Redevelopment of 1661 Davie Street: Safeway site to get 21 & 23 storey towers, but not fulfilling Community Plan objectives? DPB board decision July 25 (Mon)

DE419982 at 1661 Davie, FIG1

21 and 23 storey towers proposed for Safeway site at 1661 Davie Street

(Update: The DPB approved this application on July 25, with many conditions imposed. We will follow up with a post when details are made public.)

The redevelopment of the Safeway site at 1661 Davie Street (and Cardero) with a new Safeway and two towers goes before the Development Permit Board for final approval on July 25, 2016.

Development Permit Board
Regarding 1661 DAVIE STREET (DE419982) ZONE C-5A

Monday, July 25, 2016, starting at 3:00 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting Room, City Hall
Applicants:  Henriquez Partners Architects, Westbank Project Corp, and Crombie REIT
Link: http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/development-permit-board.aspx

This may be the largest development application going through the approval process since the West End Community Plan was adopted in November 2013, and for that reason, deserves close scrutiny. Does it comply with the Community Plan? And is the entire review process respectful of residents and the community? We see some problems, and they are worth noting not only for the West End but for all neighbourhoods in the City, especially those now in planning processes.

West End Neighbours has analyzed the application, comparing the promises of the West End Community Plan with the details proposed by the applicants:

Redevelopment of 1661 Davie Street (existing Safeway site): Does it fulfill Community Plan objectives? (West End Neighbours, 1-May-2016)
https://westendneighbours.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/de419982-at-1661-davie-safeway/

Our analysis shows concerns and gaps between the application and West End Community Plan, in terms of…

  1. Site Layout
  2. Size of Floorplates
  3. Streetscape and Building Finishes
  4. Lane Frontage
  5. Shadowing
  6. Public Realm
  7. Parking
  8. Construction Management

The application diverges from the West End Plan in several important ways, but the DPB has the power to put things on track — they can reject or approve the application, or require changes. Public input is important.

To provide your input to the Development Permit Board, you can speak in person, or write to the  Meeting Coordinator (lidia.mcleod@vancouver.ca) requesting the message to be distributed.  You may also wish to share comments with City Council on the broader issue of change in the West End (mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca). Continue reading

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Resident critiques City’s bulletin on new West End parking policy recommendations after public outcry

CoV west-end-parking-strategy-landing message(Updated) A twenty-five year resident of the West End, Paul Juzkow (PJ), has shared his analysis and observations of a bulletin issued by the City of Vancouver today (July 14) regarding West End parking policy recommendations.

We copy the City’s bulletin below, with his comments interspersed in red italics. The City’s statement is in response to a media and public outcry about the recommendations, which will be reviewed along with public input in the fall of 2016.

Mr. Juzkow was interviewed on CBC on July 19, 2016, starting at about 2:20 into this broadcast.

As a background please see our previous post regarding consultation currently underway by the City of Vancouver to address the tight parking in the West End:
West End parking driving you crazy? Answer new survey by City of Vancouver (West End Neighbours, 12-July-2016)

Besides direct responses to the City’s bulletin contents, Paul offers additional comments about topics not covered in the bulletin. We are sharing Paul’s observations to promote pubic dialogue of the issues, and further input back to City Hall.

People in other neighbourhoods are wondering if the City would try to roll out these policies elsewhere in the Vancouver in the future. West End Neighbours supports full public awareness and dialogue, to produce the best outcome. Let the City know your thoughts by taking the online survey until August 15, 2016, at this official link (www.vancouver.ca/westendparking). You may also wish to communicate with your elected officials (see how here). Also, Open Houses are planned Tuesday, July 19, 4:00pm – 8:00pm, and Saturday, July 23, 10:00am – 2:00pm. See City website for details.

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From: City of Vancouver Communications Office
Date: Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 10:07 AM
Subject: Information Bulletin: Clarification of West End parking recommendations

City of Vancouver
Information Bulletin
July 14, 2016 Continue reading

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West End parking driving you crazy? Answer new survey by City of Vancouver

CoV west-end-parking-strategy-landing message

Image credit: City of Vancouver

(Updated) The City of Vancouver conducted a survey in November 2015, which we introduced previously (click here). Now the City is at the next stage, with nine recommendations, some of which could significantly affect your cost of living, convenience, and quality of life in the West End, as well as the experience the many visitors have when they come here. Some proposals will affect your pocketbook. Below is an excerpt of some of the introductory material from the City, plus text of the survey, with some of our comments interspersed), and media coverage links. (At the bottom we have added some comments from 25-year local resident Paul Juzkow. Among other things, he believes other neighbourhoods might find that similar 700% increases are going to be proposed for them too.)

