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)