City ready to give developer density without public consultation, yet again! Done deal? (Cardero & West Georgia) Briefing Nov 6

WEN logo Raster RGBThis is a reprint of a media release from West End Neighbours. (Chronology, links, extra information added at bottom of page.)

MEDIA RELEASE: City ready to give developer density without public consultation, yet again! Done deal? This time at Cardero and West Georgia in West End. Media event Thurs., Nov. 6 (11 a.m.)

 

Neighbours are challenging a proposed huge increase in density at Cardero and West Georgia Streets.

A media event will be held to explain the details:

  • 11 a.m., Thursday, November 6, 2014
  • Southeast corner of Cardero and West Georgia Streets (parking lot)
  • Media and candidates from all civic parties are invited.

Two properties are included in the development proposal by Bosa

Development:

  • 1575 West Georgia – currently privately-owned, zoned CD-1 (336), allowing maximum height of 13 storeys
  • 620 Cardero Street – currently owned by City of Vancouver, proposed to be sold to developer, zoned CD-1 (312)

The permitted floor space ratio (FSR) for the consolidated site is currently 2.75. The proposed re-development includes an increase in FSR to 10.83 – almost quadrupling the density. The proposed height increase is to 26 storeys. The resulting development would include two floors of retail, three floors of office space, and 184 luxury condominium units. The building would be served by seven levels of underground parking with 202 parking spaces accessed from a parking and loading entrance that will require opening of the existing Hastings Street greenway to vehicle and truck traffic.

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West End Neighbours director Randy Helten said, “It is hard to fathom why the City of Vancouver would consider a huge increase in density for existing zoned properties at the interface of the Coal Harbour and West End neighbourhoods. Vibrant high density communities have grown up around these sites based on existing land use regulations – but now a new rezoning application is being considered for even higher densities, with no rationale provided other than ‘the developer asked for it.’ “

Neighbours were given two weeks’ notice of an open house for the project. There was no public consultation prior to the submission of the rezoning proposal. Residents were shocked to learn the proposed density and height increases proposed. The City has provided scant information. Many key questions remain, including:

• What are the community plan provisions for the site, and are amendments to the Coal Harbour Official Development Plan (ODP) necessary to accommodate the proposed development?
• What is the rationale for the massive increase in density from 50,200 square feet to 198,000 square feet?
• What process has been undertaken for the sale of City land? How has the prospect for increased density affected the price paid for the land? Is the City considering increasing density to raise its own land value at the expense of livability of the surrounding properties?
• What community amenity contributions (CACs) are being considered to as part of the proposed increase in height and density?
• Given the City’s declared objectives for creating rental housing, why does the proposed additional floor area not include rental housing units?

To many, this proposal is ill-considered – it is not based in any long-term community plan provisions for this area. The tower will over-shadow surrounding properties. Besides the above questions, over-riding concerns are: “Where is genuine community consultation on issues that affect neighbours to this site? Or is this just another “done deal” on this site?

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Contact: West End Neighbours, (Email: info@westendneighbours.com

West End Neighbours, a non-profit society registered under the BC Society Act, is a coalition of volunteers who recognise the unique character of their community and strive to maintain the core assets and relationships within the neighbourhood.

BACKGROUNDER AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Questions

  1. When is the public hearing expected for this application? ANSWER: City staff indicate that the public hearing might be in the spring of 2015.
  2. Who is behind the project? ANSWER: Bosa Properties is the developer. Henriquez Partners is the architect.

LINKS

City of Vancouver official information about this project: http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/1575wgeorgia/index.htm

SCALY 26-STOREY BUILDING PROPOSED FOR WEST GEORGIA AND CARDERO
BY KENNETH CHAN | 2:12 PM PST, TUE AUGUST 19, 2014
http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2014/08/scaly-26-storey-building-proposed-west-georgia-cardero/

CHRONOLOGY

Time Line of Rezoning Application at 1575 West Georgia and 320 Cardero St

  • September 3rd Yellow card mailed. Notified neighbours of the upcoming Community Open House for a Rezoning Application @ Georgia and Cardero Streets
  • September 17th Open house Meeting held. Many concerns were discovered without consultation of locals. For instance, Existing zoning is 13 storeys.  New rezoning is 26 storeys
  • September 22nd   Planner on vacation. Colleague unable to answer main questions arising from the Open House. Yellow rezoning sign replaced with a Promotion sign of the proposed new tower
  •  October 14th Planner returns from vacation. 
  • October 15th  Planner meets with Coal Harbour Residents Association President and representative of local concerned citizens  of 1500 Alberni with rezoning planner on complaints to city about developer’s Promo sign that is installed in front of site on West Georgia
  • October 22nd  Last date for public comment on this rezoning. But Cof V meeting reps told it was OK to send them in later.
  • October  22nd Urban Design Panel approves building!
  • October 27th  Week Promotion sign taken down. Yellow Rezoning sign describing proposed application not reinstalled. (Planner tells community representatives that the public hearing will probably be in the Spring of 2015)
  • November 2nd Signage with development details not reinstalled. Planner has been asked whether or not if it is a legal requirement.
  • Spring of 2015: Public hearing for rezoning?

 

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