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Archive for the ‘RM-9A Comment’ Category

2436 East 33rd Avenue

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Comment on Development Application DP-2018-00919
under RM-9A Zoning




15 March 2019

This project has some merits. Good features include:

         Indentations that make many corner units possible and break up the long façade
         Roof garden
         Retention of two of the mature trees on the site
         Significant landscaped area at the corner of East 33rd Avenue and Clarendon Street.
           We recommend adding a bench at this corner for public use.

However, we have major concerns with this application.

1 —  The 178′ frontage on 33rd Avenue exceeds the allowable frontage

Section 4.2 (c) of the Guidelines states:

        The districts schedule prescribes a maximum frontage width [50m or 165′] to encourage a variety
        of smaller developments. The Director of Planning can relax this maximum only to ensure
        that individual lots are not “locked in” or “orphaned” with no opportunity to consolidate
        and develop with other adjacent lots.

This is the first development application for any of the ten parcels along East 33rd Avenue that have been rezoned to RM-9A. The condition for relaxation of the maximum frontage is met only if the adjoining property at 2396 East 33rd Avenue is part of an existing land assembly. Please confirm if this is the case.

This building is too long and sets an extremely unacceptable precedent. If the entire site is to be developed, there should be two buildings.

2 —  No main entrance should face Clarendon Street

for the following reasons:

a.  Properties in the area of Norquay between East 32nd Avenue and East 34th Avenue front on the east/west avenues. No existing buildings between 34th Avenue and Kingsway have main entrances on Clarendon Street. The 5 existing houses on this site face East 33rd Avenue.

b.  The proposed main entrance to the building is well above grade. Although a ramp is shown on the landscape plan, persons with mobility challenges would find access easier at grade.

c.  The current design features an unwelcoming main entrance and produces an uninviting streetscape. Anyone walking along the city sidewalk on Clarendon Street will feel caught in a narrow space – traffic very close on one side and the building looming above on the other. The boulevard on Clarendon Street is very narrow and the street is only about 2 feet from the sidewalk. The property line is only a foot or two from the sidewalk on the other side. The (11?) steps needed to reach the front entrance to the building start at the property line. Dedication of land for street widening on East 33rd Avenue increases the distance between the building and the sidewalk. Consequently, a main entrance on that side of the building would be much more attractive and functional.

d.  The part of the building south of the entrance and facing Clarendon Street looks like the side of a building, not like part of the front.

e.  Locating the entrance with its associated lobby at one end of the building means that the elevator will also be at one end of the building, distant from many of the units. Main entrances should be centrally located.

Jeanette and Joseph Jones


Written by eyeonnorquay

15 March 2019 at 11:17 am

Posted in RM-9A Comment

2652 Duke Street

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Comment on Development Application DP-2017-00527
under RM-9A zoning




3 July 2017 / comment revised on 7 July 2017

We appreciate many features of this project, in particular the amount of brick on the exterior surface, the high percentage of 2 and 3 bedroom units, and the roof garden.

However, the application violates clear RM-9A Guidelines in a significant respect:

1.  The proposed site coverage is 12,315 sq ft (90%), far in excess of the allowable 7440 sq ft (65%). Section 4.8 of the Guidelines states:

        Generally the site coverage should not be relaxed, as provision of open space and landscaped surfaces
        are encouraged. However, for apartment buildings otherwise achieving the intent of the guidelines,
        the Director of Planning may increase the area of site coverage to 65 per cent of the site area.

2.  We also note that two narrow areas of grass are shown, the only grass areas on the site. Both the area between the front property line and the city sidewalk and the boulevard area have a northern exposure and will be shaded almost continuously by the building or the street trees. These grassy areas should be replaced by shade-tolerant plantings. A sprinkler system to water all plantings should be installed if it is not already specified.

We ask that the City of Vancouver address these concerns before approving this application.

[ Note: Comment of 3 July 2017 included concern about provision of exterior windows for all bedrooms. Further inspection of the one available floor plan has alleviated this concern. ]

Jeanette and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

3 July 2017 at 8:18 pm

Posted in RM-9A Comment

4869 Slocan Street

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Comment on Development Application DE420250
under RM-9A Zoning



16 September 2016

In general, we support this application. We appreciate especially the extent of brick on the exterior of the building, and the variety of layouts for the suites.

Our concerns are:

1.  Trees should be planted along the flanking lane to shade the south side of the building. This is being done for the building across the street at 4888 Slocan Street.

2.  An irrigation system is necessary for the landscaping.

3.  More amenity space needs to be provided for a building of this size. The plans show no indoor amenity space, and only a small outdoor amenity space on the rooftop.

Jeanette Jones and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

17 September 2016 at 10:17 am

Posted in RM-9A Comment

2688 Duke Street

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Comment on Development Application DP-2016-00092
under RM-9A Zoning



4 July 2016

In general, we like this application. Approximately 2/3 of the units are 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom units. The layouts shown at the 2015 pre-app open house (which we presume have not changed) make good use of space. The modern architecture fits in well with the two RM-7 rowhouse projects that have already been approved at 2631 Duke Street and 2759/2765 Duke Street.

The cobblestone around the entry courtyard, the diagonal ramp, and the coloured metal accent panels add visual interest to the exterior of the building. The colour scheme should be reconsidered. The rowhouse project at 2631 Duke Street and the large stacked townhouse development just a block north at 2715 Ward Street, both being built by ConWest, are using an identical colour scheme (black and white with orange accents). The use of a different colour scheme here would add variety to the streetscape.

The green wall and trellis near the entrance to the parking level is attractive. The roof garden will provide additional green space. The 7-foot pedestrian connection on the east side of the building provides at least a temporary solution until the Renfrew Ravine Linear Park is built.

We question the planting of blueberry bushes in front of the building. The smaller plantings that surround them will make it difficult to pick the fruit. But local residents seem likely to try, and may not be concerned about damaging the landscape.

Jeanette Jones and Joseph Jones

Written by eyeonnorquay

4 July 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in RM-9A Comment

4894 Slocan Street

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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



Written by eyeonnorquay

9 June 2016 at 3:20 pm

Posted in RM-9A Comment