A Chance To Make Amends – Will 78 New Rental Homes Heal A Broken Community

1405 East 15th Avenue & 30473071 Maddams Street
At first glance this may seem like a terrible location to add new homes. After all, why would anyone want to live near the Clark-Knight diversion where traffic to the port is forced to bend around a wavey s-curve. It’s no wonder that, nearly 50 years ago, it was the namesake of one of Vancouver’s most notorious gangs. However, all things change with time, and the area’s average household income has soared to almost $90,000 annually.

Naturally this has led to an increase in land values too, which can be seen as the older housing stock is torn down and replaced with new single-family luxury designs. Fortunately that might not happen here, as the old Affordable Housing Choices Interim Rezoning Policy allows these four properties, worth an average of roughly $1.4 million each, to be transformed into an 78 home rental building instead.

Knight St and East 15th Ave

-Source
It won’t be alone here either, as a similar rental building has existed across the street for around three years. Ironically, some feared that rezoning application would trigger a wave of high-rises that would destroy the community’s beauty (A pg 1), but even today only four and six floor developments are allowed in certain areas (pg 63). Still, hindsight is 20/20, and I wonder if those who felt they were being sacrificed on the alter of creating density (B Pg 6) continue to feel that way today.

I can’t imagine the people who once feared welcoming renters into the community would undo the changes that got rid of the drugs, prostitution, and muggings (C pg 7) feel that way after living next to their neighbour for these last years. Nor do I think they believe it has been turned into a wasteland (pg B 1) by something once viewed as an anti-social box (C pg 1). More than anything, I wonder if they feel guilty for successfully demanding it provide fewer and less spacious homes (D pg 9).

1405 E 15th Ave + 3047 - 3071 Maddams Street Notice.jpg

It’s impossible to know whether these attitudes have changed, but the neighbourhood has. Sadly, despite the renewal of Clark Park, new bike routes, and growing tree coverage, it seems to be hollowing out, as Queen Alexandra Elementary, and Sir Charles Tupper Secondary, are well under capacity (pg 50). This project might reverse that fall, but the renderings reveal the property’s trees will remain standing. Which we appreciate, as sometimes we enjoy a walk in the park after a nearby open house.

Too often these meetings are a magnet for bad behaviour, as we’ve had people yell at us so loud that we’ve felt spittle on our face. Yet, the past doesn’t dictate the future, and even in this weather Hannah and I prefer to be optimistic. Which is why we’re hopeful the neighbourhood’s old wounds will mend at the open house for this project that will take place between 5 – 7pm on February 5th, 2020 at the Croatian Cultural Centre.

Applicant Team Information:

ArchitectsStuart Howard Architects Inc

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