Archive for September 2015

2115 East 33rd Avenue

with 2 comments

 
Comment on Development Application DE419438 under RM-7 Zoning

(Formerly 2111, 2119, and 2125 East 33rd Avenue)

http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/developmentservices/devapps/pc2115e33rd/index.htm

 
2115e33-renderings
 

 
29 September 2015

We support this application, the fourth in the RM-7 zone from this architect. (The others are 2601 East 37th Avenue, 5031 Chambers Street, and 5055/5069 Earles Street.) Wilson Chang has also held a pre-application open house for a 4-storey apartment development at 2684/2690/2694 Duke St. His designs are clear and simple and make good use of space.

However, we have two concerns. These are relevant not only to this application, but to the entire RM-7 zone.

 
1 —  Three of the four RM-7 applications from this architect have flat roofs. One of the Planning Principles of the Norquay Plan is that new housing types should

        Fit in with the character of established single-family housing. New housing types should not alter
        the visual character, harmony or rhythm of a residential street. Allowable building heights and sizes
        should be compatible with current zoning allowances. (3.2.2, p. 25)

In 2013 we counted only 11 single-family houses with flat roofs in all of Norquay. We do not believe that sloped roofs necessarily compromise livability, especially in bedrooms. Flat roofs should not be allowed on more than 25% of new applications in RM-7. Those developments should be concentrated either very close to the new RM-9A Transition Zone or on arterials. Developments in other parts of the RM-7 zone should have sloped roofs. So far, this has been happening.

2 —  Three of the four RM-7 applications from this architect are very much the same. They are basically the same design with small variations. The proposal for a 4-storey apartment building on Duke Street looks very similar. There is considerable separation between most of the sites, so this is not yet a major problem. But we would like to see the architect use his creative skills to come up with a new design if he submits another RM-7 application. If he prefers to reuse a plan, we would favor reusing the unique design for 2601 East 37th Avenue (which incidentally has a sloped roof.)

 
Jeanette Jones and Joseph Jones
 

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Written by eyeonnorquay

29 September 2015 at 1:00 pm

Posted in RM-7 Comment

2759 / 2765 Duke Street

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Comment on Development Application DE419396 under RM-7 Zoning

http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/developmentservices/devapps/pc2759duke/index.htm

 
2759duke-northeastelevations
 

 
29 September 2015

We welcome and support the first application for traditional rowhouses in the RM-7 zone.

The height of this development should be kept at 11.5 m. as specified in Section 4.3.3 of the RM-7 District Schedule.

Although we recognize that developers usually build to the maximum allowable FSR, we would like to see rowhouse units that are smaller. A unit size of 1200 to 1500 sq. ft. rather than 2000 sq. ft. would be more appropriate for Norquay.

 
Jeanette Jones and Joseph Jones
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

29 September 2015 at 12:00 pm

Posted in RM-7 Comment

New RM-9A Zone

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Comment Made to City of Vancouver on the Proposed Zone and Design Guidelines for the Norquay Village Transition Area (RM-9A), Presented at an Open House on 23 September 2015

28 September 2015

 
The proposed new zoning regulations accord with the Norquay Village Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy of 2013 in the following ways:

        •  Maximum height is l3.7 m / 45 ft
        •  Minimum frontage is 15.2 m / 50 ft
        •  Front, rear, and side yard setbacks have not changed (although more discretion is allowed
            for variation)
        •  Building setbacks have changed slightly
        •  Courtyard width has been reduced by more than 10% — from 9.1 m / 30 ft to 8 m / 26 ft
        •  FSR remains the same
        •  Unit density remains the same for apartment buildings
        •  Parking is underground [with new clarification: at least one parking space per unit must be provided]
        •  Amenity contribution is $162 per sq m / $15 per sq ft

In these respects the proposed zoning for the most part implements the spirit and intent of the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan of 2010.

However, one major change raises great concern. The proposed zoning regulations would allow multiple stacked townhouses to be built on sites larger than 7212 square feet. This area is equivalent to two 33 x 110 ft. lots. The change would make it possible to build stacked townhouses in most of the RM-9A zone. Under the Transition Area Rezoning Policy, only a single 4-storey apartment building has been possible on any site in this zone.

 
Stacked townhouses should not be permitted in the RM-9A zone for the following reasons:

 
1 —  To allow stacked townhouses in this zone would reduce housing options in Norquay instead of increasing them. The design guidelines for apartments in this zone result in units with desirable features. The “alphabet-shaped” buildings have front or rear courtyards and more than four corners. Consequently the larger units have multiple exposures to encourage natural light and ventilation. They offer a very attractive option to many people.

