Westbank/Peterson “pre-application” open house for 1550 Alberni Street: Monday, June 29, 5 pm

1500 Alberni Vanmap locationThe City of Vancouver has e-mailed out notices about the following:

Westbank/Peterson “pre-application” open house for 1550 Alberni Street
Monday, June 29, 2015
5 to 8 pm (drop-in format)
Shangri-La Hotel  (Conway Room, 6th floor, 1128 West Georgia Street)

This is a developer-hosted pre-application open house to review preliminary plans and share your feedback. More information: Sophie Perndl, Brook Pooni Associates, at sperndl@brookpooni.com.

To our knowledge, no other information is officially available about the specific plans for this site, but it appears the new West End Community Plan adopted in 2013 permits 500 foot heights here now, which could mean something like fifty storeys. The proponents are familiar names in the City’s planning department — Westbank Projects Corp and Peterson Investment Group.

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Open House Monday, June 29 for 22-storey tower proposed at 1188 Bidwell

1188 Bidwell West Elevation, June 2015As we have reported, a 22-storey rental tower is proposed at 1188 Bidwell & Davie (Reliance Properties). The City describes it as a mixed-use multi-family secured market rental residential building. As the next step, the City staff and applicant team are holding an open house, with display panels as follows:

Open House for 22-storey tower at 1188 Bidwell (DE419087)
Monday, June 29, 2015
5 to 8 pm (drop-in format)
Empire Landmark Hotel, 1400 Robson Street

As we have mentioned, it is WEN’s understanding that there will be no public hearing for this application and no review by City Council.

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Your chances to speak directly to City Council regarding the future of this site was with West End Community Plan was adopted in November 2013, and then zoning was changed in January 2014. All that remains for public input is likely to be a questionnaire at the open house (June 29) and an opportunity to write and/or speak to the DPB on September 8, 2015. There will likely be no Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) paid to the City to contribute to improvements in the West End. As well, it is likely that there will be no Development Cost Levies (DCLs) charged to help offset the increased burden on City infrastructure.

Due to the West End Community Plan, that’s it for the official process on this particular site. (However, there is nothing stopping anyone from communicating to Mayor and Council on any matter at any time.)

For more information, please see http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/1188bidwell/index.htm

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Sunday June 14 last day for survey input on Heart of Davie (which NOW includes Jervis Street)

heart-of-davie-village-project-map, COVAs we have covered earlier, the City is planning changes to the Davie and Bute intersection “to create a plaza that’s an inviting, dynamic space, which celebrates Davie Village and the local LGBTQ community.” Sunday, June 14 is the last day for public input on the survey. The city’s web link: vancouver.ca/heartofdavie. The direct link to the survey is here.

Here is something extra, not widely covered during this consultation. If you carefully review the presentation materials for the Heart of Davie consultation, you will notice that the City has quietly included changes to the Jervis Street area as part of the “Heart of Davie” plaza project. The top left corner above is part of the original presentation.

Now, see page 10 of the new display panel document: http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/heart-of-davie-village-june-2015-open-house-information-displays.pdf

 heart-of-davie-village-Transpo concept

It appears that a full signal is proposed at Jervis and Davie, two way traffic to the lane, and southbound traffic only from the lane to Pendrell.

Did the City throw this in at the last moment to make life more convenient for the Intracorp development recently approved at Jervis and Davie (1177 Jervis Street).

In fact, Jervis Street is outside of the project area as shown on Page 5 of the document.heart-of-davie-village-PROJECT AREA

Here below is an enlarged view of what is now being proposed for Davie and Jervis.

heart-of-davie-village-Transpo concept JERVIS corner

General information on the project, and a link to the survey, is here:

http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/heart-of-davie-village-public-space-improvement-project.aspx

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Q&A on 19-storey tower proposed for 1171 Jervis Street (formerly 1177 Jervis) – DE418742

QUESTION FROM A WEST END RESIDENT:

What is the status of this 19-storey tower project proposed for the corner of Jervis and Davie? I would like to contribute as much as I possibly can to having it stopped if it is still possible. I have lived in the West End for nearly twenty years and am very concerned about the neighborhood and poor city planning that’s happening in Vancouver in general.1177 Jervis east elevation Feb 2015

RESPONSE FROM WEN:

Thank you for your note.

The development application at 1171 Jervis Street was approved at the Development Permit Board meeting of May 4, 2015. (A link to the meeting minutes is below.)

The West End can expect to see many more of these types of developments, unless the public gets involved in the process. Read below to see if the City’s officials opinions on the application match your own. If there is a gap, it may be a sign that the City needs to get more and better public input next time.

