19-storey tower proposed at Davie & Jervis: Open House Monday, March 2

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At 1301, 1309, and 1315 Davie Street there are currently three heritage houses on the north side of Davie Street, west of Jervis – an interesting 1940s three-storey walk-up sits just to the west, with a number of generally affordable rental apartments existing in the four buildings. A development application has been submitted under a new RM-5D zone created by the new West End Community Plan. The proposed development by Intracorp (see other projects in the region) is for a 19-storey tower with an FSR of 6.61. (Note that the address for the application has been changed to 1177 Jervis though the Davie Street addresses may appear in some documents).

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE
Monday, March 2, 2015, 5 to 8 pm
St. Paul’s Anglican Church
1130 Jervis Street (Just north of Davie)

This is the first large development application submitted under the new Community Plan. It appears that this application will NOT require a rezoning or the associated public hearing, since this area of Davie Village (along with other large areas of the West End) was rezoned en masse in the January 2014 amendment to adjust zoning to implement the Community Plan, which was adopted in November 2013. WEN encourages West End residents to participate in this process and observe how it works, as it is a real example of how the West End Community Plan will direct development from here on.

The tower component as proposed is intended to be market housing, while the podium is mostly comprised of “affordable” city owned non-market housing, with a small commercial retail shop on the corner. The plan for this site calls for:

  • A 19-storey tower (height 190 feet)
  • Density of 6.61 FSR (114,372 square feet)
  • 62 market residential units and 28 social housing units
  • 1 retail unit at grade
  • 114 underground parking stalls

PROCESS

After an Open House for public input on March 2, the Development Permit Board is scheduled to review the application on May 4, 2015. The DPB is an internal body consisting of four senior staff members at City Hall, empowered to approve or reject the application. The meeting is open to the public. The DPB sometimes explains it decisions, and sometimes not. (Lots of West End activity. Other West End applications are also to be reviewed on May 4: 1427 Haro Street and 1184 Comox Street. And prior to that, on April 20: 1281 Hornby Street and 1529 Comox Street.)

MORE INFO

Go to the City of Vancouver’s Development Applications web page to download details of the application.

http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/1177jervis/index.htm

For convenience, we copy the information here:

1177 Jervis Street – DE418742

Public Open House – March 2, 2015, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Contact: Wendy LeBreton, Project Facilitator,wendy.lebreton@vancouver.ca 604.871.6796

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FURTHER COMMENT

Heritage Vancouver had noted the buildings on this site as being of concern in their “Top Ten” endangered lists of 2012:
http://www.heritagevancouver.org/topten/2012/topten2012_08.html

And again in 2013:
http://www.heritagevancouver.org/topten/2013/topten2013_08.html

Yet there is little reference in the new development application to the heritage value of these properties.

From the applicant’s Design Rationale for 1177 Jervis Street:

HERITAGE CHARACTERISTICS OF EXISTING STRUCTURES
In support of this application, Staff encouraged the undertaking of a Statement of Significance study for each of the pre-1940 structures located on the site. Donald Luxton and Associates was commissioned to prepare reports for 1301, 1309 and 1315 Davie Street, which were submitted for consideration by the Vancouver Heritage Commission in September 2014. The Commission proposed some revisions to these reports, and the findings of this review are included in the minutes of the meeting of September 29th.
While 3 of the 4 structures on the site have been found to contain some heritage merit to varying degrees, Staff have confirmed that the West End Community Plan only assumes the protection of 117 of 124 character dwellings that are within the existing neighbourhoods, and anticipates the loss of the remainder that are located on the major corridors such as these structures on Davie Street. Retention of any of these structures would deem the development site not viable given the prevailing constraints.

Source: http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/1177jervis/documents/designrationale.pdf

The key point, we have sadly indicated in bold font above. Wasn’t the community told as part of the West End Community Plan process that the heritage resources of the West End would be celebrated?

Heritage Commission minutes of the consideration of the heritage buildings on this site are included here for reference:

http://vancouver.ca/docs/council/vher20140929min.pdf

It is interesting to note the City’s speed of processing this application. It received an application for this large high rise development on a site with heritage interest, processed it and scheduled approval 12 weeks later on May 4th without a Public Hearing. The West End Community Plan and subsequent “pre-zoning” has made this possible.

Blue building at centre  is in 3-D image in West End Plan

Blue building at centre is in 3-D image in West End Plan

The West End Community Plan sets out the development potential on this property.  The “corridors” section starts on Page 47 of the Plan:

http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/west-end-community-plan.pdf

Page 56 details the site at 1301 Davie with a maximum height of 190 feet, podium height of up to three storeys, and FSR of up to 7.0. Page 61 of the Plan notes:

8.15   In Area ‘3’ within Lower Davie, additional density can be bonused up to 7 FSR for new developments that provide 20% of floor space as social housing, or one-for-one replacement of the existing market rental housing with social housing units, whichever is greater (see Figure 8.2).

Questions and Topics that residents might wish to consider in reviewing this project:

  1. Is there a plan in place to allow for the residents of the existing rental housing to access the new rental housing being created?
  2. How many rental units exist on the site and are any new rental units proposed to be created?
  3. What is the City’s definition of “Social Housing” and how will the rents be established in the proposed new units?
  4. Does the design of the new building help to support the City’s objectives in the West End Community Plan to make the lane frontage more attractive and comfortable for pedestrians?
  5. Are there liveability issues associated with ground floor units that face onto the Davie Street sidewalk?
  6. Does the project as proposed comply with the zoning and associated development guideline requirements for the site?
  7. How is the heritage value of the existing buildings being respected or acknowledged in the new development?
  8. Why are all of the proposed condominium units (with the exception of two penthouses) two-bedroom layouts?
  9. Is there a community amenity contribution (CAC) associated with the project, and if so, what is the amount? And what will this CAC be directed to?
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