The RM-9A zone is the only place in Norquay where 4-storey apartments can be built on residential streets. The far larger rowhouse/stacked townhouse zone (RM-7) already allows for enough of the stacked townhouse form. Developers are building many stacked townhouses in the RM-7 zone (14 proposals since 2013), but very few rowhouses (1 proposal since 2013). A similar outcome for the RM-9A zone would seriously compromise the design of the Norquay Plan. It seems likely that developers will be tempted to avoid the cost of an elevator by building stacked townhouses, even though the allowable density is less.

 
2 —  Stacked townhouses will not be accessible to people with mobility issues — seniors, persons with disabilities, young children and others. There is no elevator in stacked townhouses, only multiple flights of stairs. The Norquay Plan (p. 6) claims as a foundation the CityPlan direction

         To increase neighbourhood housing variety, so that people will have more opportunities
         to live in neighbourhoods at various ages and stages in their lives.

In addition, concern for appropriate seniors housing was expressed repeatedly during the 2009 Norquay process. Seniors who downsize from single-family homes are supposed to be able to “age in place.” Many of them would like to continue to live on one of Norquay’s residential streets rather than in a tower on Kingsway. They will not be able to do this in buildings without elevators.

 
3 —  Developers should not need further incentives to initiate new construction in the new RM-9A zone. Most small developers have not been prepared or willing to go through the expensive and time-consuming rezoning process required by the Rezoning Policy. Even so, three proposals for apartment buildings in this zone have already been made public within the past 18 months (one formal application and two pre-application open houses). Taken together, these three projects propose to redevelop 10 properties out of approximately 250 — a rate of 4%. According to developer representatives, Norquay can expect an increase in the number of proposals when the RM-9A District Schedule and Guidelines replace the Rezoning Policy, even if the only building form allowed is 4-storey apartments.

 
Jeanette and Joseph Jones
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

27 September 2015 at 11:35 pm

Posted in Comments

RM-9A Zoning Compared

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               Key to Abbreviations in Comparison

 
        ATARP = Norquay Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy (May 2013)

        RM-7 = Norquay RM-7/RM-7-N Districts Schedule and Guidelines (May 2013)

        RM-9 = Marpole RM-9/RM-9N Districts schedule and Guidelines (June 2014)

        RM-9A = Norquay RM-9A — No schedule or guidelines available

 


 
 
 
Comparison of Current Zoning Guidelines in Norquay and Marpole

 
Building Form

ATARP   4-storey apartment

RM-7    Stacked townhouse / Traditional rowhouse  (both 3.5 storey)
        [compared below]    [excluded from comparison]

RM-9    Low-rise apartment (4-storey) / Stacked townhouse / Rowhouse  (all 4 storey)

RM-9A   Low-rise apartment / Stacked townhouse  (both 4 storey)


 
Number of Buildings on Site

ATARP   One per site

RM-7    One or more per site, side by side (maximum width of building 22 m / 72 ft)

RM-9    More than one if site wider than 45.7 m / 150 ft  (Apartment)
        Multiple buildings on sites larger than 670 sq m / 7212 sq ft  (Stacked townhouse)
              (generally with buildings along the front and rear of the site)

RM-9A   Multiple buildings on sites with minimum depth of 45.7 m / 150 ft  (Apartment)
        Multiple buildings on sites larger than 670 sq m / 7212 sq ft  (Stacked townhouse)
              [e.g. site measuring 66 ft x 109.5 ft]


 
Amenity Contribution

ATARP   CAC $162 per sq m ($15.00 per sq ft) for FSR increase between 0.70 and 2.0

RM-7    None

RM-9    Affordable housing or amenity share
        $108 per sq m ($10 per sq ft) for FSR increase between 0.75 and 1.2
        $592 per sq m ($55 per sq ft) for FSR above 1.2

