Six reasons to reject Westbank rezoning at 3701-3743 W. Broadway (& Alma): Christina DeMarco (former senior planner). Public Hearing Oct 27.

3701-3743 West Broadway at Alma, Westbank Projects Corp., Oct 2020. Image provided by Westbank, not to scale.

Below is a presentation for the Public Hearing slated for Tuesday, October 27, 2020 (official Public Hearing link here) item 7, an application by Westbank Projects Corp., to rezone the site at 3701-3743 West Broadway (at Alma) to a 14-storey tower. See our recent posts on that here (“Controversy“) and here (“windfall profits“).

This presentation is posted on the City website as public input to City Council, prepared by Christina DeMarco, former senior planner for City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver (GVRD). We re-post it here, with permission.

3701_3743 West Broadway at Alma Rezoning Oct 27 2020 DeMarco

Click to access 3701_3743-west-broadway-at-alma-rezoning-oct-27-2020-demarco.pdf

 

TEXT VERSION

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CD-1 Rezoning: 3701-3743 West Broadway Public Hearing: October 27, 2020
by Christina DeMarco, neighbourhood resident

Subject site

CD-1 Rezoning: 3701-3743 West Broadway Public Hearing: October 27, 2020


1) What is being proposed?
2) Does proposed development follow the City’s MIRHPP guidelines?
3) Area Plan is long overdue
4) What’s wrong with the MIRHPP pilot idea?
5) 6 reasons why this application should be turned down
6) What is the solution?

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What is being proposed? A building almost 4 times height and 64,300 sq ft larger than C2 zone permits

 

Existing C2 Zone

Proposed Building

Maximum Height

45 feet

172.6 feet (almost 4 times allowable height)

No of storeys

4

14 (+ 10 storeys)

FSR

2.5 FSR

5.27 FSR (bonus density of 64,300

square feet)

Public Benefit

 

32 units of secured moderate income rental units with a total area of 22,400 square feet, 129 units of secured market rental

 

 

 


Note to Table: Part of the proposed site is RS-1 with a density of 0.7 FSR. For simplicity, these calculations assume the whole site is C2 so bonus density is actually greater than shown.

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Source: City Referral Report, page 9

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MIRHPP Guidelines Not Followed


Source: Westbank rezoning application: Broadway west of Alma is a residential street

MIRHPP guidelines for additional height and density (3g) state up to 14 storeys at the intersection of 2 arterials.
Does this look like an arterial? It is not- West Broadway arterial terminates at Alma then arterial corridor jogs over to 10th Avenue.

The guideline of locations at the intersection of arterials is based on:
a) Superior transit access which it has
b) Two wide, busy streets creating a buffer from impact of density and shadowing- in this case south elevation is not on an arterial but a quiet, 2 lane residential street
c) Continuity and presence of commercial areas- commercial areas do not extend to the west or north from the subject C-2 site

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MIRHPP Guidelines Not Followed

South elevation on West Broadway residential street, west of Alma. Note: single detached homes to the west. Source: Westbank rezoning application, elevation is to scale.

MIRHPP guidelines state project must consider and respect transitions to surrounding areas and homes and neighbourhood context is important
• Badly out of scale in relation to all surrounding uses
• Serious shadow/overlooking impacts
• Proposal is almost 4 times the height of
recently constructed buildings in C2 zone
• Referral Report cites the one example of a 1970s 12 storey building a couple of blocks north. That building is much lower density given very large gardens and recreation facilities surrounding it.

**********

Area Planning Work Needs to be Done


• This is an important regional transit corridor and deserves planning attention now
• Referral report justifies massive density uplift on basis of potential future SkyTrain station- it is unprecedented to proceed with isolated projects before station plans are in place.
• Neighbourhood Plan promised from West Point Grey Community Vision in 2010 but not yet initiated
• There are 6 major C-2 sites in the immediate area that need comprehensive planning – a
station area plan is needed now regardless of timing of future transit
• C-2 Secured Rental Policy not yet complete
• Area planning should take into consideration Jericho Lands process
• Area plan needs to identify opportunities for increased density and mix of housing types, market and non-market housing, location and amount of commercial space, public realm (including pleasant public spaces), repurposing of City land, location of services such as day care, improved transit stops and bike storage, efficient bus circulation etc.

