Zombie Rezoning Applications Along Cambie Corridor Set to Meet Vastly Different Fates

5812 – 5888 Cambie / 6288 Ash Street / 495 West 41st Ave
We think it’s likely that most Vancouverites know about the major changes that have taken place along Cambie Street in the last few years, and are probably aware that Phase 3 of the Cambie Corridor area plan calls for even larger changes in the Oakridge Towncentre area at Cambie and 41st Avenue. However, mixed into that wave of change are a trio of proposals that seem to have fallen through the cracks. As they are facing very different outcomes, we thought we would help bring them to light.

5812 – 5888 Cambie – Submitted in November 2016, Last Seen in February 2017

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Filed under what we assume to be an earlier version of the Cambie Corridor Plan, this rezoning application would have permitted a building with a 5 floor podium, bookended with a 10 and 8 floor tower. This building would have provided 117 strata homes, 8 live-work units along the lane, and a floor of office space above street level retail.

Located between 42nd and 43rd Avenues, the southern portion of the building was planned to be trimmed back to allow for a small pocket plaza. Though the open house was almost a year and a half ago, we still remember it as one of the few proposals on Cambie that generated a moderate turnout at its open house, with people expressing passionate opposition to the heights of the proposal.

As their opposition was to the large scale of the proposal, in hindsight they may regret not supporting that proposal. Under the newly approved area plan (pg 67), the site is now allowed far more density, including a 6 story podium and towers up to 330 feet tall, roughly 32 floors. While we assumed the property owner would eagerly update their plan for the site, we reached out the applicant team to make sure.

Unsurprisingly, we were told that, with the community plan approved, the applicant team was in discussions with their client over how they wanted to proceed. If you would like to give them a suggestion, you can express your thoughts by contacting the applicant team emailing Clement Pun of IBI Group Architects Inc. at cpun@ibigroup.com,  or by calling 604-683-8797

6288 Ash Street – Submitted in December 2016, Last Seen March 2017

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While the previous proposal likely has a bright future, this one may be shuffling around for a long time to come. Though this application to add 7 townhomes was initially filed under the repealed Oakridge-Lanagara Area Plan, if the applicant reapplied, it would now come under the new Cambie Corridor Area Plan. With its proximity to the large Oakridge Centre development, and two Canada Line Stations, the applicant might have hoped the new plan would have allowed this location to support a higher density. However, the new area plan (pg 97) still limits the use of the site to 3 story townhomes. This limitation is likely a result of the properties proximity to Tisdall Park and a policy that prohibits buildings from casting shadows onto parks.

However, none of that is the applicant’s concern anymore. They sold the property in October of 2017 for 5.3 million dollars, and likely made a nice profit, as they purchased it for 3.95 million dollars in April of 2015. We reached out to the applicant team contact to see if the new property owner still planned to move forward with the proposal, and were stunned to hear the new owner has never made contact with the team.

Naturally, we then reached out to city staff, and learned that not only have they not heard from the new owner, they don’t even know who they are. Though it appears the new owner has given up on this rezoning application, we have no way to contact them to confirm this. Unfortunately, the city doesn’t remove applications from their website unless it’s pulled by the applicant, meaning that this will be haunting the city’s active rezoning application webpage for a long to come.

Sadly, this also means that the sidewalk on this block will remain unfinished in front of this property. Still, it’s possible the applicant has been negotiating to purchase the neighbouring duplex property in order to consolidate both into a larger project. However, only time will tell. As we have no contact information for the new property owner, we can’t reach out to ask.

495 West 41st Ave – Submitted and Last Seen in July 2017

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Unlike the other two proposals, this one is probably not a zombie, and is likely just flat out dead. This was a development application for a 3 story building at the northeast corner of Cambie and 41st. Though the application may have been approved, it never felt fully flushed out, and is no longer listed on the city’s webpage. We decided not to reach out to the applicant team, as we believe it’s more likely the property owner has simply decided not to move forward with a small 3 story building, when the new area plan (pg 67) allows for a tower of up to 260 feet at this location.

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