Eye on Norquay

Looking Out for East Vancouver

Chasing Shadows

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or, When Is Recess?

Over the past few days, shadowing has emerged as prime protagonist in the showdown that looms for public hearing over 3. CD-1 Rezoning: 2086-2098 West 7th Avenue, and 2091 West 8th Avenue, set for 28 June 2022.

The modeling of buildings and studies of shadowing have already super-prequeled in the long-running Broadway Plan tragicomedy.

In the body of comment to follow, focus zooms in exclusively on the shadow question at the West 7th / West 8th / Arbutus location. Bear in mind that a quite similar project for Kingsway & Knight was almost routinely approved at public hearing on 14 June 2022. Two remarks on broader context will follow this exploration of the shadow distortions that now stretch over Vancouver’s more western sector.

Into the Shadows

Responding to:  Forever in the Shadows : City Conversation #58

13 June 2022 – https://brianpalmquist.substack.com/p/forever-in-the-shadows
15 June 2022 – https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2022/06/15/palmquist58-forever-shadows-arbutus-8th/

We recognize that Brian Palmquist and Steven Bohus work hard to ask important questions. This critique is offered in that same spirit – to set forth questions about use and misuse of data and perspectives.



“The building’s height and massing guarantee that every child will arrive on every school day in shade.”

This Palmquist/Bohus statement would not be disputed by CoV or the applicant. The applicant’s original shadow studies are for March 21 / June 21 / September 21 at 8:15 AM. They show that almost all of the schoolyard in shade for all of those months. (Appendix D, p. 7-8) The Palmquist/Bohus shadow study is for June 21st at around 9:00 AM.



June 21 at “around 9:00 AM” – Palmquist/Bohus Graphic



June 21 8:15 AM and 10:30 AM – Applicant Graphic





“The building’s height and massing guarantee that every child will have most of their morning recess in shade.”

Recess does not happen at “around 9:00 AM.” Palmquist/Bohus present no shadow study for 10:30 AM. The applicant shadow study (both in Appendix C and D) shows only the northeast corner of the schoolyard in shade at 10:30 AM on any of March 21 / June 21 / Sept 21.



“The building’s height and massing guarantee that every parent using Delamont Park during the school year in the early to mid afternoon, while they are perhaps awaiting the dismissal of their school age children, will wait mainly in shade and their preschool children will mainly play in shade.”

The Palmquist/Bohus graphic shows shade over Delamont Park on Oct 21 … yet no time of day is specified. For Sept 21 either at 2:00 pm or at 4:00 pm, the applicant shows no shadowing of the park (Appendix D, p. 8). Further note that Condition of Approval 1.1 requires “Design development to eliminate all shadow impact from Delamont Park at any time during either equinox.” (Appendix A, p. 1.)

September 21 at 2:00 PM – Applicant Graphic





Compare These

The Palmquist/Bohus model for a 6-storey building shows no shadowing of the schoolyard on June 21st at 9:00 AM, to make stark contrast with massive shadowing at that particular moment from the 13 storeys proposed for the southern end of the structure.

The applicant shadow study shows no significant shadowing difference between a 6-storey building and the proposed 13-storey on Oct 21 at either 8:00 AM or at 10:30 AM. (Appendix C, p.4)


Human Scale

First context remark. As mass-rezoned Norquay residents in the heart of East Vancouver, who engaged in early and protracted struggle with City of Vancouver planning, we take no delight in shadows and tall buildings. In six pages of comment arising from three “open house” events in mid-2010, months before the Norquay Plan went to public hearing, Joseph Jones led off by identifying human scale as THE key issue. But developers wanted taller – and developers extracted taller from their city planners and politicians.

Over a decade later now, the unveiling of the Broadway Plan has provoked the airy and leafy west side of Vancouver to proclaim, long and loud, yes we want density – only it should be density everywhere, like Paris and Copenhagen. (Even south of West 16th Avenue? Snicker here for Shaughnessy.) So a brand new tune fifes out against an impending Broadway Canyon of Concrete. Where were most of these tootlers when City of Vancouver locked its developer-piloted bomb-sights onto the heart of East Vancouver? Well, back then it was not a backyard issue. Not for them.

Inequity / Twin Towers

Second context remark. On 14 June 2022 Eye on Norquay watched the entire public hearing process for 4. CD-1 Rezoning: 1406-1410 East King Edward Avenue. Coming forward at the same time are two quite similar applications for deep-affordability social housing projects in Vancouver. The first of those twin towers was just approved for East Vancouver, adjacent to Kingcrest Park and Kensington Library. With only one exception, the handful of local-area public speakers expressed little vehemence, an understandable degree of hesitance, and overall, more hope than fear. The entire item took one fraction of one evening to fulfill process for a 177-foot building.

What a divergent state of mind already promises to emerge during the 28 June 2022 considerations that arise from proposing that a mere 155-foot building locate on “that other side of town.” Nevermind who did not go first and why not.


Written by eyeonnorquay

16 June 2022 at 10:34 pm

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