**********

The City of Vancouver’s Regional Context Statement identifies Broadway/10th Avenue as a future Frequent Transit Development Area and states land use plans will be prepared for the entire corridor. It is already a frequent transit corridor and a station area and needs a plan now.

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Why MIRHPPS are not really Pilot Projects

• “The purpose of the pilot is to test the level of interest from the development industry and demonstrate financial and operational feasibility of these projects in different parts of the city, including the level of affordability which can be achieved.” ( City Referral Report page 5)
Response:
• An actual rezoning proposal/public hearing is not needed to demonstrate financial and operational feasibility or level of affordability- a developer’s pro forma is sufficient.

What is really being piloted?
1. How much bonus density can be loaded on the project and how upset will it make the neighbourhood bearing the negative externalities?
2. Trying to do city-building without current plans and with disregard to past plans, zoning schedules, and
design guidelines.

**********

6 reasons why this application should be turned down

1. Project does not conform to City policy- contradicts MIRHPP guidelines
2. It is a serious case of over-building with impacts on existing renters, homeowners, and businesses
3. Public costs outweigh public benefits
4. There are 6 major C-2 sites in the immediate area that need planning – an area plan is needed now regardless of timing of future transit line
5. Spot rezonings damage neighbourhood trust/engagement in civic issues and undermine future planning
6. There are alternatives: each major site can deliver a moderate amount of
secured social housing at a scale compatible to the neighbourhood

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What is the Solution?

• Invite Westbank to build their first rental housing rezoning proposal for this site (see next slide) of 99 secured market rental units, 59 are studio units which will attract lower rents.
(This hopefully will not interfere with most future planning options for the area. It also appears to conform to emerging C-2 Policy for 6 storey secured rental)

• Initiate an area plan now, with a neighbourhood engagement process and in the context of directions from Vancouver Plan

*************

Reconsider this Previous 2015 Rezoning Aptllication – 3701-3743 West Broadway (Alma St .)
Above previous 2015 rezoning application (currently on hold) of 6 storeys 100% secured rental should be reconsidered as a better fit for the site.

Prior rezoning application:
94 secured rnarket rental units;
59 studios, 1 one-bed room, 33 two-bedroons,1 three-bedroom
7,190 SF of retail space
A total density of 3.15 FSR;
A building height of 64 ft; and
99 parking spaces.

Alma and Broadway rezoning (Public Hearing Oct 28): Financial analysis shows windfall profits for developer (Westbank)

3701-3743 West Broadway at Alma, Westbank Projects Corp., Public Hearing 27-Oct-2020

Here we go with a deep dive into the numbers behind the rental incentive pilot program name MIRHPP (introduced by the previous City Council but still being implemented), and yet another controversial rezoning application by Westbank Projects Corp (CEO Ian Gillespie).

This analysis is in a letter sent from a person with a lifetime of experience in the banking industry to Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors prior to the Public Hearing slated for Tuesday. For background, please refer to our recent post “Controversy: Public Hearing 27-Oct-2020 (Tues) for 172 foot Westbank tower at 3701-3743 West Broadway (corner of Broadway & Alma).” We copy the content below, with permission.

At this point CityHallWatch wishes to make the point that our elected officials on City Council have a fiduciary duty to look after the finances of our municipal government with due care and attention. They are also not bound by the decisions, policies and programs of a previous Council, including the MIRPP pilot program. After a careful read and armed with this analysis, perhaps it is time to pause and even cancel MIRHPP.

To get the bottom line, the Overview section at the very start is a good summary of the main points. Key words: “Windfall” profits through taxpayer subsidies. This letter focuses on one rezoning coming up on October 27, but also raises much deeper and broader issues of the City’s developer incentive programs and housing policies that deserve future in-depth review.

With this post, Mayor and Council will also now know that the public knows that the Mayor and Council know the information provided in this letter.

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October 23, 2020

Dear Mayor Stewart and Councillors:

Re: Alma and Broadway Rezoning – Financial Analysis Shows Windfall Profits for Developer

I am writing to oppose the proposed rezoning of 3701 – 3743 West Broadway, which is coming forward under the Moderate Rental Income Housing Pilot Program (“MIRHPP”).

