Re: Rize - CD-1 Rezoning: 228-246 East Broadway and 180 Kingsway
Residents Association Mount Pleasant is opposed to the current Rize Alliance proposal for CD-1 rezoning at Broadway and Kingsway.
Our position is consistent with the petition signed by 2671 persons to date as submitted to the City of Vancouver. Generally, we request that the application be referred back for redesign under the existing current C-3A Zoning Bylaw, Central Broadway C3A Urban Design Guidelines, Mount Pleasant Community Plan, and with demonstrated community support. Please see the petition wording as follows:
WE ARE OPPOSED TO A REZONING PROPOSAL TO ALLOW AN EXCESSIVELY HIGH TOWER AT 180 KINGSWAY / 228 – 246 EAST BROADWAY BECAUSE:
- It does not preserve Mount Pleasant’s historic character. It will destroy the human-scale feeling of the area.
- It sets a precedent that will lead to more high-rise projects of this magnitude in the neighbourhood.
- It creates loading bays on Watson Street that will negatively impact pedestrians and bikes.
- It would cast long shadows on buildings and the streets to the north. The open space within the project would be shadowed by the tall buildings.
- It does not respect the City’s guidelines for C-3A.
- Public and private views of the mountains would be lost.
- That development be consistent with the current scale of the properties surrounding the “Heritage Heart” of Mount Pleasant.
- That Council consider an increase to the allowed height and density from 9.2 m (30 feet) to no more than 21.3 m (70 feet) with a high-low massing rhythm of up to a maximum 21.3 m (70 foot) tower surrounded by 2 to 4 storey buildings and an increase in the floor space ratio (FSR) from 1.00 to no more than 3.00.
- These recommendations respect the new Mount Pleasant Community Plan to increase height and density while maintaining the look and feel of the area and keeping the human-friendly scale of the buildings surrounding the Heritage Heart of our community.
- If the developer chose wood frame construction it would decrease the cost to build and thereby promote affordability. Wood frame construction is also better for the environment than concrete and glass towers.
- The form of development we are advocating will have less impact on land values, property taxes and rents in the neighbourhood, resulting in less displacement of low-income residents and small businesses.
The Rize proposal does NOT conform to the Mount Pleasant Community Plan: The Rize site reference in the Community Plan only says that it can accommodate more height and density, but unlike the other two large sites, the plan doesn’t suggest that it be rezoned. On page 25-26 of the Community Plan under “Large Sites”, the sections referring to The Kingsgate Mall and the IGA sites say, “Pursue additional density and height beyond that permitted under the current zoning”. However, the section referring to the Rize site does not mention rezoning, and instead says, “Support the design of an iconic (landmark) building when granting permission for higher buildings”. The additional height and density can be provided through the site’s existing C-3A Zoning Bylaw that conditionally allows increases from 1.0 FSR with 30 feet height, to 3.0 FSR with 70 feet height. Under the C-3A zoning this increase has to be earned through design performance. Iconic should be based on quality of design not on extra large size.
Requirements for Increased Height and Density:
Under the current C-3A Zoning there are requirements to increase the height from 30 feet to 70 feet the City must first consider:
a) the intent of the district schedule, all applicable policies and guidelines and the relationship of the development with nearby residential area
b) the height, bulk, location and overall design of the building and its effect on the site, surrounding buildings and streets and existing views
c) the amount of open space, including plazas, and the effects of overall design on the general amenity of the area
d) the provision for pedestrian needs
e) the preservation of the character and general amenity desired or the area
f) the submission of any advisory group, property owner or tenant.
C-3A Zoning says that to increase density from 1.0 FSR to 3.0 FSR the City must first consider:
a), b), c), d), above as well as the effect of the development on traffic in the area and the design and livability of any dwelling uses.
The above have not been reflected in the current plan, so therefore, Rize has not earned the height and density based on all the above criteria.
Central Broadway C3A Urban Design Guidelines: The Guidelines say for this site, “New development should be built to a height that matches significant older buildings up to six storeys (70 feet) in height.” and “Maintain and enhance the view corridor to the north from Main and 12th by means of a descending scale of building heights with the Lee Building at Main and Broadway as the highpoint and 7th Avenue as the low point”, and “Ensure that existing significant reference points in the Broadway area (the Lee Building) are not obstructed by adjacent building heights” and “Higher buildings should be permitted immediately adjacent to the ‘gateway’ or arrival point (Main & 12th) to ‘frame’ the view, but development should be reduced in height from this point (or terraced down with the slope of a hill) to allow for the widening of views as the bridges are approached”. These are only a few quotes from the existing guidelines which show this project has not met the design criteria for the area.
In conclusion: We request that Council refer the applicant’s proposal back for redesign conforming to the existing C-3A Zoning Bylaw, Central Broadway C3A Urban Design Guidelines, Mount Pleasant Community Plan, and with demonstrated community support.
Residents Association Mount Pleasant (RAMP)