We encourage West End residents to study the options, take the survey, attend the open houses and provide their feedback to the City. Decisions will be made by City Council in the fall of 2016, and implementation will start in 2017.

Online survey (deadline August 15, 2016)
vancouver.ca/westendparking (link to info and the survey)

Open houses (City staff will be present) 

  • Tuesday, July 19, 4 pm – 8 pm, West End Community Centre, 870 Denman St
  • Saturday, July 23, 10 am – 2 pm, Nelson Park, 1030 Bute St (next to farmers market)

In the City’s words:

Parking in the West End is difficult today.  It’s hard to find parking in the West End resident parking permit zone whether you live there or visit someone who does. To find parking during busy periods, it takes:
Residents about 5 minutes and over 1 km of extra driving
Visitors about 10 minutes and almost 3 km of extra driving
Our goal is to make it easier to find parking in the West End permit zone without encouraging more driving overall. The strategy responds to community-identified concerns and supports actions in the Transportation 2040 Plan and West End Community Plan.

West End Neighbours reminds people that scores of new towers and about 10,000 new residents (i.e., higher density) are set to arrive in the West End in next several years under the West End Community Plan adopted by Council in 2013 — towers 20, 30, 40 and up to 60 storeys high. The thousands of new residents will bring more traffic. Also, be prepared for construction-related disruptions and noise.

MEDIA STORIES

City looks to jack up parking prices in the West End: Heavy price tags for street parking in West End neighborhoods would alleviate traffic, city says (By Jon Hernandez, CBC News, JulY 11, 2016)

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Here below is the text of the survey, with some comments by WEN (food for thought) in italics. Please excuse the lack of formatting.
Continue reading

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Two applications affecting Coast Plaza Hotel: Open House July 26 (Tues)

Coast Plaza Hotel, credit the hotel

Coast Plaza Hotel, Vancouver’s West End. Credit: Coast Plaza Hotel

Open House for public input:
5 to 8 pm on Tuesday, July 26, 2016
West End Community Centre (Bidwell Room)
870 Denman Street

In 2011, the City of Vancouver approved a rezoning of the Coast Plaza Hotel (on Denman Street between Nelson and Comox Streets) to convert it from hotel to rental apartment. The previous rezoning application information is here:
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/1030denman/former.htm

 The Council report for that in February 2011 is here:
http://council.vancouver.ca/20110215/documents/p3.pdf

And here is the submission from West End Neighbours at the time, over five years ago:
https://westendneighbours.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/wen-submission-on-1030-denman-coast-plaza-rezoning/

Now, two new applications have now been made on this property.  One is a new rezoning application to allow for a “boutique hotel” in the area that was previously intended to become office:
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/1030denman/index.htm

The second is a development permit application to implement exterior changes to the building to accommodate the boutique hotel use and the rental apartment use:
http://development.vancouver.ca/1030denman/index.htm

Our comment is that it will be interesting to see if a Community Amenity Contribution will apply on the change in use from office to hotel, and also whether the City is planning to do anything to address some of the what some might consider to be less-than-attractive “edges” of this building — particularly along the Nelson Street frontage.  The rezoning proposal might provide a good opportunity for a discussion on possible improvements.

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42 storey rental tower proposal 1640-1650 Alberni Street – Open House June 13, 2016 (Mon). Hollyburn Properties

Hollyburn Properties image 1640-1650 Alberni, June 2016.pngThe City of Vancouver has sent out a notice that Hollyburn Properties intends to apply for a rezoning of 1640-1650 Alberni Street to construct a 42-storey market rental building. This is a pre-application open house where the developer shares preliminary plans and receives feedback from the public.

Date: Monday, June 13, 2016
Time: 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Place: 1400 Robson Street, Empire Landmark Hotel (Crystal Ballroom)

For more information, please contact Curranne Labercane
Brook Pooni Associates
e. clabercane@brookpooni.com
t. 604.731.9053 x 106

Note: This is not a City of Vancouver event. If a rezoning application is subsequently submitted to the City, there will be an official City-led public consultation process including a City-hosted open house with a detailed description of the application complete with scale model.

