Berkeley Tower tenants (1770 Davie) appeal for urgent action to prevent renoviction: Oct 29 (Mon) deadline for public input

Berkeley Tower 2018 credit tenants group

Berkeley Tower at 1770 Davie. Credit: Tenants’ group

The West End Community Plan was adopted in November 2013, five years ago.

It set off a gold rush for developers, enabling them to build towers up twenty, thirty, forty and more than fifty storeys along the main corridors of the West End – Robson, Alberni, Thurlow, and Davie.

During Community Plan consultation, the City and elected officials told West Enders that increased density will “deepen” housing affordability. Among the planning objectives, “livability” and “neighbourliness” also featured prominently. Despite that, there have been many demovictions and renovictions. As far as we know, the City is not keeping score, but the count of renters displaced could already be in the high hundreds or more.

Now the tenants of the iconic green and yellow Berkeley Tower (1170 Davie, at foot of Davie near Denman), are appealing to the community for urgent support to help them fight renoviction and displacement by Reliance Properties Ltd. Some of them have lived there forty years. It is a close community of neighbours.

Below is a bit more background and links to their website. The main point is that they are asking people to take immediate action by writing to the City of Vancouver. The “official” deadline for public input is Monday, October 29. Public input will be considered by the Development Permit Board, and a decision will be made in the coming weeks or months.

Suggested actions:

1. Oppose this application by writing a letter to the project facilitator at the City of Vancouver.
2. Share this information with others and encourage action. The more people who oppose, the stronger the chance the application will not be approved.

Writing an email is easy and can take as little as five minutes. All the steps and talking points are laid out here:
https://berkeleytower.wixsite.com/tenants/blank-page

More info (including links to media coverage):

https://berkeleytower.wixsite.com/tenants

https://www.facebook.com/BerkeleyTowerTenants

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Park Board All Candidates Meeting: 29-Sept-2018 (Saturday): West End Community Centre

WECCA Park Board All Candidates Meeting 29-Sep-2018

The West End Community Centre Association (WECCA) will be hosting this meeting:

Vancouver Park Board All Candidates’ Meeting
Saturday, September 29, 2018
2:30 to 4 pm

Ask the important questions, learn who will be responsive to the issues that affect you and issues that impact your community.

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West End Mayoral Forum for 2018 civic election: 9-Oct-2018 (Tues) at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church

WE Mayoral Forum 2018The next Vancouver civic election is October 20, 2018. This also happens to be five years since City Council adopted the West End Community Plan. A good time for taking stock and communicating with election candidates.

Several groups are organizing a West End Mayoral Forum. (Some voices are also calling for a forum of other candidates too, but we have no word on such a plan yet for City Council, School Board, or Park Board. Stay tuned.) The information below on the Mayoral Forum is adapted from the event’s dedicated Facebook page.

West End Mayoral Forum
Tuesday, October 9
7 to 9 pm
St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church
1022 Nelson Street, Vancouver

CANDIDATES: Ken Sim, Kennedy Stewart, Hector Bremner, Shauna Sylvester

Organizers: West End Families in Action (WEFA), WE Arts WEArts.ca, Denman & West Neighbours (DAWN), West End Seniors’ Network, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Metro Vancouver Alliance, Young Ideas, and St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church.

AIM
To provide a forum where candidates can explain their positions and hear the concerns of local residents via questions to be provided by stakeholders. Among the themes of concern within the West End about which candidates will have an opportunity to share their ideas are:

1. livability and quality of life;
2. residential affordability and homelessness; and
3. viability of independent local businesses.

FORMAT
Candidates will answer questions provided by stakeholders, and a moderator (Richard F Zussman, Global) will ensure that answers and exchanges among candidates are concise and on target so as to make best use of the 7:00-9:00 pm time frame for the event. Continue reading

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West End Seniors Community Planning Table to feature Rental Housing Task Force Consultation. Keynote by MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert: June 29, 2018 (Fri)

West End Seniors Community Planning Table, 29-June-2018
The West End Seniors’ Community Planning Table provides a forum for seniors, community groups, service providers and stakeholders to connect together, share information and take action on issues important to local Seniors. They meet regularly, and often the topics are of interest and relevant to not only seniors but to the entire community.

The Friday June 29 meeting is focused on housing, and features a keynote presentation by MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, who is chair of the Rental Housing Task Force.

