New design now up: 1245 Harwood (“tulip tree site”)

Many neighbours have indicated an interest in what goes on at the site of the heritage house and tulip tree at 1245 Harwood. We have covered this case in the past. We have word that new designs are now up on the City website, and that a public open house will be held . Official info is here (including text, plus various views of the new proposal).

Since the May 2011 Council Meeting when this case was last discussed, the architect Bing Thom has developed a new proposal with less density and submitted it as a standard development proposal (NOT a rezoning) for the site. The new scheme is still for 17 storeys but does NOT preserve the house. The tree remains standing (but is not legally protected). The building design is based on a floor space ratio of 2.2, which is permitted under the existing zoning — but only if certain conditions  are met (please read bottom of this post about those conditions, and watch carefully to see how Planning Department staff and Council at City Hall evaluate those conditions on behalf of the public).

A Public Open House will be held on Monday, October 24, 2011 at Gordon Neighbourhood House (1019 Broughton) from 6:30 to 8:30 pm

More details on discretionary decisions follows:

The RM-5 District schedule states:

4.7.1 The floor space ratio shall not exceed 1.00 except that the Director of Planning or the Development Permit Board, as the case may be, may permit an increase in the floor space ratio to any figure up to and including 1.5 in the RM-5, 2.20 in the RM-5A and RM-5C, and 2.75 in the RM-5B Districts, provided that it first considers:
(a) the intent of this Schedule and all applicable policies and guidelines adopted by Council;
(b) the submission of any advisory group or property owner or tenant; and
(c) the height, bulk, location and overall design of the development and its effects on nearby sites, streets and public open spaces;

For people who want more details, please read on:

The Zoning is here. The relevant sections of the zoning bylaw are 4.3.2 (regarding height) and 4.7.1 (regarding floor space ratio).

The RM-5 development guidelines are to be used by the City in implementing the RM-5 Zoning. The guidelines are available here.

Development requesting the conditional maximums under the RM-5A zoning should be complying with the development guidelines.

A building with the maximum conditional floor space ratio of 2.2 and height of 17 storeys (173 feet or 52.7 meters) should only be permitted when the concerns of neighbours with regard to issues like shadowing and privacy are met  –  if not, the building should be limited to a floor space ratio of 1.0 and a height of not more than 6 storeys (60 feet or 18.3 meters).

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