Proposed Mass Rezoning in Renfrew-Collingwood

The Implications for All of Vancouver



The new housing types in the Neighbourhood Centres Program proposal for “Norquay Village” in Renfrew-Collingwood reflect those outlined under the heading Neighbourhood Planning in EcoDensity - Suggested Tools and Actions - Draft (May 2007) [this document can be downloaded as a pdf under the title Ideas and Actions from Draft Charter and Tools].

The proposed rezoning for “Norquay Village” means that the City of Vancouver is trying to implement EcoDensity before any debate or approval, under the already existing Neighbourhood Centres Program. [The Terms of Reference for the Program can be found as a pdf at Community Services – Planning: City Plans – Neighbourhood Centres]. This includes not just the centres but all housing throughout the neighborhood. The proposal disregards all previous process and consultation reflected in the Community Visions (as detailed in the Norquay Village analysis under item D below) and brings in elements that have clearly been rejected by the community.

The Case of “Norquay Village” in Renfrew-Collingwood

For those wanting to understand the “Norquay Village” situation and its broader context, five documents are introduced here with brief explanation. “Norquay Village” is the name that the City of Vancouver has given to about 200 acres centered on Kingsway between Gladstone and Killarney Streets (major intersections are at Nanaimo, Slocan, and Earles). The area contains about 2400 dwellings presently zoned RS-1. Most of the area lies in Renfrew-Collingwood, but the northwestern sector lies in Kensington-Cedar Cottage. The boundary Avenues are 24th and 41st.

A. Draft Plan for Future Housing in Norquay Village Neighbourhood Center ...

[Twelve-page brochure with survey attached]

This key document is described by the City of Vancouver as Newsletter #3 and Survey and is available as a pdf. Pay particular attention to the maps on pages 3doc/4pdf (Locations for RT-10, RM-1 and 4-Storey Apartments) and 5doc/6pdf (Kingsway Rezoning Policy Area).

This brochure was distributed in late May and early June 2007 as an unaddressed junk mail flyer to many (but not all) houses in and near the affected area. Copies were provided in English and Chinese. The 30% of our neighborhood that has another first language was not even provided the eight-language warning
      IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Please have this translated
that the City normally provides on significant correspondence. (The City claims it would have cost too much to use addressed mail to notify households that their major asset faced a serious change in status.) The cut-off for responses to the survey was June 20, 2007.

B. Identified Local Area Planning Needs

[One-page map]

Norquay Village is one of 19 sites in the City of Vancouver targeted for mass rezoning. A pdf map of these sites can be found as the link View map showing Neighbourhood Centres as identified through Community Visions at Community Services – Planning: City Plans – Neighbourhood Centres. A City of Vancouver report (pdf) of June 2007, Future Neighbourhood Centres Planning, names the two areas targeted for 2008: Hastings Sunrise North and Main Street Riley Park: “To expedite the delivery of neighbourhood centres, centres will be planned in pairs starting this fall [2007]. One of those centres will be Hastings Sunrise North; staff recommend the second centre to be the Main Street area in Riley Park.”

Kingsway & Knight has already been rezoned. The Norquay Village proposal envisions a much larger area. Hastings Sunrise North and Main Street Riley Park are next on the agenda.

C. Location of New Zones at Kingsway & Knight

[One-page map]

The “Norquay Village” rezoning proposal is the second Neighborhood Center project. The first, approved in October 2005, was the Kingsway & Knight rezoning area. There the rezoning area was smaller, and RM-1 was limited to the two major arterials of Kingsway and Knight, according to page 25doc/29pdf of the Kingsway and Knight Housing Area Plan available as a pdf at Community Services – Planning: City Plans – Kingsway and Knight Neighbourhood Centre Program.

D. Analysis of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision

[Two-page analysis with one-page map]

City of Vancouver planners say that the Draft Plan (item A above) has involved a long term process and flows from the Community Vision. Analysis by a Norquay resident, The Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision: Trampled, Not Implemented demonstrates that this is not true. The Community Vision is being trampled. The rejected Courtyard Rowhouse (RM-1) type, with as many as six housing units per existing lot, would engulf entire local neighborhoods. Unmentioned highrise towers seem intended to line a 1.35 km stretch of Kingsway. Such drastic rezoning would convert a healthy neighborhood to a redevelopment slum. See also CityPlan and Community Visions for a listing of community visions across Vancouver.

E. Massive Rezoning Threatens Norquay and All of Vancouver

[Two-page leaflet]

Norquay Neighbours, a recently-formed neighborhood action group, has produced this leaflet for distribution throughout the Norquay area, and seeks broader support through a citywide coalition. A September 18th rally at City Hall aims to exert the political pressure that the trampling of Norquay’s Community Vision requires.

Other Documents

Adoption of the Hastings-Sunrise and Renfrew-Collingwood Community Visions
See Recommendations A, B, and C.

Low-Income Households
City of Vancouver data mapped from the 2001 census shows that the Norquay neighborhood consists of 25% to 30% low-income households. The Draft Plan for Future Housing in Norquay says (p. 4doc/5pdf):
      “How much will the housing cost?
      “New units are always more expensive than older ones of a similar type and size.”
Taken together with the map, this statement suggests that the City of Vancouver has targeted low-income households in the Norquay area for displacement.

Vancouver City Council – Agenda, Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Under item 20 the City now proposes to partially mitigate the unfair taxation introduced by the mass rezoning at Knight & Kingsway. See: 2007 Property Taxation: Land Assessment Averaging Program Amendments


July 16, 2007 (not to be updated)

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