with 2 comments

One of the newest available graphics was selected to illustrate the recent posting Does Not Equal. That summary of open house materials recapped what Vancouver city planners have presented to the the local Norquay community over a period of years.

A subsequent review of the Norquay Plan itself (see full citation below, with linkage to a final official version presented as a 78-page pdf) shows that this graphic is embedded as a specification within the Plan, where the accompanying text reinforces the content of the visual.

This graphic is located (p. 53) on a page titled Kingsway Rezoning Policies. According to Building Typology Policy No. 3, taken together with the referred to Figure 3 on page 54, the gateway 2220 Kingsway Canadian Tire site obtains

        an increase in height beyond the 10 to 12 storey pattern in exchange for additional public open space.

That open space is further described (p. 56) in Urban Design Policy No. 2 as

        a more expansive (approximately 6,000 to 8,000 sq. ft. in size) public plaza space, landscaped and
        activated on the edges by retail uses

The development proposal for 2220 Kingsway has failed to respect a clear Plan intention for unified public space (not just a corridor), open to sunlight and sky above, landscaped, and served by appropriate retail around the edges.

A second significant statement is made about Building Height for Larger Sites in Building Typology No. 2:

        For sites with greater than 150 feet of street frontage, variation in height (i.e., a mix of 4 storeys and
        10 storeys) is desired.

The development proposal for 2220 Kingsway has failed to respect a clear Plan intention for variation in height. Only a sophist would attempt to claim that the wall-like excrescences that connect three 14-storey towers and serve to encircle the entire site constitute the intended variation in heights. The monotony of three dominating 14-storey mesas violates the intended mix of building heights.

The developer’s desire to maximize height and views and separation from the surrounding community seems to have overridden the spirit of the Norquay Plan at two of the biggest turns.

Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan (November 2010)


Written by eyeonnorquay

26 August 2012 at 9:51 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Question.. … will the advent of height affect the blockage of sunlight for residential owners. How will this impact on residential owners ability to grow vegetables, and other eatable items in their gardens.


    12 November 2012 at 9:56 pm

  2. That height definitely will affect sunlight access and enjoyment for many surrounding blocks. The perfunctory “shadow studies” for these developments tend to be based on peak-of-day 10 am to 2 pm and peak-of-season equinox and summer solstice. (The ugly little sidestep here is this: at the peak times and seasons, the minimized shadowing can provide welcome relief; at the darker times of day and in the darker seasons, every bit of light becomes precious.) Besides which the studies affect nothing, because they’re just a piece of paper in the application portfolio, to which no attention seems to be paid. I’m not aware of sunlight access ever having impacted what a developer wanted to do.


    26 December 2012 at 10:58 am

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