GWAC meeting to discuss rezoning proposal for 3 towers on Safeway site at Broadway & Commercial – 1780 East Broadway (Nov 4)

Rezoning app 1780 East Broaday COV imageLearn more about the proposal to put three towers on the site of the Safeway at 1780 East Broadway, at Commercial and Broadway.

Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) meeting
Monday, November 4, 2019, starting 7 pm
Learning Resources Centre (LRC), under the Britannia Library, 1661 Napier Street
Website – http://www.gwac.ca/news/safeway-site-3-tower-rezoning-review-at-november-4-2019-gwac-meeting

Among other things, the proposal is for three residential towers, ranging in height from 24 to 30 storeys above the retail plinth. This application is being considered under the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan. The proponent is architectural firm Perkins and Will, acting on behalf of developer Westbank (CEO Ian Gillespie) and landowner Crombie REIT.

The GWAC meeting will examine this rezoning application in detail. Guest speakers will provide an overview of the application as well as information about the plan and context. This is not the first proposal for towers around Commercial and Broadway, a former GWAC board member will provide an overview of a previous tower proposal that did not go ahead. As well, guest speakers from the Norquay community will discuss the three tower rezoning at 2220 Kingsway and how this related to their local neighbourhood plan.

The City of Vancouver received the rezoning application for the Safeway site on June 12, 2019; it was recently made public.

The City’s rezoning application webpage contains further links on the proposal, including a link to provide public input:
http://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1780ebroadway/index.htm

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Rezoning applications snapshot 1-Nov-2019

For an explanation of our monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Rezoning Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website. The list contains valuable information on each application, and indicates scheduled “open houses” and Public Hearings. Spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested.

A tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two handy online maps (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications): https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/

Download the full list of rezoning applications we created in PDF format:
CoV rezoning applications snapshot 1-Nov-2019

For a current list of applications, click: vancouver.ca/rezapps/.

Below is the list as of 1-Nov-2019 Continue reading

Development applications snapshot 1-Nov-2019

For an explanation of our monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a separate monthly snapshot of the Rezoning Applications and Development Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website. The rezoning list contains valuable information on each application, and indicates scheduled “open houses” and Public Hearings. The development list shows applications currently in progress as well as upcoming Development Permit Board meetings. Spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested.

A tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two handy online maps (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications):  https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/

Download the full list of development applications we created in PDF format:
CoV development applications snapshot 1-Nov-2019

For a current list of applications, click: vancouver.ca/devapps/.

Below is the list as of 1-Nov-2019. Continue reading

Crucial topics at City Council this week: Procedures Bylaw (democracy), city auditor general (democracy), Broadway planning, St Pauls Hospital move to False Creek hazard zone, Oppenheimer Park, character homes, etc.

Captain Vancouver

George Vancouver statue,  Vancouver City Hall

Vancouver City Council has a big week of important meetingscoming up, with three key meetings, the first starting the day after the October 21 federal election.

 

Some of the Council’s discussions and decisions this week will have major impacts on the future shape of our city, and indeed, upon how the democratic system works here. Below are a few excerpts of the agendas, with comments.

We encourage citizens to have a look, spread the word, and to write or speak to Council if you have comments for them. The Council agenda web page tells you how. Or you could write to Mayor and Council individually at addresses shown here.

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Regular Council agenda
October 22, 2019 (Tues), starting 9:30 am
Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20191022/regu20191022ag.htm

Some items:

Broadway Plan – Phase 1 Engagement and Proposed Guiding Principles
Due to time constraints, at the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meeting on October 2, 2019, Council referred the above-noted report to the Regular Council meeting on October 22, 2019, as Unfinished Business. Continue reading

Rezoning applications snapshot 4-Oct-2019

For an explanation of our monthly snapshots please visit this page:
https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/city-hall/snapshots-rezoning-development-applications/

As a free public service CityHallWatch takes a monthly snapshot of the Rezoning Applications listed on the City of Vancouver website. The list contains valuable information on each application, and indicates scheduled “open houses” and Public Hearings. Spread the word to anyone who might be affected or interested.

