1345 Davie Street (plus 1385 Davie/1180 Broughton): Development Permit Board, March 20 (Mon) – Demolition of existing rental housing, construction of 18 and 19 storeys (DP-2016-00373)

1345-davie-render-1-changingcitybook

The City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Board (internal 4-person decision-making body: Andrea Law, Gil Kelley, Jerry Dobrovolny, and Paul Mochrie) will review and approve a proposal for two towers (18 and 19 storeys)  at 1345 Davie Street (project includes 1385 Davie/1180 Broughton). The existing 68 rental units on the site are proposed to be replaced with 68 social housing units which will be deeded to the City. The project involves demolition of both buildings currently on these sites and occupied by renters. See below regarding Tenant Relocation Plan. A reporter has reached out seeking current or previous renters in these buildings. If you are interested in being connected, please write info@westendneighbours.ca.

The meeting is open to the public, and citizens may attend to speak to the DPB.

DATE: Monday, March 20, 2017
TIME: 3:00 p.m.
PLACE: Town Hall Meeting Room, Vancouver City Hall

Development Permit Board agenda (see March 20, 2017), and links to three detailed staff reports, including their responses to public feedback received:
http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/development-permit-board.aspx

More documents related to the application:
http://development.vancouver.ca/1345davie/index.htm

Along with large tracts of the neighbourhood, development of this type was “pre-zoned” with the adoption of the West End Community plan (Nov 2013) and related zoning bylaw (Jan 2014). That’s why this goes straight to the DPB, with no Public Hearing or consideration by City Council.

1345 Davie is technically a strata building (Strata VAS605) but we believe that it has always been operated as rental building since it was built. (The assessed value of each individual unit is published by BC Assessment.) Meanwhile, 1385 Davie/1180 Broughton is currently a rental building. Both are slated for demolition.

The proposal includes:

• 153 market residential [this would mean strata condos] and 68 social housing units
• Building heights of approximately 53 m and 48 m
• Gross floor area of 21,584 m2
• 4 levels of underground parking (257 spaces) accessed from rear lane.

1345 Davie application DP-2016-00373 App view height

Some special designing was needed to avoid intruding into View Cone 20.

Continue reading

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Longterm renters at 1565 Harwood fight 16% to 43% increases: Press conference Mar 12 (Sun) 11 am

1565 Harwood, credit GoogleMost of the residents in this two-story walk-up apartment building in the West End have been issued a notice to have rents increased by 16% to 43%.

(UPDATED. We are adding  media coverage/links at bottom.)

MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert (@SChandraHerbert, MLA for Vancouver – West End) hosted a press conference on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at 11 am at 1565 Harwood Street (between Nicola and Cardero). Residents are trying to keep their neighbourhood affordable. This case deserves everyone’s attention to see what systemic issues are going on here.

It appears the owner of the building (Immobiliere Canada Investment Ltd. No known website. Seems to be a mystery firm, with no public/web presence. Anyone with info, please write WEN.) applied to the Province of B.C. for a “geographic area rent increase” (under B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Act) beyond what would otherwise be the permitted cap, and may have been successful in arguing that rents in the neighbourhood had increased beyond those at this address. Is the dramatic increase in development since the 2013 adoption of the West End Community Plan resulting in increased land values and increased rents?

Some attention may be needed to review legislation, relating to short term lease contracts that some landlords are imposing even on long-term renters. Also, legislation 43 (1) (b), 43 (3) regarding “geographic area rent increase” needs some review.  Public involvement is crucial to make changes happen. This could be an important test case.

Chandra Herbert has introduced a Private Members Bills opposing such rent increases.

If landlords in other neighbourhoods start using the geographic clause to increase rents, could this problem spread beyond the West End? Stay tuned.

Media, links, and related resources:

Continue reading

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Gordon Neighbourhood House 75th Anniversary: Spring Forward 2017: A Fundraiser March 10 (Fri)

gordon-house-spring-forward-10-mar-2017Spring Forward 2017: A Fundraiser for Gordon Neighbourhood House
Gordon Neighbourhood House
Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory, BC
Friday, March 10, 2017, 7 – to pm

Tickets (by Brown Paper Tickets): http://bpt.me/2777757

Join us for Spring Forward, a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Gordon Neighbourhood House.

We invite you to self-select the price of your ticket ($25, $50* or $75**). All funds raised support the work of Gordon Neighbourhood House. Tickets will sell out! Get yours now before they’re all gone.

Spring Forward will feature live performances, a local DJ, and a silent auction with a wide range of amazing items for you to bid on. Continue reading

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Reminder: BC Hydro consulting West Enders on proposed “seed” underground substations: Deadline Feb 28 (Tues)

cutaway-drawing-of-bc-hydro-substation-proposalDeadline for early public feedback February 28 (Tuesday).

