The Public Hearing for 955 East Hastings will start on October 16th at 7:30PM in City Hall Council Chambers. It’s expected that this public hearing will be highly contentious. Some of the issues at stake include the rezoning of industrially-zoned land to residential uses, the future gentrification of the residential area to the south and the precedent for other rezonings in this part of Strathcona. Further information on this proposal is available on the City’s website and in The Mainlander.
The Staff report does state that the current zoning is M-1 Industrial; however, it neglects to point out that “the maximum floor space ratio shall be 1.0 for all uses other than manufacturing uses, transportation and storage uses, and Wholesaling – Class A” (bylaw Section 4.7.1a). The staff report only states that a maximum FSR of 5.0 is allowed on the site (p.42); this maximum applies to manufacturing related uses (and transportation, storage, wholesale). Dwelling units are only permitted for artist live-work studios or for caretakers; this use is limited to a maximum FSR of 1.0. Is this an important detail omitted in the report to council? The density of the current proposal is 6.15 FSR . It’s important to note that over 95% of the floor area is for housing, retail and office uses, less than 5% of the floor area is for an ‘Industrial Flex Space’ component (1,100 sqm). Hence the requested density upzone based on use is more in the neighbourhood of 485% over the maximum (of 1.0FSR) and not the 23% increase inferred in the report (over 5.0FSR).
A total of 352 housings units are proposed, with a total of 282 market (strata) units and 70 non-market (social housing) units. This would appear to meet the city’s goal of 20% social housing in terms of number of units for large developments (further details are needed to determine the ratio of the floor area of non-market to market units or to find the average unit size for social housing vs. market strata).
Those wishing to speak at the hearing can register by calling 604.829.4238 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The notice from the City of Vancouver is reproduced below: