April 2019 Public Hearing – 150 Signatures Fight to Keep Kitsilano Safe from the Ravages of Zero Displacement Rental Housing

April 2nd & 4th, 2019 Public Hearing
While Hannah and I would normally write a separate post for each public hearing, the next two are so small there simply isn’t a point. Between the meetings on the second and fourth, the former is the more interesting of two.

The later meeting’s agenda consists of four RM-8AN rezoning applications that seek to allow rowhouses or stacked townhomes along sections of the neighbouring streets of the Cambie Corridor. Considering 6 storey buildings in these areas rarely draw much interest, we doubt these items will generate any attention. The same is likely true for the text amendments at the April 2nd meeting.

That can’t be said for either of the rental projects that will be heard. While the proposal on Kingsway never really received that much concern, the one in Kitsilano could result in a very passionate night at City Hall.

Backlash Expectations:
2715 W 12th Avenue – Very High
Concerns over the loss of street parking and building heights have generated a 150 signature petition

1303 Kingsway & 3728 Clark Drive – Moderate
This one faces the usual complaints regarding height, parking and neighbourhood fit

The Fourth Item – 2715 W 12th Avenue


Above -Previous Version -Source / Below -Current Version -Source

What is it?:
Though it may only look like a few row homes, this skillfully designed building actually provides 14 rental homes under the Affordable Housing Choices Interim Rezoning Policy. As 78% of the new homes will be large enough for families, space for a children’s play area and two ride share vehicles have been included.

Where is it?:
Here, along the Kitsilano Diversion, a couple blocks from a 99 B-Line stop, the Kitsilano Community Centre, and a renewed seismically stable high school.

Is this the first version?
No. Recommendations from the Urban Design Panel have led to this building being split into two to improve circulation (pg 12). As a result, 1 home, and roughly 800 square meters, has been eliminated.

What was the open house like?:
The small space of St. James Community Square usually becomes very heated, and this was no exception. One individual, who boasted of living in 3 million dollar home, claimed access to street parking was more important than providing homes for their children. A petition of 150 signature echos these views and raised concerns about the project’s “high” density (pg 11).

What are its strengths?:
There’s absolutely no displacement, as the site is currently home to a church. The architecture is characteristic of the area, and it has the appearance of a series of row-homes. As a parking garage isn’t required, the money saved will allow for lower rents and two ride-share vehicles.

What are its weaknesses?:
It’s hard to find any, as the project is very simple. Hannah and I dislike when buildings are sunken into the ground, but given the push back against these 3 storeys, we can understand why it was done.

What is the opposition like?:
Very motivated, and just a little selfish. As this block is free from linden trees, aphids and their honeydew, many are afraid new neighbours will stop them from parking their cars here in the future. Of course, there are also those who feel a 3 storey building will destroy and ravage the neighbourhood (pg 5).

Email your thoughts to City Council at publichearing@vancouver.ca. or register to speak in person here.

The Fifth Item – 1303 Kingsway & 3728 Clark Drive

Left -Previous Version -Source / Below -Current Version -Source

What is it?:
A simple 6 storey building with 54 rental homes, 37% of which are large enough for families, that looks a little taller from the lowest point of the laneway behind it. Despite coming under the Rental 100 program, due to the requirements for commercial parking, it will still be offering 54 parking stalls.

Where is it?:
Here, at the current home of the Cedar Cottage Pub, Cafe and Liquor Store, right by the Kingways Luminaires art feature.

Is this the first version?:
No. Due to feedback from the community and the Urban Design Panel (pg 5), the upper floors were cut back to act as a better transition to the single family homes to the north. In total, there has been a reduction of about 1,000 square meters, while an additional parking stall and loading bay have been added. The blank wall along the lane has also been opened up.

What was the open house like?:
Out of the 1,568 households that were notified about the event, only 19 people attended (pg 10), and we weren’t among them. Instead, Hannah and both went to an event about two new towers proposed on Barclay Street.

What are its strengths?:
54 new rental homes that aren’t displacing any current housing is always a good start. There was high praise from the Urban Design Panel as one member described it as the best Rental 100 project they had seen. Their recommendations have addressed concerns about shadows and impacts to the neighbours to the north.

What are its weaknesses?:
The laneway design still feels like it could be more friendly to the neighbours. Still, it’s far better than the blank front door of a pub they currently look at.

What is the opposition like?:
The usual really, as 5 people were concerned about the lack of parking, the heights of the building, and felt the building didn’t match the character of the neighbourhood (pg 34) (pg 1).

Email your thoughts to City Council at publichearing@vancouver.ca. or register to speak in person here.

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