Overview

This MIRHPP project, as is typical of the MIRHP Program in general, delivers mainly expensive market rental suites (see “Market Rents Upon Completion” below) with only a few “moderately affordable” units. The program provides a significant subsidy (see “Cost of MIRHPP Subsidies” below) through the waiver of development fees (DCLs and CACs) for this project. In this instance the MIRHP Program is also being used to justify an huge density and height bonus, which creates an out-of-scale precedent for the surrounding area. The low cost base for land, which was acquired in 2011, means the developer gets “windfall” profits through the taxpayers’ subsidies (see “Delivery of Low Cost Housing Projects” below); that low cost base does not justify the project’s large scale of 14 storeys, or the resultant run up in land values and development pressure in the surrounding area.

In addition, the staff-recommended parking relaxation of only 27 parking stalls being provided for 161 units – of which 80% are market rentals – is a further developer subsidy.

The original Rental 100 application for 6 storeys of 94 secured rentals with 99 parking spaces would still provide a large developer profit, without as much impact on unaffordability and displacement in the surrounding area.

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Controversy: Public Hearing 27-Oct-2020 (Tues) for 172 foot Westbank tower at 3701-3743 West Broadway (corner of Broadway & Alma)

Artist’s impression of 14 storey tower proposed for 3701-3743 West Broadway at Alma, Westbank Projects Corp. Note – promotional image, not to scale, and at 172 feet, equivalent to a typical 17 storeys, Oct 2020

As we’ve noted previously a controversial tower goes to a Public Hearing as Item 7 of a packed agenda on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. This is yet another precedent-setting blockbuster proposal by Westbank Projects Corp (CEO Ian Gillespie). Due to the packed agenda, this item may be pushed to a reserve date, likely to be during the daytime on a weekday.

Public Hearing page, with instructions on how to write or speak to City Council and listen to the (virtual) meeting: 
https://council.vancouver.ca/20201027/phea20201027ag.htm

City’s Rezoning page, with full set of rezoning papers:
https://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/3701-3743wbroadway/

The West Point Grey Residents Association (WPGRA) has followed this application as it evolved over the past few years, and here is their latest letter to City Council for this Public Hearing opposing the project. It is extensively researched and raise many key issues. Link: https://wpgra.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/wpgra-broadway-alma-hearing-oct.19-2020-v1.pdf

The group has been collecting signatures on a petition, now over 3,400 opposed to the rezoning, and they welcome more. The petition makes many valid points. Link: https://www.change.org/p/city-of-vancouver-officials-no-tower-alma-broadway-8a0720b9-c539-4a06-9f05-012b581f259d

Its main point is as follows: “This petition requests that the City of Vancouver does not approve a tower for this site and
instead keeps development within human scale, below the tree canopy and within the character of the existing local community. This commercial mixed-use site should remain within existing zoning of 4 storeys, or at the most, not go higher than the 6 storeys as an incentive for 100% rentals that the developer originally proposed.” 

The current rezoning application of 172 feet would have 14 storeys, a floor space ratio (FSR) of 5.3, and provide 153 secured rental units. We note that the general rule for towers is about 10 feet per floor, so this 172 feet is actually what people would usually recognize as the equivalent of seventeen (17) storeys in height.

Westbank’s image for six-storeys at Broadway and Alma, from the 2015 rezoning application, currently on hold

If City Council rejects this application due to its controversy and strong public opposition, the privately-owned Westbank might make less profit, but CEO Ian Gillespie could easily revive his original rezoning application for six storeys (image on right and below), which was already well underway in 2015 before the Vision Vancouver-dominated City Council introduced the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPP) program which provides attractive incentives to developers, after which Gillespie put that application on hold to aim for a much taller (nearly three times the height) and much more profitable building. The 2015 design would provide 94 units of secured rental housing (versus 153 in the current proposal). It appears that for a difference of 59 units, the six-storey option would be much less disruptive and much more palatable for the community. It is the task of our elected officials to judge the tradeoffs. 

Here is a summary of some of the many issues articulated by WPGRA: Continue reading

Fire in the Heritage Heart of Mount Pleasant

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A fire broke out in the Heritage Heart of Mount Pleasant on the morning of October 22nd. The fire appears to have started at 2470 Main Street (Frenchies Diner) and it has engulfed part of the building to the north. We’ve included several photos of the fire crews at work at Main and Broadway, with the location of the fire across the street from the Lee Building.

