The City of Vancouver is holding a virtual open house regarding a rezoning that contains two 30-storey towers at 130 West Broadway, the site of the former Mountain Equipment Co-op flagship store. City staff are forgoing an in-person Open House for what is probably the largest development proposed in Mount Pleasant. The proposal would have a FSR of 8.46, building heights of 100.1m (328 ft.) and 99.1m (325 ft.), 524 rental units, a 37 space child care and 372 total parking spaces. Reliance Properties and Quadreal Property Group are the developers behind the project while the IBI group are the architects.
The virtual open house ends on April 2, 2023; however, it will be possible to contact the rezoning planner directly even after this date. The City received the rezoning application last year on December 5, 2022 and then waited months before making this information publicly available.
According to the description on the application sign, the rezoning purports to come in under the City’s Broadway Plan (which went into effect 1-Sept-2022). This is in fact an inaccurate claim by City staff, as the project is in violation of the Broadway Plan on a number of counts.
- Section 11.1.12 of the Broadway Plan mentions a maximum of 10 ft floor-to-floor height for residential. The rezoning includes 11 ft. floor-to-floor heights and thus would not be supported under the Broadway Plan
- The Broadway Plan recommends a maximum floorplate size of 6,500 sq ft. in section 11.7.11. In contrast, both of the proposed tower floorplates are 7,200 sq ft. and thus exceed the recommended maximum.
- Even the weakened view protections in the Broadway Plan would not be followed, as proposed heights intrude into protected views, yet the plan claims that “achievable density will depend on view cone height restrictions and urban design performance” (10.4.7).
There would also be significant shadow impacts on Jonathan Rogers Park during the shoulder season (stay tuned for a future post about the shadow diagrams that are included with this application). While there has been talk about making Broadway into a ‘great street’, this out-of-scale development would turn Broadway into a dark, gloomy and unappealing street. The glass and concrete form can contribute to a cold, “mean city”. Was there a missed opportunity by planners to treat much of Broadway under the urban village designation?
During the Open Houses held in the course of the Broadway Plan consultation, City staff said to multiple participants that the Mount Pleasant Community Plan (passed in 2010) and the Mount Pleasant Implementation Plan (passed in Oct 2013) would co-exist with the Broadway Plan. However, just before the Broadway Plan went to Council last summer, staff added an item for repealing the Mount Pleasant Community Plan and the Implementation Plan to the agenda. Bait and switch. City Planners tore up a document that promised to guide Mount Pleasant over 30 years of development, demonstrating a lack of professionalism and ethical standards.Continue reading