Landscaped Median #2

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A week ago Eye on Norquay expressed concern (see immediately preceding posting) about the apparent impending failure to provide landscaped median as far west as Gladstone Street during current Kingway public realm improvements. Timely inquiry by at least two councillors — appreciation to them for taking that step — brought rapid formal response (full text appended below) from a Community Transportation Engineer.

This response from City of Vancouver confirms that two sketches will take precedence over five clear and consistent verbal descriptions in the Norquay Plan. When a legal document contains this degree of discrepancy, it seems disingenuous to assert flatly that the project is “being constructed as per the plans.” It has to be further remarked that the text that accompanies the detail graphic on page 7 of Appendix B describes this presumed definitive sketch as “preliminary geometric designs … [that precede] … detailed design and implementation.”

If there is any principle to what the City of Vancouver is doing in this instance, it must involve some combination of

       (1)  Do what the City of Vancouver prefers to do regardless of the Plan

       (2)  Do whatever will cost less and provide less to the neighborhood, since money is everything

       (3)  Prefer graphic material over written text

If the City of Vancouver bases its action here on the third option enumerated above — according precedence to graphic representation over verbal description — it will be interesting to see if that same principle is applied with consistency in the future. A touchstone test of such “principle” would be treatment of the Norquay Plan discrepancy that involves Consideration F on page 1-2 (pdf 1-2), and the Appendix C (pdf 83) that the words refer to. Consideration F calls in writing for “four-storey low-rise apartments on larger parcels along Earles Street and north of Kingsway.” But the graphic in Appendix C shows no such development located along Earles.

Several points emerge from this exercise in documenting the abuse of Norquay.

  The Norquay Plan is a contradictory mishmash that was rushed to Council with no opportunity for
     significant community review, and does not deserve legal status

  One of the densest and most sprawling megaproject developments destined for Norquay will NOT be
     mitigated by landscaped median along Kingsway [compare with the median at Kingsway & Knight that
     accompanies another large development with the same quantity of dwelling units]

  Plannerspeak “gateway” language has been applied to the Canadian Tire site, yet the defining
     accompanying streetscape will only start somewhere further along the road!

  Community plans are a mechanism to specify a basis for taking from and imposing on the community
     [eg 14 storeys and 3.8 FSR overnight become a “right” of the land speculators at the Canadian Tire site]

  Community plans strive to remain as fuzzy as possible on what benefit will ever accrue to the community
     [20 months after plan approval Norquay suffers from indefinite deferral of an amenities/benefits “strategy”]

  •  •  •  •  •  •
Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 2:53 PM
cc [two councillors]

Mr. Jones;

Thank you for your comments and interest in the project.

The landscaped medians are being constructed as per the plans approved by Council in November 2010. The applicable Council report, which is also referenced on the blog you’ve noted, is located here:

The street design plans included in the document clearly detail the planned locations of the planted medians in Appendix B: Public Realm and Transportation Improvements Plan.

•   Figure 1 (Page 5, Appendix B (Page 69 of PDF)) — Overall Plan View — Shows median terminating in advance of Gladstone.

•  Figure 5,6 (Page 7, Appendix B (Page 71 of PDF)) — Plan View Drawings of key sub-areas of Kingsway and related intersections, including where the median terminates in advance of Gladstone.

From what’s written on the blog posting that was referenced (Landscaped Median), there may have been some confusion when looking only at the general cross sections and some of the broad text. The blog also references the Canadian Tire site’s rezoning application materials which, unfortunately, are incorrect in showing a landscaped median. I believe this error has already been communicated to the developer though so they can update accordingly.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at 604-873-xxxx.


xxxxxxx, P.Eng.
Community Transportation Engineer
City of Vancouver | Engineering | Strategic Transportation Planning
507 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Z 0B4
Ph. 604.873.xxxx | Fax. 604.873.xxxx


Written by eyeonnorquay

23 July 2012 at 9:30 pm

Posted in CoV Documents, News

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