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Mandatory Mask Motion and Veterans’ Parking Removal Items up today at Council (Thursday, Oct 22nd)

Protest at City Hall on Oct 20th before the introduction of motion to make masks mandatory in civic facilities. Speakers will be heard on Oct 22nd

Four items are scheduled for the Council Committee on Thursday, October 22nd. These items include a report that recommends the removal of free on street parking for veterans and a motion on notice by Councillor Kirby-Yung to make wearing masks mandatory inside civic facilities. [Updates: Council overturned staff recommendations and instead went ahead with a one-year pilot project for free Veterans Parking. The compulsory mask motion was amended so it was ‘highly encouraged’ to wear masks at civic facilities, and thus wearing masks won’t be mandatory for now.]

City Council will consider the contentious recommendations surrounding year-round free parking for Veterans and for current serving Members of the Forces. It’s worth noting that staff are making the opposite recommendations to what Council instructed them to do. The staff report seeks Council approval to no longer grant free parking to veterans and to also ask Park Board to do the same. The report also proposes to remove free parking for Veterans in the week leading up to Remembrance Day, but to keep the free parking on Remembrance Day only.

There’s further detail about this motion in the following article in the National Post:  Revoke parking privileges for veterans because they ‘incentivize driving,’ Vancouver council report advises (Tyler Dawson, Oct 22).

Councillor Kirby-Yung has promoted her motion on notice for mandatory masks in civic facilities on Twitter. She cites advice from some of B.C.’s top doctors supporting her motion:

It’s unclear what the exact extent of the motion will be, and if it will apply to all City Hall workers at all times who are working in offices and other indoor facilities (vs. applying only to members of the public). There’s no firm time limit set in the motion (such as the B.C. State of Emergency), but rather the motion is vague in the specification of the duration of the pandemic response. Exemptions for children under 5 and people with underlying medical conditions would be granted. The City would fund and work with non-profits to provide masks for people who cannot afford them. If the motion is approved, then the City would request that the Park Board, VPL, PNE and Civic Theatres Boards also follow with similar policies.

Freedom March attended by thousands. Events were held on Oct 17th and 18th in downtown Vancouver (rally at the Art Gallery)

The Green Party of Vancouver opposed the ‘Freedom Rally’ and marches in a press release and on Twitter and was very critical of people opposing mandatory masks. The Vancouver Greens accused them of putting the health and safety of people at risk:

A protest against mandatory masks was held at City Hall on October 20th, prior to the introduction of the motion. An interview with one of the organizers of the protest, a Hugs over Masks spokesperson, can be found at this link. There were concerns raised that this motion could be a slippery slope as on the fly amendments could make the measures far more restrictive (for example, to require face masks to be worn at all times on all city streets and sidewalks). Other jurisdictions have imposed curfews, movement restrictions and have imposed widespread closures of businesses. Opponents to the mandatory mask motion pointed out that the changes are incremental; first it was two weeks to flatten the curve in March, and now it’s 7 months later (the goalposts keep moving and there have been widespread economic impacts resulting from the restrictions). Public health authority guidance on mandatory masks has flip-flopped and there are concerns over the effectiveness and proper use of non-surgical masks by the general public.

It’s worth noting that City Councillors will be debating this motion from the comfort of their own homes, without providing a video link for the public. Other municipalities have working video links of Council Meetings (and even Park Board has live video of their meetings). Some municipal councils in Metro Vancouver, such as Port Moody, are actually meeting again in person with proper distancing protocols in place. How will City Council decide to walk the fine line between responding to the advice of the province’s Chief Medical Officer to protect the general public and with the concerns over economic hardship, government overreach and civil liberties? Stay tuned.

Freedom Rally (Oct 17, Oct 18th) and protest at City Hall (Oct 20):

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A win for democracy: Council to stop scheduling reconvened daytime public hearings in 2021 as amendment narrowly passes

Vancouver City Council Public Hearing

(Update 2) An amendment to halt the practice of scheduling parts of Public Hearings during the daytime on weekdays narrowly passed at City Council on October 20, 2020. An extra change could reduce the practice of cramming many rezonings into June and July. The proposed 2021 Council Meeting Schedule was released as part of the meeting agenda. A key point here is that the scheduling of all meetings is prepared by staff and then approved by City Council. During discussions in this case, Councillor Hardwick brought forward an amendment to the meeting schedule and then Councillor Bligh further refined it.

