West Enders challenge City Hall in court over 21-storey Westank tower on 1700 block Pendrell

21-storey tower proposed for 1754-1772 Pendrell. Proponents are Westbank Project Corp and Henriquez Partners Architects. Open House Feb 16

21-storey tower proposed for 1754-1772 Pendrell. Proponents are Westbank Project Corp and Henriquez Partners Architects

As reported in the Georgia Straight, six residents in the West End have gone to the B.C. Supreme Court to try and block construction of a 21-storey tower in the 1700-block of Pendrell Street (just up the street from Denman).

The six residents applied on October 15, 2015 (the one month statutory limit to challenge a new bylaw) for a “judicial review” of a rezoning decision in which Vancouver City Council voted five versus three to convert three adjacent lots from RM-5A to CD-1 designation for the project.

This application is not in compliance with the West End Community Plan, but was “grand-fathered” under an earlier application before the Plan was approved in November 2013. The latest application is very different from the original one, and also has a new applicant and owner (Westbank).

A few excerpts from the Straight article:

“The group claims the rezoning application that council approved was not a “revised” application, as council considered at the time, but rather was a “new” application. The petitioners are therefore requesting a judge issue an order that prohibits the City of Vancouver from enacting those changes.”

… “The petition also notes that the property in question falls within “Area A” of the West End Community Plan, which council adopted in November 2013. Part of that plan states that rezoning applications will not be permitted in Area A “where the permitted density for market residential is increased from what is permitted in the zoning”.

… One of the petitioners, Jane-Anne Manson, told the Straight the court challenge is about the city failing to abide by its own rules for development in the West End.

“They have not considered the West End Community Plan, which does not allow for buildings of that size,” she said in a telephone interview. “When we went to city hall, I said the West End was very happy with density. What’s being promoted now is hyper-density and a homogenization of our neighbourhoods. These buildings are glass boxes. It is going to look like Yaletown or Coal Harbour, and that is not in keeping with the character of the West End.”

MORE READING

This proposal has a history going back at least to 2007, and we have covered it most recently here:
Public Hearing July 13 (Monday): REZONING of 1754-1772 Pendrell Street for 21-storey rental tower (July 12, 2015).

City of Vancouver hit with court challenge that aims to block 21-story West End tower
by Travis Lupic, Georgia Straight, October 19, 2015
http://www.straight.com/news/558961/city-vancouver-hit-court-challenge-aims-block-21-story-west-end-tower

Ironic twist: 2008: An application for a 19-storey condo tower to replace a three-story walkup and coach house jolted the community awake. Outrage brought about 500 people turning out at a town hall meeting at the Coast Plaza Hotel, organized by the [now defunct] West End Residents Association. With the 2008 civic election in mind,  Councillor Tim Stevenson (with Vision Vancouver, then in minority on Council), told the audience, “What it’s going to take is all of us together, all of us together, letting [then mayor] Sam Sullivan and the NPA know that we’re not going any further down the road that they’ve been going and that developers are not going to make the West End into another Yaletown.”
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