Blocky Not Wanted
Four Storey Apartments on Fifty Foot Wide Lots May Be Coming Soon to Your Community
Zoning schedules for the new apartment zone proposed for Norquay will be part of the report that is announced to go to Council on April 24. Matt Shillito, Assistant Director of Community Planning, stated at the April 9 Norquay Plan Implementation public hearing that the Planning Department expects to use new schedules adopted for Norquay elsewhere in the city.
The area to be included in the new apartment transition zone for Norquay is the half block directly behind the Kingsway Rezoning Policy area, plus the lots directly facing onto Norquay Park and six large lots on the east side of Earles Street north of Purdy’s. This is a total of more than 200 lots.
The Norquay Plan is very vague about the specifics for this new zone. The Norquay Working Group was told that assembly of three 33 ft. lots would be required. This would enable building of four-storey H-shaped or U-shaped apartments with maximum light and air exposure. There would be a green area facing the street.
What is now being proposed, according to the latest Norquay Open House
is a minimum frontage of 50 ft. with 1.5 FSR. A frontage of 90 ft. could be built up to 2 FSR. We would like to see the originally suggested requirement of three lot (90 ft.) assembly maintained. Building on a frontage of 50 ft., or even 66 ft. (two 33 ft. lots), will make it difficult to produce the letter-shaped structures that were proposed during the community process.
As currently proposed, the new zoning would make it possible to build these apartments on a single 50 ft. wide lot. In Norquay itself, there are only a handful of 50 ft. wide lots in the area to be zoned for these apartments. The effective minimum frontage there will in most cases be two lots, or 66 ft. Residents of areas of Vancouver with 50 ft. wide lots directly behind arterials should be concerned about this proposed Norquay zoning. They may want to speak at the public hearing likely to be held in early May.
We will have more concrete details when we see the report going to Council on April 24.
Prepared by Jeanette Jones
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Video of what Matt Shillito said at the 9 April 2013 public hearing:
Transcript of what Matt Shillito said at the 9 April 2013 public hearing:
We are looking at least some of these forms — the duplexes and the rowhouses and the stacked townhouses — in other areas, and particularly in terms of the community plans on the way in Marpole and Grandview-Woodland where there may be opportunities to introduce these zones. So in those areas and in other areas of the neighbourhood centres and areas of good transit accessibility, subject to a planning process like the current community plans, we would like to introduce these zones as discussion items for … with the community in each of those areas.
Comment: Shillito kept his remark within the context of the public hearing on the RM-7 and RT-ll zonings, and did not extend to the four-storey apartment “targeted” for Council on April 24. It seems certain that the same would be said of this fourth new housing type.