CCAN concerned about land assembly, clear-cutting of green oasis for housing proposal (Commercial & 18th – Cedar Cottage)

3365 Commercial context plan 3365 Commercial site map(We are sharing this media release as a public service. This is another project made possible by Rental 100 policies. Updated with media links below.)

Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours (CCAN) http://ccan2013.ca/

MEDIA RELEASE: May 6, 2015

CCAN concerned about land assembly, clear-cutting of green oasis for housing proposal [Commercial and 18th]

(Vancouver) Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours (CCAN) is raising alarm bells about a proposed rezoning that exposes a potential conflict between some of The City of Vancouver’s most high profile policies. A proposed 112-unit development at 18th and Commercial, if approved, would reward speculative land assembly, result in the clear-cutting of dozens of large mature trees on a 33,730 square foot site, and make significant changes to the character of the neighbourhood. Developer Cressey proposes to amalgamate five single-family residential lots at 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695, 1707, 1733 and 1775 East 18th Avenue.  One of these is owned by the City.

CCAN’s Lesley McLean says, “The proposed development is not compatible with the surrounding small single-family houses in this RS zone.  It doesn’t reflect the character of the neighbourhood.”

CCAN wants to encourage rental housing for families that provides livable space and conserves the local environment — by reducing the size of the development to keep more trees and wildlife habitat. Land assemblies this large in single family areas should be discouraged.

Regarding the lot that belongs to the City, Planner Yardley McNeill, told a CCAN delegation the City has been in negotiations to sell this lot to the developer.  That lot is a pristine oasis of nature that has never been developed and has an ancient creek bed on it. CCAN members want this lot to remain the property of the City for future generations to enjoy, and not be paved over by a parking ramp.

FAST FACTS

  • The site has 46 large trees and several smaller trees. To local residents it provides immense benefits to the Cedar Cottage neighbourhood as part of the green infrastructure.
  • CCAN feels that the deforestation in this proposal contradicts goals of the City’s Urban Forest Strategy Action and Vancouver Bird Strategy. The proposed tree retention plan would conserve only five mature trees.
  • The rezoning is being considered under the Interim Rezoning Policy. It would create 112 “secured market rental” units, many under 450 sq ft. These will be in two block shaped buildings of 4 and 6 storeys on 5 amalgamated lots, surrounded by single-family houses. The large size of the buildings and associated parking needed for it means that the majority of the trees are either in conflict with the building envelopes or the parking ramp. Cedar Cottage already has two “secured market rental” projects within a ten block radius of this proposal. This project would bring much higher density without associated community amenity fees or development levies for infrastructure.
  • The proposal is to increase density from .60 to 2.85 Floor Space Ratio.
  • This is in a pre 1940’s single family area.
  • The Open House proposed for this project is on May 21, 5 to 8 pm at the Croatian Community Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive. Official info:
    http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/3365commercial/index.htm
  • Provide comments to City of Vancouver by filling out online feedback form.

REFERENCES

  • The City’s April 16, 2014 report on the Urban Forest Strategy Action, says: “It is well known that mature large stature trees provide distinctive neighbourhood identity, increased real estate values and a broad spectrum of quantifiable environmental goods and services. Mature tree removals are often neighbourhood-sensitive. Replacement trees are valuable but they do not substitute for the benefits of mature healthy trees.”
  • The City’s Chief Planner has recently stated publicly that The City wishes to discourage land assembly and speculation. On April 23, 2015 Vancouver Sun (Barbara Yaffe) quotes Chief City Planner, Brian Jackson saying that recent land assembly activity that has been accelerating amounts to property speculation. “It treats housing as a commodity as opposed to a place where people live. We want to discourage that.” CCAN says that approving this proposal would amount to a conflict between the City’s words and actions.

Contact: Email  ccan2013@shaw.ca, FaceBook  https://www.facebook.com/ccan2013, Twitter  https://twitter.com/CCAN2013

Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours (CCAN) is a non-profit coalition of neighbours who are striving to preserve the livability and unique character of this special community.

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MEDIA

SEE ALSO

What would you suggest for 18th and Commercial?

https://ccan2013.wordpress.com/what-would-you-suggest-for-18th-and-commercial/

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CONTENT FROM CITY OF VANCOUVER REZONING CENTRE

http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/3365commercial/index.htm

Rezoning Application, 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue

3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue  - Site Map
Click to view larger site map

The City of Vancouver has received an application to rezone the site at 3365 Commercial Drive and 1695-1775 East 18th Avenue from RS-2 (Single Family Dwelling) District to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District.  The rezoning will create two sub-areas, each with a separate and distinct development.

Sub-Area # 1 (Heritage Site) will contain a house (relocated from another portion of the site) and converted into two market residential units, plus three new townhomes in the rear of the lot. The house will be added to the Vancouver Heritage Register and secured with a Heritage Revitalization Agreement as protected heritage property. The proposed density for sub-area # 1 is 1.12 FSR and includes the following:

  • 5 market housing units (all three-bedroom);
  • maximum 9.41 m (30.1 ft.) building height;
  • combined floor area of 628.5 m² (6,675 sq. ft.); and
  • 10 underground parking spaces and 10 bicycle spaces.

Sub-Area # 2 (Rental Site) will contain secured market rental units in a variety of unit types and sizes. The proposed density for sub-area # 2 is 2.85 FSR and includes the following:

  • 112 secured market rental units (25 studios, 45 one-bedroom, 32 two-bedroom, and 10 three-bedroom);
  • maximum 18.3 m (60 ft.) building height;
  • floor area of 7,398 m² (79,638 sq. ft.); and
  • 64 underground parking spaces and 144 bicycle spaces.

This application is being considered under the Interim Rezoning Policy for Increasing Affordable Housing Choices and the Heritage Policies and Guidelines.

You can provide comments by filling out our online feedback form.

Application (March 12, 2015)

NOTE: These documents mistakenly refer to the Rental 100 policy. The proposal is being considered under the Interim Rezoning Policy for Increasing Affordable Housing Choices. Additional documents regarding Sub-Area #1 (Heritage Site) were added on March 27, 2015.

Links

VanMap View View the location using VanMap ( What is VanMap? )

To view additional plans please make an appointment with the rezoning planner.

City Contact: Yardley McNeill, Rezoning Planner,yardley.mcneill@vancouver.ca, 604.873.7582

Applicant Contact: Nathan Gurvich, Cressey Development,nathangurvich@cressey.com, 604.683.1256

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