Controversial 105 Keefer (Chinatown) rezoning goes to public hearing (May 23, 25, 26, 29+): Beedie Group, 12-storeys

105-keefer-v5, credit changincitybook-com

105 Keefer proposed design. Does the developer’s image make building look smaller than it would really be?

[Mini-epilogue: Council finished the fourth day of the public hearing on Monday, May 29, 2017. Council is set to vote on this 105 Keefer rezoning application during a daytime regular council meeting on June 13.]

Updated: The first night saw 35 of over 220 registered speakers. The Public Hearing continued May 25 and May 26 and reconvene Monday, May 29/17 at 9:30 am, hearing speaker #171 of about 240 speakers. (A weekday morning public hearing is unusual, and makes it difficult for many people to attend.)

Public hearing info: http://council.vancouver.ca/20170523/phea20170523ag.htm

Live tweeters on #105keefer Monday morning and/or afternoon (May 29):
@melodyma
@kathleen__yang
@jhwfung
@fabulavancouver
@angelakmho
@chinatown_today
@ricepaperbird

Live tweeters #105keefer Friday night (May 26):
@melodyma
@amandawan
@jonesj
@_dbautista
@yskevinhuang
@jhwfung

Official updates @vancityclerk

Hashtag #105keefer

Recent news articles here, followed by our original post from before the first night of the hearing.

Heated battle over Chinatown’s future pours into council chambers (by John Mackie, Vancouver Sun, May 24, 2017): http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/heated-battle-over-chinatowns-future-pours-into-council-chambers. Excerpt: Shirley Chan gave an eloquent speech that related how her parents had led the fight to save Chinatown and Strathcona from a freeway in the 1960s and 70s. “Tragically it appears we’re back to square one, after two massive developments at the corner of Keefer and Main,” said Chan, arguing the new housing and businesses in the developments “lacked any meaningful link to Chinatown.” This was not what the Chinatown activists had envisioned when they worked with the city to revitalize the neighbourhood. “Our eyes were opened,” said Chan. “We realized that (the) zoning approved by city council was not designed to save Chinatown as we had foolishly thought, it was effectively designed to replace Chinatown as we knew it. “There were no incentives to keep the (heritage) buildings; in fact the incentive was to tear (them) down. (And) The preservation of character was not successful. We had lost the small storefronts, the mom and pop businesses, the pedestrian friendly streets — now they were shrouded in shadows.

Andy Yan: Where goes Chinatown, so goes the City of Vancouver (op ed by Andy Yan, Vancouver Sun, May 25, 2017): http://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/opinion-where-goes-chinatown-goes-the-city-of-vancouver. Excerpt: Historic zones like Chinatown and Gastown only constitute 0.4 per cent of the entire land mass of the city of Vancouver. This city is starving for a living common memory and a new development model to relieve this civic famine. … Additional profits from the increased height and density are privatized to the developer…. The developer still has a right to build, but the project’s insensitivity to architectural context and social crisis should not be supported by city council. … Rezoning with little regard to social, cultural and economic context and consequences should be rejected. Vancouver needs a new type of city building that celebrates and supports the diverse histories and communities that made this city great. This begins in Chinatown.

 *****

The hearing for the rezoning of 105 Keefer is restarting at Vancouver City Council Chambers and open for speakers at http://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/105keefer/index.htm. Alternatively, the public may submit written comments of 1,500 words or less by email to publichearing@vancouver.ca”

*****

Sparks are set to fly at a controversial public hearing scheduled for tonight, Tuesday, May 23 (with reserve night set for May 25 if time runs out). The proposal by Beedie Group and designed by Merrick Architecture is strongly opposed by the community.

Rezoning info (official City site): http://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/105keefer/index.htm
Public hearing info: http://council.vancouver.ca/20170523/phea20170523ag.htm

#SaveChinatownYVR is a campaign that aims to inform and activate citizens to take action for Vancouver’s Chinatown. https://savechinatownyvr.herokuapp.com/campaigns/oppose-105-keefer-rezoning

This is a complex case with many angles, but here are their top seven points:

  1. Taxpayers should not be funding a developer’s profits
  2. Unaffordable for locals
  3. Economic displacement
  4. Lack of design merit
  5. Inappropriate use of culturally sensitive site
  6. Height and mass unfit for area
  7. Rejected by community

MEDIA (original list from #SaveChinatownYVR group, with our additions at top)

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s