Special Study Area 1301-1333 Lonsdale – What’s not happening
In January, my letter to the editor raised concerns over the Hollyburn development proposed for the corner of Lonsdale and 13 St W adjacent to City Hall.
Since then, Hollyburn has held an open house. According to an email from the City Planner in response to a query from me, he replied:
“staff have heard public comments regarding the potential for private view impacts from the requested height increase and have requested that the revised submission include additional analysis, including photo simulations and other tools to more thoroughly assess the proposal”
Presumably, the comments provided to the City Planner and Hollyburn concerning the increased density and height proposed for the site did not have sufficient merit to cause the City to request any alternatives from Hollyburn.
The designation of Special Study Area of this site is for consideration of increased height. As stated in the OCP such sites “are areas of the City that require in-depth study to resolve issues”. The issue here is whether or not an increased height for this location will in fact provide for a better look for this building in “defining the City Centre”.
It would appear that only one increased height with a density of 0.86 FSR above the OCP maximum at 19 stories is being considered in this “in-depth study”. How are we supposed to come to any conclusion without some alternatives also being subject to the sort of analysis that the City is asking Hollyburn to conduct?The OCP provides for the City in the case of Special Study Areas to direct the “allocation of the City’s staff and financial resources” to conduct such a study. In order for any kind of a useful examination, at least three options need to be considered for presentation at the Town Hall Meeting: the Hollyburn proposal, an OCP compliant proposal and something in between.
The City started this process with the last minute designation of the site as a Special Study Area in the OCP. It behoves the City to respect the OCP and complete the required analysis.
Lacking the design tools available to the City and Hollyburn, the two views below will have to suffice for now to give us some idea of the differences between an OCP compliant proposal and the Hollyburn proposal. You decide!
- from Council workshop Mar 28 2011 13th and Lonsdale: