False Creek plan passes

Coun­cil OKS tow­ers that will limit views of moun­tains

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - News - Wanyee li

Van­cou­ver city coun­cil ap­proved a $1.7-bil­lion plan to de­velop North­east False Creek, giv­ing the nod to three new condo tow­ers that would cut into res­i­dents’ moun­tain views.

Tues­day’s de­ci­sion was a blow to ac­tivists and ur­ban plan­ners who have spo­ken out against the in­tru­sion into one of the city’s ma­jor “view cones,” from Cam­bie Street.

“I felt re­ally dis­ap­pointed be­cause this is an ir­re­versible de­ci­sion,” said Melody Ma, who is lead­ing the Save Our Sky­line YVR cam­paign. “Once you put up th­ese tow­ers, no one can recre­ate th­ese views that Mother Na­ture gave to us. Th­ese public views are price­less.”

In 1989, Van­cou­ver es­tab­lished a pol­icy to pro­tect 11 “view cones” or view cor­ri­dors through­out the city cen­tre. More have been added since and as a re­sult, it is pos­si­ble to see the North Shore moun­tains from much of down­town Van­cou­ver.

But the North­east False Creek Plan al­lows de­vel­op­ers to build con­dos up to 425 feet (about 42 storeys) at Ge­or­gia Street and Pa­cific Av­enue, which would par­tially block the view cor­ri­dor from Cam­bie and 11th Av­enue.

Gil Kel­ley, di­rec­tor of plan­ning at the City of Van­cou­ver, ac­knowl­edged the large num­ber of emails staff had re­ceived in the past week since the cam­paign launched, but stood firm in his con­vic­tion that par­tially block­ing the view cone was the right call.

“I would note that this has been part of the pro­posal for the bet­ter part of the year and has been vet­ted in public and by the public,” he told coun­cil on Tues­day.

Al­low­ing the three tow­ers was the best way to achieve the level of den­sity re­quired to pay for the other ameni­ties in the North­east False Creek plan, he stated. The plan calls for 1,800 new units of so­cial hous­ing and 32 acres of new and “re­newed” park land.

The spe­cific place­ment of the tow­ers, on Ge­or­gia Street, will “frame” a gateway to down­town, much like the tall build­ings al­ready do near Granville and Bur­rard bridges, he added.

But other ur­ban plan­ners do not see it that way.

“City of Van­cou­ver coun­cil has de­cided that the views be­long to res­i­dents that can af­ford to buy NEFC con­dos,” tweeted ur­ban plan­ner Sandy James, who called it “a sad day.”

Two of Van­cou­ver’s past direc­tors of plan­ning chimed in when the North­east False Creek Plan was first re­leased two weeks ago. Larry Beasley and Brent Tode­rian both called on city staff to re­con­sider its plan to block the Cam­bie view cone.

“You can do it right nine times out of 10 and only once suc­cumb to the pres­sure to block them – and you would have es­sen­tially un­done the en­tire pol­icy,” said Tode­rian.

But coun­cil ap­proved the plan Tues­day and ad­vo­cates are ready­ing them­selves to fight re­zon­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for the three tow­ers.

Ma says a few hun­dred peo­ple re­sponded to her cam­paign in the past five days alone, in­di­cat­ing Van­cou­verites want moun­tain views more than con­dos.

Cour­tesy City of Van­cou­ver

Van­cou­ver’s Cam­bie view cone gives res­i­dents a view of the north Shore moun­tains.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.