Public Hearing July 18 (resumes Tues/July 25): Items include 57-storey tower + First Baptist Church reno at 969 Burrard

969 Burrard First Baptist Westbank, elevations, application 2017 rev(Update: The Public Hearing resumes 6 pm on Tuesday, July 25, with staff responses to some questions, and then speaker #9 of about 35 registered speakers.)

A public hearing is scheduled for tonight (Tuesday, July 18, 2017) at Vancouver City Hall. The first two items are “2423 Cornwall Avenue” (to amend CD-1 (657) District for Point Grey Private Hospital to increase the floor space ratio from 2.08 to 2.40), and “New Sign By-law and Sign Fee By-law” (to adopt two bylaws focused on “business identification signage to simplify and clarify sign regulations to reflect best practices, to reduce appeals for hardship and to be reformatted to be more efficient and user friendly; and to direct staff to develop and undertake an education and enforcement campaign with the
implementation of the new by-law). The Sign By-Law topic deserves some public analysis. We have covered cases in the past in which outright violations of the sign bylaw by major developer have been ignored or had delayed enforcement of many weeks (click for one example by Wesgroup).

The hottest item on today’s agenda is probably the rezoning at 969 Burrard Street (First Baptist Church) and 1019-1045 Nelson Street. Media have covered this story. See links below. This is a major project proposed by Westbank Projects Corp. (CEO Ian Gillespie) with Bing Thom Architects. We estimate the market value of the project at nearly a billion dollars and it includes a large benefits package, but residents are likely to raise a number of concerns about the process and design of this application. The proposal includes seismic upgrades for the church, and for two towers to be built alongside. A 57-storey tower would include 311 market-rate condo units and a seven-storey tower would bring 61 units of “social-housing” units (by the City’s own definition, which has been criticized for being insufficiently).

We understand that Brook Pooni has been the “communications” consultant on the project.  The 57-storey tower if approved would become a major sight in the Vancouver skyline. Council officials may  be asked to shed some light on the process leading up to this application, which Gillespie boasted at an architects’ meeting was a “done deal” nearly a year before the West End Community Plan (which is being used to justify it) was even adopted by City Council in November 2013.

Public Hearing official agenda and documents (July 18, 2017, starting 6 pm)

Rezoning Application documents:


West End residents take ‘Trump Tower’ size development concerns to City Hall
By Arian Zarrinkoub, CBC News, Jul 18, 2017

Public hearing for 57-storey Burrard Street tower scheduled for July 18
by Travis Lupick, Georgia Straight, July 16, 2017. (See comments for various aspects.)

Proposed 57-storey West End tower headed to public hearing Tuesday
(Dan Fumano, The Province, 18-Jul-2017)

West End Residents Concerned About Trump-Sized Tower
JULY 17, 2017






One thought on “Public Hearing July 18 (resumes Tues/July 25): Items include 57-storey tower + First Baptist Church reno at 969 Burrard

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