Analysis/review of rezoning & developments in Norquay neighbourhood 2013-2016 (and implications for all of Vancouver)

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Here below are links to analysis entirely done by unpaid efforts of citizens at Eye on Norquay, summarizing  what changes and developments have been happening in the Norquay neighbourhood between 2013 (when City Hall adopted a plan and new zoning bylaws here) and today. People across the city might find it interesting to look at both the details and the context of what they did.

Why is this all important? Eye on Norquay states, surprisingly, that “The City of Vancouver failed to include in the Norquay Plan any mandate for formal review of the effects and consequences of the mass rezoning.” This is worth noting. Millions of dollars and many thousands of hours of public employees’ time, as well as similar numbers of hours of citizen time, are spent in planning and consultation processes for community plans and developments. Yet we see a pattern in Vancouver in which follow-up monitoring and analysis is lacking on plans, policies and specific developments. As a result, it currently falls upon unpaid volunteers to review the impacts of City decisions in any systematic, comprehensive way.

The Norquay neighbourhood of Vancouver runs along 1.3 kilometers of Kingsway between Gladstone Street and Killarney Street.” In many ways City Hall uses it is a testing ground for new policies and zoning. What happens to Norquay establishes further precedent for elsewhere in the city. After years of work and consultation (not all of it pretty), the City adopted then Norquay Plan in 2013.

Eye on Norquay, 30-May-2016 report, img_9261-640

An example of 19 photos in the review by Eye on Norquay. This one shows a cluster of houses under new zoning

Here is an excerpt of the commentary by Eye on Norquay, indicating the main conclusions of the review. For the full text and all the photos, please visit the links indicated above. It is nice to see that some of the comments are rather positive.

Commentary [excerpt from Eye on Norquay]

1.  The restricted locations for small houses built on standard lots (corner sites, sites that abut a school or park, or double-fronting sites) appear to work well. These locations feel much more “open” than mid-block locations do.

2.  The small house/duplex developments at Killarney Street and East 41st Avenue are well located on a fairly isolated corner. They are bordered on three sides by a school, a park, and East 41st Avenue.

3.  The palette of colours for building exteriors in several developments (dark green, cherry red, blue, yellow) is a welcome change from the standard neutral shades used in most new construction.

4.  Some of the large duplexes appear massive, especially where they are built on upward sloping sites (e.g. those on the east side of Dundee Street). The base grade on these sites is well above the street.

5.  The two sites where two small houses have been built on a single large lot behind a duplex appear very crowded. The 8-foot separation between the buildings leaves very little room for open space.


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