A tech-savvy citizen is voluntarily producing two handy online maps (click bottom right to switch between rezoning and development applications): https://vancouverapps-fa328.firebaseapp.com/

Download the full list of rezoning applications we created in PDF format:
CoV rezoning applications snapshot 4-Oct-2019

For a current list of applications, click: vancouver.ca/rezapps/.

Below is the list as of 4-Oct-2019 Continue reading

Coalition reminds Council on Broadway Plan: Kits & West Point Grey planning to be part of city-wide process, NOT the “Corridor Plan”

(Updated – note that this topic has been Referred to 22-Oct-2019. So concerned parties have time to sign up to write  to Council, though no additional speakers can sign up.) This a significant topic that goes before Vancouver City Council today. We have obtained a copy of a letter from the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) to Council, the text of which is shared below, with bold text to highlight some points.

CVN points out that the current document by staff is not consistent with previous decisions by Council. CVN is calling for “neighbourhood-based planning processes” and is “hopeful that the community’s requests are implemented rather than a transit corridor land use planning processes.” Their intent is that the Broadway Plan principles not be approved at all, and instead the City should use the City-wide Plan for all the areas, including the Broadway Plan Study Area and the “area west of Vine.”

Broadway Plan Study Area report to Council 2-Oct-2019 p3

Map from “Broadway Plan” staff report to Council. See explanation about “wiggle words” further below.

“Broadway Plan – Phase 1 Engagement and Proposed Guiding Principles”
Report: https://council.vancouver.ca/20191002/documents/cfsc2.pdf .
Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20191002/cfsc20191002ag.htm

TEXT OF CVN letter to Vancouver City Council, 2-Oct-2019, Re: Broadway Plan – Phase 1 Engagement and Proposed Guiding Principles:

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is opposed to the proposed Broadway Plan principles.

As we have stated previously, we support neighbourhood-based land use planning processes through the City-wide Plan, not corridor-based planning. The current proposal for the Broadway Plan doesn’t meet that criteria.

We also previously raised concerns about the phase 2 extension to UBC should be planned through the City-wide Plan not the Broadway Plan, but in this report it includes the area covering Kitsilano and West Point Grey as part of the Broadway Plan.

This is in conflict with previous reports on the interim rezoning policy so we do not support this.

We continue to advocate for collaborative neighbourhood-based planning processes and are hopeful that the community’s requests are implemented rather than a transit corridor land use planning processes.

Please do not approve this planning principles and instead refer this to the City-wide Plan through neighbourhood-based processes, and not through the Broadway Plan corridor process.

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Commentary by CityHallWatch

The contention here centers around fundamental planning principles. CVN is calling for “neighbourhood-based planning processes” while some voices (e.g., planners) want a “transit corridor land use planning process.” These are fundamentally very different, and would lead to very different consultation processes, opportunities for public input, accountability, and the future physical and social design of these areas. Continue reading

Protest on Prior: Residents demand traffic calming as staff report goes to City Council

(Update – Council approved of this report, with amendments. Please refer to the meeting minutes for details.)

Vancouver City Council may decide on the East False Creeks arterial route on Wednesday, October 2nd. A staff report was presented to Council on October 1st (agenda page here). On the morning September 30th, a demonstration took place on Prior and Hawks. Residents rallied and called on the City to respect past commitments to traffic calming for Prior Street and also to respect the recommendation by the Community Panel on the preferred arterial route.

City staff have recommended an option that was not endorsed by the Community Panel process (namely, a 4-lane underpass beneath the railway tracks at Glen Drive and Prior Street). Photos of the demonstration are included below:

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One way that the City could have tried to calm Prior would have been to put forward a proposal that would only allow for two lanes of traffic in the underpass (one lane in each direction). Such a move could have also facilitated a host of other traffic calming measures such as on street parking on both sides and curb bulges (modified illustration below).

One of the difficulties with an underpass that’s so close to sea level is ground water. It could flood frequently during storms. The staff report only mentions flooding once, as highlighted below.

A few open questions: Why did the City initiate a Community Panel and engage a group of dedicated volunteers to come up with a recommended False Creek Flats Arterial route when staff put forward their own recommendation instead? Does the City of Vancouver intend to keep Prior Street a major arterial for the foreseeable future?