The first stacked townhouse development application for Norquay (under the widespread RM-7 mass rezoning executed by City of Vancouver 2010-2013) has been filed for 4730 Duchess Street:
Stairways Overhang Front Yard
Careful examination of the Norquay Plan Implementation and the particular development application show that the application should not receive approval in present form, according to the provisions of the policy report etc approved after 9 April 2013 public hearing on 1. REZONING — Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan Implementation — New Zoning District Schedules — RT-11/RT-11N and RM-7/RM-7N
The Norquay Plan Implementation says that new development should retain the basic physical character of the neighbourhood. It seems clear that this proposal would not. There is no significant usable open space around this development. Front yards are consumed by walkways and exterior stairways to upper level units. Back yard space becomes little more than parking spaces, bike lockers, and garbage/recycling containers.
Beyond those failures, this proposal violates several specific guidelines for stacked townhouse zoning: size of unit, width of living space, amount of in-suite storage, provision of natural light.
We urge residents of Norquay and residents across Vancouver to submit their own comment on this new housing type that is about to move from paper to built form for the first time ever.
Deadline for comment is 17 February 2014.
Due consideration of your comment is a requirement explicitly stated in the Norquay Plan Implementation:
If the Director of Planning first considers the intent of this schedule and all applicable Council policies and guidelines, and the submissions of any advisory groups, property owners or tenants, the Director of Planning may permit an increase in floor space ratio. [Appendix B 4.7.2]
The crucial word is “may.” This application meets neither the intent of the district schedule nor many of the guidelines.
It seems likely that this new zoning type is destined to see widespread application across all of Vancouver. Coming soon to your own neighborhood, perhaps even right beside you. Violation of plan implementation must not be allowed to “creep” into the first realization of this new housing type and set precedent.
Stairways & Walks Consume Front Yard