The City’s official web page for this application is:
Fast Facts (partially updated February 2016)
February 16, 2016. B.C. Supreme Court Judge Kenneth Affleck rules that the City of Vancouver was within its powers to approve a zoning change that allows for the development of a tower on the 1700 block of Pendrell Street. See Georgia Straight article.
January 13, 2016. The project goes back to Urban Design Panel for final comments. https://westendneighbours.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/udp-1750-pendrell-jan-13/
October 15, 2015. Six residents file a “petition” asking the B.C. Supreme Court for a “judicial review” of the rezoning decision. They claim the rezoning application that council approved was not a “revised” application, as council considered at the time, but a “new” application. They request that a judge issue an order that prohibits the City of Vancouver from enacting those changes. “Council considered irrelevant and extraneous considerations and failed to consider relevant considerations.”
September 13, 2015. City Council approves the rezoning on this site for a 21-storey tower for Westbank Projects Corp (architect Henriquez Partners Architects):
April 8, 2015. The project goes before the Urban Design Panel.
Feb 16, 2015. Community Open House scheduled for this date. City website says this: Henriquez Partners, on behalf of Westbank Developments, has taken over this rezoning application and revised the proposal to rezone the site from RM-5A (Multiple Dwelling) District to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. The application proposes: A 21 storey tower, with a maximum height of 58m (190 ft), 171 rental units, including 43 studios, 51 One-Bedroom, 72 Two-Bedroom, and 3 Three-Bedroom units. A proposed density of 6.55 FSR. See details here:
January 2014. City Council changes zoning bylaws to comply with new West End Community Plan.
November 2013. West End Community Plan adopted by City Council.
May 12, 2010. DTKH Pendrell Developments Ltd. proposes a 21-storey luxury condo and rentals at an Open House. After this time, the entire project goes on hold — possibly due to pressure for residents demanding a comprehensive plan for the West End, and a halt to spot rezonings. Developers are notified that major projects in the West End would be held back until after a new community plan was finished.
May 5, 2010. The Urban Design Panel considered 1754 Pendrell and voted unanimously to not support the design due to height, bulk, and lack of a match with the streetscape. (The vote was 0 support versus 7 non-support.) Minutes of that meeting (we copy and highlight parts of the minutes further below, for the record):
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/udp/2010/Minutes/May5.html. The owner at the time was “Larco” and architect “W.T. Leung Architects Inc.”
April 22, 2010. A new rezoning sign went up. The previous application was rejected in 2008, after which the developer prepared a new application.
2008. Owner proposes a tower on this site. Yellow rezoning sign goes up. This proposal set off an outrage in the community, in response to which the West End Residents’ Association organizes the “Save the West End Town Hall Meeting” at the Coast Plaza Hotel on April 10, featuring City staff West End activist Carole Walker and WERA president Brent Granby. The meeting poster says “The Future of the West End: how do communities engage change and remain vibrant, diverse and affordable? The City needs to reveal its full density plans for the West End.” At the meeting Vision Vancouver Councillor Tim Stevenson asks for votes in the November 2008 election and promises that if voters give his party a majority on Council they will do things differently from the incumbent NPA party, and “Not let the West End turn into another Yaletown.” WERA’s report of that meeting is copied below, for reference.
Excerpt from Urban Design Panel discussion May 5, 2010.
The Panel did not support the proposal noting that the density has a negative effect on the overall bulk, quality of amenities and open space and maybe too large for the site.
The Panel did not have a problem with the height but were concerned with the amount of density and bulk for such a small site which had changed considerably since the previous review. Most of the Panel members thought the original scheme was better. They felt the proposal broke form with other towers in the West End and thought there was little benefit to the community. Several Panel members thought the proforma should have been done previous to the design. As well several Panel members suggested making the floor plate smaller. They suggested a taller, slimmer tower was more appropriate. Some members also thought that the livability of the units was not very good noting that the balconies were too small.
Several Panel members were concerned with the treatment of the blank walls facing the neighbours. They also thought the building was lacking in “West End” character. One Panel member suggested moving some of the units in the podium into the tower to allow for the building to have more space around the ground plane that is more typical of the West End.
Several Panel members noted that podiums typically provide for more outdoor amenity space, however the podium in this proposal wasn’t giving any more amenity space. They felt that there were two separate programs and that the amenity spaces were not working well together and as well are separated by a barrier.
