Neighbours Fear New Rental Homes Will Bring Big Trouble To Little Shaughnessy

4750 Granville Street and 1494 West 32nd Avenue
A lot can change in a year, and there have been plenty here since Darren and I attended this proposal’s first open house 10 months ago. After that, a new developer not only purchased this site, but the property next door too. That may seem like an odd move given city council’s recent rejection of 21 rental homes down the street, but it should be far enough away to satisfy the hospice who led the fight against them.

The architects have clearly studied that result, as many aspects respond to the opinion of councillors who voted to retain that site’s exclusive RS-5 zoned character. Whether Councillor Fry’s preference for less parking will survive community feedback is hard to say. However, the decision to reduce the building’s scale by providing apartments instead of townhomes did seem to win support. Councillor Bligh’s desires were also met, as the block’s large hedge wall be preserved, and will be expropriated by the city.

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This was not enough for a neighbour who felt it was unacceptable they may still be able to see the rooftop of this three and half floor building as they drive home. I suppose the applicant team foresaw this, and chose to forgo the four floors allowed under the Affordable Housing Choices Interim Rezoning Policy. The presence of a principal of the developer at the event shows they value the community’s feedback, which they have been addressing on Twitter.

I am not sure whether Richard Whitstock’s observations on handwriting are accurate, but he is right that the numerous schools prove young families belong in Shaughnessy, despite those who feel otherwise. Like the open house last year, others expressed concerns over allowing renters in the neighbourhood as it would lower their home’s values. The tone of the night may have been civil, but these remarks were not limited to hushed conversation, as interviews with the Vancouver Courier prove.

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Shockingly, even this publications integrity was not respected, as one individual recorded a member of the applicant team as they spoke with this journalist. This bad behaviour might be due to the resentment many continue to hold for the rejected proposal, as a few people calmed down when they realized this was a totally separate application. Yet some remained confidant they would once again preserve their street parking, and prevent the neighbourhood from becoming “jam packed” with people.

A minority worried the recent backlash council received for rejecting that application meant this proposal was essentially a “done deal.” They felt the Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Association had been negligent in their duty, as they did not organize the opposition this time. A couple even promised to move to the country if this project was approved, but their neighbours felt they had a responsibility to fight to retain the community they had lived in for forty years.

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That said, there were those who believed the proposal was far away from the hospice, and it should be allowed to go ahead. Obviously the members of Abundant Housing Vancouver in attendance were also happy to welcome more obtainable housing to this area. Of the 70 people who came out, I think only we noticed the major flaw in all of the renderings. Granted, that might because the tall hedges mostly hide the evergreen tree behind them.

While that might make a great amenity Christmas Tree over the holidays, Darren was worried its shadows may impact the livability of the homes facing it. Maybe he is spending too much time at the Urban Design Panel, as this feels like a fine grain issue to be addressed at the development application stage. Then again, all comments deserve to be heard, so make sure to express yours by sending them to kirsten@pottingerbird.com before September 20th, 2019.

Applicant Team Information:

Developer – Domus Homes
Architects – Stuart Howard Architects Inc

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