are still being developed for all the new housing types, and have not yet been adopted by Council. The Open House held in April 2011 dealt only with new housing types in the Duplex, Stacked Townhouse, and Traditional Rowhouse Zones. The Transition Zone is described in less detail than the other zones in the Norquay Plan and was not included in the Open House presentation. There has been no public consultation so far about development in the Transition Zone. Planners have told us that zoning regulations for the Transition Zone will not be completed before 2013. In the meantime, an interim rezoning policy will guide development.

The proposal for the Transition Zone that was presented to the Norquay Working Group mentioned only 4-storey apartment buildings that would require assembly of at least three lots. The type of building proposed was to be H- or U-shaped. The apartments would have windows on more than one side, increasing natural light and ventilation. The site would include considerable green space visible from the street. This type of development sounds as if it could be quite attractive.

Planners state in their report to Council that they they are now considering whether development of single sites in the Transition Zone should be permitted only if they are “orphaned” (left over) by larger assembled-lot developments on adjacent neighboring properties, or whether such development should be permitted throughout the Transition Zone but “disincentivized” by allowing a reduced Floor Space Ratio. The community needs to speak out loudly to restrict the development of single sites to orphan lots. If such development is permitted throughout the zone, it will become very difficult to assemble the three lots needed to build the proposed 4-storey apartment buildings. Haphazard and inconsistent development with buildings set back only 10 feet from the street may result in an unattractive streetscape — especially around Norquay Park where so much will be visible at a single glance.

Planners have also told us informally that the reason that there has been no Open House on the Transition Zone is that they are still calculating how to derive amenity funding (CACs and/or DCLs) from the lift that this housing type will produce. Single lot development in this zone will not produce any significant lift, and consequently no amenity funding.

Please consider coming out to speak to Council on this issue on January 30 (7:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue at Cambie). If you can’t come in person, you can send a written submission to mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca and/or individual councillors.

A single sentence is enough to get your voice heard and recorded.

 
[ Minor updates incorporated on 25 January 2012 ]
 

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Written by eyeonnorquay

24 January 2012 at 12:04 pm

Posted in News

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