Further to our previous post (BC Hydro consulting West Enders on proposed “seed” underground substations: Feb 15, 16, 18, 20, 22) there has been a lot of media coverage and several meetings about building a power substation under , which you can search for online.

Here is something from the Park Board

Again, that link is: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bc-hydro-substation-proposal.aspx

Meanwhile, the “seed” team at BC Hydro has send out a reminder e-mail, an excerpt of which we copy below (some parts bolded for emphasis).

As you may be aware, from January 20 to February 28, 2017, we’re seeking your early feedback regarding our idea to deliver a secure, reliable, clean energy future for residents and businesses of downtown Vancouver, while funding significant community benefits for future generations. More information is available at bchydro.com/seed

Supplemental information now available.
We recognize that the construction of substations, schools, and park improvements would affect those who live, learn, work and play in these neigbourhoods. We’re studying what the impacts of seed may be, so that we can propose ways to avoid or minimize them. Continue reading

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Update on three Alberni-Georgia Corridor developments: Feb. 7, 2017

cov-wecp-2013-corridors-beach-frame-sketch

Sketch of the Thurlow-Burrard (red hue, vertical) and Alberni-Georgia “corridors” (red, horizontal), from p22 of West End Community Plan (2013)

Below is a brief update on three selected developments in the “Alberni – Georgia corridor,” kindly compiled and submitted by a reader. The West End Community Plan was adopted by City Council in 2013.

1550 Alberni (October 20 2016) (readdressed as “1568 Alberni”)

  • This is a proposal for a 43-storey tower.
  • Following approval of the Revised Rezoning Application (Public Hearing October 20, 2016), a Development Application (DP-2016-00640) was submitted on November 18, 2016.
  • The official deadline (to be included in staff report) for public comments on the Development Application was January 27, 2017, but concerned residents can still send in their comments for consideration.

1500 West Georgia Street

  • This is a rezoning application for a 43-storey tower.
  • The Urban Design Panel (an advisory body for City Council) did not support the 1500 West Georgia project (October 5, 2016)
  • What’s next? Stay tuned.
  • You can provide comments on this rezoning application by filling out an online feedback form. The official deadline for comments was October 30, 2016, but comments will be accepted “up to the Public Hearing date.”

1640-1650 Alberni Street

  • This is a rezoning application for a 42-storey tower.
  • The Urban Design Panel supported this project (November 30, 2016).
  • What’s next? A Public Hearing. No date has been set (as of Feb 8, 2017) for Public Hearing for this application.
  • You can provide comments on this rezoning application by filling out an online feedback form. The official deadline for comments was January 2, 2017, but comments will be accepted “up to the Public Hearing date.”

*****

For reference, here is an excerpt from the West End Community Plan (2013). For more information about general policies for this Alberni-Georgia Cooridor, see the text starting on p43. Continue reading

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BC Hydro consulting West Enders on proposed “seed” underground substations: Feb 15, 16, 18, 20, 22

BC Hydro is sharing ideas on a proposal to construct new underground electrical power substations in the West End (Lord Roberts School Annex) and Yaletown and to renovate an existing substation under Cathedral Square downtown. BC Hydro is promoting possible public benefits, such as new schools. Some people have contact WEN asking about this proposal, saying that the media coverage is emphasizing the positive aspects, but what about other concerns? We haven’t developed a position on the proposal, but welcome input from readers. What issues have not yet been discussed publicly enough?

Key points for the West End: Hydro is suggesting it pay for a new school in Coal Harbour and move students from the Lord Roberts Annex there in 2020. The Lord Roberts Annex would be demolished, the property excavated, the underground substation built there and then a new school would be built on top. The estimated completion date is 2025. (Vancouver Sun)

BC Hydro is expecting to make decisions by late March, 2017.

There are many things to consider, and there has been considerable media coverage already (below we provide a few links and excerpts). For extensive information and to give feedback, please visit bchydro.com/seed.

The BC Hydro website contains detailed information (FAQ), a list of consultation events, and information about EMF (electric and magnetic fields), plus a link to provide feedback online. There are several opportunities to learn more and give feedback in person:

Open Houses: 

  • Saturday February 18, 10 am – 1 pm, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 1130 Jervis Street
  • Monday February 20, 5 pm – 8 pm, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 1130 Jervis Street
  • Wednesday February 22, 5 pm – 8 pm, Elise Roy Elementary School, 150 Drake Street

Roundtable Discussions: These will also be held (space is limited and registration is required). Email seed@bchydro.com to sign up for…

  • Wednesday February 15 (6 pm to 8 pm) or
  • Thursday February 16 (6 pm to 8 pm).