RM-9A   $162 per sq m ($15 per sq ft) for FSR increase between 0.70 and 2.0


 
Type of Parking

ATARP   Underground

RM-7    Uncovered surface spaces at lane

RM-9    Underground or surface spaces at lane

RM-9A   Underground


 
Required Parking Spaces

ATARP   Unspecified

RM-7    2 for every 3 principal dwelling units

RM-9    *** See footnote below ***

RM-9A   Minimum of 1, maximum of 2 spaces for each principal dwelling unit


 
Bicycle Storage

ATARP   Unspecified

RM-7    2.25 spaces per principal dwelling unit; .75 spaces per lock-off unit

RM-9    1.25 spaces per principal dwelling unit; .75 spaces per lock-off unit

RM-9A   1.25 spaces per principal dwelling unit; .75 spaces per lock-off unit


 
Elevator

ATARP   Yes

RM-7    No

RM-9    For apartment only

RM-9A   For apartment only


 
Maximum Height

ATARP   13.7 m  /  45 ft

RM-7    11.5 m  /  37.5 ft

RM-9    13.7 m  /  45 ft

RM-9A   13.7 m  /  45 ft


 
Minimum Frontage

ATARP   15.2 m / 50 ft   —  except orphan lots
        [proposals so far have assembled 3 or 4 lots]

RM-7    12.8 m / 42 ft
        [12 of 14 proposals so far for 1 or 2 lots]

RM-9    12.8 m / 42 ft

RM-9A   15.2 m / 50 ft


 
Building Setback

ATARP   Front setback of 3.0 m / 10 ft facing street (4th storey)
        Rear setback of 6.1 m / 20 ft facing lane (for 2nd, 3rd, 4th storey)

RM-7    Not applicable

RM-9    Inner setback of 1.2 m / 4 ft facing "garden courtyard" (3rd, 4th storey)
              (Stacked townhouse)

RM-9A   Front setback of 2.4 m / 8 ft facing street (4th storey)
        Rear setback of 6.1 m / 20 ft facing lane (2nd, 3rd, 4th storey)


 
Front Yard Setback

ATARP   3.7 m / 12 ft

RM-7    6.1 m / 20 ft

RM-9    4.9 m / 17 ft   or LESS

RM-9A   3.7 m / 12 ft   or LESS


 
Side Yard Setback

ATARP   2.1 m / 7 ft

RM-7    1.2 m / 4 ft

RM-9    2.1 m / 7 ft   or LESS

RM-9A   2.1 m / 7 ft   or LESS


 
Rear Yard Setback

ATARP   3.7 m / 12 ft

RM-7    Not applicable

RM-9    1.2 m /  4 ft   or LESS

RM-9A   3.7 m / 12 ft   or LESS


 
Courtyard Width

ATARP   9.1 m / 30 ft

RM-7    Not applicable

RM-9    7.4 m / 24 ft for Apartment with entry courtyard to single building
                wider than 45.7 m / 150 ft
        Unspecified for Stacked townhouse

RM-9A     8 m / 26 ft for Apartment — front or rear courtyard for single building
        7.3 m / 24 ft for Stacked townhouse — "garden courtyard"
                between 2 buildings at front and rear of site


 
Maximum Site Coverage

ATARP   Unspecified

RM-7    55%

RM-9    55%   or MORE

RM-9A   Unspecified


 
Maximum Floor Space Ratio (FSR)

ATARP   1.2 for single orphan lots only
        1.5 for frontage of 15.2 m / 50 ft
        2.0 for frontage of 27.4 m / 90 ft

RM-7    1.2

RM-9    1.2 for frontage of 12.8 m / 42 ft
        1.5 for frontage of 15.2 m / 50 ft
        2.0 for frontage of 27.4 m / 90 ft

RM-9A   1.5 for frontage of 15.2 m / 50 ft (1.75 for corner site)
        2.0 for frontage of 27.4 m / 90 ft


 
Maximum Unit Density

ATARP   180 units per hectare for 1.5 FSR
        240 units per hectare for 2.0 FSR

RM-7    132 units per hectare at permitted 1.2 FSR

RM-9    132 units per hectare for 1.2 FSR
        180 units per hectare for 1.5 FSR
        240 units per hectare for 2.0 FSR

RM-9A   180 units per hectare for 1.5 or 1.75 FSR — Apartment
        240 units per hectare for 2.0 FSR — Apartment
        140 units per hectare for Stacked townhouse



*** Footnote for RM-9 Required Parking Spaces ***

Section 4.2.1.4 of Vancouver’s Parking Bylaw states that the
parking space requirement for RM-9 is

   a minimum of 0.5 space for every dwelling unit with less 
   than 50 sq m of gross floor area, and, a minimum of 0.6 
   space for every dwelling unit with 50 sq m or more of gross
   floor area, plus one space for each 200 sq m of gross floor
   area, except that, for every dwelling unit which has a gross
   floor area of 80 sq m or greater, there need be no more than
   1 space for every dwelling unit.  

