Wen on stir, sept 2010


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  • Cut off most of large black base
    Cut off building showing: only first 3 floors (levels 1, 2 & 3); first 7 floors (levels 1 to 7); and total building.
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  • Wen on stir, sept 2010

    1. 1. Is STIR the Answer for Vancouver Neighbourhoods? 20 September 2010 www.WestEndNeighbours.ca
    2. 2. STIR "The STIR program and its genesis could best be described as a symbol of everything that is dysfunctional at City Hall today. It has brought out all the worst in everyone and created controversy. It has diverted energy away from what could be have been a tremendous amount of positive cooperation in building our communities' futures. I would say the STIR program, as it is being implemented here in the West End, is toxic. It should immediately be either modified or terminated."
    3. 3. Residential Construction: 5,591 units! Blank
    4. 4. Affordability NOT certain:
    5. 5. Example used was NOT a huge tower
    6. 6. Purpose of STIR: Construction.
    7. 7. STIR does override planning policy.
    8. 8. Council did NOT consult the public before adopting STIR.
    9. 9. STIR is NOT for affordable housing.
    10. 10. Connect-the-dots? Campaign Contributions.
    11. 11. Developers had a BIG say in STIR creation.
    12. 12. What does the West End need? Many have ALREADY spoken. •Thousands of letters, e-mails, meetings, and comments to open houses in the past year •WEN Town Hall Meeting (April 22, 2010), 450 people •City-organized consultations (Empire Landmark Hotel, May 12 & 13, 2010), a few hundred people •600 responses to City survey (May 2010) •Two forums by WERA (January, May 2010) •Thousands of conversations over our petition
    13. 13. City’s official findings: (CoV study, June 2010) COMMUNITY PRIORITIES ARE… •Neighbourhood character 69% •Parks and green space 67% •Housing 60% •Sustainability 56% •Crime and safety 55% •Transportation 45%
    14. 14. Community concerns: (CoV study, June 2010) Key Messages with Respect to Community Needs •Neighbourhood character and green space is important. •Increased density will increase pressure on already stretched community infrastructure and services. •Recent tower developments don’t appear to fit in the context of the West End’s unique neighbourhood character.
    15. 15. Key Messages on “Affordable Housing” (CoV study, June 2010) •There are growing affordability challenges for renters, and concerns with the ability of STIR projects to alleviate this problem. •There is a lack of options or support for the elderly who are living on fixed incomes and cannot afford further increases in rent. •Respondents supported increased density and the City’s efforts to encourage purpose-built rental housing, but the majority of respondents also expressed fears about the tower height, loss of sunlight, green space, and affordability. •The speed at which the Short-Term Incentives for Rental (STIR) developments are proceeding and the lack of consultation with the community is a concern.
    16. 16. Key Messages on “Planning Issues”: (CoV study, June 2010) •There should not be any further site specific rezonings until a comprehensive community plan is developed. •The public should be more involved in the planning process
    17. 17. Similar findings: WERA “Visioning” Forum (Jan. 2010) TOP PRIORITIES OF WEST END RESIDENTS (about 100 participants) •Affordability •Green Space •Views/View Corridors •Diversity + Inclusiveness •Walkability •Safe Community •Community Character “Not Yaletown” •History/Heritage •Transit Options (Walk, Bike, Cycle, Bus, drive) •Civic Facilities (Library, Community Ctr., etc.) •Health Facilities •Public Spaces •Age-friendly (Children, Families, Seniors)
    18. 18. West End schools—already FULL! This is the school “catchment” area for King George Secondary School. Includes Lord Roberts Elementary (Main and Annex) plus Elsie Roy Elementary (Yaletown). All are already full to capacity. Children among 1500+ new residents from about 10 projects in the pipeline are likely to have to send kids elsewhere.
    19. 19. Joe Fortes Library: Heavily Used! "...Joe Fortes' most considerable challenge is its limited space. [For comparison] Kerrisdale's physical space is 17% larger than Joe Fortes. Joe Fortes however contains more library materials within its walls than Kerrisdale. Futhermore, in the time period examined, Joe Fortes had more people visit the library, and when they did visit, they borrowed more books, videos and music than Kerrisdale. This can be directly attributed to the longer open hours. … as the demographic changes in the West End and more young families move into the neighbourhood, there will likely be a need to increase children’s programming at this location. Space limitations have also meant that there is not enough room to provide users with enough Internet terminals to meet demand at Joe Fortes." (Director, Neighbourhood & Youth Services, Vancouver Public Library, August 2010)
    20. 20. Question: Is STIR the answer to community priorities for the West End? Answer: NO.