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

MEDIA COVERAGE

B.C. Hydro lays plans for two new downtown Vancouver substations, deep underground (by Matt Robinson, Vancouver Sun, January 19, 2017)
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-hydro-lays-plans-for-two-new-downtown-vancouver-substations-deep-underground
Continue reading

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West End Parking Strategy, 400% price hike: In City Council Feb 8 (Wed)

cov-west-end-parking-9-recommendations-july-2016

Nine recommendations by City staff, as of summer 2016

As reported previously by West End Neighbours, the City of Vancouver was consulting the public in 2015 and 2016 on a “West End Parking Strategy.” The final step is now here, with staff recommendations set to be presented at the February 8, 2017 (Wednesday, starting 9:30 a.m.) standing committee meeting of City Council.

One proposal by staff is to boost the annual parking permit fee for residents to $360 per year. This is down from the previous proposal to charge $600 per year. On other points, how well have staff incorporated public input?

 

If Council approves the recommendations, implementation will start in 2017. Concerned citizens may write or speak to Council. If you are concerned, you can attend in person. You can also observe the discussion by live or archived web video.

See the meeting agenda here, or download the staff report/recommendations here:
http://council.vancouver.ca/20170208/documents/cfsc4.pdf

Below is some extra information compiled by WEN. (We have not yet done a detailed analysis of the current/final proposal by staff.)

Parking wars: 400% price hike proposed for new West End street parkers: Increase from $72 per year to $360 per year intended to help cut street parking gridlock (by Karin Larsen, CBC News, 01-Feb-2017. Excerpt: Next week, a report will go before council outlining a number of recommendations to help curb the problem, including raising the permit rate 400 per cent, from $72 per year to $360 per year for people wanting to buy a permit for the first time. Those with existing permits will only see small increases.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-west-end-parking-permit-1.3961543 Continue reading

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Currently “no new development applications” in the West End

Just for the record, the West End Community Plan Update (e-mail, 3-Feb-2017) from the City of Vancouver, says:

Development Applications

There are currently no new development applications in the West End. Two existing applications (1345 Davie Street [Safeway block on Davie and Cardero] and 1488 Robson Street [Empire Landmark Hotel]) are active but are unscheduled for the Development Permit Board. For more information go to vancouver.ca/devapps or call 3-1-1 and provide the operator with the address.

West End Neighbours (WEN) adds that besides “development applications” the community needs to keep an eye on “rezoning applications,” which are listed on the City website by address, at vancouver.ca/rezapps. In addition, keep an eye on upcoming meetings of the Urban Design Panel, and Development Permit Board.

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1523 Davie Street (Gabriola Mansion)​: Architect’s open house Feb. 9 & 23, 2017

gabriola-mansion-1523-davie-credit-carreramc-com

Gabriola Mansion: Credit: CarerraMC.com

Ankenman Marchand Architects intends to submit a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver for 1523 Davie Street (Gabriola Mansion) and on behalf of the property owner is hosting an open house to share their ideas and get some early feedback from the West End community.

Download poster from architect here.

UPDATE (20-Feb): ADDITIONAL DATE ADDED.

What: Pre-application Open House for the Gabriola Mansion
Where: Gabriola Mansion, 1523 Davie Street
When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 (6 -8 pm)
Purpose: For the applicant to gather community feedback before submitting a formal rezoning application

A rezoning application has not yet been submitted to the City.

If you wish to provide comments on the enquiry please contact the enquirer, Timothy Ankenman, Ankenman Marchand Architects, at timothy@amarchitects.com or attend the open house.

When: 6-8 pm, Thursday, February 9, 2017
Location: The Gabriola Mansion (1523 Davie Street) Continue reading

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West Enders: Buy resident parking permit now (if you don’t have one) to save hundreds of dollars a year in future

West Enders who do not yet have resident parking permits may wish to make their purchase soon, because NEW parking permits in the West End are expected to cost about $600 per year, whereas renewals (May 2017) are expected to be about $75 for existing permit holders.

This is somewhat speculative, but in the near future and without much warning, City staff are likely to send their recommendations to Vancouver City Council to adopt their proposals to “improve” parking in the West End.

If you (or friends or family members) may need street parking in future, you can buy a West End Parking Permit online here (see conditions for eligibility):
https://app.vancouver.ca/ResidentialParkingPermit_net/

If you purchase the permit now, the pricing is “pro-rated” to the end of May 2017, so it works out to about $42 for the remaining portion of the permit lifespan. You will need your ICBC documentation to complete the online renewal.

See our previous coverage on this topic: Continue reading

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