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Archive for the ‘2153 Kingsway’ Category

2153-2199 Kingsway #2


    from:  Joseph Jones 
      to:  Carr, Adriane, Christine Boyle, Colleen Hardwick, Melissa  De Genova,
           Jean Swanson, Kennedy Stewart, Lisa Dominato, Michael Wiebe, Pete Fry,
           Rebecca Bligh, Sarah Kirby-Yung 
      cc:  Jeanette Jones 
    date:  May 24, 2019, 4:58 PM
 subject:  Re: 1. Request to remove Development Cost Levy Waiver and amend
           Housing Agreement for the CD-1 rezoning at 2153 2199 Kingsway


We write to Council regarding the following item on agenda for 28 May 2019:

        1. Request to remove Development Cost Levy Waiver and amend Housing Agreement for the
        CD-1 rezoning at 2153 2199 Kingsway

We first of all highlight this red flag in the staff report to Council:

        It is very rare that staff would recommend a change to approved rezoning conditions between the
        public hearing and enactment … (p. 4)

Our primary point relates to action that Council failed to take on 3 April 2019. On that day, Council took almost four hours to refer away the motion Re-conceptualizing the City’s Rental 100 Program. Council chose to avoid even minimal short-term confrontation with the dubious Rental 100 program. Under this program, the City of Vancouver has handed over many millions of public dollars to developers in the form of “DCL waivers” – in return for unaffordable rent levels of short duration that functionally are never enforced.

In the present case, developer Hua Long has decided that the profit opportunity of completely unrestricted rent levels exceeds the benefit offered by DCL waiver. The lesson to Council here is that all such DCL waivers have amounted to wasted public money. Meanwhile, infrastructure deficits have degraded Vancouver during the twenty-first century. That misdirected money could have been put to better use.

We made mostly favorable public comment about the proposed development on 19 October 2016, which can be viewed at


Despite full participation at every stage of this project, starting with the pre-application open house of 19 May 2016, we were unable to achieve relocation of the underground parking exhaust vent away from the Gladstone Street sidewalk (high-use public realm with student foot traffic and bicycle route) to the far more appropriate 231 feet along the back lane. This particular unhappy outcome has added to our considerable experience of how what the developer wants will override everyone else’s liveability.

Since the developer has put the project into a position of returning to Council for further scrutiny, we ask you to consider this context and this particular ignored concern.


Joseph and Jeanette Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

24 May 2019 at 5:38 pm

Ditch a DCL Waiver

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Why Is a Vancouver Developer Backing Away from Free Money?

On 13 November 2018 the City of Vancouver issued a Notice of Rezoning Application for a large already-approved Rental 110 project currently described as 2153-2199 Kingsway & 4589 Gladstone Street. (The staff report that led to the assembly’s original rezoning stated: “The total DCL that would be waived is estimated to be approximately $1,036,900.”)



The most prominent variation from the application approved 16 May 2017 is

          “to remove the DCL waiver from the approved rezoning”

Why would a developer now not want that One Million Plus? The rezoning planner for the project talked about financial “numbers” and “pro forma” and “requirements of lender” as motivation for the developer to seek to abandon the attained DCL waiver. (DCL waiver means City of Vancouver allows developer to skip paying the “development cost levy” that covers about half of the burden that new development adds to taxpayer infrastructure costs like water and sewer maintenance and upgrades.)

The other obvious change to the development is seen in this tabulation of unit mix:

      Original Application               Revised Application

       45  Studio / 16  1 BR             16  Studio & 1 BR
       31  2 BR                          45  2 BR
        7  3 BR                          23  3 BR
      101  Total                         84  Total

More than four years ago Eye on Norquay dug into the dirt and raised huge concerns about the Rental 100 program in Rental 100 Red Flag.

Big question. With the election of a City Council that is no longer a Vision Vancouver rubber stamp machine, complete with fake requirements, is this developer sniffing a change in the wind and preferring to build rental where initial rent levels cannot be controlled?

Second question. Will the new 2018 Council let a developer who runs after bigger profit and wider latitude skip right along to another maximized opportunity?

In case you missed it, a new directive to City of Vancouver presages the possibility that sharp new enforcement fangs could emerge long before project completion:

Councillor Adriane Carr takes aim at costly rental projects subsidized by Vancouver taxpayers



Eye on Norquay has also covered this particular development on two previous occasions:

2153-2199 Kingsway Comment

Big Hit from Rental 100

Written by eyeonnorquay

27 November 2018 at 6:18 pm

2153-2199 Kingsway

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Comment on 17 October 2016 Open House for 2153-2199 Kingsway


Development Application

On the whole, the development proposed for 2153-2199 Kingsway, as presented at the open house on 17 October 2016, will enhance the local area and provide needed rental accomodation.

The corner at Kingsway and Gladstone is a place-making opportunity, and much of the potential has been realized. I favor the alignment of roofline with the side of the building. The orientation of the building toward the path of the sun means that shadow impact will be minimized in any case. Enhanced sidewalk width along Kingsway toward Gladstone is appreciated.

