One more space of metropolis constructing might get kicked right down to the municipal authorities’s Vancouver Plan, threatening to decelerate much-needed interventions on the Granville Leisure District (GED).
In a report back to metropolis council that can be deliberated on Tuesday, metropolis employees have requested permission to draft a plan and price range for a future planning course of focusing on Granville Avenue in downtown, as a part of efforts to advance and implement the Vancouver Plan.
The proposed planning course of wouldn’t be reviewed by metropolis council for consideration till the top of 2021, and the work itself for a brand new imaginative and prescient for the world would solely start in 2022. All of the whereas, circumstances on the GED would proceed to deteriorate.
This planning course of would primarily give attention to Granville Avenue between Drake and Robson streets, with issues on tradition, heritage character, public realm, and its perform as a pedestrian-priority business excessive road and transit hub.
Nonetheless, this years-long timeline might put extra growth initiatives on maintain, if not cancelled, and discourage non-public funding as a method for not solely reviving the GED but additionally for COVID-19 restoration.
“Lately, Granville Avenue has been challenged by an absence of daytime exercise, vacant storefronts and well being and security issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has solely exacerbated many of those points, creating a big pressure on native companies,” reads the report.
“These adjustments have contributed to a rising curiosity from companies, cultural organizations, and the group to re-envision the way forward for Granville Avenue, as highlighted within the suggestions introduced ahead in public engagement for this proposed modification and different current initiatives. There’s additionally sturdy curiosity from landowners on different blocks of Granville for redevelopment and reinvestment within the space.”
Moreover, city staff are proposing to introduce more residential density — with a give attention to social housing and rental housing — alongside a two city block stretch of Granville Street between Drake Street and Helmcken Street, deemed as Area K3.
At the moment, business and residential makes use of are permitted in Space K3, as much as a most flooring house ratio (FSR) density of a flooring space 3.5 instances the scale of the lot. The adjustments would permit for elevated density of as much as 5.0 FSR, so long as 100% of the residential flooring house is for both social housing or rental housing, with the stipulation that retail and restaurant makes use of will nonetheless be required for a minimum of the bottom stage. As effectively, the density can solely be utilized to a web site with a constructing constructed since 1930, and a most road frontage of 23 metres (75 ft).
Any adjustments to Space K3 can be topic to the general public listening to course of.
Metropolis employees word that a number of vacant or under-utilized websites on this space could possibly be a redevelopment choice for property house owners and that the proposed amendments are “modest.”
However Charles Gauthier, the president and CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Enterprise Enchancment Affiliation, says he want to see extra flexibility and an expedited timeline that displays the difficult and pressing realities of the GED.
He’s additionally involved about mixing extra residential house into Granville Avenue, and the ensuing potential lack of the potential for a stronger business presence on the strip.
There’s a historical past in downtown Vancouver of residents in newer buildings complaining about extra noise and light-weight from pre-existing companies within the leisure district and different business areas.
Kerry Bonnis, whose namesake firm Bonnis Properties, is behind the major 800 Granville Street commercial-only proposal on the northern finish of metropolis employees’s proposed planning space, says it’s ill-advised to interchange and displace current and potential business house.
“It’s an leisure district, and it’s the place we have fun, as we noticed with the 2010 Olympics. It has vibrant indicators and relaxed signal bylaws, it’s alleged to be a spot of vitality and vibrancy. It’s flawed to topic residents to the noise and festivities of the business road,” mentioned Bonnis in an interview with Every day Hive Urbanized.
“Vancouver is 115 sq km, we don’t perceive the logic of making an attempt to place residential on what’s traditionally and presently a business road when you would put residential anyplace else. We’re involved that individuals who have powerful instances and wish the assistance of our metropolis and our fellow residents, together with the mentally in poor health, are being housed on a business road.”
He says social housing and supportive housing must be positioned in residential-primary areas, permitting residents to be built-in with the material of a traditional residential neighbourhood.
“We don’t perceive why they need to be remoted on business streets, it’s not good for them and it’s not good for town’s commerce,” he added.
At the moment, there are 4 current buildings in Space K3 containing a complete of 21 rental models, with all 4 buildings constructed earlier than 1930, which suggests they might not be eligible for extra social housing and rental housing density beneath the proposed adjustments.
Moreover, there are three single-room occupancy buildings with a mixed complete of 239 rooms in K3, however these buildings are ineligible for causes of their pre-1930 building and metropolis insurance policies stopping lack of low-income housing. Two buildings are occupied and one constructing is vacant.
The latest supportive housing addition to Space K3 is the previous Howard Johnson Resort at 1176 Granville Avenue, acquired by the provincial authorities final 12 months and now generally known as the “Lugaat.”
There’s additionally a rental constructing at 1138 Granville Avenue with 106 rental houses, accomplished in 2012, however it’s outdoors Space K3.
Close to the southern finish of K3, near the north finish of the Granville Avenue Bridge, there are two strata-owned residential buildings.