 


 

Written by eyeonnorquay

24 September 2015 at 11:42 pm

Posted in News

September 23rd Panels

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At the September 23 Norquay Open House people had to line up to see panels and to talk to planners. The event was busy for all three hours. Shortly after the 5:00 pm opening about sixty people were present. Planners ran out of comment forms. Panel number 3 for Zoning in Norquay Village stayed mobbed for the whole evening.

View the set of panels on the City of Vancouver web site or access the 10-panel pdf now archived at Eye on Norquay. Analysis is underway and comment is being prepared.

 
panel5
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

24 September 2015 at 12:54 pm

Posted in Events, News

P.S. on RM-9A

with 2 comments

 
The following material supplements the 16 September 2015 posting titled September 23rd Open House.

 
RM-9A is the designation that the City of Vancouver is using for new zoning for the Norquay Village Apartment Transition Area. The regulations for this new Norquay zone therefore derive from the schedule approved in June 2014 for the RM-9 zone in Marpole. We anticipate that details will differ for Norquay’s
RM-9A, but until the September 23 Open House unveiling we cannot know which ones. Relevant specifications for the RM-9 zone in Marpole have now been incorporated into an Eye on Norquay comparison table provided below. This preliminary work should make it easier to assess features proposed for the RM-9A zone in Norquay.

But Norquay is not Marpole.

The RM-9 zone in Marpole permits a variety of building forms, including low-rise apartments, stacked townhouses, and rowhouses. An important difference is that Marpole already has a considerable stock of
low-rise apartments on residential streets. The Marpole Community Plan also provides for other zones that will permit this housing form.

The Norquay Village Apartment Transition Area (to become the new RM-9A zone) is the only place in Norquay that permits low-rise apartments on residential streets.

If developers are from this point forward allowed to build stacked townhouses in this zone, Norquay will likely see very few low-rise apartments. One of the most important stated goals of the Norquay Plan is to increase housing options for residents. To permit stacked townhouses in RM-9A can only reduce or exclude the alternative apartment form.

 


 
 
               Key to Abbreviations in Comparison

 
        ATARP = Norquay Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy (May 2013)

        RM-7 = Norquay RM-7/RM-7-N Districts Schedule and Guidelines (May 2013)

        RM-9 = Marpole RM-9/RM-9N Districts schedule and Guidelines (June 2014)

 


 
 
 
Comparison of Current Zoning Guidelines in Norquay and Marpole

 
Building Form

ATARP   4-storey apartment

RM-7    Stacked townhouse / Traditional rowhouse
        [compared below]    [excluded from comparison]

RM-9    Low-rise apartment (4-storey) / Stacked townhouse / Rowhouse


 
Amenity Contribution

ATARP   CAC $15.00 per sq ft

RM-7    None

RM-9    Affordable housing or amenity share
        $108 per sq m ($10 per sq ft) for FSR increase between 0.75 and 1.2
        $592 per sq m ($55 per sq ft) for FSR above 1.2


 
Type of Parking

ATARP   Underground

RM-7    Uncovered surface spaces at lane

RM-9    Underground or surface spaces at lane


 
Required Parking Spaces

ATARP   Unspecified

RM-7    2 for every 3 units

RM-9    *** See footnote below ***


 
Elevator

ATARP   Yes

RM-7    No

RM-9    For apartment only


 
Maximum Height

ATARP   13.7 m  /  45 ft

RM-7    11.5 m  /  37.5 ft

RM-9    13.7 m  /  45 ft


 
Minimum Frontage

ATARP   15.2 m / 50 ft   —  except orphan lots
        [proposals so far have assembled 3 or 4 lots]

RM-7    12.8 m / 42 ft
        [12 of 14 proposals so far for 1 or 2 lots]

RM-9    12.8 m / 42 ft


 
Front Yard Setback

ATARP   3.7 m / 12 ft

RM-7    6.1 m / 20 ft

RM-9    4.9 m / 17 ft   or LESS


 
Side Yard Setback

ATARP   2.1 m / 7 ft

RM-7    1.2 m / 4 ft

RM-9    2.1 m / 7 ft   or LESS


 
Rear Yard Setback

ATARP   3.7 m / 12 ft

RM-7    Not applicable

RM-9    1.2 m / 4 ft


 
Courtyard Width

ATARP   9.1 m / 30 ft

RM-7    Not applicable

RM-9    7.4 m / 24 ft


 
Maximum Site Coverage

ATARP   Unspecified

RM-7    55%

RM-9    55%   or MORE


 
Maximum Floor Space Ratio (FSR)