A couple of Panel members thought the solar response had improved although one Panel member thought the applicant should be working with a consultant regarding the sustainability strategy. Another Panel member noted that the south and east facades had been handled in a sensitive manner. However, on the west and north (which leans more to the west) facades and with the amount of floor to ceiling glass the eyebrows would not give any shadowing and would only drive the cooling load higher. As a result this would make it harder to meet the LEED™ requirements.
APRIL 11, 2008
TOWN HALL MEETING EMPOWERS RESIDENTS TO ENGAGE CHANGE
The WERA/Rob Joyce Town Hall meeting on Thursday April 10 at the Coast Plaza Hotel was an awesome success. An overflow gathering of more than 300 West End Residents came to share their concerns about the loss of affordable rental stock and listen to Michael Gordon, Senior Central Area Planner for the City of Vancouver, Cameron Gray, Director of the Housing Centre for the City of Vancouver, Carole Walker, longtime West End Activist and Brent Granby, WERA President. The meeting was ably moderated by WERA director Aaron Jasper and Rob Joyce.
Councilors Tim Stevenson and David Cadman, Park Board Commissioner Spencer Herbert, former City Councilors Ellen Woodsworth and Gordon Price attended the meeting. David Cadman spoke passionately about the importance of maintaining the existing stock of market rate apartments. Councilor Cadman also spoke of the “cascading effect” of how price increases and vacancy decreases in apartments was causing lower-income folks to be displaced by middle-income folks. This “cascading effect” is forcing some folks out on the street with no home. As the last Metro Vancouver Homelessness Count documents, there has been a 37% increase in the number of people who are on the streets with no home.
A lot of concerns were raised about development pressures in the West End and how this was affecting the affordability, livability and diversity of the neighbourhood. In particular speakers noted that the rezoning application on the 1700 block on Pendrell Street where a 3-story walk-up apartment is proposed to be demolished to build a 19-story 34-unit condo tower, was an example of the loss of affordable market rate apartments. Long time residents of the West End expressed their concern that the increase cost of housing was affecting their ability to live in the community.
Members of the Renters @ Risk Campaign, Sharon Isaak, Janie Fuller, Stephen Hammond and Sharon Hammond attended the meeting and spoke of their struggle to empower tenants to dispute evictions. They also spoke of how they won a landmark judgment to protect the rights of tenants not to be evicted from their homes for minor renovations. This was noted as example of how residents can win when they are empowered and work together.
Carole Walker moved a motion at the conclusion of her presentation, which reads as follows:
“Be it resolve that this meeting respectfully request that the mayor and council of the City of Vancouver, British Columbia:
1. Undertake a complete review and reworking of the 1989 zoning regulations and other pertinent regulations governing the residential districts in the West End in consultation with community groups and organizations, property owners, interested West Enders and city staff.
2. Put a moratorium on all requests for rezoning, whether pending or future, until a review and reworking of the current guidelines are completed and new guidelines are adopted and in place.
3. Insure that all building maintenance standards are enforced through out the West End so that all buildings remain in good order and habitable and are simply not being held with the view to redevelop at some time in the near or distant future.”
This motion was seconded by Aaron Jasper and was put to the gathering of citizens and was overwhelming supported with only one opposing vote. This meeting demonstrates the meaningfulness of engaging residents and providing them with opportunity to express themselves. The meeting also highlighted the importance of residents expressing themselves to their elect officials. One resident urged people at the meeting to write the Mayor and Council of Vancouver and express their concerns about affordability and livability and how development pressure are affecting the diversity of the West End Community.
Thanks to all the Citzens for attending meeting. Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in the event.
All my photo’s for the meeting are all really bad. If anyone has photo’s they would like to share with WERA that capture the event please forward them to brentgranby@mac. com.
Writer Steve Burgess wrote column on the WERA town hall meeting of 2008. It appeared in the Westender April 17, 2008, and was entitled “Overflow crowd rallies for future of West End housing.” Interestingly, then-Councillor David Cadman was quoted as saying: “We know from scanning BC Hydro records,” Cadman told the crowd, “that there are at least 18,000 condo units in the West End where the only power use is from a fridge that stays plugged in. The units are empty, bought by speculators who want to flip them for a profit. These empty condos are displacing rental accommodation.”