Meeting #29 - The City's Position on the Little Mountain Plan.
This is the Short Edit Version
A significant turning point in the process, and a moment of truth revealed.
READ ON >>>
The planning department outlines their support and criticisms of the Holborn Concept.
The Advisory Group compliments the planning department on their work, but finds that although the planning departments criticisms are many and good, their overall density of the site is unworkable at their suggested range of 2.3fsr to 2.5fsr.
The Group suggests that the maximum density be pegged at 2.3, as was represented as the point at which the developer would make a profit and the community get the amenities it wants. (Coriolis presentation Meeting #23)
After considerable discussion it becomes clear that there will be 3 different presentations that go to council:
One by the Planning department,
One by the Holborn Group,
One by the Advisory Group.
But there is a considerable amount of finessing to take place, so it is unclear what the city's final position will look like.
Highlights of the Short Version:
00:45 - Ben Johnson of City Planning presents Holborn’s density numbers:
1834 housing units of which 1600 are Market and 234 are Social Housing.
Density Range 2.5 – 2.8FSR.
01:30 - Michele St. James of City Planning presents the City’s critique of Holborn design.
02:29 – Holborn’s Little Mountain plan shown to have higher density than Olympic Village.
03:15 – View analysis from Peak of Queen Elizabeth Park, across Little Mountain Site.
05:45 – Summary of height and density changes requested by the City Planning Department.
07:45 – Michele states City Planning’s preference for a 2.3 to 2.5 FSR range.
08:00 – Community Discussion Begins
08:00 – Where is shadow analysis at Xmas time? Answer has to do with Northern Climate Challenges.
10:00 - Issue of South site transitions rapidly rising from 4 to 7 stories.
10:50 – Why lower scale buildings and tighter courtyards (in keeping with single family neighbourhood) are not an option.
12:39 – James Cheng mentions that there may not be a solution that the Little Mountain Neighbourhood will accept.
13:29 – Community Member (Deborah) thanks the Planning Department on their careful analysis, principle and performance based, and the ways the height trimming is considered and why…but argues that the amount of housing load that is being considered for the site is too much.
17:10 – Ben Johnson argues that Holborn will need to earn the extra density above 2.3 with exceptional design.
17:40 – Angry resident argues that sunlight discussion is irrelevant.
19:00 – Michele discusses “Mystery Lake” and water features on the site.
19:30 – President of the Neighbourhood House argues that the deal is good.
20:30 – Norm Dooley (RPSC) argues that Arbutus Walk (Meeting #15) is a better model for Little Mountain, and that Little Mountain won’t solve all of Vancouver’s problems. Applause follows.
27:00 – “We’re selling the housing to pay for the furniture.”
28:00 – Another notice of Mystery Lake.
28:30 – Neighbourhood House Executive Director argues in favour of the plan owing to costs of building and land, (Arbutus Walk built many years ago) and the amenities delivered.
32:00 – Angry resident says “Go ahead full force!”
33:30 – Resident argues that this new plan is a stark change for this community.
35:00 – Ben Johnson explains how the city will present both their position and the position of the Little Mountain Advisory Group to Vancouver City Council.
36:00 – Resident wonders if the next 3 meetings are worth attending, since the City has presented the essence of their position. The answer is vague.
38:30 – Ned Jacobs argues that even if 2.3 is the best number owing to the political pressure that is exerted on City Planners to increase densities during further development phases.
WHERE THINGS GET HOTTER...
40:45 – Resident of North of 33rd Avenue Group asks if the City would acknowledge a consensus of the residents of Little Mountain at 2.3FSR and adopt it? The City answers that there are levels of senior management at City Hall who have provided direction of 2.3 to 2.5 FSR owing to multiple city priorities. So the answer is no.
42:00 – WHO is the HIGHER LEVEL? (of power at the city)
43:30 - This is YOUR community, but not YOUR city.
44:30 – Ingrid Steenhuisen points out how far the community has come in the acceptance of high densities – of which 2.3FSR is a high density.
45:20 - A discussion ensues about how a Little Mountain Advisory Group Sub Committee could write a report which would send a powerful message to Vancouver City Council about their agreement regarding the density which they see as maximum for their neighbourhoods. (to be posted next week)
I spent a couple of nights trying to edit this long and significant meeting shorter, but there just wasn't much else I could take out...so 45 minutes isn't all that short.