The Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision:
Trampled, Not Implemented


The city says that the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Program currently under discussion implements the Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision. This Vision was formulated with community involvement early in this decade and approved by City Council in 2004. There are major differences between the two plans (Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision and Draft Plan for Future Housing in Norquay Village Neighbourhood Center).


Zoning for Single Family Houses

The Renfrew Collingwood Community Vision states: In order to maintain the basic character of Renfrew-Collingwood, most of the area that is now single family (including areas permitting rental suites) should be kept that way (p. 26). The Norquay Draft Plan proposes to take 2400 houses out of single family zoning. The affected area constitutes about one-quarter of the entire Renfrew-Collingwood neighborhood. A second, even larger area in this same neighborhood is mapped as a future neighborhood center at Kingsway & Joyce.


New Housing Types

The Community Vision states that “exceptions [to retaining single family housing] would only occur where the community supports new housing choices” (p. 26). Here is how the Draft Plan compares with the Community Vision on the key issue of housing type. (Numbers in parentheses are approval ratings on a neighborhood survey conducted by the city planning department.)


        New Housing Type           Community Vision           Norquay Village
          Neighbourhood Centre Program
        Seniors Housing (purpose built)           Approved  (81%)           Not mentioned
        Infill Housing           Not approved   (54%)*           Included in RT-10
        Duplexes           Not approved   (51%)*           Included in RT-10
        Small Houses on Shared Lots           Not approved   (49%)*           Included in RT-10
        Cottages           Not approved   (44%)*           Included in RT-10
        Traditional Row Houses           Not approved   (37%)*           Not mentioned
        Low Rise Apartments – up to 4 stories           Not approved   (41%)*           Kingsway Rezoning Area*** / Earles & 29th
        Sixplexes           Not supported   (32%)**           Included in RT-10
        Courtyard or Carriage Rowhouses           Not supported   (36%)**           Classed as RM-1
        Apartments Higher than 4 Stories           Not mentioned           Included in the Kingsway Rezoning Area***


* “Not approved” means this option received around 50% positive votes, but not enough to be classified as “approved.” These types of housing are to remain topics of further discussion. Only two of the sixteen housing-type questions in the Norquay Draft Plan survey relate to these types of housing.

** “Not supported” means that this option received more “disagree” than “agree” votes. The planning comments for these types of housing in the Community Vision state: “This option will not be considered if additional housing planning occurs in the community” (p. 36, 37). The Norquay Village Program proposes to rezone approximately one third of the rezoning area as RM-1. In the Norquay Draft Plan survey, twelve of the sixteen housing-type questions relate to courtyard rowhousing.

*** The Kingsway Rezoning Policy Area includes 1.35 km. of Kingsway between Gladstone and Killarney Streets and extends 2 or 3 blocks on either side of Kingsway. Three intersections are proposed to be zoned for “taller buildings,” the rest of Kingsway for “mid rise” and “low rise” buildings, and streets on either side of Kingsway for 3-4 story apartments and townhouses. One specific site with a 22-story tower has already received approval from City Council. Buildings taller than four stories were not a part of the Community Vision. Two of the sixteen housing-type questions in the Norquay Draft Plan survey relate to housing proposed for this area.


Definition of the Area

The area referred to as the “Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre” was not defined in the Community Vision. The City has kept redefining the area for new housing types until it has become four to five times larger than the original description. (See the differences on this map compiled from multiple sources).

  1. The area bounded roughly by Nanaimo, Galt/Norquay/Ward, Moss, and 30th/34th/38th. Norquay Village Neighbourhood Center Area Work Program, p. 8 (April 2006).
  2. The area bounded roughly by Nanaimo, Brock/Norquay/Euclid, Killarney and 38th (the area inside the oval on the map). Norquay Village Neighbourhood Center Area Work Program, p. 7 (April 2006).
  3. The area bounded roughly by Gladstone, 27th, Killarney, and 41st (34th west of Nanaimo). Draft Plan for Future Housing in Norquay Village Neighbourhood Center, p. 3 (June 2007). The area between Nanaimo and Gladstone is part of Kensington-Cedar Cottage and was part of the vision process in that neighborhood.
  4. Incorporates three additions around skytrain stations. Draft Plan for Future Housing in Norquay Village Neighbourhood Center, p. 3 (June 2007).


Missing Elements in the Proposed Plan

Section 3.2.1. of the Neighbourhood Centre Delivery Program Terms of Reference states that products of the process should include “several Housing Area Plan options that indicate types and locations for new housing ... [and that] include related measures dealing with: traffic, parking, and/or utilities impacts; improved appearance and greening of the public realm; additional demands on parks and city facilities (e.g. daycare, community centers, libraries, pools, rinks) ... and include any specific measures for affordable/social housing beyond current city policies [and] include Vancouver School Board commentary on schools.” This was adopted by City Council July 9, 2002.
None of the Italicized Elements Are Included in the Proposed Plan


Escalation over Zoning in Kingsway & Knight Area

The area now proposed for rezoning in Norquay encompasses 50% more single-family dwellings than did the Kingsway & Knight Neighbourhood Centre, the first neighborhood center where rezoning occurred. The denser RM-1 zoning in the Kingsway & Knight area was confined to areas immediately adjacent to the main arterials of Kingsway and Knight Road. However, in the Draft Plan for Norquay, these areas surround all schools and parks and extend along many more than two arterials. The Norquay plan also proposes general zoning along Kingsway for apartment buildings higher than four stories. This type of zoning at Kingsway & Knight was restricted to a single specific site.

The Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision approved “additional housing types, complemented by additional community amenities and facilities ... along with a mix of apartments and townhouses in areas adjacent to Kingsway.” However, what was envisioned in the Community Vision and what is now being proposed for the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre are very different in terms of scale, of area, and of included elements.

See Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Program for more details of the proposed plan.


We Need a New Plan that Respects Our Community Vision
and the Terms of Reference for its Implementation


September 17, 2007

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