Fate sealed? Development Permit Board approves 17-story tower (1241 Harwood). Historic Legg Residence to be demolished, but Tulip tree may still be at risk

This case, described earlier by WEN, went to the Development Permit Board on December 12, 2011. In the end, the voting members of the DPB gave “conditional” approval for the proposal for a 17-story tower at 1241 Harwood, which will result in demolition of an A-listed heritage building, and may also put the giant Tulip tree at risk.

A detailed write-up of the bigger story is provided on CityHallWatch in “Heritage demolition: Legg residence (1899-2012?) – How an ‘A’-listed Heritage Mansion became slated for demolition (West End).”

In a complex case like this, the public is forced to trust City Council and City staff to look after the community and public interests. Yet we do know that some people are unhappy with the performance of Council and the DPB and may be looking for further options and actions on this case. Under the Code of Conduct, City Hall is to put the public interest first and foremost. This particular project is an interesting case, as its multi-year history shows the roles of many players in the development process, and leaves one to wonder if City Hall (including elected officials and public servants) is able to fairly balance the interests involved. The system in Vancouver leaves considerable discretion to the Director of Planning and the Planning Department in applying zoning and development guidelines. People can generally accept change if rules and guidelines are applied in a fair manner, but is the public getting a fair deal? That as an open question.

OFFICIAL CITY INFORMATION

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