Information directly from Hollyburn Properties website follows, copied verbatim here for your convenience. Continue reading

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Update on 22-storey tower at 1155 Thurlow (Central Presbyterian)

1155-thurlow-render-4, from Changingcitybook.jpgThe Changing City Updates blog curated by Andy Coupland and John Atkin carries a recent update of information on the 22-storey tower now under construction on a site adjacent to Mole Hill, at 1155 Thurlow Street.

It appears completion is expected in 2018.

For more details, please visit this page:
https://changingcitybook.com/2016/06/08/1155-thurlow-street/

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Development application at 1170 Barclay – DE418401

1170 Barclay existing vs proposed, DE418401 June 2016

Image from application documents

The City of Vancouver is notifying neighbours of a new application at 1170 Barclay Street.

Proposal is to add a two storey addition (with roof deck access) to the existing heritage building on the site. Development application information is here:

http://development.vancouver.ca/pc1170barclay/index.htm

The City has set a deadline of June 17 for public input to be included in the staff report to the Director of Planning, who will make the approval decision. (No rezoning or public hearing is required.)

We are hoping that the City will post the heritage analysis that has been undertaken on the building – given that additional density is being proposed on the basis of the heritage value of the existing building.

For your convenience, we copy the information from the Development Applications web page below. Continue reading

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Car Free Day 2016 on Denman Street, West End, June 18 (Sat)

Car Free Day Vancouver web logoThe 12th annual Car Free Day festival will be held on June 18 (Sat) at four locations – Main Street, Commercial Drive, West End, and Kitsilano.

In the West End, the event will be 12 noon til 6 pm on Denman Street. For more information please see the official website.

http://www.carfreevancouver.org/

 

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Public meeting May 26 (Thurs) on developments and future of Mole Hill historic block

Mole Hill aerial view from West End Community Plan 2013In the face of development and infill proposals in the West End’s Mole Hill, the following meeting is scheduled, and all are welcome:

Mole Hill Community Housing Society
Public Meeting on the Future of Mole Hill
May 26, 2016 (Thursday), 6:30 pm start
Mole Hill Common Room, 1157 Pendrell Street

Contact Quentin Wright, Executive Director: qwright@molehillhousing.ca, tel. 604-681-2096. Visit their website (www.mole-hill.ca) for the history and information about living at Mole Hill.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The MHCHS has concerns about the impacts of developments on the heritage, character, and safety of the community, as well as the process being followed by the City toward approval. For the proposal to move a heritage house and build a laneway infill at 1150 Comox, an internal decision at City Hall (approval by the Director of Planning) is scheduled for June 3.

Related material from MHCHS:

  • Vancouver’s Famous Heritage Block to Change Forever, click here.
  • Mole Hill Redevelopment plans finally made public just before decision by Director of Planning, click here.
  • New 1150 Comox Development, click here.

Information provided by WEN in February 2016 about a wave of development unleashed by the West End Community Plan included mention of two projects in Mole Hill. The official information from the City of Vancouver is copied below. Please go to the links below for more information.  Continue reading

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West End renters alarmed over “demovictions”: What to do?

Three-storey walk-up rental apartment, VancouverSince Vancouver City Council adopted the West End Community Plan in November 2013, West End Neighbours has received a number of inquiries from renters who are alarmed about being evicted from older rental buildings.  Developers either buy them up, then demolish them, and build luxury condos and/or expensive new rental buildings, or empty them of tenants, renovate them (sometimes with the creation of additional smaller suites) and then rent them out again at higher monthly rents.

Below are excerpts from a recent message to WEN from a concerned resident:

I’m a resident of [an older West End rental building], and I’m sure you’re aware my building is slated for demolition.  From the start, this process has been extremely stressful. In a normal situation I would simply move, but considering I have a pet and I’m facing a rent increase of as much as $500, I am basically being booted out of the West End after building a life and career here.  Some extremely vague assurances have been made …  However I’ve seen nothing in writing and nothing official from the city or developer as to what will be done. Considering the rental situation in the West End currently, an offer of $1000 to put me out on the streets is a slap in the face. I don’t want money, I want a place to live.

*****

We are aware that this can be an extremely stressful process for anyone. Here are some initial suggestions.

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