Eye on Norquay

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Archive for May 2015

5444 Rhodes Street

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Comment on Development Application DE418931 under RT-11 Zoning



23 May 2015

This application should not be approved in its current form for the following reasons.

1.  Far too much of the site area is taken up by driveways. Approximately 12% to 15% of the site is surfaced with gravel or blacktop to enable the residents of the front units (A1 and A2) to access interior parking spaces. Parking spaces for all units should be on the lane, the first choice of the RT-11 and 11N Guidelines (4.9). Under a new Norquay area plan that promotes walkable neighbourhood, scarce open space should not be sacrificed for resident access to in-building vehicles.

The current proposal causes the front doors and windows of the back units (Units B1 and B2) to face blacktop and the garage doors of Units A1 and A2.

No driveway should be made of gravel and/or blacktop. “Hard surface areas should be paved with permeable paving to reduce stormwater sewer loads and improve natural groundwater infiltration.” (RT-11 and 11N Guidelines, 4.9.1(iv)).

2.  The garbage area covers some of the small amount of open space between the units. “Garbage areas should be purpose-designed as an integral part of the development either in the building or the lane.” (RT-11 and 11N Guidelines, 4.9)

3.  The basements are set too deep into the ground. From the elevation drawings, it appears that the small windows in the basement lock-off suites are set just below ceiling height. It will be difficult for a resident of normal height to see out of them.

4.  The windows on the sides of the units line up with the windows of the units opposite. It will be very easy for residents of Units A1 and B1 to look into the windows of Units A2 and B2 and vice versa. The windows should be staggered.

5.  There is no indication of a landscape plan in the material posted on the web site. The small amount of open space available on this site makes it important that it be planned well.

Please address these concerns before approving the project.

Jeanette Jones and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

23 May 2015 at 11:17 am

Posted in RT-11 Comment

2308 East 34th Avenue

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Comment on Development Application DE418941 under RM-7 Zoning



23 May 2015

We are pleased to see one of the few heritage buildings in Norquay being restored. The plan to renovate and convert the existing grocery into a coffee shop will bring a welcome improvement to the neighbourhood.

While we support this application, we would like to register two concerns:

1.  No on-site parking serves either residential or commercial units.

2.  The infill unit behind the existing building seems very large, and will loom over and detract from the heritage unit.

While relaxations are necessary in order to incentivize restoration, but their impacts should be mitigated to the fullest extent possible.

Jeanette Jones and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

23 May 2015 at 10:54 am

Posted in RM-7 Comment

Phase X Marketing

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From the glossy piece of advertising that slid through the letter slot this morning, it looks like 2220 Kingsway aka Kensington Gardens is about to enter Phase X of its prolonged marketing campaign. At this stage, customers can walk down the street to inspect a partly-dug hole in the ground before deciding whether to plunk down for a chunk of the air above that hole. Take a look at the two sides of the marketing card:


Some yet unsold subset of the triplet towers has now been singled out as Vancouver View Estates.
Here’s the key hype:

        The first release of 40 luxury view homes in Vancouver’s most sought-after new community

The big question is, if this fortress compound is really so sought after, why do so many units remain unsold after fifteen months? If only 40 are left, that would be about 10% of total dwelling units. But the unsold portion of the development seems likely to be far greater.

On-the-ground observations have shown that previous “releases” of entire towers generated no line-ups at all. Revisit the sales debacles of 8 February 2014 and Half-Sold After Ten Months and 25 October 2014.

It seems likely that the only real “releases” involved here are developer and marketer desires to find release from their financial commitment to those green glass towers that the Norquay Plan said should never happen to our neighborhood. (Much of the Norquay Plan flew out the window when big developer Westbank told City of Vancouver planners what it intended to do. Especially the “plaza” requirement that morphed into a parklet excrescence.)

The Kensington Gardens web site now features this amusing map:


First notice those four little red dots numbered 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 over to the left, across the great east-west divide: St. Georges, Crofton House, Little Flower Academy, York House. Surely prospective condo owners aspiring to toney private schools for their offspring would not settle for a grungy Kingsway address? Well, maybe the “King” part of Kingsway could fool them.

Next notice the impossible travel times. Impossible unless you’re lifting off from the roof in your helicopter …

Twenty minutes to UBC. Ten minutes to Downtown. Ten minutes to BCIT. Five minutes to Commercial Drive.

Would you buy a new condo from people who do these kind of numbers?

Written by eyeonnorquay

22 May 2015 at 2:19 pm