In this particular application, the City also failed to provide adequate notice to the community (failed to post meeting date on the notice board, and failed to notify hundreds renters living in the vicinity), so it is important to stay alert. WEN will do its best to notify residents via this website when major projects come to our attention. 

We don’t know the current status of the Building Permit at 1171 Jervis Street, but expect that within the next several months it will be processed, and demolition of the heritage houses on the site will begin.

As this site, along with many others in the West End, was rezoned as part of the implementation of the West End Community Plan, City Council is not involved in the approval process of this type of project. 

WEN’s information on the project is available here:

Continue reading

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Breaking News: Beach Towers demolition/construction project is not proceeding

Tenants at Beach Towers in Vancouver’s West End received this letter from owner Devonshire Properties. This is major news for the neighbourhood as well as tenants of 607 rental apartments in four towers (19 to 21 storeys) on two sites where the work was slated to happen — 1600 Beach Avenue and 1651 Harwood Street.Beach Towers, Devonshire Properties letter to tenants 5-June-2015

By way of background, after a controversial public hearing and considerable public opposition in February 2013, Vancouver City Council had approved a rezoning at this site to add 133 rental units under the STIR developer incentive program. Below are some images of the current and proposed buildings.

The reasons for the change in plans  are not publicly known at this time, but these words by one tenant probably express the relief being felt in the area: “Most residents are deeply relieved, especially those who have lived a long time in the complex. The demolition and infill construction of a mid-rise, low-rise and town houses on all available open space on both sides of Harwood would have been intolerable, forcing many to move, as well as casting a dark blight on the entire neighbourhood.”

The company’s website starts with this: “People first. That has been the guiding philosophy behind Devonshire Properties since 1959.” Perhaps they have taken their philosophy to heart.

See our chronology and past coverage of this case here.

Devonshire has poured a significant amount of money into the rezoning, design, and application process. The voices of opposition expressed concerns about heritage loss, demolition/construction disruptions, scenic view loss, shadowing, expensive costs for future renters, the consultation/approval process, and many other impacts. Some even wrote to the Planning Institute of British Columbia complaining about the City’s planning department (particularly the head planner), seeking sanctions.

Below is the text of the letter to tenants. Continue reading

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22-storey rental tower proposed at 1188 Bidwell & Davie (Reliance Properties): DPB meeting Sept 8 (Tues)

Vanmap 1100 block Bidwell Street, West End(Updated 16-June-2015. After our web post on June 8, an official development application notice went up on the site, and further details have come out. Some tenants have already received notice that they will be evicted and the buildings demolished.) According to the schedule for the City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Board (DPB), a 22-storey tower is being proposed for 1188 Bidwell (at the corner of Davie and Bidwell). The application is listed on the DPB schedule for September 8, 2015.

Official details of the application are here: http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/1188bidwell/index.htm

An open house sponsored by Reliance Holdings is set for 5 to 8 pm on Monday, June 29, 2015, at the Empire Landmark Hotel (1400 Robson Street) with Reliance and City staff available to answer questions and receive comments.

  • Project address: 1188 Bidwell Street
  • Application number: DE419087
  • Applicant: Reliance Holdings (http://relianceproperties.ca/)
  • Description: The development of a 22-storey mixed use building comprising 108 “secured market rental” dwelling units, and three commercial retail units at grade, all over 4 levels of underground parking, accessed off the lane.
  • Contact at City of Vancouver: Wendy LeBreton, Tel 604-871-6796

It is WEN’s understanding that there will be no public hearing for this application and no review by City Council. Why not? Many people may be surprised, but this entire section of the West End was rezoned by City Council in January 2014 to accommodate tower development as part of the implementation of the West End Community Plan, which was adopted by Council in November 2013.

All that remains for public input is likely to be a questionnaire at the open house (June 29) and an opportunity to write and/or speak to the DPB in September. Since this project appears to be under the Rental 100 developer incentive program, there will likely be no Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) paid to the City to contribute to improvements in the West End. As well, it is likely that there will be no Development Cost Levies (DCLs) charged to help offset the increased burden on City infrastructure.

WEN notes that these shops are currently on the site at the north-east corner of Bidwell and Davie: Mac’s, Enchante Hair Salon, Bosley’s Pet Foods, and Vivien’s Fashions.