In a nutshell, this outcome by Council vote will stop the practice of allowing parts of a Public Hearing to be held during normal working hours in 2021. We believe this will make it more accessible for people to participate in the process. As well, there’s an attempt to more evenly distribute the Public Hearings throughout the Council year to try to prevent a raft of items to be scheduled for July when more people might be on vacation. Here’s the exact wording of the amendment that will was passed:

  • THAT council direct staff to reconvene public hearings no earlier than 6 pm on days Monday to Thursday inclusive and
  • FURTHER THAT public hearings are evenly distributed month to month throughout the year as much as possible

The previous three Council terms, under the Vision Vancouver majority led by Gregor Robertson, stopped the standard practice of holding Public Hearings in the evenings. While daytime may be convenient for some people, generally, it is the evenings when more people are able to participate in a Public Hearing. Also, if a Public Hearing begins one night and not all of the speakers are heard and/or not all of the items are covered, then it will continue (‘reconvene’) at a later date. For example, the controversial rezoning proposal for a 28-storey tower at 2538 Birch Street (and Broadway) began at 6 pm on Thursday, July 9, 2020. This meeting was reconvened on the following morning at July 10, 2020 at 9:30 am to hear from the remaining speakers.

It has been our observation countless times that this scheduling practice, once it was instituted by Vision Vancouver, has allowed staff to exhaust the speakers’ list. Registered speakers are just skipped over if they cannot speak during working hours (for example, if they’re at work). We believe it was an undemocratic practice, as holding a public hearing during working hours prevents people from participating in the process.

For years, we have witnessed a rush of public hearing dates being scheduled for June and July each year, when people are away for summer break or paying less attention to City Hall. It used to be common practice to avoid public hearings in those months, but these days it seems staff preferred to schedule the most controversial ones in the summer. This was likely the point of the second part of the amendment.

Below is a screenshot of the final votes on the amendment, with five in favour. Recorded in opposition are Mayor Stewart and Councillors Boyle, Carr, Fry and Wiebe. Councillor Swanson’s vote counts as one in favour according to the meeting rules, making the total six to five. The final result has at last reversed Vision Vancouver’s practice of holding Public Hearings during normal working hours.

This is just one example of how a decade of Vision’s ways of doing things became deeply ingrained and gained inertia in the internal policies and processes at Vancouver City Hall. We hope that the current Council will continue to keep their eyes open for other examples that need fixing.

Even with the above amendments, the 2021 schedule was adopted as proposed. You can see a heavy load of Public Hearing dates for June and July 2021. It will be up to Council and the public to scrutinize how staff implement the Council amendments when it comes to scheduling of actual agendas in 2021.

Another thing we have noticed is that City staff have sometimes put several controversial items onto a single Public Hearing agenda, creating a situation in which it is unrealistic to complete all the items. The predictable result is that in many cases the Public Hearing will need to be reconvened at least once. A case in point is the Public Hearing scheduled for next Tuesday, October 27, 2020. The agenda contains seven (7) items, including the last item, a rezoning at 3701-3743 West Broadway (a proposed 14-storey tower by Westbank Projects Corp. at Broadway and Alma), which really should be the only item on another date (until the amendment kicks in in 2021, subsequent days for reconvening can still be during working hours this year). As well, if a Public Hearing starts at 6 pm on one night, and it is reconvened immediately the following morning at 9:30 am, it provides very little time for the members of the public to respond to and analyze statements and assertions made by staff during the staff presentation and their Q&A to Council (as was the case for 2538 Birch). Continue reading

Council preview Oct 20-22: Yaletown Safe Injection Site, Bus Barns redevelopment, Mandatory Face Masks at Civic Facilities, Accessible Cannabis in DTES, Veterans’ Parking, Climate Change Adaptation and more

Vancouver City Council will hold three meetings in the upcoming week, beginning with a Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, October 20th. A controversial proposal to open a Safe Injection Site at 1101 Seymour Street in Yaletown will be debated. A total of 115 speakers had previously signed up for the item and the speakers were heard back on October 13th (see this link for our recap of that meeting).

The preliminary 2021 Council Meeting agenda was published in a memo and it appears that this Council plans to continue with the practice of allowing Public Hearings to be held during working hours on weekdays when Public Hearings reconvene. Will City Councillors hold the 2021 meeting schedule item for debate, or will it just be adopted on consent?

Sea level rise markers

Council will receive an update on the City’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy; the staff presentation and update have not yet been posted online. However, there is a detailed webpage on the City’s site about projected climate change impacts and City staff identify areas that will be in need of adaptation leading to 2050 and beyond (for example, sea level rise, drier summers).

