4894 Slocan Street
Comment on Development Application DE420313 under RM-9A Zoning
The following comment addresses the first application to come forward under Norquay’s new RM-9A zoning. For this “transition zone” between Kingsway and surrounding residential areas, the “new housing type” is four-storey apartment. Due to the depth of the four assembled lots, there is proposed a 37 unit apartment building at the front and a 16 unit townhouse building at the rear. That a gated courtyard might set precedent for changing the character of an open street in an open neighborhood is particularly distressing. The long-established area of denser housing to the immediate east does not present this unfriendly, unnecessary, and unwanted feature.
9 June 2016
1. The courtyards are attractive and adequately sized.
2. All units are 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom units, averaging approximately 800 sq. ft.
3. There is provision for some in-suite storage as well as storage lockers.
1. The secured gate to the entry courtyard is unprecedented in Norquay. It feels unneighbourly in a residential area. Situating a locked gate within a few feet of the city sidewalk does not enhance the public realm or enliven the streetscape. It will not encourage acceptance of this housing form by existing homeowners in the neighbourhood.
2. The front of the apartment building is very articulated and detailed, and uses several different materials. The sides of the building are large expanses of a single material. The contrast does not make the building look like a unified structure. Eliminating most of the unattractive hardi panel on the front of the building and extending the brick finish to the roofline would greatly improve the appearance. There should also be some brick on the sides of the building, which will be clearly visible from the street. The Norquay community has specified brick as the material of choice for apartment buildings.
3. Trees planted along the southwest edge of the property (along the lane behind Kingsway) should grow tall enough to shade the upper storeys of the buildings.
4. If not already specified, an automatic watering system should be installed to water the landscaping plants.
5. There is no “perspectives” or “rendering”” either on the site sign or on the City’s web site, that shows what the building will look like. This is unacceptable for an apartment building.
This first application under RM-9A zoning will set precedents. We ask you to address these concerns before approving it.
Jeanette and Joseph Jones