Resident Concerns Are Heard
On rare occasions in Vancouver, at a public hearing for a proposed new development, local area residents may discover that expressed concerns have been both heard and addressed. On 18 October 2016, the rezoning of 2395-2469 Kingsway met with such a happy outcome.
This site has been identified under the Norquay Plan as one of three locations along Kingsway — in very long blocks along the north side — where new development is supposed to provide pedestrian connection to the street that runs parallel. The rezoning application presented a 12-storey tower built on a two-part podium of 4 storeys, with a connecting bridge at an upper level.
In general, the form of development respected the Norquay Plan. But a letter to Council from residents detailed four concerns:
(1) That more brick be used on the exterior of the buildings.
(2) That the width of the pedestrian connection be increased from 20 feet to 40 feet.
(3) That conditions for landscaping and furniture and maintenance be explicitly specified.
(4) That the “bridge” overhanging the pedestrian connection be removed, with a second elevator provided for the smaller building.
Council members raised all of these concerns at the public hearing. Planning staff responded that the first three items had already been addressed or were in the process of being dealt with. And the applicant affirmed that the bridge would be removed and a second elevator installed in the smaller building.
This is an example of how the development and public hearing process is supposed to work.
The video recording of the public hearing can be seen at