The orientation of the main residential street entrance toward Gladstone Street is a good choice. That feature will encourage passing social acquaintance of renters with other local area residents.

The location of underground parking entrance toward the western end of the building on the lane side is appropriate. That will somewhat mitigate traffic concerns by distributing activity toward both ends of the lane. At present, pedestrians and cyclists suffer considerable hazard from the blinded lane entry onto Gladstone.

The placement of an underground parking exhaust vent on Gladstone, right beside the residential entrance, is the single greatest failure of the proposal. That vent should be relocated to the lane side, perhaps at the intersection of the T lane running northward, to mitigate impact on sites north of the lane. Efficiency of exhaust suggests that a more midpoint location in the length of the building would better serve the physics of venting than would the far end of 231 feet. The mechanics of providing underground parking spaces must take second place to this concern.

Other public realm concerns toward the Gladstone end of the building include: assurance that Bus Stop and Litter Bin are retained on Kingsway; complete redevelopment of the Gladstone sidewalk to eliminate present extensive curb cuts; specification that all Gladstone curbside is designated for short-period loading/unloading only with absolutely no parking; no parking signage is needed for the 24 foot segment of east-side curb opposite the recently installed corner bulge at Gladstone and Kingsway; relocation of the large black electrical box recently dumped onto the corner.

Everything possible should be done to improve articulation along the 231 feet of the Kingway side of the building. There has been improvement from the pre-application open house. More seems achievable. A 231 foot long battleship should not eradicate a streetscape that presently offers the organic variety of five different faces sited on seven parcels. In the block to the east, the relatively recent C-2 development is only at four storeys and extends only for about 175 feet without interruption.

That 2339 Kingsway development has managed to achieve small-retail without consolidating those spaces or presenting a massive dead face to the street, as Royal Bank notoriously has done at 2300 Kingsway. To quote open house panel 1: this development is supposed to “contribute to an inviting and revitalized pedestrian realm on Kingsway through new retail storefronts.” There seems little excuse for this new development to fall short of achieving that goal.

For the most part, the proposed detailing seems acceptable. The extent of brick and its two colors are welcome. I question the orange that is proposed on two grounds. First is the current prevalence of that color, which promises to make it look dated very soon. Think avocado appliances. The second is how close the orange comes to the intrusive local corporate color of VanCity Credit Union. A shift toward reds would solve these problems and play better with the greens to come at 2220 Kingsway. The variegation of the shades among the panels is a good approach.

Joseph Jones 19 October 2016

Written by eyeonnorquay

19 October 2016 at 3:27 pm

Big Hit from Rental 100

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A consolidation of 5 parcels with a frontage of 231 feet has occurred on the northwest corner of Kingsway at Gladstone Street, cater-corner from the massive full-block development now underway at 2220 Kingsway.

The letter reproduced below has been received by local area residents, announcing a developer’s pre-application open house:

        Gladstone Secondary School
        4105 Gladstone Street
        Thursday  —  19 May 2016  —  5 pm to 8 pm

The developer seeks to build approximately 100 units of so-called affordable rental housing in a building of six storeys at an FSR of 3.3. The City of Vancouver “Rental 100” program offers developers massive no-fee gifts (with no honest rental-rate accountability) simply to build rental housing units.

Primary concerns at this point relate to three aspects:

Kingsway and Gladstone sidewalk setbacks. Gladstone Street marks the western boundary for the Norquay Plan. For a development of this scale, the Norquay Plan requires a setback of 25 feet. Does it make sense for the block right beside Norquay to suffer a downgraded “transition” status because that next block has not been “planned”? The stretch of Kingsway between Victoria Drive and Gladstone Street is already more attractive than any comparable segment of Kingsway that falls within the one-mile boundaries of “Norquay.”

Articulation along a 230 foot streetwall. Without good design, the existing building variety could be lost to a deadscape that deactivates current street life. This development needs to look like at least five different buildings.

Amenity delivery failure for Norquay so far. A new massive no-payback development will exacerbate the population pressures already concentrating at the western edge of Norquay. After enduring a great deal of construction activity, and seeing a CAC of $3 million immediately sequestered, Norquay residents have enjoyed none of the major public realm improvements specified by the Norquay Plan. So far that brand-new “neighbourhood centre” to the east — where the City of Vancouver owns three acres of land at 2400 Kingsway — remains a truck-route wasteland despite all the planning. Meanwhile, developers exploit the edge.

•   •   •   •   •   •   •

Developer’s Letter



2153-2199 Kingsway as Shown on VanMap


The Five Existing Parcels on Kingsway

     2153 Kingsway

     2163 Kingsway

     2169 Kingsway

     2185 Kingsway

     2199 Kingsway


Two Big Wins from Any Redevelopment


     Elimination of Pattison’s Lighted, Noisy Non-Conforming Billboard

     Disappearance of the City of Vancouver Sponsored DUMP

However ugly we get treated in the heart of East Vancouver, sometimes there’s unintended upside!
Call it collateral repair?

Written by eyeonnorquay

13 May 2016 at 5:33 pm