A report to consider Cannabis as a Alternative to Opiates and More Dangerous Drugs in the Downtown Eastside will seek to loosen the City’s cannabis regulations in this part of the City. The report recommends changes “to provide regulatory options and potential pathways to enable low-cost, legal cannabis options for the Downtown Eastside”.

Four referral reports are on the agenda, including the referral of the former Oakridge Transit Centre at 949 West 41st Avenue to a future Public Hearing. This massive rezoning would include 17 buildings that have heights of up to 26 storeys. A total of 1,120 market residential units, 300 social housing units, 180 market rental units, a childcare facility and a 2.34 acre park are included in the proposed design. Further information on this proposal can be found on the City’s Rezoning Centre.

The referral report for 43 market rental units in a 6-storey building at 1265-1281 Kingsway will also be considered. A significant number of rezoning applications that have full Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) waivers have recently been approved along Kingsway. There’s a potential that parts of the City near and along Kingsway will be amenity poor as more of these projects begin to come online without additional supports from the City.

There are two Council Members’ Motions. Councillor Fry will introduce a motion to replace gendered and patriarchal language in the Vancouver Charter. The Charter that was passed by the Legislature in 1953 contains language that is patriarchal and gender specific (pronouns and nouns such as he / his / Chairman). More information on the City’s governing document can be found in our previous post, Vancouver Charter: rules of the game.

Councillor Kirby-Jung will introduce a Mandatory Mask Policy at Vancouver Civic Facilities motion. Councillor Kirby-Jung has promoted her motion on twitter:

The motion has received attention from people who oppose mandatory face masks. A protest is planned for Tuesday morning to start at 8am at City Hall. The following sign is from the B.C. Freedom Mega Rally at the Art Gallery that was attended by thousands over the past weekend (October 17-18):

Speakers to these motions will be heard at a subsequent committee meeting, if Council decides to refer the items. Interested speakers, however, must sign up before 8:30am on Tuesday to get on the speakers list. [Update: as expected, this item has been referred to the Committee meeting on Thursday, October 22nd to hear from speakers]

On Wednesday, October 21st, City Council is reconvening the meeting that began on October 6th. Council will deal with Unfinished Business regarding Expanding Mental Health Resources for the Kettle Society in Grandview-Woodland. As well, the report on the 2020 Animal Welfare Grant will be reviewed and the DTES Plan Implementation Grant Allocation 2020 will be considered by Council.

Victory Square

The Council Committee meeting for Thursday, October 22nd will consider the contentious recommendations surrounding year-round free parking for Veterans and for current serving Members of the Forces. The staff report seeks Council approval to no longer grant free parking to veterans and to also ask Park Board to do the same. The report also proposes to remove free parking for Veterans in the week leading up to Remembrance Day. Another report to look at Employment Lands from the Vancouver Plan perspective will be presented. Interested speakers must sign up by 8:30am on Thursday morning to get on the list of speakers.

Park Board is scheduled to meet on Monday, October 19th and the main item on the agenda is an update on the VanPlay Framework as well as the annual update on the implementation of VanPlay. This includes an inventory of the current parks and recreational centres, as well as the current capital plan delivery projects.

For reference, we’ve reproduced the meeting agendas below:

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Pop-up plazas. Should the City make these plazas permanent?

Pop-up plaza at Cambie and West 18th Avenue

Several pop-up plazas have been created in a handful of neighbourhoods across Vancouver since June of 2020. Should the City strive to make some or all of these plazas permanent? The City is looking for feedback to help “determine whether any of these temporary plazas should remain in place after the recovery period.”

Further information on the pop-up plaza initiative can be found on the City’s website.The following survey is currently open until October 30th: Robson Street Sidewalk Widening and Plaza Pilot – Feedback Survey

Distribution of Pop-up plazas, linear pop-up plazas and pop-up parklets (Source: Google Maps & City of Vancouver)

Vancouver’s Hobbit House is for sale

The ‘Hobbit House’ (James Residence) at 587 West King Edward Avenue

Vancouver’s ‘Hobbit House’ is for sale. The property located at 587 West King Edward Avenue is officially known as the James Residence. This house was saved as part of a development that added 20 townhouses to the adjacent properties. For reference, we’ve included a few photos of the Heritage Designation plaque and of the area. The property is currently listed at $2,498,000. Continue reading