July 10th Public Hearing – A “Concentration Camp” on the Waterfront, “Transient” Renters Bring Chaos to Cedar Cottage, 12 Homes are 10 “too many” for Arbutus – Is this a Despicable new low for Vancouver?

Yes, those comments in our title have actually been made by real people. While that is a horrifying thought, the proof is shown in their letters, which we link to the Plaza of Nations, Hull St, and West 35th Ave sections respectively. It is easy to imagine this could be one of the worst behaved Public Hearings in Vancouver’s history. It leaves Darren and I really worried about the future of both Vancouver, and the state of civil discussion in our city.

The first rezoning proposal is for market housing in Marpole which has drawn no attention, while the next two are rental proposals in Arbutus and Cedar Cottage where we encountered disgusting public backlash. The last two items are part of the conversion of North East False Creek from empty parking lots to an ice rink, community centre, restaurants, hotel rooms, strata and social housing. Of course, such well-rounded applications are the ones facing the largest opposition.

With a diverse range of well thought-out projects, and with such vile opposition, there is no excuse to not make your voice heard.

Backlash Expectations
8444-8480 Oak Street – Very Low
2109 West 35th Avenue – Very High, based on the open house
3560 – 3570 Hull Street and 2070 – 2090 East 20th Ave –High, based on the open house
777 Pacific Boulevard (BC Place Tower 10C) – Very High, with 20 letters against
750 – 772 Pacific Boulevard (Plaza of Nations) –High, with a very reprehensible comment

 

The Second Item – 8444-8480 Oak Street

img_9679.jpg

What is it?:
A 6 story, strata building proposed under the Marpole Plan.

Where is it?:
Just south of the growing retail node at 67th Avenue, located a 15 minute walk from the Marine Drive Canada Line Station.

What was the open house like?:
Only 12 people attend the event, and we were not among them. The only piece of feedback was a request for more height and rental housing.

What are its strengths?:
Replacing 4 homes that are valued at 1.7 million each with 40 condos is a smart move.

What are its weaknesses?:
56 parking stalls for 40 homes, almost half of which are 1 bedroom.

What is the opposition like?:
Likely small to non-existent.

 

The Third Item – 2109 West 35th Avenue

rendering Arbutus

-Source

What is it?:
12 Rental Homes in a three and half story passive house, secured rental building.

Where is it?:
Just north of the Arbutus Centre Mall, along the curved hill to the Kerrisdale Village.

What was the open house like?:
Terrible. A group of multi-million dollar home-owners demanded staff kick us out of the event, and called the project a forced abortion. 36 people attended the event, and almost all were opposed. That said, 62 people wrote in after the event, and their positive comments helped the proposal reach this point.

What are its strengths?:
A highly sustainable design. As it’s been sunken into the ground, it is similar in height to the neighbouring single family homes. It is rental housing in area that has seen population decline due to unobtainable single family home prices. It adds 12 homes to an empty lot worth $3.5 million.

What are its weaknesses?:
While it was done in an attempt to passify the neighbours, we don’t like below grade housing. The rents will be high, but should be obtainable for a median income family.

What is the opposition like?:
The open house sums it up. The letters submitted reveal a sense of entitlement that wants this project, and others in the neighbourhood, halted.

 

The Fourth Item – 3560 – 3570 Hull Street and 2070 – 2090 East 20th Avenue

hull and 20th.JPG

-Source

What is it?:
69 secured rental homes spread throughout townhomes, and a low-rise building. It also also preserves a heritage house.

Where is it?:
A couple minute walk away from Trout Lake, and 20 minutes away from the Broadway and Commercial Transit Hub.

Is this the First Version?:
No. The UDP rejected the original proposal, calling it something out of 1990’s suburbia. This design makes use of more modern looking materials.

What was the open house like?:
Pretty awful. People that were opposed claimed this new housing would harm the “character” of the neighbourhood. One person was literally screaming in Darren’s face, and I was terrified Darren would be hit. Others claimed these private homes provided valuable green space, despite their combined almost $13 million price tag.

What are its strengths?:
66% of these rental homes have 2 or more bedrooms, so it’s very family friendly. Being located close to transit and a major park is even better. The cul-de-sac will provide a good area for street hockey. It is upgrading a walking path along the skytrain, and is also preserving the 118 year old Rosenberg House.

What are its weaknesses?:
The prices will be market rate, as the developer has rejected the City’s program offering lower parking requirements and reduced permit costs. Still, there are many who can afford these homes, which should increase vacancies in more affordable rental stock.

