Archive for September 2014
On 16 May 2013, a last piece of the Norquay Plan — “for the next 30 years” (see Recommendation A) — was approved by Vancouver City Council.  This action more or less put an end to seven years of struggling to try to get a decent plan. Already the replacement struggle is to get the City of Vancouver to stick with and to respect its own planning for Norquay.
One big benefit of having an up-to-date local area plan has just become apparent.
Start with the complete text of Recommendation B from the document:
THAT Council set the fixed-rate targets for Community Amenity Contributions from rezonings
— on Kingsway for sites under .4 ha., a rate of $107.60 per sq. m. ($10.00 per sq. ft.)
of floorspace achieved in excess of existing zoning.
— in the Apartment Transition Area, a rate of $161.40 per sq. m. ($15.00 per sq. ft.)
of floorspace achieved in excess of existing zoning. [p. 1]
The general good news here is that Norquay should see some payback from CAC [Community Amenity Contribution] as our local area (which is already considerably more dense than much of the rest of Vancouver) houses even more new people.
The specific good news is that fixed-rate CAC is not listed as a waiver item under Rental 100 policy.  This means that at least a pittance of CAC should trickle into Norquay along with the flood of new residents who, other than having found themselves a place to live, bring impact burden rather than benefit.
Here is what the 2012 annual report on benefits  says about fixed rate:
Certain areas of the city have their own area-specific CAC and/or public benefit policies determined as part of Area Plans (e.g. Arbutus Neighbourhood and Southeast False Creek both have fixed rate targets for CACs). [p. B-2; pdf 14]
In this respect at least, Norquay can now expect to receive the same treatment as two west side areas.
In closing, to moderate anticipations of CAC bounty, let Eye on Norquay calculate how CAC has done NOTHING so far for 99+% of area residents:
2006 2300 Kingsway $2,400,000 (single-purpose on-site 37-space daycare facility) 2012 2711 Kingsway $ 105,846 (to mitigate impacts on existing daycare) 2013 2220 Kingsway $4,011,720 (in-kind enhancements for developer's project, plus $3 million stashed and steadily losing value)
 Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan Implementation — Public Benefits Strategy and Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy (16 May 2013)
 Secured Market Rental Housing Policy (May 2012)
 2012 Annual Report on Public Benefits from Approvals of Additional Density
2011 Annual Report on Public Benefits Secured Through Approvals of Additional Density
Under the Rental 100 program of the City of Vancouver, a developer seeks to replace three “transition zone” single-family houses with 28 units in four-storey apartment. The Rental 100 program provides significant concessions to developers (DCL waiver, parking reduction, decrease in unit size, additional density, expedited processing). These bonuses get piled on top of a massive density increase brought in by the 2010-2013 Norquay Plan. The only result that the local community expects to see is more people jammed into the same streets and public spaces. Norquay continues to experience no significant delivery on amenity promises.
Because of residence within the notification boundary for this proposed development, Eye on Norquay received notification of a “pre-application open house” for this site and attended the event on the evening of 10 September 2014.
2312-2328 Galt Street on 15 April 2014
(These three small bungalows, each on a 33 x 122 lot, were listed as an assembly by Re/Max
on 14 April 2014 at $999,000 per lot. Actual selling price is not known.)
Here is the pre-application notification received by area residents:
See Appendix below for the five display panels from the 10 September 2014 pre-application open house.
These two parameters stand out in this proposal:
FSR increase from 2.0 to 2.2
Courtyard width reduction from 30 ft to 25 ft
Both of these variations result from piling Rental 100 on top of an already-dense brand-new zoning.
Reference: Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy — Appendix C, section 3 [pdf 42] (16 May 2013)
The developers at the open house forthrightly admitted that they anticipate charging the highest rates possible under Rental 100 guidelines. (Those guidelines were formulated to cover all of Vancouver.) Under such conditions, why would a prospective landlord dump new density anywhere except East Vancouver, so that maximized margins can be exploited?
2312-2328 Galt Street is the second proposal to emerge in Norquay under Rental 100. The first, at 2768 Kingsway, immediately got red-flagged for preposterous claims to rental affordability.
2312-2328 Galt Street is the third proposal to emerge in Norquay under new Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy. The first was 2298 Galt Street, now under construction. The second is 4859-4879 Slocan Street, for which a pre-application open house was held in late spring 2014.
Appendix — Five Panels