    21. 21. Issue is not only STIR. Not only one site. Rezoning and development sites we are now monitoring (Sept 2010)
    22. 22. STIR Case Study St John’s Church at 1401 Comox •No advance consultation •Currently zoned 1.5 FSR, 6 storeys height •Developer asking for nearly 500% increase in floor space ratio (FSR, or density), and nearly 400% increase in height •A shocked community reacted
    23. 23. 1401 Comox (St John’s Church) today
    24. 24. Permitted Development underPermitted Development under Existing ZoningExisting Zoning 1.5 FSR (25,800 sq. ft.)1.5 FSR (25,800 sq. ft.)
    25. 25. A modest Increase in density under a newA modest Increase in density under a new zonezone 2.75 FSR (43,000 square feet)2.75 FSR (43,000 square feet)
    26. 26. The same density in a tower formatThe same density in a tower format 2.75 FSR (43,000 sq. ft.)2.75 FSR (43,000 sq. ft.) This is the same height and density as the existing non-profit rental seniors building at 1175 Broughton Street
    27. 27. Westbank Peterson ProposalWestbank Peterson Proposal 7.5 FSR – 130,000 sq. ft.7.5 FSR – 130,000 sq. ft. No relationship to existing buildingsNo relationship to existing buildings
    28. 28. What community might accept…
    29. 29. What the developer wants…
    30. 30. Amenity Space The developer has set aside less than 3% of the building for neighbourhood group use. Is this a fair tradeoff for being allowed to build 192 units instead of 40? Is this just and fair for the community. 3% 192 units
    31. 31. Other scenarios: First United Church redevelopment to include shelter, social housing (jeff hodson, 29 April 2010, Metro News) • First United Church (Downtown Eastside), $31-million redevelopment with supportive and social housing. A fixture in the neighbourhood for 125 years ... plans to build a new facility with 60 units of mixed social housing... 40 supportive housing units, a 40- bed shelter, a place of refuge … retail spaces, dental and health- care facilities, and places for families.... United Church of Canada has donated $6 million in land and cash.
    32. 32. Urban planning: Vancouver WAS ONCE a model city • Urban planning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver) • At 5,335 people per km2 (13,817.6 people per mi2) in 2006, Vancouver has a high population density relative to most other North American cities. Urban planning in Vancouver is characterized by high-rise residential and mixed-use development in urban centres, as an alternative to sprawl. This has been credited in contributing to the city's high rankings in livability. • This approach originated in the late 1950s, when city planners began to encourage the building of high-rise residential towers in Vancouver's West End, subject to strict requirements for setbacks and open space to protect sight lines and preserve green space. …. The result is a compact urban core that has gained international recognition for its "high amenity and 'livable' development.“ • “Vancouverism” =Urban planning and architectural technique pioneered in Vancouver, Canada. It is characterized by mixed- use developments, typically with a medium-height, commercial base and narrow, high-rise residential towers to accommodate high populations and to preserve view corridors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouverism
    33. 33. To be continued….
    34. 34. West End "No Rezoning Without A Comprehensive Plan" Petition As a Vancouver citizen and West End resident: (1)   I support current zoning provisions in the West End that permit a maximum building height of 18.3 meters (60 feet or 6 storeys), request that they be maintained for future developments in the West End, and that the current Zoning District Plan for the West End be upheld.…
    35. 35. West End "No Rezoning Without A Comprehensive Plan" Petition (2)   I request in the event of considering general or site-specific land use and/or West End zoning changes, that these include meaningful consultation with residents, protect existing neighbourhood liveability, and respect/maintain the character of the neighbourhood. We need a comprehensive plan, not site-by-site rezoning.
    36. 36. Who and What is WEN? • Volunteers dedicated to preserving the quality of life of our neighbours and the unique and distinctive character of our neighbourhood. Compelled to act in response to pressure for rapid change without consultation. • Our purpose is to preserve the quality of life, the distinct, diverse character, and the heritage of the West End. • Influence policy decisions and ensuring future change is based on community needs, is neighbourly and reflects meaningful engagement of residents.
    37. 37. WEN is not … • Against all development • Change • Demanding a moratorium on development • Only about one site • About single issues (e.g., green space) • Consisting of just renters, not just owners
    38. 38. WEN is for … • Meaningful consultation • Transparency • Comprehensive planning • Consideration of cumulative effects of change • Upholding existing guidelines until a new plan is created • Full information about the costs of zoning & development decisions • Better policies on housing for seniors to "age in place" • Concrete ways to address renovictions • Full discussion about all options for providing reasonably priced housing • Consideration of all needs in the community
    39. 39. WEN supports … • Renewal and change that enhances our community and respects our heritage. • A mix of housing suitable for all ages and means (retired and seniors, young families, and more). • Change that respects the social needs and ways to provide community services (community centres, libraries, child care, facilities) that serve our evolving, diverse population.