ATARP   1.2 for single orphan lots only
        1.5 for frontage of 15.2 m / 50 ft
        2.0 for frontage of 27.4 m / 90 ft

RM-7    1.2

RM-9    1.2 for frontage of 12.8 m / 42 ft
        1.5 for frontage of 15.2 m / 50 ft
        2.0 for frontage of 27.4 m / 90 ft


 
Maximum Unit Density

ATARP   180 units per hectare for 1.5 FSR
        240 units per hectare for 2.0 FSR

RM-7    132 units per hectare at permitted 1.2 FSR

RM-9    132 units per hectare for 1.2 FSR
        180 units per hectare for 1.5 FSR
        240 units per hectare for 2.0 FSR



*** Footnote for RM-9 Required Parking Spaces ***

Section 4.2.1.4 of Vancouver’s Parking Bylaw states that the
parking space requirement for RM-9 is

   a minimum of 0.5 space for every dwelling unit with less 
   than 50 sq m of gross floor area, and, a minimum of 0.6 
   space for every dwelling unit with 50 sq m or more of gross
   floor area, plus one space for each 200 sq m of gross floor
   area, except that, for every dwelling unit which has a gross
   floor area of 80 sq m or greater, there need be no more than
   1 space for every dwelling unit.  

 


 

Written by eyeonnorquay

19 September 2015 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Apt Zone Comment, News

September 23rd Open House

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The City of Vancouver intends to establish a specific new zoning schedule for the Norquay Apartment Transition Zone. This area includes

         Properties that back onto the lanes serving Kingsway businesses
         Most of the properties fronting on Norquay Park
         Some of the properties along Earles Street

New regulations for an RM-9A zone would replace the Norquay Village Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy that was adopted by Council in May 2013. Details will be made available at an Open House scheduled for 23 September 2015.

 
rm9a
 

Perhaps the biggest change is that planners now propose to allow stacked townhouses as well as four-storey apartment buildings to be built in this zone. Stacked townhouses will be cheaper to build, since they do not require an elevator. They may require less property assembly. The provisions for parking are still unclear. A detailed comparison of the two housing types is appended below.

The apartment buildings originally proposed for this zone have several attractive features:

         Multiple exposures to maximize natural light and ventilation
         Courtyard usually provided at the front or rear of the building
         Elevators (especially needed by seniors)
         Units attractive for seniors who want to remain on a residential street in their familiar neighbourhood

Come out to the Open House to learn details of what the City of Vancouver is now proposing and to give your feedback. The Open House is scheduled for

 
        23 September 2015  —  5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
        Norquay Elementary School  —  4710 Slocan Street
 

If you are unable to attend, you can check the City’s web site under the “Progress” tab at

        http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/norquay-village-neighbourhood-centre-plan.aspx

a few days after September 23 for the information that was presented. An on-line comment form should be available.

It is possible to submit a second on-line comment even if you have already filled out the comment form at the Open House. Our analysis will be posted at Eye on Norquay as soon as possible after the event.

 
Note added 19 September 2015:  All material from the table below can be found in expanded form at
P.S. on RM-9A. This revision facilitates comparison with Marpole RM-9 and will provide the expandability needed for point-by-point assessment of the forthcoming Norquay RM-9A.

 


 
 
                                           Comparison of Current Guidelines
 

Specification Compared

Apartment Transition Area Stacked Townhouse RM-7
 

   
Type of Parking

Underground Uncovered surface spaces
Number of Parking Spaces Required

Unspecified 2 for every 3 units
Community Amenity Contribution (CAC)   

$15.00 per sq ft None
Elevator Required

Yes No
Maximum Height

45 ft 37.5 ft
Maximum Floor Space Ratio (FSR)

1.5 (2 lots) to 2.0 (3 lots) 1.2
Maximum Unit Density

240 per hectare 132 per hectare
Minimum Frontage

50 ft (2 lots) to 90 ft (3 lots)   
[proposals so far have
assembled 3 or 4 lots]
42 ft (4+ units)
[12/14 proposals so far
have been for 1 or 2 lots]

 
 


 

 
What guidelines will the City of Vancouver propose for stacked townhouses in the new RM-9A zone?

Norquay does not deserve to end up with the WORSE characteristics of both housing types.
 

 
Come out to the September 23rd Norquay Open House

Protect the Norquay Apartment Transition Zone from Developer Greed
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

16 September 2015 at 5:18 pm