Tag Archives: East Keith

Highrise approved amid controversy

Voices comment:  Somewhat underwhelming coverage of the contentious development on East Keith  in the North Shore News today.  We note there is no mention of former Councillors who were present to speak about the process involved in this application.  No mention of the sale of a boulevard to enable the density three times larger than what is specified in the OCP.  No firm policy about density sales, transfers, density banks.  No evidence that the City needs more condos to house the population.   The answer to the question about the presence of RCMP officers – is ‘we’ll get back to you on that’ the same as stated in the minutes ‘Mayor Mussatto advised that staff will provide a response to Council.’?

Highrise approved amid controversy.

‘It was a rough landing for the latest residential tower voted through by City of North Vancouver council Monday night.

FDG Property Management won final approval to build a 16-storey tower containing 52 strata units and 41 rental units at 161-165 East Keith Rd. but not without a bout of controversy.

The project drew a protest of about 50 residents on Sunday asking for a new public hearing.

The group charged that the developer failed to provide clear information on the project’s floor space ratio, the square footage of the units and number of units of each size, the property setbacks, estimated rental rates and detailed calculations of land transfers and density bonusing.

The group cited a recent win in the courts by the Community Association of New Yaletown in its lawsuit with the City of Vancouver over a botched public hearing in 2013.

Former council candidate Joe Heilman attempted to address council during the meeting’s public input period but was asked to halt his presentation due to bylaws that prevent council from hearing new information about a project once the public hearing is over.

Linda Heese, who lives in one of the highrises across the park, had better luck. “It seems to me these requirements would be the basis for any reasonable and valid public hearing and I do not believe any fair person could look at the situation and the documents in a recent situation and feel that these had been fairly met,” she said at council.

But the project passed 4-3 with no discussion at the council table. Couns. Craig Keating, Linda Buchanan and Holly Back, and Mayor Darrell Mussatto voted in favour while Couns. Don Bell, Pam Bookham and Rod Clark voted nay.

The meeting was coloured with one other curiosity: the presence of RCMP officers during the public input period.

“Who asked for two police officers to be present for our council meeting tonight?” Bookham asked.

“We’ll get back to you on that,” the mayor responded.’

 

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/news/highrise-approved-amid-controversy-1.1769345#sthash.KaceruUZ.dpuf

 

 

Blog: Thoughts of a former City Councillor

Blog: Thoughts of a former City Councillor.

from Guy Heywood’s blog, some of the questions arising from January Council meetings:

Why does the City subsidize market-rental housing at the expense of market-owned housing?

Article deals with the application at 161 East Keith, quoting in part:

‘There are many owned strata properties in the City that are being rented already. Should the City be subsidizing the construction of some market rental at the expense and in competition to others? When the City forgoes a $3.4 million payment for the granted density isn’t it just raising taxes in the future for everyone else?

Furthermore, isn’t the development and operation of market rental housing a ‘business’ which, under the Community Charter local governments is not supposed to subsidizing? ‘

Details here: http://www.guyheywood.ca/blog-thoughts-of-a-former-city-councillor/why-does-the-city-subsidize-market-rental-housing-at-the-expense-of-market-owned-housing 

The City of North Vancouver’s Official Community Plans – what has it become?

Article deals with whether our local government is acting in the best interest of its citizens, quoting in part:

‘Official Community Plans (OCPs) used to be simple land use plans intended to ensure there was a reasonable balance between private and public realms and compatibility of adjacent uses. Now they are primarily used to create wealth through density. 

The City of North Vancouver’s OCP is an expensive taxpayer funded effort to identify soft spots in the resident’s resistance to density for the benefit of land sellers and developers.

Details here: http://www.guyheywood.ca/blog-thoughts-of-a-former-city-councillor/official-community-planswhat-are-they-really

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Report from 161 East Keith developer meeting

Thanks to Linda Heese for the detailed report:

The meeting was about a proposal for a development at 161 East Keith Road – south-east corner of the park.
I am very glad I went.  The meeting was run by a facilitator – Catherine – who did an excellent job.  The architect – Micheal Katz – has been hired by the property owners to come up with a redevelopment plan.  Micheal did the architectural work for the Barraclough Block – which was rebuilt after a fire in 1997. (It is on the NW corner of Lonsdale and about 2nd. – I have always thought this was really well done.)  There is no builder selected at this time.

There has not been any development application submitted to the City (Carl Purvis – City Planner was there)- this was a very early input session to show a suggestion of what might be built and get a feel for what the community response would be.  It is really good to be able to have discussions at such an early stage!

The piece of property is very small – about 90′ x 140′.  The concept is to build an 18 story building – 150′ high, combination rental and strata title although the strata would all be owned by the owners (FDG Property Management Ltd – apparently a North Van family) and it would start out as an all rental building.  FDG would purchase an adjacent piece of the boulevard greenspace to build underground parking, then redo the ground level and give this back to the City.

If just the original property is used for calculation, the FSR for this is something like 6; if the additional property is added the calculation comes to a 4.2 FSR.

According to the OCP, the FSR for buildings in this area is 2.3 and the height is 46 m = 150 feet.

Apparently the planning people have told Michael that the City is interested in increasing the number of rental properties and that density bonusing can be used to help make such a project possible.

There were about 20 people present.  Several owners of adjacent apartment buildings – these are rentals on either side.  There were other people that live in buildings in the vicinity like ourselves.

My reaction is, of course, that here is yet another project heading our way that far exceeds the FSR.  I explained my concerns to Micheal, and told him how unhappy and frustrated the community is to continuously see proposals in our neighbourhoods that exceed the OCP.  The owners of the adjacent buildings are really upset with the size that this building would be and what it would do to their properties.  I also questioned the City direction about needing so many more rental units.  There are so many condos in the City that are sitting empty and lots of condo units have been purchased by people who intend to rent them.  He was surprised with this input.  He seems like an excellent person, listens well and wants to build a building that will be top-notch and add to the neighbourhood.

That is a summary of the meeting.  I have a comment form to fill in and return by Dec. 25th.   There is a project website: www.161eastkeith.com

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