We also note that Reliance Holdings also owns the rental apartment building at 1170 Bidwell, and

1170 Bidwell, image courtesy of Reliance Properties

1170 Bidwell, image courtesy of Reliance Properties

expect that is is proposed to be demolished if this project is approved.
http://relianceproperties.ca/residential-building/1170-bidwell-street

Information on the Development Proposal at 1188 Bidwell Street has been posted on the City’s website:
http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/1188bidwell/index.htm

Reliance also owns almost all of the north side of 1400 Block Davie Street:
http://relianceproperties.ca/residential-building/1485-davie-street

Image couret

Image couret

Below are more comments on this application DE419087. You may wish to share your observations with elected officials (Mayor and Council) or seek clarifications with the West End Planning Team (westendplan@vancouver.ca). Continue reading

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“Heart of Davie” open house for Davie & Bute plaza concept – June 6 (Sat). Public input opportunity.

heart-of-davie-village-project-map, COVAs we have reported before, the City is engaged in a planning exercise for the Davie and Bute intersection “to create a plaza that’s an inviting, dynamic space, which celebrates Davie Village and the local LGBTQ community.”

Initial concepts were presented to the public in April. The next step is for the public to give feedback on “the preferred design concept” at open houses on June 4 and 6. Here are details for June 6:

Open House
June 6 2015, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m

Heart of Davie Plaza, Davie Street and Bute Street intersection

City staff and consultants will be on hand to answer questions and receive feedback.

For more about the West End Community Plan: http://vancouver.ca/westendplan

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Mole Hill Community Garden – Lane Sale – June 6 (Sat) 10 am – 2 pm

2015 Mole Hill Lane Sale poster

Annual
Mole Hill Community Garden
LANE SALE
SATURDAY JUNE 6th 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Mole Hill Lane—between Pendrell & Comox, Bute & Thurlow

Quality Household Items & Clothing, Barbecued Smokie on a Bun & Bottle of Water $2.50, Baked goods, Plants

Proceeds benefit the Mole Hill Community Garden

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Town Hall Meeting on St Pauls’ Hospital, Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Community partners (listed below) are planning a Town Hall Meeting on the future of St. Paul’s Hospital, on Tuesday, May 26. Below is more info. At the bottom, we have added links to selected media coverage.

West End Neighbours is not involved in organizing this meeting, but we encourage all West Enders to join in this important discussion. WEN is concerned that quality health care services continue to be available to our high-density neighbourhood, particularly given the high senior population in the West End. Appropriate phasing and re-development of the existing site need to take place to ensure the best possible outcomes for the neighbourhood. This is also a very important topic in the context of the West End Community Plan and future changes in the neighbourhood.

St Pauls Hospital event 26-May-2015

Protecting Health Care in downtown Vancouver
Town Hall Meeting on St. Pauls Hospital
Tues. May 26 – 7pm
West End Community Centre

Community Partners

  • West End Seniors Network
  • West End Business Improvement Association
  • Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA
  • Gordon Neighbourhood House
  • Seniors Planning Table

Continue reading

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City Hall’s failure to notify many residents (renters) of new development projects – case in point 1177 (1171) Jervis Street

1301-Davie_2 side vew proposed 19 storeysHere below, WEN shares some of our correspondence with seniors officials and Vancouver City Council about inadequacies  and inconsistencies in the City’s notification to the public about proposed developments. In this development of a 19-storey tower at 1177 (1171) Jervis, approved by the City on May 5, 2015, renters living in the neighbourhood did not receive fair and adequate notification.

Why is this issue important? Because the City is moving toward removing developments from the City Council / Public Hearing process and giving the Development Permit Board (consisting of just four City employees) a bigger role in approving developments. The increased power of the DPB, combined with the reduced notification of affected residents, is going in the wrong direction.

The correspondence gets somewhat detailed, but if you read it, the points are clear. The City is being inconsistent and unfair its notification to residents (in this case, renters in particular) about important City Hall decisions that will affect them.

*************

Epilogue:

WEN received no response to our March 24 message. And in fact, the City sent no further notification to renters near the 1177 Jervis site subject to the tower proposal. Nor did the City even add the date to the sign-board on site to notify local residents of the all-important DPB meeting of May 5, which was the last opportunity for public input on this development.

*************

WEN to Vancouver City Council

Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Subject: Public Notification for 1177 Jervis Street – Development Application File: 418742

Dear Mayor and Council,

… this is time-sensitive for the Public Hearing on March 24, 2014 [amendments to the Downtown Official Development Plan].

The main point is the inconsistency of logic/justifications and the smaller effort to contact residents in the West End, when comparing the DODP amendments today versus notification about the development at 1177 Jervis Street. Continue reading

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