What is the opposition like?:
That we were worried about being hit at the open house should say everything. Most simply want to keep their neighbourhood as is, and don’t want the park to become “too crowded”. Why else would a tenured professor at SFU express fears over “transient” renters?

The Fifth Item – 777 Pacific Boulevard (BC Place Tower 10C)

777 10c.JPG

-Source

What is it?:
A 40 floor government owned residential building. It’s unknown if the homes will be leasehold or rental.

Where is it?:
At the foot of BC Place, where the Georgia Viaduct and Pacific Boulevard meet.

Is this the first version?:
No. A taller version was originally proposed, but was reduced by 25 feet. This was the result of the City ‘s concern that 3 buildings at the same height would take away from the gateway experience. The street level now resembles a more typical podium.

What was the open house like?:
As part of the NEFC plan, there have been several open house events. This proposal has seen the lowest level of support of all 4 areas, with 45% in favor and 30% against.

What are its strengths?:
While the type of housing has yet to be determined, as the property is owned by the province, it will likely be rental or leasehold. There is an improved connection to the Stadium, and First Nation’s art will be prominently displayed. With a height similar to Harbour Centre, it enhances the skyline while retaining views of the mountains.

What are its weaknesses?:
Though the homes are orientated to face away from the stadium’s lights, we still worry about their livability.

What is the opposition like?:
Somewhat large and confused. Despite evidence to the contrary, they claim the building will block out the view of the North Shore mountains. In reality, from the protected view point in the middle of the Cambie and 10th intersection, this building and view are hidden by a traffic light. Still, over 20 letters have been sent in opposition.

777 Pacific Blvd is shown is shown as the left of the three blue buildings.

View cones.JPG-Source

 

The Sixth Item – 750 – 772 Pacific Boulevard (Plaza of Nations)

IMG_2971

What is it?:
A vision of one of Vancouver’s premier architects, Arthur Erickson, brought to life by his protege and renowned architect, James Cheng. This is a complete community, with a public ice rink, community centre, daycare, restaurants, market and non-market housing. There will be new public plazas, better access to the water, and a new space akin Habitat Island.

Where is it?:
Located on the former Plaza of Nations site and its massive parking lot.

Is this the first version?:
No. While the vision has stayed relatively similar, it has been enhanced several times.

What was the open house like?:
Several meetings have been held, the last event at the Edge Water Casino was attended by almost 200 people.
A clear majority have continued to support it since the first event.

What are its strengths?:
An amazing amount of public benefits, activities, and services. Its terraced design won the heart of the UDP, as it was felt to improve on the typical Vancouver podium tower in every way. It was sculpted to allow for more views of BC Place.

What are its weaknesses?:
While it helps “Complete” Downtown, the success of the building’s architecture will really depend on the materials used to clad it.

What is the opposition like?:
Apparently at least one is a vile and terrible human being. Like the previous proposal, there are some making exaggerated claims about the building’s height, while others are upset that they will lose their empty parking lot, which allowed for views of False Creek. That said, there is NO EXCUSE for comparing this building to a concentration camp, and we are disgusted that this comment is allowed to be part of the public record.

How to Have Your Say
If you want to speak in person register here. Otherwise, you can use the instructions below to send your comments to city council: (Note, all personal information, aside from your name and comments, will be redacted by the city clerks).

  • Include your name (anonymous comments aren’t shared with Council).
  • The deadline to send your comments is 15 minutes after the speaker’s list closes.
  • If you send your comments during the meeting, use a maximum of 1,500 words.
  • Comments are posted on the City of Vancouver’s website.
  • Email: publichearing@vancouver.ca
  • Mail: City Clerk’s Office, City of Vancouver, 453 West 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4

*If you want to submit a response to council, and need more instructions, let us know, and we’ll do our best to give you some added guidance.

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3 thoughts on “July 10th Public Hearing – A “Concentration Camp” on the Waterfront, “Transient” Renters Bring Chaos to Cedar Cottage, 12 Homes are 10 “too many” for Arbutus – Is this a Despicable new low for Vancouver?

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  1. I live in arbutus village and would like your thoughts on the proposed changes that larco is asking for in the mall on arbutus st

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    1. We’ll be happy to provide them in our July 18th Public Hearing post 🙂 . However, we don’t want jump the gun and take away from this meeting, or the proposals that will be heard on July 17th.

      That said, we understand the concerns of the UDP, the neighbourhood, and also the need to adapt plans to changes in our city. Though we are also aware that some of the public comments at the open house were really terrible.

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