Open house Feb. 9 about 1401 Comox Street: Revised proposal for controversial development

The City of Vancouver Planning Department has posted information about the revised development application for the 1401 Comox Street site (former St. John’s Church). The application was submitted to the City on November 30, 2011.

An Open House has been scheduled to allow the public to view the project plans, to ask questions and to share their opinions about the proposal.

The Open House will be held:
Thursday, February 9, 2012
5:00 – 8:00 pm
Coast Plaza Hotel, Nelson Room
1763 Comox Street (just east of Denman)

We encourage residents to attend the open house to share your opinions about the proposed development and what you think would be appropriate for this site. The details about the current proposal are available on the City’s website here.

You can download these information sheets to share with neighbours, family and friends:

1401 Comox-Things to Consider, February, 2012
Open House Notice – 1401 Comox Street, February 2012

The development application proposes to rezone 1401 Comox Street (the site of St. John’s Church, recently demolished by the developer) from the existing RM-5 (Multiple Residential) Zone to a proposed CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) Zone.

The developer has requested to build a 22–storey market rental residential tower with 180 apartments and 6 townhouses on the ground level.

The developer proposes to increase the permitted density on the site from the existing RM-5 limit of 1.5 FSR to the proposed rezoned limit of 7.14 FSR. What does this mean? Instead of building approximately 26,000 square feet of floor area allowed under the existing zoning, the developer wants to build over 122,000 square feet. This is almost five times what is currently permitted on the site.

The current allowable height for this site is 18.3 m (60 feet) with a potential for increasing the height to a discretionary maximum of 58 m (190 ft.) if the Director of Planning or the Development Permit Board determine that certain conditions have been met. In this case, the developer has requested an increase in permitted height from the maximum discretionary limit of 58 m (190 ft.) to the proposed building height of 61 m (200 ft.).

What are the changes from the previous proposal submitted to the City (dated March 22, 2010)?

  • The total building height has been slightly reduced from 66 m (216.5 ft.) to 61 m (200 ft.) by eliminating the rooftop amenity space and deck.
  • The vehicle parking spaces have been reduced from 81 to 79 spaces (a parking ratio of 0.4 parking spaces per dwelling unit)
  • The top 15 floors of the tower have been changed in an attempt to reduce shadowing on the neighbouring Broughton Mini-Park.
  • The number of ground floor townhouses has been increased from 4 to 6.
  • The 3,500 square foot community facility (shared by “Qmunity” and Gordon Neighbourhood House) has been removed.
  • There are larger setbacks on the west and east property lines because the community space building has been removed and the proposed tower has been shifted slightly to the west.

The project proposal falls under the City’s STIR Program (Short Term Incentives for Rental). This program to create market rental housing in the City expired in December of 2011, but the project at 1401 Comox Street is considered to be “in-stream” so the City will continue to process the rezoning application.

If you wish to submit comments online, you can find the feedback form here.

Further information is available from the City of Vancouver and these staff can be contacted:

City Contact: Karen Hoese, Planner, karen.hoese@vancouver.ca, 604.871.6403 or Mandy So, Project Facilitator, mandy.so@vancouver.ca

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