West End Seniors Community Planning Table Meeting
When:    Friday June 29,  10:00 am – 12:00 pm,
Where:  St Andrews Wesley Church – 1018 Nelson Street,

 

The meeting starts with Community Program Updates from Organizations (~30 min)
● St Andrews Wesley Program Updates
● Central Presbyterian Updates
● Mole Hill Housing Society Updates and Hydro Substation
● Gordon Neighbourhood House & Seniors Advisory Committee Updates
● Battered Women Support Services Program Updates
● West End Coal Harbour Community Policing Updates
● QMUNITY program Updates
● Others
And after a 15 minute break, the keynote begins with MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert. This is an important opportunity to have your voice heard during the consultation period (ending soon) to discuss rental tenancy issues.

The Rental Housing Task Force wants to better understand what further changes may be needed to modernize B.C.’s tenancy laws.

  • Identifying options to improve security and fairness for both renters and rental housing providers, while addressing the challenges of affordability;
  • A review of the existing laws and how they apply to different housing situations;
  • A review of innovative approaches in other jurisdictions.

Continue reading

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An underground electrical substation at Lord Roberts School Annex: Back on the table, consultations in May

cutaway-drawing-of-bc-hydro-substation-proposal

The “SEED” proposal from 2017

The Vancouver School Board is once again looking at a proposal from BC Hydro

Below is text from a joint VSB-BC Hydro announcement on the new initiative, plus fresh media coverage. A fresh proposal has been made for BC Hydro to acquire the rights to build a new substation underground at the Lord Roberts Elementary School Annex property in the West End.

In 2017, BC Hydro abandoned the effort to build two substations, one in Yaletown and one near Lord Roberts Annex, saying the City of Vancouver was demanding too much money. The City said BC Hydro was trying to rush the decision. Less discussed at the time was the fact decision-making at the school board was being done at the time by one sole person, Dianne Turner, the official trustee who was politically appointed by the B.C. Liberal government after it had fired the entire school board. The optics of a political appointee approving a major proposal by a Crown corporation may have been a cause for some concern. (A new school board went in with a byelection in September 2017, and incidentally, Dianne Turner’s term ended in April 2018.)

Now the proposal back and the public has a chance to look at the pros and cons. Consultations will begin in May, and a decision is expected in June, well before the municipal elections on October 20.

Joint announcement by VSB and BC Hydro, April 2018

BC Hydro and VSB revisit proposal to use Lord Roberts Annex land for new substation

BC Hydro has approached VSB to revisit their proposal to build a new underground substation at the Lord Roberts Annex property in the West End.  

If approved, BC Hydro would acquire the rights to build a new substation underground at the Lord Roberts Annex property at a fair market price. This would provide VSB with funding to build a new Coal Harbour School sooner than expected and would allow for construction of a new elementary school at the Lord Roberts Annex site after the substation is complete. This would help address VSB enrolment pressure in the downtown area at the end of the next decade. 
Continue reading

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Happy New Year 2018 from West End Neighbours!

 

West End kayak Christopher Hughes 2011Happy New Year!

Vancouver City Council adopted the current West End Community Plan in November 2013, so in 2018 we will mark the milestone of five years since the plan was adopted. The WECP has triggered some dramatic changes in the community, including  pace of demolition and construction that has even surprised our city planners.

The City does not have a systematic process for tracking, evaluating, and reporting on implementation of the WECP and delivery of promised benefits. During the coming year, West End Neighbours will report on proposals and decisions affecting the neighbourhood, put together information on the ongoing changes, and provide residents with information and suggestions on how to get local voices heard at City Hall.

WEN started reporting on issues back in 2010, so this site is a good archive of things over the past eight years. We will do our best to keep the stories coming. We welcome input, information and tips, suggestions for stories, and donations to cover our costs.

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Many West End topics in Council Nov 28 (Tues): Housing Strategy, Gabriola Mansion, Social Housing at 1488 Robson, Naming of West End Lanes, Coast Plaza Hotel, Rental Buildings

The Regular Meeting of Vancouver City Council will cover several topics that relate to the West End. For now we just list them here, with links to relevant documents. The meeting starts at 9:30 am. The agenda, documents, instructions on how to write or speak to City Council are at this link. Please visit the official agenda for the full, up to date list.

http://council.vancouver.ca/20171128/regu20171128ag.htm

Here is a selection of topics especially relevant to the West End.

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1. Housing Vancouver Strategy (2018 – 2027) and 3-Year Action Plan (2018 – 2020)

Gil Kelley, General Manager, Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability, will present on the Policy Report dated November 15, 2017.

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1. TEXT AMENDMENT: 1523 Davie Street (Gabriola Mansion)

On November 14, 2017, Vancouver City Council heard from speakers at a Public Hearing on the above-noted application and, following the close of the receipt of public comments, referred discussion and decision to the Regular Council meeting on November 28, 2017, as Unfinished Business.

