Updates on 1401 Comox (now 1061 Broughton) rezoning/development project (address change, public art, bylaw)

(Update August 2013: This project was approved by August 8, the excavation was completed and bottom levels of underground parking are being poured in concrete. A 20-storey construction crane stands on the site, which is surrounded by scaffolding and fencing. An independent citizen initiative is tracking the project at http://1401comox.wordpress.com/project-chronology/, and the construction contractor’s three-year work schedule is available for download in PDF from Westbank’s contractor ICON Pacific at www.iconpacific.ca/1061broughton. — Note, ICON has deleted that schedule, but we have saved a copy here in JPG format.)

Original post from 26-Nov-2012 continues: Though no public announcements have been made by either the City of Vancouver or the developers (Westbank Projects Corp., Peterson Investment Group, and Henriquez Partners Architects) observant citizens have discovered some activities on the 22-storey tower proposed for 1401 Comox (former site of St. John’s Church).

As this is a major project in the West End, and subject to much controversy, we list some of the detailed info below, for the record and for future reference. To our knowledge, there has been no public notice or consultation on the proposed public art plan, or on the status of any potential plans that include the closure of this block of Broughton Street.

Unfortunately, this pattern is consistent — City Hall offered no opportunity for advance public consultation on the STIR program (the market rental housing developer-incentive program adopted by Council in 2010), without which a project of this height and density would have been impossible on this site, and Westbank/Peterson/Henriquez offered absolutely no advance public consultation before they made the rezoning/development application.

First, it appears that the owners have changed the site address from 1401 Comox to 1061 Broughton. Second, it appears that details of the proposed public art for the site have been resolved by the owners and approved by the the City’s Public Art Committee. Third, some important procedural steps (enactment of the CD-1 “spot rezoning” bylaw, plus approval of the “form of development”) are in Regular Council on November 27, 2012. There is no opportunity for additional public input at this time. Please see below for details.

1. ADDRESS CHANGE (from 1401 Comox to 1061 Broughton)

The reasons for this change of address are not clear. People first noticed info on the Westbank website.

1061 Broughton Street is one of the first new high rise purpose-built market rental buildings to be built in the desirable West End of Vancouver in many years. The tower comprises of 186 rental units, consisting of 22 storeys. The contextually sensitive podium consists of 6 townhouses at grade of 3 bedrooms for families, and 180 one and two bedroom rental apartments above. An amenity room is provided on the ground level, and there are 2.5 levels of underground parking with bicycle storage. The tower is sculpted and set back from Comox Street significantly to allow for ample daylight to its surroundings. A large new open green space is provided on the Comox Street frontage, with community gardens and children’s playground for public use and public art.
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Architect: Henriquez Partners Architects
Project Size: 123,482 sf
Completion: July 2014

We also discovered that the art consultant for the project refers to both addresses:

Images posted at the developer’s website (http://www.westbankcorp.com/comox-broughton/) appear to show a newer version of the building than the one that was displayed at the Public Hearing for the project in June 2012. Note that it clearly shows Broughton Street closed to traffic and a large piece of public art in the street. It also shows community garden plots shown in the shadow of the street trees on the west side of the Broughton Street road allowance.

None of these changes have been subject to community consultation and there has been no notification or discussion with nearby buildings. City staff responsible for the development permit process have noted that as of this time, no discussions are taking place on this issue. It was suggested by staff that any potential for the closure of Broughton Street would be investigated as part of the West End community planning process.

QUESTIONS: The public, particularly West End residents, are left to wonder what kinds of negotiations and discussions may be taking place behind closed doors, who is involved, and is this typically how City Hall and developers conduct business?

ACTION: West End residents are encouraged to ask the City’s staff questions about these issues as part of the current planning process.


Noticing references to public art, an alert citizen found that 1401 Comox was in the minutes for a September 10, 2012 meeting of the City of Vancouver “Public Art Committee.”


1. 1401 Comox Street
Frank Stebner, Architect, Henriquez Partners Architects, and Reid Shier, Project Public Art Consultant, presented the detailed public art plan for the residential development at
1401 Comox Street and, along with Jan Ballard, Consultant, Ballard Fine Arts Ltd, responded to questions regarding historic aspects of the site, artist selection process, construction timeline, and the incorporation of art and landscaping.
MOVED by Renee Van Halm
SECONDED by Naveen Girn
THAT the Public Art Committee (PAC) approve the Detailed Public Art Plan for the
Westbank/Peterson development at 1061 Broughton Street, as known as
1401 Comox Street, as presented at the September 10, 2012, PAC meeting.

Present were PRESENT: Rachel Lafo, Chair
Naveen Girn, Hugh Ker, Mitra Mansour, Richard Tetrault (Vice-Chair), Julien Thomas, Renee Van Halm. ABSENT: Annie Li (Leave of Absence).
ALSO PRESENT: Bryan Newson, Public Art Program Manager, Cultural Services
Karen Henry, Senior Public Art Planner, Cultural Services,Planning
& Facilities Development

COMMENT by West End Neighbours: To the best of our knowledge, no group or individual in the West End community has been contacted to date regarding Public Art and any potential changes from the original proposal which involved retention of stained glass window elements and the original church cornerstone. Concerned residents are encouraged  to contact City officials to inquire for more information.


We have noticed that 1401 Comox (1061 Broughton) is moving along the procedural pipeline, with two items in Regular Council on November 27, 2012.


2. Approval of Form of Development: 1401 Comox Street (1061 Broughton Street)
MOVER: Councillor
SECONDER: Councillor

2. Approval of Form of Development – 1401 Comox Street (1061 Broughton Street)
MOVER: Councillor
SECONDER: Councillor
THAT the form of development for this portion of the site known as 1401 Comox Street
(1061 Broughton Street being the application address) be approved generally as illustrated in the Development Application Number DE413347, prepared by Henriquez Partners Architects, and stamped “Received, Community Services Group, Development Services”, on September 5, 2012, provided that the Director of Planning may impose conditions and approve design changes which would not adversely affect either the development character of the site or adjacent properties.

2. A By-law to amend Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 to rezone an area to CD-1 (1401 Comox Street.)
(Councillors Affleck, Carr, Deal, Jang, Meggs, Tang and Mayor Robertson were present for all of this item at the Public Hearing and the Regular Council meeting where the decision was made)
At the Regular Council meeting on June 27, 2012, Councillors Ball and Stevenson advised that they had reviewed the proceedings of the Public Hearing in relation to this By-law.

A By-law to amend the Zoning and Development By-law
Re: 1401 Comox Street

After the public hearing on June 11 and 13, 2012, Council resolved on June 27, 2012 to amend the Zoning and Developmet By-Law to create a CD-1 by-law for 1401 Comox Street. The Director of Planning has advised that all prior to conditions have been met, and enactment of the attached By-law will implement Council’s resolution.

Director of Legal Services
November 27, 2012


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