Busting the Neighborhoods

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Fifteen Years of Letting Developers Do “Planning”

 
Since 2002, at least ten substantial local areas of Vancouver have undergone extended planning processes that involved varying degrees of consultation that included: community-based working groups, formal survey research, community-based plan implementation groups, workshops, charrettes, open houses, calls for comment, development permit board, town hall, citizens assembly, and public hearing.

As politicians and planners have repeatedly retreated from public engagement, standard planning tools have reduced to a typical lockstep handful designed to minimize interactions: open house, call for comment, and public hearing.

One particular pattern has emerged that shows just how reactive all of the planning has become. A big developer wants a large site to exceed current context and zoning. Spot rezoning proceeds. Only then does the City of Vancouver initiate “planning.” The tower that the developer has busted the neighborhood with then tends to set precedent for all further discussion.

The following listing of sites and neighborhoods demonstrates how prevalent and consistent this tower-ahead-of-plan practice has become. The specific forms of abuse can vary considerably.

For example, the only chronological anomaly is found in Mount Pleasant, where a plan that specified no tower heights or FSR immediately had to deal with a large central development proposal clearly not foreseen by the community that had engaged in the planning. What came afterward was the site-specific local community resistance to the Rize-Alliance proposal for the southwest corner of Broadway at Kingsway. In the end, an informed, energetic, prolonged, strong-majority opposition to the project was squashed by an overwhelmingly unsupported Council decision.

The height of shame attaches to the latest completed neighborhood nuking at the Joyce Skytrain station in 2016. An FSR of 15.37 more than doubled the payload that had been dropped on any previous local area, including the densest parts of downtown Vancouver. The City of Vancouver picked on an already dense immigrant working-class neighborhood to set a new benchmark for social disregard.

These are brief glimpses of what two of the following eight local areas have endured. The adjacency of the 2009-2011 Cambie Corridor planning to the decimated Little Mountain social housing site, still held hostage by Holborn, deserves special concluding mention, though not included below. In scale and timeline, this atrocity dwarfs any of the examples in the list.
 

 
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Data Key for Following Items

 
Developer / Architect
Address of Neighborhood Busting Development with Link to Council Report
Application-to-Approval Dates
FSR – Height in Storeys – Number of Dwelling Units
Local Area Name / Period of Planning
Area Planning Dates

 
 
Dates in headings  = 
Start Date of Application to Bust Neighborhood / End Date of Basic Local Area Planning

 

 
2002 / 2004  —  Kingsway & Knight Neighbourhood Centre

 
Aquilini / Rositch Hemphill
1402-1436 Kingsway and 4050 Knight Street (King Edward Village)
Dec 2002 to July 2003
FSR 3.86 – 17 storeys – 398 units
Kingsway & Knight Neighbourhood Centre 2 yrs & 00 mos
July 2002 to July 2004 (plan) / October 2005 (zoning)

 
2004 / 2010  —  Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre

 
Holborn / Ankenman Marchand  //  Wall
2300 Kingsway (Eldorado Motel)
May 2004 to Jan 2006
FSR 3.6 – 22 stories – 346 units
Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre / 4 yrs & 07 mos
April 2006 to November 2010 (plan) / April 2013 (zoning) / May 2013 (benefits)

 
2010 / 2007  —  Mount Pleasant

 
Rize Alliance / Acton Ostry
228-246 East Broadway & 180 Kingsway
July 2010 to April 2012
FSR 5.5 – 19 stories – 241 units
Mount Pleasant / 3 yrs & 07 mos
April 2007 to November 2010 (plan) / October 2013 (implementation)

 
2011 / 2014  —  Downtown Eastside

 
Wall / GBL
955 East Hastings
Oct 2011 to Oct 2012
FSR 6.15 – 12 storeys – 282 units and 70 social housing units
Downtown Eastside / [about 9 years]
September 2005 … August 2011 to March 2014 (plan)

 
2009 / 2013  —  West End

 
Westbank / Henriquez
1401 Comox
FSR 7.19 – 22 storeys – 186 units
Nov 2009 to May 2012
West End / 2 yrs & 04 mos
July 2011 to November 2013 (plan) / January 2014 (zoning)

 
2010 / 2014  —  Marpole

 
Westbank / Henriquez
8495 Granville (Marpole Safeway)
FSR 2.81 – 16 / 14/ 7 storeys – 357 units
Sept 2010 to May 2011
Marpole Plan / 2 yrs & 09 mos
July 2011 to April 2014 (plan) / May 2014 (zoning)

 
2015 / 2016  —  Joyce Precinct

 
Westbank / Henriquez
5050-5080 Joyce Street
FSR 15.37 – 30 storeys – 256 units
July 2015 – Dec 2016
Joyce-Collingwood Station Precinct Review / 1 yr & 2 mos
June 2015 to July 2016

 
2012 / 2016  —  Grandview-Woodland

 
Boffo / Olson Kundig & GBL
Commercial and Venables – No Tower / Kettle Boffo
FSR 6.8 – 12 / 5 storeys – ~ 200 units and 30 social housing units
Nov 2012 – in process
Grandview-Woodland Plan / 5 yrs & 01 mos
July 2011 to July 2016
 
 
 

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Written by eyeonnorquay

20 March 2017 at 10:02 pm

Posted in History

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