2300 Kingsway (at Nanaimo Street)
“The Hills”

Development Application Number DE412217


A Preliminary Response



The largest development on the drawing board for what city planners propose as “Norquay Village” will create anything but a “village” atmosphere. The developer proposes a vertical gated community, no general public amenity, and a wall of building along Kingsway. After an already dense rezoning, the developer now seeks to extend a very tall tower, increase the density, and later come back with a second development application for one-quarter of the site. This “phased” development means that the neighborhood and new residents would live through the dirt and noise and traffic of large-scale construction twice, and unsuspecting buyers into “phase one” would unexpectedly find their sunshine and views cut off later on. (At Kingsway and Knight the community got a grocery store when the developer wanted to add one storey to a much shorter tower.)


The Situation

The City of Vancouver has just announced a period of six weeks during peak summer vacation in which residents of Norquay have the opportunity to respond to a complex proposal for which some detailed data is not yet available. The deadline for written comment is August 11, 2008. An extensive revision – essentially a new project that amounts to far more than “redrawing” – is being proposed on a rezoning application made two and a half years ago.

In a letter of June 26, 2008, City of Vancouver, Community Services Group, Development Services has notified by mail selected “neighbours” of 2300 Kingsway that a Development Application is now pending. (The materials provided in that letter can also be found at   http://vancouver.ca/devapps   in seven separate pdf files under the heading “2300 Kingsway – DE412217”). Some of the numbers cited below have been taken from plans at City Hall and are presently unavailable otherwise.



On January 24, 2006 City Council rezoned a two-acre site, half of it previously RS-1 single family, and granted the developer-applicant a great increase in density in return for the provision of 37 daycare spaces (an amenity almost invisible to the surrounding community). That rezoning was for a maximum of 297 dwelling units, a density of 3.6 FSR, and a maximum building height of 22 storeys. (FSR – Floor Space Ratio – is the ratio of built square feet to square feet of land occupied. The 2300 Kingsway site occupies 87,335 sq ft of land.)

The developer that obtained the 2006 rezoning appears to have transferred the land to another developer. The new developer proposes 282 dwelling units and 38,335 sq ft of retail (total 253,358 sq ft of floor space) on about three-quarters of the rezoned land, with the remaining one-quarter to be used later in “a new and separate development permit application.” The 22 storey tower is now proposed to be 24 storeys. An earlier major soft promise of a much-needed grocery store to serve the neighborhood seems to have evaporated now that the rezoning has gone past the community and City Council.


Initial Concerns

Prepared by Joseph Jones, with consultations            


June 30, 2008

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