The following previously distributed documents refer:

Policy Report dated October 3, 2017, entitled “CD-1 Text Amendment: 1523 Davie Street (Gabriola Mansion)”; PDF
Summary and Recommendation PDF
Minutes 2 of this agenda package.

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4. CAC Policy Update: Simplifying CACs on New Rental Housing and Commercial Development

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5. Acquisition of Social Housing at 1488 Robson Street

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1. Naming of West End Lanes and New Temporary City Hall Plaza

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1. Approval of Form of Development – 1030 Denman Street (Coast Plaza Hotel)

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5. Retaining Older Purpose Built Rental Accommodation

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Gabriola Mansion (1523 Davie) goes to Public Hearing tonight (Nov 14) for 16+4 market rentals, no height increase

gabriola-mansion, Vancouver Archives

Gabriola Mansion at 1523 Davie Street in Vancouver’s West End, in 1903, two years after completion (Vancouver Archives)

A rezoning application for an icon of the West End, the Gabriola Mansion at 1523 Davie Street, goes to Public Hearing on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. It is item #2 on the agenda for the meeting, which starts at 6 pm.

Official information on the application:
http://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1523davie/index.htm

Basic details of the application:

To amend the text of CD-1 (248) (Comprehensive Development) District for 1523 Davie Street (Gabriola Mansion) for:

  • the preservation and restoration of significant heritage elements of the Gabriola Mansion;
  • the conversion of the mansion into 16 market rental units;
  • four new infill market rental townhouses to be developed in the northeast corner of the property;
  • an increase in floor space ratio (FSR) from 0.35 to 0.89; and
  • no increase in height from the existing CD-1 (248).

Public Hearing agenda and documents, including correspondence:
http://council.vancouver.ca/20171114/phea20171114ag.htm

MEDIA:

Vancouver council to decide on new uses for two old mansions: Casa Mia to become a care facility, while the Gabriola Mansion slated for rental units (by Justin McElroy, CBC, 9-Nov-2017)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/casa-mia-gabriola-mansion-vancouver-1.4393937

 

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Open House: 1444 Alberni & 740 Nicola (Nov 7) for 43 + 48 storey towers

1468 Alberni renderings, Oct 2017

Open House: 1444 Alberni Street and 740 Nicola Street
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
5 to 8 pm
Listel Hotel Impressionist Gallery (1300 Robson St)

Basic info:

  • Two buildings (43 and 48 storeys)
  • 314 market strata units and 129 market rental units
  • A 56 space City owned childcare facility on Level 7
  • Closure of Nicola Street between Alberni Street and the lane to create a new City park
  • Applicant seeks an increase in density from current 6 to 15 FSR (floor space ratio)
  • Located within the Georgia Corridor as defined in the West End Community Plan
  • The permitted height limit is 300 ft. (“relaxable” by Development Permit Board to 450 ft or 137.2 m). “View corridors restrict height to between approximately 480 ft (146.3 m) and 410 ft (124.97 m)” across the site. The site is currently occupied by a mixed use building containing office and rental residential use.
  • Vancouver based developers Asia Standard Americas and Landa in partnership with architectural firms Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) and Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership (MCMP). “At the outset, it was unanimous that the design paid homage to the rich history of the surrounding area and incorporated the progressive nature of the West End Community Plan.”
  • View the full application here (http://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1444alberni_740nicola/index.htm)
  • Project description here: http://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1444alberni_740nicola/documents/03-ProjectDescription.pdf

City contact: Yan Zeng, Rezoning Planner, yan.zeng@vancouver.ca, 604-871-6383
Applicant contact: Monika Serrer, MCM Partnership, mserrer@mcmparchitects.com, 604-687-2990

This application is being considered under the West End Community Plan and Rezoning Policy for the West End.

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Previous mention by West End Neighbours Continue reading

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Pre-Application Open House: 1060-1080 Barclay St (Nov 1) for two towers (48 & 49 storeys), by Bosa Properties

Images were from the Open House.

A developer-hosted open house to gather initial feedback was held:
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
5 to 8 pm
Century Plaza Hotel – Burrard Room (1015 Burrard St)

Buro Ole Scheeren, Francl Architecture and Bosa Properties intend to apply for a rezoning of the properties located at 1040, 1060, 1070 and 1080 Barclay Street for two buildings with commercial uses proposed along Thurlow Street.

The West End Community Plan Implementation Newsletter (Oct 27) stated that this was for 441 market strata units and 193 social housing units. Numbers presented at the open house differ (see below).

Pre-application open houses are an opportunity for developers to share early plans and receive initial community feedback in preparation for a rezoning application.

This is another major project enabled by the West End Community Plan.

From the open house:
Proposal Statistics. The following statistics are preliminary and will be further refined for a rezoning submission. Continue reading

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