Eye on Norquay

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Archive for February 2016

2679 Horley Street

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Comment on Development Application DE419937 under RM-7 Zoning



15 February 2016

We have concerns with this application. Units 3 and 6 are long, narrow units, approximately 45 ft x 13 ft on the eastern side of the building adjacent to the neighbouring property. They have the following problems:

1 —  The layout of these units is unattractive and inefficient. The front entries open into a passageway that passes the laundry area and the bathroom. The living areas in these units are in the centre of the building. Much of this space will need to function as a hallway to access the back half of the units.

2 —  Living area windows of Unit 3 will look out on the 5 ft. fence that separates this site from the neighbouring property. The corresponding windows of Unit 6 will look out on the blank wall or into the windows of the house next door. There will be inadequate light and ventilation, and no view.

3 —  There appear to be no windows in Unit 3 that look out on the street. Please address these concerns before approving the application.

We appreciate being able to view the floor plan — at least for the main floor of the building.

Jeanette Jones and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

15 February 2016 at 12:00 pm

Posted in RM-7 Comment

Rona in Play

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Less than one week after the 3 February 2016 news comes out about Lowe’s “friendly $3.2 billion takeover” of Rona, ten separate little pink distant early warning signs have popped up along the Kingsway and Dumfries Street sidewalks to the south and west of the Rona building supply store at 1503 Kingsway.

     See Pink Spot on Sidewalk at Left

     Close-Up of a Pink Spot

City of Vancouver Public VanMap shows the dimensions of the irregular parcel. By rough calculation, the larger of the two 1503 sites amounts to almost 1.5 acres of land.

     VanMap Data for 1503 Kingsway

     Perspective on Parcel Size

Only time will tell whether those pink spots represent site infection by terminal condoitis. If that proves to be the diagnosis, woe betide Vancouver’s first “neighbourhood centre” at Kingway and Knight. And chalk up another serious loss of useful retail in an area that was supposed to become more friendly to walkable shopping — but is doing the opposite. (King Edward Village is a monument already to retail desertification.)

The planning exercise achieved nothing except (1) a dump of King Edward Village onto the Safeway site across the street, separated from the local area process that failed to deliver anything besides (2) a fast mass rezoning of 1577 single-family properties. That ugly history has already been exposed in detail at Eye on Norquay.

Unlike what happened with the second “neighbourhood centre” in Norquay, planners and their local area compradors never specified anything for the Kingsway shopping area around Knight. Pretend planning leaves behind blank slates for vulture developers.

Since the first came before the second, it would seem reasonable to retroject key specs from Norquay down the hill to the west: maximum FSR of 3.8, and maximum height of 16 storeys.

While “Norquay” chewed a piece off the eastern edge of Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Kingsway & Knight is supposed to be the neighborhood’s heart. Let’s hope that a stake has not just been driven through it.

     New Iron Stake at NW Corner of Site

News reports:

Lowe’s offers $3.2B to take over Canadian rival Rona

Lowe’s Cos to buy Canada’s Rona for $3.2 billion in cash to
create home improvement giant


Written by eyeonnorquay

10 February 2016 at 11:25 pm

Posted in 1503 Kingsway, News, Photos

4740 Duchess Street

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Comment on Development Application DE419797 under RM-7 Zoning

(Formerly 4730 Duchess St and 2603 Cheyenne St)




8 February 2016

The lot at 4730 Duchess Street was previously approved for 3 traditional rowhouses (DE417498). Shallow, sloping sites like this one are more suitable for rowhouse development. Rowhouses might also be better able to take advantage of the corner location of the site.

If stacked townhouses are to be built, we have two main concerns:

1 —  There seems to be inadequate private outdoor space for the units. The proposed area for balconies and porches is only 1307 sq. ft. rather than the allowable 2105 sq. ft. The balconies at the back of the building are very shallow. Locating sunken patios for the first floor units under the front porches of the units above would severely limit daylight and air circulation.

2 —  Too much of the front yard of the larger building is taken up by sidewalks. The site plan shows 4 single-width sidewalks and 1 double-width sidewalk. An 8-unit building in the RM-7 zone usually has 4 single-width sidewalks. Fewer sidewalks would create more open space and make the areas of lawn larger and easier to maintain. Access to Units 1 and 2 should be reconfigured.

Jeanette Jones and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

8 February 2016 at 12:00 pm

Posted in RM-7 Comment

Double Whammy

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Last week was a bad week for assault on public realm at Westbank’s 2220 Kingsway construction site. This seems to be what the corporation’s ballyhooed Gesamtkunstwerk approach amounts to in East Vancouver. Sick dada.

Murdered Tree

A new category of abuse opened up with someone ripping apart the protective fencing around a mature boulevard tree and cutting it down.


The only evidence that remains is part of the fencing and the stump. This tree, the closest to East 30th Avenue, was part of a row of similar trees that stretch along the east side of the entire block to Kingsway. It seems like two steel barrels were placed to try to make the tree-cutting less obvious to a passerby.


Tree stump photos were taken on 25 January 2016.

Sewer Sidewalk

The ongoing dumping of untreated construction wastewater directly into storm drains continued with a pump-out of cementitious water from the excavation that was allowed to flood beside and across the Kingsway sidewalk. The photo below shows the residue left around the sewer grate that occupied the middle of a corner bulge that City of Vancouver had landscaped with grasses.


The photo below shows the residue that was trapped on the south side of the Kingsway sidewalk as water flowed across to reach the Kingsway street drain.


These photos were taken on the morning of 27 January 2016.

The experience of trying to report these incidents to City of Vancouver has been disheartening. It appears that Westbank has free rein to disregard any by-law it wants to, with no consequence ever suffered. How could a beholden Vision Vancouver City Council ever allow municipal employees to raise a hand to their master? In so many words — read my lips — inspectors tell you that all they can do is go and beg Westbank to be nice. From what we see so far, Westbank will never be nice.

All the invaded neighborhood can do photograph the welts and scars and publish the documentation.

Written by eyeonnorquay

5 February 2016 at 10:40 am